Sunday, 5 August 2012

Power Tools and Table update

Bought a load of new Makita power tools...

Lots of funky power tools

So now it's time to carry on building my robotic poker table! Before that though - more on my tools :) Up in that photo is:
  • A drill
  • An impact driver (kind of like a drill but vibrates as it turns - good for use as a power screw driver)
  • A jig saw
  • A power planer
  • A circular saw
  • A torch (came with the wireless tools above))
  • A router
  • And finally, a massive mitre saw
Here's the mitre saw in all its glory:

The big daddy of saws - a Mitre Saw

It's job is to take slightly wonky planks of wood and cutting them until they're straighter than Chuck Norris.

Anyhoo, enough on the power tool front. Time to cut up some wood until we have a table. Todays job was to cut wood for each leg and the cross frame on which the top of the table rests. The legs are made up of 3 slices of ply wood which will eventually be glued together and then planed off so they're perfectly flat.

After a few hours with the circular saw, me Dave and Angela finished chopping the legs and the cross frame. You can see the finished bits here, along with the lower shelf and table surface I made earlier.

All the bits of wood for the table cut roughly to size
Crucially, all the bits we cut today are larger than they need to be by at least 5mm. This gives us plenty of room to trim them down using the mitre saw, power planer, or even a bit of sand paper for the fine tuning, and get a really nice smooth finish.

Once assembled, the corners of the table will be 3 layered legs, reinforced with the cross frame:

Table corners without showing joints
Unfortunately that'd fall to bits pretty quickly, so we need to do some joinery. Thankfully having 3 layered legs makes this relatively easy for a novice such as myself. I'm going to cut sections out of 2 layers for the side and cross beams to sit in, along with a small join at the top to hold the surface in place:

3 layers of the leg after joint sections are cut
Unfortunately this isn't a job for the meaty circular saw, so I cut back to the more controllable jig saw and after some careful measuring I make the first joint:

A table corner with a finished joint
Pretty nifty even if I do say so myself (and I do). Once the first joint is done, I use it as a template to build another 5 (I'm creating 2 spares in case I mess any up), rather than measuring everything out again. This goes pretty well and by the end of the day I have a frame that almost stands up:

When you consider there's nothing holding that frame up other than a couple of clamps to keep 2 of the 4 legs together, you get a picture of how powerful some simple joinery is. 

Well, that's all I got to today (I won't bother blogging about the hour I spent tidying up). Next up I'll get those planks home and cut them all to beautifully precise widths using the mitre saw, then glue the legs together and plane them down as 1 unit to get a perfect finish. Won't be long before I can start work on the electo-mechanical parts :)



  1. I think there’s a problem with the pictures of the power tools. Well, I think the list is enough to tell us that you got yourself a mean set of tools! That’s why I would like to emphasize on safety. I know you already know this, but no matter how experienced you are, you should always handle your tools with care. Aside from wearing protective equipment, cleaning your tools regularly is also considered as a safety measure. :D

  2. This is enough but for me its bit difficult to understand this updated table.

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