This thread was originally posted on SMC by Mike Goetzke. It is here with his permission.
Seems like lots of power bench bridge (PBB) questions lately. I have a few pics to share on how mine was built. I need to make some new pics because I have changed a few things but it’s basically the same:
Not necessary but I started with a torsion box assembly with a 2’x4’ top:
(I used t-track to mount the sliding module extrusions(SME’s) but now that I think I have them where I want them I could have solidly fastened them down. )
This is my PBB top (w/o bridge). I used a 4’ SME at the front and three 3’ SME’s in the middle and back:
This is the front of my PBB. I use a 2’ SME at front and back (note no SME's on the side). I applied a 3/8”x2”x4’ piece of UHMW (from Eurekazone) for a continuous stop fence – I didn’t like using small stop blocks. I have a 70” rail and 4’ rip fence:
What works best for me is to have all the SME’s overhang the left side on the main table by 6” and position my bridge so the cut line is in the middle of the 2’ base structure. This allows my very front sliding module (plywood that has been double rabbit cut to fit in the SME) to overhang the right of the base table by 18”. This proportion works well for me but this is where most customize the table to meet their needs.
Before Dino came out with his really cool new fence design I modified mine to look like a “T” square. My front squaring stop is perpendicular to the rail. So I push the black part of the rip fence against the continuous stop rail and clamp it down (previous designs did not automatically square to the sop fence – you had to separately set the front of the rip fence and clamp it then go to the rear and do the same).
Hope this helps some of the EZ-newbies.David Arbogast Posted:
Mike, thanks for posting that! As a new newbie I'm grateful for every photo that's available. So, you started with a torsion box - (good, I was planning to make one as well), then the SMEs are attached somehow to the blue t-tracks in the torsion box? That's the part that I'm confused on...if you could explain that a bit more I think I could get your solution. It looks really great.
I have another PBB question - not directly related to your photos. Does it make sense, or would it even be workable to have a Bridge setup in both directions of a Power Bench simultaneously? Or is moving the bridge from one side to the other a super-quick move?Peter Quadarella Posted:
David, you could set up two bridges, but you'd have to leave the rail off of one. Moving bridges doesn't take very long, but it is not quick either. You have to resquare them when they move (basically you have to square the side closest to you to the SME running perpendicular to it, so the squaring stops are really square). Also, if you use a tape measure you might have to move that as well.
Also, one you take into acount the sliding panels in the top, you will be very surprised at how much capacity you have - there is not a lot of beneift in having 2. For example, my PBB is about 50x25. The rail goes along the long way. But I have much more than 50" of capacity the short way, because of the sliding panels. I can easily cut something 4' either to the left or right of the pbb, depending on which throwaway panels I use.
Mike's T tracks make even the SME's sliding, so he's got sliding panels attached to sliding SME's, for even more variable support.Mike Goetzke Replied:Originally Posted by David Arbogast Mike, thanks for posting that! As a new newbie I'm grateful for every photo that's available. So, you started with a torsion box - (good, I was
planning to make one as well), then the SMEs are attached somehow to the blue t-tracks in the torsion box? That's the part that I'm confused on...if you could explain that a bit more I think I could get your solution. I used the t-track because I originally didn't know what configuration I wanted in my PBB. Peter is correct, they allowed me to move the SME'a relative to the main table. I've used my bench enough now to know where I like the SME's positioned - so if I built the bench today I would not go through the trouble of adding the t-track. I would just fasten the SME's directly to the base. It looks really great. I have another PBB question - not directly related to your photos. Does it make sense, or would it even be workable to have a Bridge setup in both directions of a Power Bench simultaneously? Or is moving the bridge from one side to the other a super-quick move? Again, Peter gave a good answer. I actually bought a second bridge. I was going to use one, as shown, with my 70" rail for cross cuts and the other for long rip cuts with my 114" rail. Later after seeing the cabinetmaker and repeaters I think based on others experience they are best for long rips (BTY- Eurekazone let me return the second bridge, no questions asked).
Peter answers are correct, but, see my added comments above.