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 Paul Greathouse - A new Twist on the PBB

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Dik Harrison

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Posts : 233
Join date : 2008-07-01
Age : 70
Location : Evans, GA, USA

PostSubject: Paul Greathouse - A new Twist on the PBB   March 16th 2009, 9:26 am

This thread was originally posted on SMC by Paul Greathouse. It is here with his permission. Since Paul was having problems posting the pictures, his posts with pictures have been combined to make the thread easier to follow. Because of its length, it has been broken into three parts.

I've had my Bridge and 2550 Kit of almost a year and have been too busy to build it but I finally got the time to get a good start on it. After using it for a short while now, I can't believe I built a whole house full of cabinets without it. At least I had my smart table, 60" rail with cabinetmaker and assorted other rails for that project.

Here's some pictures of my vented top PBB. I will be loading several groups from midway through the project to near complete. Enjoy.


This a shot from behind the saw. It is the table frame built sort of like a torsion box so that the dust can fall through to the dust catch box that you will see a little later.



Another shot from the opposite side.



And a shot from Left hand side of the table.



Now I have the dust box installed. It has a 12 degree slope on both sides and has a 3" flat running down the middle. Eventually I will
drill a hole in the bottom and attach permanent dust collection but for now I can just remove the vented top and vacuum out with the shop vac.





Here it is with the vented top partitions installed. The vents took a while to make with a jig and Dewalt 624 equipped with 1/2" straight bit and brass collar.







This is the prototype sliding fence. It rides on the oak squaring fence. Soon I will order some UHMW from Dino and remake the whole sliding mechanism and squaring fence out of UHMW. It slides OK now but does hang up at times although it remains almost dead on square.











I should add that I do tighten both sides of the fence after positioning it. The remark I made about being dead on square was refering to the fence being square after being slide into place. The sliding fence doesn't have enough strength alone to hold the fence during cutting with just one side tightened but I'm trying to figure out a way to get it to.

Here's some close-ups of where the sliding fence attaches to the squaring fence.









These are some stops I made to keep the bridge aligned while sliding the bridge up and down. I placed 1/4 markings on them so that I can easily keep the bridge the same height on both sides when making adjustments.

Also, a shot of the saw I am dedicating to the PBB. I scored this Makita off of Ebay several months back. Some guy had received it for a gift and never used it. Its the smoothest saw I have ever used and has a factory equipped dust port and electric brake. I don't think they have been in production for a while. With a 14 amp motor it has more than enough power for what I do. I'll keep my Hilti for use on the smart table.







And just for the heck of it a couple shots from either end of the EZ area of my shop. Also, a couple of the venerable old Smart table that needs a new set of boards for the sliding supports. I keep the bosch saw just for angle cuts so I don't have to change up my Hilti and Makita too much.









Last edited by Dik Harrison on March 19th 2009, 7:12 am; edited 3 times in total
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Dik Harrison

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Location : Evans, GA, USA

PostSubject: Part 2   March 16th 2009, 9:27 am

David Eldridge Posted:

The bench looks like a great idea...

Thanks for posting.



Burt Wadell Posted:

Paul,

The concept looks good...

Burt


Dino Makropoulos Posted:

Nice idea.
Paul, You can build a GreatHouse with it.

Joseph N. Myers Posted:



Paul,

As
usual, great stuff! Really a lot of different parts so I'll be reading it a few times. (BTW, I'm having no problems with your pictures)!

Glad to hear that you still feel that the Smart Table/Guide Rail is still a great item. I have the PBB but still use the ST/GR quite a bit (over 4', etc). Still think that "some" people would be better off starting off with the basics and going from there, but ....

Paul, did you ever post the final pictures of you cabinets installed (for your son if I remember correctly). If you did, post the link - I and I'm sure many of the "new" guys will appreciate them!

Regards, Joe

Burt Wadell Posted:

Paul,

This is one nice setup! The cutouts in the table top look great.

I've set up a couple of different fences like that but, like yours, they required two fasteners to hold them properly in place.

Burt

Paul Greathouse Replied:

Thanks
for the kind remarks Joe, I don't see the smart table being completely replaced any time soon although the PBB has taken several tasks from it. I feel that starting with the basic EZ system has helped me understand how to use the components of the system better than if I had started with a PBB.

As for pictures of my son's cabinets, a while back I took several shots of the cabinets with my wifes old camera but I didn't realize that the camera was malfunctioning at the time. Since she got the new camera I haven't taken any pictures of them yet but I will soon. Thanks for the reminder.

Thanks Burt,
What I am thinking about trying on the fence, is to replace the small plywood triangular piece with a much larger triangle. Also, go with a longer connector extrusion for the sliding fence on the saw side of the table with two anchor points on that side of the table instead of one. I'll probably try some cam clamps instead of the knobs, just for the sake of convience. All I have is 1/4" cam clamps right now but I found some 5/16" cams at Rockler that should work with the 5/16" thread size Dino is using.

