Hi everyone - I'm an engineering designer from Wales and I'm an avid DIYer who's just starting to contemplate some proper woodworking. Most of the stuff I make at the moment is pretty crude - I'm a screwer not a gluer! I tend to work with scavenged wood - I'm a big fan of 1950s wardrobes - big flat panels of decent hardwood and hardwood ply for (usually) no money at all.
I have an extremely small workshop - It's just a shed with a workbench and a lathe in. As I mainly make stuff during the summer I'm looking at building a small but fantastic portable toolbox/workbench/routertable/tablesaw.... I know it sounds ambitious but I reckon it can be done.... Any advice would be fantastic.
My initial idea is to start with a solid frame (with small wheels on the back of the legs so it can be tipped up and wheeled around) and a thick top (probably two layers of 3/4" ply laminated together) with a recessed area where I can swap in an insert for my router, an insert for my circular saw (potentially dangerous, but I've got a few ideas about guarding!) and a blank insert for use as a general bench. I'll then mount an e-stop that either tool can plug into and build what storage space I can around that...
Try shipping pallets. I disassemble them and that is my inventory of hard woods, except my firewood is sugar maple and silver birch and I burn about 2 full cords (stacked 4'x4'x8') a year.
That sounds intriguing. Ok, I wouldn't go with plywood, I'd use MDF instead. Don't go with small wheels. It makes moving it almost impossible on all but the most flat and hard of surfaces. My shop is on 3" casters and it works fine on concrete but useless on soil and pretty much so on asphalt.
A suggestion: there are plastic table saws where the guts are full metal and they all mount to the top but the sides are plastic. Try digging one of those up on a "jumble sale" (??), take out the guts and rebuilt them into your bench arrangement. Make sure you get one where the blade tilts, not just goes up and down. A plastic laminate might be in order.
The MDF doesn't like humidity so make sure your shed is dry in summer and find a dry place for it in winter. I heat my workshop to 3 celcius in winter and it is cool but warm enough to work and it is dry.
I would suggest the OakPark method of router baseplate especially for table work. I use both baseplates. The 11" is for inverted table mount and the 7" is for plunge use.
I would also suggest that you try to find a used Hitachi M12V, not the new M12v2. There are too many things about the new one that I don't like. The old one is a workhorse. I would also recommend the Makita 3612C but it won't handle big bits.
hope this helps. Keep us posted on your progress and pictures pls.