Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 6, Issue 5
   May 2012
   Folding Workstation for Crosscuts and Dadoes

Having a relatively small basement workshop means that I have to concentrate on saving space. One way I do so is by creating multi-task jigs and devices. Since crosscutting long boards on the table saw is awkward and hazardous, I came up with this crosscut and dado folding workstation. It's also perfect for biscuit joining, thanks to the rear fence support and the toggle clamp.

The workstation takes only a few hours to build and can be made using less than a sheet of 3/4" plywood, pressboard or MDF and a handful of hardware. The vise and toggle clamps are optional, since you can use a 24" bar clamp or a C-clamp to hold the stock. I mounted the workstation behind my mobile sheet goods rack to maximize my workshop space. I also mounted my stop guides on the side of the mobile rack. The workstation could be mounted on a wall, to be folded or not, or even on a wall workbench folded up to clear the work surface for other tasks.

  Workstation ready to use
  Folded workstation
  End view
I made my workstation 8' long to match the length of my mobile sheet goods rack, thereby saving space. The rear fence is 4" wide and the field is 20" wide. It has two guide fences that I use with the circular saw for crosscutting and with the router for making dados. I use the left side of each fence to guide the circular saw and the right side of each to guide the router (one with a 3/4" router bit and one with a 1/2" router bit). The saw kerfs and the router-bit slots I made in the rear fence provide the index I need to establish the positioning of the board to be milled.

When the center is in the folded position (middle photo), I store the three L-shaped legs on top of it. I bolted blocks of wood to the ends of both guide fences so that they keep their 90° angle even if I inadvertently bang into them with the vacuum, the shop cart, the ladder, etc. I remove the blocks before using the workstation.

This end-view photo (bottom) shows part of the 20" wide field, the 4" rear fence, the 3" backer, one hinge and the 6" wide board screwed to the back of the mobile sheet-goods rack to support the workstation. The two thumbscrews and fender washers hold the external stop guide with the help of T-nuts installed under the backer board. There is also a row of T-nuts under the work top (approximately every 20") to accept the infield stop guide along the rear fence. I chamfered the front bottom edge of the rear fence to catch any sawdust that might interfere.
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