Keith Otten Posted:

Need a Triangle Smile

Paul,
this is a 16" 45 degree triangle I recently machined on my ShopBot from Dupont Corian. This one was dead on accurate so my next one will probably be a 30/60 with a 36" long leg.



Randal Stevenson Replied:

Are you offering these for sale, or challenging Dino to make one with the guide?

Paul Connoly Replied:

Cool


Keith - what a great idea! Wish I had one.


Keith Otten Replied:

I'll make you one, just tell me what size you need (up to 16") and it's yours
My good deed for the day and to thank you for sharing your slick setup

Randall,
anyone who wants a custom triangle can shoot me a PM, if I make them from project scraps they would be fairly cheap as long as you don't care about the color
I
could easily make a miter slot in the back that would fit the aluminum EZ track so they would remain aligned and would only need one knob. I expect Dino can make these as well but he doesn't use Corian as far as I know. Anything I made for the Ez stuff would have to be purchased through Eurekazone with Dino's permission of course.

Paul Greathouse Replied:

Thanks Keith, that's a generous offer, I would like to give it a try. I'll PM you for more details.


Dino Makropoulos Replied:

Hi Keith.
Any ez customer can make stuff for ez and we will help him to sell them.
Our customers are the owners of Eurekazone.

Mike Goetzke Posted:

Paul
- I like the slots/holes too. My PBB is a torsion box design. When I originally built my bench I was thinking of drilling some holes in the top, boring holes in the interior walls of the torsion box, and adding a 4" port for my dust collector. I thought of using the holes for both dust extraction and suction force to hold the board in place. I like the slots better. When experimenting with DC on my PBB, after tackling the saw, I found two other areas that need attention - 1) the blast of
dust at the end of the cut and 2) dust between the table top and workpiece. Looks like you tackled the second.

I also like your rip fence. I was thinking of doing something similar but was afraid that the far end of the SEM/fence would flex too much. Do you clamp down the rip fence once set?

Here's mine:



I need to update the photo - I have added the locking knob/connector in the middle of the black UHMW and another cam type clamp to the third SME so I can reach it from the front of the PBB.

Mike

Paul Greathouse Replied:

Originally Posted by Mike Goetzke

Paul - I like the slots/holes too. My PBB is a torsion box design. When I originally built my bench I was thinking of drilling some holes in the top, boring holes in the interior walls of the torsion box, and adding a 4" port for my dust collector. I thought of using the holes for both dust extraction and suction force to hold the board in place. I like the slots better. When experimenting with DC on my PBB, after tackling the saw, I found two other areas that need attention - 1) the blast of dust at the end of the cut and 2) dust between the table top and workpiece. Looks like you tackled the second.

That's exactly why I did it, I didn't want to have to deal with the residual dust on the table top.

I also like your rip fence. I was thinking of doing something similar but was afraid that the far end of the SEM/fence would flex too much. Do you clamp down the rip fence once set?

Your fence is what got me started on the idea for mine. After seeing the squaring block attached to yours I got the idea to make it slide on the squaring fence. I do clamp the far end down for now but I will continue to experiment with the rip fence.

I will be trying a larger triangle next and if that doesn't work I am going to try a right triangle, probably 36" on the rip fence side and 16" on the squaring fence side.

I was also thinking of using cam clamps. Your idea of putting it on the third SME may be the answer if the triangles don't work. I have a pretty good reach, at 6'5" tall, if I lean over the table far enough I can make a 48" cut on my PBB.

I would be interested in seeing the updated photo of where you have postioned the locking knob on the UHMW. If you get a chance post it on this thread.



Last edited by Dik Harrison on March 19th 2009, 7:12 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Part 3   March 16th 2009, 9:27 am

Mike Goetzke Replied:

Here's what I have now, but, you know, nothing is final:





I used my TS alignment tool to check for parallel:



Paul Greathouse Replied:

Mike

I like the improvements you've made. I'll probably be stealing some more ideas from you now. What thickness is the rectangular piece of UHMW that is attached to the sliding square and how is it attached?

Mike Goetzke Replied:

It's about 11-12" x 4" x 3/4" (leftover piece). I milled one end to fit tightly in the SME extrusion with my router - no fasteners needed:



Originally I was going to make mine hook over my squaring fence like yours and use a couple of nylon thumb screws to tighten it from the outside of the squaring fence, but, 1) I ran out of UHMW and 2) I think the connector method has a hight clamp load.

Paul Greathouse Replied:

Thanks for the close-up shot, As they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Good Luck

Bruce Benjamin Replied:

How many ways are there to skin a cat? This is a very clever way and I'd say that cat done be skinned! Nice job, Mike.

Bruce

Bill Griggs Posted:

Paul,

I have been studying your PBB and would like to ask what the dimensions are? Also, now that you have used it for a while, would you change anything?

Your bench seems to be among the coolest.

Bill

Howard Phillips Replied:

I can't answer for Paul, but I asked similar questions and you many find some answers here:

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=98607

Paul Greathouse Replied:

Bill,
I'm just now finding your question. I'll try to get some measurements tonight when I get home and I'll post them in this thread. Did the link that Howard provided answer your question about things I would change?

