powermatic 64a: landing gear

Powermatic 64a: Table Saw of the Gods


Not sure I’ve ever had a crush on a machine or tool before, but this thing is beast. Every part is heavy. Every part is either cast iron, made of angle iron, or a combination of the two. I’ve yet to actually true it up, but I did a rough build so I can see what parts I’m missing.

So far, it’s really just a foot that hangs off the back of the fence, providing a friction-free glide down the back rail:


There’s also one mismatched bolt on the back…


… but that really doesn’t matter that much, right? So yeah, I’ll be replacing that.

Also, the top it self needs a serious de-… I don’t know, de-gooking, or something.


When these originally shipped, they came coated with an encasing wax that the original owner never cleaned off. In fact, he BARELY even assembled it, and never even used the thing – it just sat in his garage, for seven years until I took it off his hands last weekend.

Oh and can we talk about that fence?


THAT is a fence. That right there. Surious bidness. So, where most fences operate on compressing across the entire width of the table, this guy handles it all up front:


The main fence shaft has an angle iron welded on at a 90, with two sets of two alignment screws at either end – white nylon threaded adjusters for leveling on top (visible), and black steel threaded adjusters on the back for left-right truing;


Additionally, it’s got a solid cam lock – that feels so good-  and low-friction nylon fence walls.


That negative space off the left end I plan on creating a drop in that will hold the router table:


But that won’t be for some time. Also, I’ve been drafting up plans to build some sort of island, allowing me to both ditch all the legs for both machines, but also entirely self contain an on-demand vacuum system that is triggered when either machine is fired up. Besides having your typical storage options, it will also provide a way to build in a temporary lift based wheel system that allow periodic movement, but otherwise keeps things firmly immobile.


She a beast!

24 December 2014 / , , , / No Comments.


This here is a rather complicated sign we made for a client, Centrex Revenue Solutions, who had recently conglomerated, and come up with a new name, brand and feel for their business. Seeking something “high end” they ended up going with a 1″ PVC sheet with a brushed aluminum veneer laminated to its face. It was then reverse routed out to form a carcass within which we could attached the ‘push-through’ acrylic lettering – made of milky white .5″ acrylic, and routed in-house – and mount the electrics to halo light both the letters and the frame of the sign it self. While the lettering got a printed vinyl face, the rear of the sign was enclosed with another inset piece of milky white 1/8th inch acrylic to provide both rigidity to the sign in general, while also increasing the light diffusion out of the back of the sign.

The LED’s being used here have – essentially – never been used for this application ever, and we are a pioneer of sorts in the ‘thin & custom routed cabinet’ world. As in, if you want light to shine out of sign, you usually build a shallow box – a light box – and load some lamps and ballast in there, and call it a day. But to achieve decent diffusion without noticeable hot spots you need a minimum distance between bulb and face, which means an average box depth of 8 inches. I was able to nail it in 1. And if you wanted to go even shallower, ive got an example out of .5″ PVC – featuring both halo lit AND push through acrylic.

But enough of that – check out the photos!

inside views.

at top, a carcass with no letters, below it with lettering mounted and LED’s attached.

cleaning up the built signs, with their protective paper coating still on.

heres billy putting some of the final touches on the shipping coffin.

some bozo.

same bozo.




Garage, Pt. 12: Power Tools


This is what a Powermatic 64a looks like, in the back of a 2003 GTI. Still weighs half a metric tonne, but is SLIGHTLY less horrible to move around when broken down into bits. Still, once I get what is essentialy their entry machine up and running (read: true, parallel) it will be one sweet deal.

Combine with the fact that i just inherited an awesome 1-2 double whammy: a Lincoln Electric Mig Welder, and a metal Chop Saw. Combine these with an angle grinder and youve got the epic basics for an epic furniture shop.






22 December 2014 / , , , / No Comments.

Garage, Pt 11: Proto-Bench!

So now that the lumber racks are up, it gave space for other shelving, namely what you see below.

The two metal shelving units came in, and were almost immediately filled, so I’ll probly need two more of those bad bwois… At least! Also, happy coincidence, the two matching white cabinets and the moldy old metal one are within 1/16th of an inch of each other height wise. So I slapped the two desk-like planks I had on top, screwed it all together, and I now I’ve got a pretty decent work bench, at least for the time being.

Those two monster timbers leaning on the bench will eventually make a kicker of sorts at the main entry. Right now the ply goes right up to the edge meaning that things going in and out are starting to chip away at the wood. I’m planning on dropping those in front, and then routing then to receive some angle iron so it will never chip again!

Garage Pt 10: Lumber Rack

So after a bit of research I came to the conclusion that 3/4″ pipe ( which measures just over 1″ externally) would be the strongest, cheapest way to get simple but effective racks into the wall, without adding much else. Generally speaking the systems I saw on line were stand alone meaning they got made and then installed, meaning I would lose another 3″ of depth off the wall – and in a small place that seemed unnecessary, especially considering the wall is already 1.5″ reclaimed construction grade lumber. Alternating studs as I went, I either used every other board, or on the case of the south west corner, every board as that area will hold more weight and thus the height limit helps act as a weight limit as well.

