A Railroad with Relevance

Workbench Progress Update

Written By: Alan - Mar• 15•11

As it seems to be with all my projects progress is slow but I am making forward progress. A few more shots of the workbench construction. Once I get the trim boards clear coated and installed the workbench will be finished. Oh, there is one more little back panel piece to make, paint, and install also.

Next comes a vacuum system for the radial arm saw. I was fortunate enough to pick up a used wall mounted industrial strength vacuum unit from our Applications Lab when they installed a bigger, more powerful system. They had thrown the unit in the trash. I went dumpster diving and retrieved a perfectly functional unit. With twin motors and the most exotic filtering system I have even seen this baby is not your ordinary shop vac. It will be mounted in the mechanicals room so the sound is muted and it is out of the way. PVC pipe will go through the wall into the backside of the bench and up to the work surface behind the saw. I saw a dust catcher accessory at Home Depot a while back. It looked like a square right angle funnel. May just have to have that piece to complete the assembly. I also need to get a short length of flexible vacuum hose to connect the outlet on the blade cover to the vacuum system.

Finally, the power for the vacuum will be routed through the wall to an outlet under the saw. A regular light switch will be in the same box. This way I can turn the vacuum on and off from at the saw instead of walking into the mechanicals room each time. The saw will plug into the same outlet so the cord is not up on top of the bench. This arrangement will simultaneously serve as a safety switch for the saw in the event the switch on the saw gets bumped.

The workshop looks so spacious right now because it is empty. All the stuff has been temporarily moved to the train room. I suspect it won’t feel so big once all the equipment comes back in.

Ah such grand plans and such slow progress. Oh well, I just keep plugging away at it.


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  1. Sweet looking workbench you’re constructing Alan. So looking forward to following along. *SIGH* YOu’ve got more workbench than I have benchwork! 🙂

  2. Eric Brown-Beard says:

    Do you have a drawing of the support framing for the RAS?

  3. alan says:

    No, sorry, I do not. This picture is as close as I can come.

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