In addition, I've been trying to decide whether to get the upgrade to the B300 or just buy another B300 and keep my B200 for another table. Either way, I will eventually swap out to a B300 on this table. I don't necessarily need the height, I normally work with 4/4 or less material, but I think it would be easier to position pieces under the bridge rail
with a B300. I do alot of narrow rips for rails and stiles against my sliding fence. It can get tight between the bridge rail and the sliding fence on multiple pieces with the B200.

I took some measurements tonight. It has a 50 1/2" cut capacity between the squaring fence (the end that the saw parks on) and the sliding stop on the far end.
As you can see in the photos the tabletop is in 3 parts.
The widest piece on the squaring fence end is 60" x 15 1/4".
The middle piece is 24" x 12".
The far end piece is 24" x 15 1/4".
The SME on the far end is 72", it extends 24" past the top piece on both sides.
On the bottom the box sides that collect the dust are 3" tall and the tabletop frame that sits on top of the dust box is also 3" tall.
The SME's are attached to 3/4" ply that is lying flat on top of the tabletop frame.
The tabletop is 36" off the floor.
The bridge rail is 70".

Bill Griggs Replied:

Thanks for the information Paul. I bought a used system off another member and it just arrived. I will be making a trip to Lowes in the morning for Plywood.

My track is only 64" long so I may have to change a few measurements. I also don't have a 72" long SME for the end piece. Why is this so long. What is the function?

Sorry for all the questions but the system seems to be versatile and some functions are not obvious.

Bill


Dino Makropoulos Replied:

Bill,
You can get a small section of rail ( any size ) and stay with the system that works for you.

The 72" SME is best for squaring cuts.
The new PBB's can have the 72" capacity with extentions.


Paul Greathouse Replied:

I went with the 50 1/4" cut capacity so that I could handle full width plywood and still have a little extra room for positioning the piece. I didn't want to deal with a cramped fit with just enough room to slide the sheet in. The 70" rail is almost a necessity for the cut capacity (50 1/4") that I wanted. It allows plenty of room to park the saw on one end and enough rail left on the far end to easily finish the cut.

The 72" SME was part of the original package that Dino was offering. When I ordered Dino suggested that I could go with a shorter SME to save some money because he had found that the 72" length may not be necessary for everyone. I decided to stay with the 72" SME just in case I ever needed the extra length. It does come in handy for supporting larger pieces of plywood at times but is probably not necessary for the majority of what I do but I would still do it the same knowing what I know now.

I think the original purpose of the longer SME was for squaring cuts on longer boards. I tend to still cut down my long stock with my CMS out of habit more than anything. I cut the board longer than necessary at the CMS because I haven't been able to adjust the snipe out of my thickness planer. After planing, I do a straight-edge rip on the PBB, then slide the piece over to the fence and make the final width cut. With two straight edges to work with I then make my final squaring cross-cuts on the PBB instead of going back to the CMS. By the time I am making the final squaring cuts the piece is 50" or less so a long SME is not necessary for my squaring cuts.

Something you may want to consider:
Purchase a 70" rail for your bridge so you can have a full width PBB. Also purchase a square and attach it to the 64" rail that you have. I have that setup for breaking down full sheets of plywood on my smart table. For me its easier to make a cross-cut or two on the smart table before going to the PBB.

Bill Griggs Replied:

Thanks again for all the help Paul.

I got a used system from another member and it may be missing a few items so I am trying to minimize my purchases. It looks like I have most of a B2550 system.

I have a:
64" Guide Track
(2) 48" SME
(4) 24" SME
(2) 14.5" SME
(2) 9" SME
50" SME rip fence with a tape measure
44.5" SME
27" SME
Dual flip stop
3 squaring stops
(2) B-200's
(2) Smart clamps
several connectors

It looks like I will need some long SME to build a system, plus a 72" rail. Do I need repeaters or a EZ Square right away?

Bill


Paul Greathouse Replied:

You won't need the repeaters for the PBB but they would come in handy if you wanted to join some rails togeather and make some long rips.

The square is not necessary for the PBB either but would be a good addition to the 64" rail if you get the 72" rail to replace it for the PBB.

Burt Wadell Replied:

Bill,

If I recall correctly, the 64" rail will work on a 50 1/2" PBB with the B-200. I'm sure it won't work with the B-300.

Burt


Paul Greathouse Replied:

Bill

Hopefully I didn't mislead you on the bridge rail lenght. As Burt said the 64" should work but the 72" is just more
convenient as it allow more room to park the saw on one end a more room to finish the cut on the other side.


Bill Griggs Replied:

No. Paul, I understand. I have a system that will work in the short term. However to get the most functionality out of it, I will need to make a few changes.

I will probably set up the system as I have it and later make changes based on my experience. I am just trying to prioritize my purchases. Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.

I like both the dust collection slots and the sliding fence on your system. i will try and copy those. I will probably make a few parts on my CNC machine to make the build easier on the pocket. I am starting at a different point then most folks since I don't have a table saw but I do have a CNC router.

Fun times ahead.

Bill
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