Category Archives: Building

Tablesaw Workstation, part 2

Back in December, I started thinking about getting more serious about by woodworking hobby. Naturally that meant spending lots of money on cool, new tools, but it also meant that I needed somewhere to use and store those tools. The idea of a workstation for my trusty Rigid contractors saw was born. After some research and time on sketchup, I came up with a plan.

Now a couple of months later, the workstation has started to take shape. The boxes ended up being made mostly of pre-finished maple plywood with the edges banded. The top will be MDF covered with Formica. Here’s a progress report on making the sketch real.

tablesaw workstation 4

The saw has already had the left table wing replaced with a Bench Dog router table, a great $300 addition. The stock fence system also replaced with a 48″ Vega Pro 50 fence system for $250 (in the future I will step all the way up and go with Delta / Beisemeyer for $500. The round rail flexes mush more than the rectangular tube. )

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Started by building a base with 2 x 3/4″ ply and a frame.

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Next put maple edge-banding on to dress it up. Quick finish for all edge-banding with aresol lacquer.

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Built the first box (under the router) with some oopses using the router and a clamp-on guide, but nothing that will be visible when the drawers are in.

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Finished the rest of the boxes without problems, then edge-banded and finished them.

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Got the base finished and wheels on (I will have to replace the wheels I used with MUCH more heavy duty models. This thing is a beast!

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And started screwing things together.

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Box on the lift sits under the router table wing, saw next to it on the right.

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Next attached the two boxes for drawers under the saw to the open end with slat wall to hang things.

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Eventually got everything together and lined up. Ready for dust collection and electricity.


Power switches for the saw and router in the front.


220v 4 wire power to pull power for both 110v and 220v from one cord.


Big power cord!


110v and 220v switches for the router and saw.


Three dust collection ports in the back, one for the router, one for the saw, and a smaller one for the downdraft box.


Power and dust collection under the router.


Electricity all complete and trimmed out. 110v on the back for miscellaneous power tools and 220v for the compressor.


Started on the downdraft box next. 1/2″ MDF construction.


Four panels, one larger than the others to accommodate the pocket hole jig.


Complete. Next stop – a perfectly flat counter – MDF with P-lam veneer.


Tablesaw Workstation, part 1

In January, I plan to start working on the next big woodworking project: taking my ten-year-old contractor table saw (which still rocks) and turning it into the heart of a new table saw workstation.

I started looking around for ideas of what it could be. I came across lots of cool features, but no examples of one plan that incorporated them all. So I started sketching, moved over to Sketchup, and came up with this:

tablesaw workstation 1

The original saw lives within a collection of MDF boxes. Below the saw is a dust collection box. To the right is space for the saw table fence and the router table fence to live when now in use. There are eight drawers on the right.

tablesaw workstation 2

This end includes an open box with slat board at the back to hang hoses, cords, and the like from pegs. The back side includes another eight drawers. and connections to the dust collection system.

tablesaw workstation 4

The work top includes a downdraft table on the right for sanding small pieces, and a system of t-tracks for use as an assembly or finishing table using the Bench Dog system.

tablesaw workstation 5

The last side includes eleven more drawers for tool storage, and a door below the router insert to adjust the router.

Stay tuned in January for photos!

The House Project

In November of 2004 I bought a 1970s “Brady Bunch”  house in original condition, took it back to the studs and rebuilt it. The house itself took fifteen months. The front yard took five years. The side and back yards are still works in progress…

The design process began with a conversation with an amazingly talented architect. From initial conceptual sketches, to the final blueprints was a few short weeks.

Gingrass Gingrass 006 Gingrass 005 Gingrass 004 Gingrass 003


The demolition and building was documented in slideshow photo essays. To see each slideshow, click on the image below.

Original House in 2004



Framing, new windows, and doors


New wiring and plumbing


New insulation, sheet rock, and tape

Ext. Paint 022

New paint


Tile and grout.

Final install

Appliance installation


Finished kitchen

A Redwood Potting Table

I had some redwood 2x and 1x left from the deck project, so I made a nice potting table. I added a sink to use to wash the dirt off of vegetables after harvest, too. Drew the table in Sketchup. Not too much to say to add to the photo essay. Email with questions.


Cut the wood to length.


First glue-up for the right side with a shelf for my potting soil container.


All butt joints were made with pocket screws using a Kreg pocket hole jig.

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Right side frame done

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Left side frame.

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Planks on and sanded and sink in.


Finish applied. Ready to go to the garden.

Immersion Circulator Project

I saw this project on a website and, egged on by Patrick, decided to give it a try. By far the hardest part is making the cut-outs on the box. The $75 job turned into $200 as I invested in a Dremmel tool, vice, etc.

I printed full scale templates onto adhesive paper, then adhered them to the acrylic boxes. What followed was a series of trips back to the Container Store to buy more boxes. I finally got reasonably close.


I ordered the parts on-line and they arrived a couple of days later. I soldered terminal connectors on everything, and used color-coded wire to keep everything straight.


Then I organized all the parts for the three ICs I was making.


Things came together slowly.



But eventually they came together.