Below are photos of most of my big wood pieces, but I’ve yet to load in all the littler pieces still in the basement. Once I’ve up enough pipes to hold it all, I’ll move on to installing the old cabinets that are sort of strewn about the basement as well, as tool storage so the floor can be cleared up and tins can new live in fairly predictable places.

11 October 2014 / , , , / No Comments.

Life’s a….

Garage, Pt 9: Electric Boogaloo 2

So last time i got all the receptacle holes cut, and now it was just time for the electrician! So he has since come and wired this thing up legit! Seems like there is no end to luxurious 4 plug outlets! (Actually its two per wall, with another outside, three for lights up above, and two explicitly for under-workbench electronics like computer and stereo.)

[EDIT:] Oh, and i fully forgot to mention that, yes, i finished the east wall as well, as evidenced below.

So once he had installed everything, i busted out my tall ladder (thanks H!) and attached 1 lamp per outlet primarily so i could immediately feel the impact of my newly installed switches! And of course, the funny part is that currently i have the exact same amount of light as before, just that now i have the ability to use a legit wall switch, one per lamp with a fourth out front for the floods, instead of a daisy chain of power strips, with one of their reset buttons as a my “power switch”.

9 September 2014 / / No Comments.

Garage, Pt 8: Electric Boobaloo

Once i had finished the paneling on the back wall, i decided that going forth i would only build each remaining wall up to the point where i could place receptacles. This allowed me to greatly expedite the arrival of the electrician, and once all installed, would make for a much more comfortable working environment (ie, not orange cables running everywhere, because they all are dangling off the same ghetto switch, a power strip). The first two shots below are of the west all up to its only sockets, and the east wall just past the two that will be underneath the work bench.

At this point i had to start framing out the window so when the paneling closes in around, it will not only lose its otherwise noticeable not-centered placement, but also it will clean it up in general. However, this meant i needed to box in the sides a bit, leaving a cute little cubby underneath… but what to stash there!!!

So, after seconds on end of at-length inner turmoil and thought, i decided a time capsule was in order, targeted at whatever tired and hot fellows are hired to dismantle my garage:

The wall as it stands now, having completed up to where the switch receptacle will go (between door and window). I didnt get a shot of it (i was too busy working) but everything was pushed up to that wall to facilitate installing JUST the single strip of paneling at the apex of the roof, which holds the three switched receptacles. I only put in one strip up there (of 2x8x~60) which ran the entire length of the place, but even using my neighbors consumer-grade scaffolding meant i was working at about 4 feet off the ground and at full arm extention, and aiming up. If you are reading this you either can feel your back spasming just thinking about how much of a pain that was, or you have absolutely no idea how freaking difficult that was.

Also this happened trying to remove a nail. And thats a framing hammer. Oh well – it was a freebie i found somewhere; im 98% sure ill upgrade to an axe handle of some sort.

4 September 2014 / , , , , / No Comments.

Wheels designs in the industry go round and round



Top are mine, bottom are a mustang who was parked next to me – striking similarity, no?

4 September 2014 / , , / No Comments.


12 August 2014 / , , , / No Comments.

Garage, Pt 7: Wallz!

Mind, theres probly a month in between each of these posts, i just am poor at keeping them uploaded regularly, and i tend to do like 18 posts at once, then forget about it.

ANYways, once the flooring was done and dried, i then went about the itchy process of finishing the insulation.

But only after i had brought in an electrician to run wiring throughout the shop. We decided that, since i would be using reclaimed 2x wood as horizontal paneling allover, they would run all the electrical drops, but only install the actual switches and receptacles once everything was complete. In all, i had the electrical upgraded from two 15 amp breakers to 2×20, with the potential to install two 30 (which the garages breaker in the house was wired for, but that might require thicker wire). One line would be entirely dedicated to switch-less quad receptacles that would ring the garage, 2 per wall, and one outside. The other circuit i would dedicate to switched lights (3 inside, 1 flood out front) and another two un-switched quads mounted low and behind where the workbench will later go to handle low-draw items like the shop computer and stereo equipment.

First area completed was this corner. Using mostly scrap i did both sides up to their natural breaking point which, in the case of the door side, was up to the doors trim.

Its sort of hard to see, but over on the right is the completed corner. And obviously the whole north wall.

Lastly, i thought to shoot my “desk”.

29 July 2014 / , , , , , / No Comments.

Garage, Pt 6: Floor Sealing

Once we had the joisting done, dropping the actual ply for the floor was pretty straight forward; measure twice, cut once, install. No photos of this process, but its just guys maneuvering rectangles. Next up, sealing! I had intended on doing what i thought was a GENIUS idea of mixing all the left over bits of exterior grade paint in a spare bucket and sloppin’ that down, but various consulted experts agreed; BO-gus. If it needs to last, you need something significant, so i went with garage floor paint.

Three coats later, and Heid and i were able to do the sprinkle portion, which is essentially just a bag of paint chips that you spend money on.

29 July 2014 / , , , / No Comments.