Tips & Tools

Downdraft sanding Table

I could never justify spending $800 to $2000 on something that didn't add another capability to my shop, but once I figured out a way to build one for a much lower cost, I realized it is worth whatever it costs. This table draws air down past your face and the dust is drawn into the filter before it ever becomes airborne. It also works as a good sized assembly table. If you don't have a filter, you'll be one. These are the parts you have to buy: Stock# 5w426---bag type filter---$67.23 Stock# 6c522--- pleated furnace filter---$7.80 Stock# 1w507---fiberglass air filter---$2.41 The stock numbers and prices are from the W.W.Grainger catalogue. They are an industrial supply house with warehouses in most major cities across the country. They sell wholsale only so you'll have to find a hardware store to order through. The rest of the parts can be free, or of very little cost, depending on how good you are at recycling (this used to be called scrounging). 1 squirrel cage fan with a rating of 1200-1500 cfm or higher 1 flush solid core door. Some kind of non-marring grate material aprox. 24"x24" (I used an oak return air vent cover from an old house) 2-3 sheets 3/4" particle board (depending on your table size) Misc. - caulk, hinges, weather stripping, 12/2 wire, switch, outlets

downdraft sanding table drawingsThe filter access door and the fan access panel must be weather stripped. The filters slide in on the cleats shown in the filter tray access detail. Put the fiberglass filter in the top tray, then the pleated filter, followed by the bag filter. The cheaper filters on top catch the big chunks and replacing them prolongs the life of the bag filter. Caulk all seams in the case construction to prevent air flow from anywhere but the air intake on top of the table and the fan exhaust. Size the table according to the size of your door but you must maintain the filter box inside dimensions of 25"x25" with 24" from cleat to case floor for the bag filter. Now even Bill Clinton can sand and inhale.

If all this seems too complicated for you or if you have more money than time, call the guys at WOODMARK in Bedford, Texas, 1-800-845-4400, they build a Cadillac of a sanding table.

For an alternative somewhere in between try  Duskits  of  Martinsville VA . I wonder if those boys get front row seats to the Nascar race when it comes to town.

  Inter Shop Mobility

How do you transport sheet goods and large stacks of lumber from storage rack, to saw, to shaper, to assembly table, to spray booth? I found the answer to this at the hospital. The old style hospital gurney is the perfect height for moving those cumbersome sheets from one place to another. They were designed to hold up to 400 pound patients so you can stack a fair sized pile of lumber and move from one machine to another without ever lifting the full weight of a single sheet. Those adjustable height hospital tables are another item that's easily adapted to wood shop use. With the addition of some caster wheels to the base and a rolling conveyer section to the top, this piece of hospital equipment becomes the perfect on or off feed assistant. Because of the design of the table the wheels come off the ground when the table is raised so it won't roll around when in use amd because it's adjustable, it will work on machines of different heights. When you want move it to another position just crank it down. The wheels contact the floor and raise the legs up so you can roll to the next location. Then there's the glue pot caddy made from a portable oxygen cart. Hospitals and woodworking shops have one thing in common-lots of equipment and heavy loads that need to be moved from one location to another. So look around for some of that outdated hospital equipment and give it a new life.

Tool Preferences

In buying tools for commercial use when I find a company that makes a good procuct I tend to stick with that company. The majority of my hand held power tools are Porter Cable. For the large power tools I have good luck with Delta. The tools are only as good as the service center that repairs them so keep that in mind when buying from that discount house that may save you $20 on the original purchase price.  

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Brad Hauck Woodworking
43808 US Highway 14
Lake Preston SD 57249
(605) 847-4355