Tablesaw accessories cabinet
Extension tables for tablesaws make woodworking easier, but they sure eat up a lot of precious floor space. This handsome roll-away cabinet helps you put that valuable real estate to good use. We store blades, jigs, and accessories in ours.
Start with carcase construction
1 Cut the carcase top and bottom (A), side panels (B), and back panel (C) to the sizes shown in the Bill of Materials. Note the grain orientation for each piece, and label the parts.
2 Install a 3⁄4 " dado blade on your tablesaw, and set the cutting height to 1⁄2 ". Then, clamp or fasten a wood auxiliary fence to your rip fence. Slide the fence over until the wood face butts against the right side of the dado blade, as shown in Photo A, below. Now, cut the rabbets along the edges of the top and bottom panels (A), where shown in the Carcase Assembly drawing, below.
3 Reinstall your standard saw blade and cut the back edging pieces (D) to size and glue them to the back panel (C). (This simple butt joint is fine if you take care to align the pieces. For a self-aligning joint, cut grooves in the edging and the plywood edges and glue splines in between, or use biscuit joints to hold the surfaces flush.)
4 While the glue dries on those parts, join the other panels. Apply glue to the rabbets on the top and bottom panels (A) at the sides only, not the front or back–then center and clamp the side panels (B) in place.
5 Drill countersunk holes through the sides (B) for screws to secure the rabbet joints. (To learn about specialized bits for this task, see Shop Tip on Triple-Duty Countersink Bits, last image.) After you drive the screws, remove the clamps and place the carcase face down on your bench.
6 Check the fit of the back panel assembly (C, D); then glue and clamp it to the back edges of the carcase. Fasten the back (C, D) to the top and bottom (A) panels.
Front it with a frame
Install the face frame pieces
1 You can install the simple face-frame for this cabinet one piece at a time, rather than as an assembly. Start by cutting the two stiles (E) to size; then glue and clamp them to the front edge of the side panels (B).
2 Measure between the stiles to find the exact length for the face frame rails (F). Cut these parts, then glue and clamp them to the rabbeted edges of the top and bottom panels, making sure the rails and stiles are flush where they meet.
3 Next, at each corner of the face frame drill a countersunk hole through the edge of the stile and into the rail end. Then drive a #8x21⁄4 " screw to connect them.
Edgebanding guards the cabinet
We hid the plywood edges around the cabinet top and bottom with maple edgebanding. Doing this also protects these edges from collisions around the shop.
1 Cut the front and rear edgebanding pieces (G) and side pieces (H) slightly longer than required; then rout a 1⁄8 " round-over along the two outside edges of each piece.
Note: For best results, mark each piece in place and trim the mitered ends for a tight-fitting joint.
2 Glue and clamp the pieces to the cabinet. Later, scrape off the excess glue and sand the surfaces flush.
Fitting the inside of the cabinet
Sliding trays make tool storage efficient and accessible
To make the most of the space inside the cabinet, this design features a set of four shallow drawers, or trays, that are great for storing blades, wrenches, and most other accessories you want close to your tablesaw. Four tray support columns (I), one at each corner of the cabinet, let you adjust the tray positions to suit your storage needs. (Keep in mind that different drawer slide hardware may require changes in the column sizes or in the mounting hole placement.)
1 Cut the columns (I) to length and drill two mounting holes and a series of slide installation holes as shown in the Tray Support Column drawing.
2 Tap a 1⁄4 -20 thread in each slide installation hole.
3 Lay a pair of the tray support columns on your workbench, and set them 183⁄4 " apart (between inside edges). Place the "cabinet" half of a drawer slide on the support columns, and fasten it to the top threaded hole in each using 1⁄4 -20x3⁄4 " roundhead machine screws. (Note that the front ends of the drawer slides are flush with the front edge of the tray support columns. The other half of each slide mechanism installs on the tray.) Fasten a second slide to the bottom hole in each support, then fasten the entire assembly inside the cabinet, as shown in Photo B, below.
4 Assemble another pair of supports and slides and fasten them to the other side of the cabinet. Also, you can fasten the additional drawer slides to the supports at this time.
Trays make for handy storage
Next, the trays–simple setups, multiple parts
1 Cut the tray fronts and backs (J) and the sides (K) to size. Install a 1⁄2 " dado blade on your tablesaw; then reinstall the wood auxiliary fence you used earlier to cut the rabbets on the plywood panels. Again, slide the fence until the wood face butts against the dado blade. Adjust the blade height to 3⁄8 ", and guiding your stock with the miter gauge, cut the rabbets at the ends of each tray front and back.
2 Without changing the blade or fence setup, cut rabbets along the lower inside edges of all the tray fronts, backs, and sides by guiding the edge of each piece against the wood auxiliary fence.
3 Drill a centered 1" hole in each tray front. These are finger-pulls, so for comfort rout a 1⁄8 " round-over around the rim of the hole, on both faces.
4 Glue and clamp the tray assemblies together, checking for equal diagonal measurements to make sure each tray is square. Then drill countersunk holes for screws at each corner as shown in the Tray drawing.
5 Cut the 1⁄2 " birch plywood to size for the tray bottoms (L). Place one tray assembly upside down on your workbench, and glue the tray bottom into the rabbets. Drill countersunk holes around the edges of the panel; then fasten it with screws.
6 When all the trays are assembled, rout a 1⁄8 " round-over along all the exposed edges.
7 Install the remaining drawer slide hardware. Allow a 3⁄4 " backset from the face of the tray front, so it will end up flush with the face frame. Center the slide on the side of the tray as shown in the Tray drawing, below.
Add the doors
Getting closure: making and installing the doors
1 Cut the door panels (M) from your 3⁄4 " birch plywood.
2 Cut the maple edging pieces (N, O) for the door edges. Glue the top and bottom pieces (N) on first, making sure their ends are flush with the edges of the door panels. Then glue the remaining edgebanding (O) on the side edges of each door.
3 Cut a slight back-bevel (2° is plenty) on the inside door edges so they don't bind when you open the cabinet.
4 Sand all the surfaces flush; then rout a 1⁄8 " round-over along the front edges of each assembled door panel.
5 Make layout marks for positioning the door pulls and hinges; then drill holes for fasteners as required.
6 If you want a durable finish on the cabinet, apply two coats of semigloss polyurethane, sanding between coats. If you're applying finish to the trays as well, remove the slide hardware from the tray sides and the tray support columns and reinstall it when the finish has dried.
7 Set a protective mat (a carpet remnant or even cardboard will do) on your shop floor, and place the cabinet upside down on it. Set the casters in position on the bottom panel; then mark and drill for the bolts and lag screws. Mount the casters and turn the cabinet upright. (The caster set we used features front swivel casters that lock with a foot pedal, so the cabinet won't wander around the shop without permission.)
8 Install the door hinges and pulls, mount the doors, and fit all the trays to check clearance and travel. Make adjustments to the tray positions if necessary. Finally, if you're concerned about tools sliding around in the trays, cut up a nonslip rug cushion to use as liner material. Then fill 'er up!
Drilling for screws often involves a series of sizes-a pilot hole for the threads, a clearance hole for the upper shank, and a countersink or counterbore to recess the screw head. Instead of swapping out bits for each step, use a combination bit such as the one shown below. It shapes the hole in just one pass.