THE TORSION BOX
The torsion box is designed to resist twisting. It consists of a web
core made up of MDF strips notched for easy assembly (Fig.
A). To ensure each piece is notched the same, gang cut the notches
on the tablesaw (Photo 3). Glue
and screw the sides (T2) and ends
(T3) first to create a frame. Assemble
the core grid (T4 and T5)
inside the frame along with the corner blocks (T6)
(Photo 4). Place the torsion top (T1)
over the core grid and tack it in place. Be sure all the edges are
flush (Photo 5). Then weight the top for clamping pressure (Photo
6). Once the glue has set, remove the weights, flip over the torsion
box assembly and glue on the bottom (T1).
With the torsion
box complete, add the casters and the levelers (T7).
The carcass is then screwed down onto the torsion box (Fig.
There are four boxes that complete the tool stand. Two of the boxes
are permanently fixed to the top to form the tool well (Fig.
A). The other two, the downdraft table (Fig. C) and the router
table box (Fig. D) are used as inserts between the fixed end boxes.
Assemble the fixed boxes with glue and screws (Photo 7). Add plastic
laminate for a durable top. Or, skip this step and simply treat
the surface with a couple coats of polyurethane (itís a great way
to use up that old can thatís been opened a few too many times).
Cut the 3/8-in.
T-slots in the top with a dado blade on your tablesaw. Attach the
fixed boxes to the top and be sure to keep all the edges flush (Fig.
Assemble the downdraft box from the inside out (Fig. C). First,
glue and screw the two inside ribs (C5)
to the filler pieces (C6) to create
the interior structure. Then attach the bottom. Use the spacer stick
to attach the outside ribs. Note: The sides of the insert boxes
are inset 1-in. so they will clear the chop saw fence stop blocks
Drill a 3-in.
hole into the center of one filler piece for a dust collector
fitting. Perf-board makes a great template for drilling the 1/4-in.
holes in the top. Use a countersink to widen the opening of each
Assemble the router table box. Note: The bottom of the router table
box is cut 2-in. narrower than the top, making it flush with the
outside ribs (Fig. D). This allows the router table to be lifted in
and out of the well with the router attached.
The router is
mounted onto a table insert that sits flush to the top. This allows
you to lift the entire router out of the table for changing bits.
Make two 8 in. by 16-in. access holes, one in the bottom of the
router table and the other in the top of the carcass. These holes
allow room for a pair of hands to adjust the router.
The chop saw is screwed to a piece of 1/2-in. plywood sized to fit
into the well. To make positioning of the saw and the auxiliary
fences easier, line up the front edge of the saw base with the front
edge of the tool stand well. Behind the saw, drill two 1/4-in. holes
through the base and the carcass. Mount T-nuts to the underside
of the carcass top (Fig. A) and
secure the saw with T-handle knobs. Clamp a straightedge to your
sawís fence and position the chop saw fences against it. Nail the
stop blocks to the fixed boxes. The planer base is made from a piece
of 3/4-in. plywood. The two 1-5/16 in. by 24-in. supports bring
the planer bed up to the same height as the fixed end boxes. Your
planer bed may vary, so size the supports accordingly.
Youíre done! Now your shop will seem two sizes larger without
moving a single wall!