June 18, 2016

Storage: A Cabinet Under The ShopSmith, Part 1

It may not be incredibly obvious from this picture, but there is a lot of open space underneath the ShopSmith.  This machine also has quite a lot of accessories!  The base package has a miter gauge, a big rip fence, 3 10" saw blades, a 12" sanding disc (with a few sheets of sand paper), upper and lower saw guards, drill chuck (with key), a lathe tool rest, tail stock, cup center, drive spur, and a safety package including a feather board, over-fence push block, push stick and gripping push block.  Some older models also come with a set of drill bits and a set of lathe chisels.  That's a lot, and doesn't include any of the accessories for any of the SPTs. It makes a lot of sense then, to keep as many of these tools with or near the ShopSmith.

Several years ago, ShopSmith published a magazine, HandsOn!  Several of these back issues are available on ShopSmith's website.  One of the projects was an under-the-Mark-V cabinet.  I stumbled across this plan some time ago, and have been planning to make it for my shop.  I'm finally tackling this project!

On the surface, this cabinet doesn't look that complicated, and it has storage for a LOT of ShopSmith accessories.

I quickly discovered that simple is fairly relative.  While it's certainly not overly complicated, there are quite a few areas that are relatively easy to mess up.  Some errors can be easily dealt with, others require cutting a whole new panel.  I encountered a few of the latter, much to my chagrin.

Right between the center and right-hand tables, you can see three panels that I messed up.
 Though I tried my best to "measure twice, cut once", on more than one occasion it was more like "measure 15 times, cut 50".  Later I realized that some of these problems were due to some alignment issues, while others had more to do with process and personal attention.  I'm still learning, so process will improve, and the extensive extra work taught me the value of really paying attention to measurement details.  My next topic is going to cover the alignment, maintenance and cleaning issues.

I learned some interesting techniques with this cabinet, such as "fluttering" the quill to cut dados without a dado blade (or dado stack)
Dado, dado, dado!  I cut you from the wood!
Even though I did the initial break down of the plywood with my circular saw and straightedge guides (scroll to the bottom of this page for some plans for one of your own!), I also learned a bit about dealing with larger stock on the table saw.

Blade guard added for the saw's safety!
Due to a lot of extra work due to cutting errors, I wasn't able to get the cabinet assembled and placed in time for this post.  Part 2 of this post will go over all of the assembly, including hardware placement, as well as some finishing.  But here are a couple of pictures of all the pieces cut and (mostly) ready for assembly!
This is the main carcasse, shelves and mounting supports

Here are the doors!
Looking for the rest?  Part 2 and Part 3 are available!


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