Tablesaw-Free Shop | Popular Woodworking Magazine
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I have read with envy of spacious shops with space for many dedicated stationary tools. But alas, my shop is limited to a 200 square foot corner of my basement. After tinkering with the layout plans, I finally concluded that the “dream” table saw I wanted to buy would not fit my small shop. I didn’t want to buy a smaller saw, so I started considering less conventional solutions.
While browsing the online forums, I came across a group of carpenters who were passionate about using Eurekazone’s EZ Smart system, a guidance system designed for precision cutting and milling. The guide rail of the system is mounted on profiles fixed to the edges of the table. After aligning the guide rail 90 degrees and calibrating the measuring scale, you are ready to cut. Any circular saw can be adapted for use by installing the dedicated guide rail base plate. Another specialized base plate kit allows you to adapt virtually any router.
This system intrigued me because it offered flexibility, a virtue that I have appreciated for many years as a ShopSmith owner. The shop furniture I really wanted was a large, flat worktop and assembly table. I could combine the EZ Smart system with an assembly table in place than a toilet saw?
You can see the answer. My 50-inch by 72-inch twist box assembly table is completely flat. In addition to the EZ Smart system, it has a replaceable melamine worktop, flush aluminum channels for locking, on-board electrical sockets and tool compartment in the base.
So, in my small space, I have an assembly table / guided saw and milling system, a splicer, a planer, a milling table, a sliding miter saw, a shop vacuum cleaner, an air compressor, my trusty ShopSmith 6 in 1 (band saw, jointer, pillar drill, lathe, table saw and disc sander) and something I really appreciate, my father’s sturdy workbench, circa 1935. Of course I still dream of having a great shop with stationary tools and my EZ Smart guidance system. Meanwhile, I love my unconventional little shop. Working efficiently takes some planning, but taking advantage of the flexibility of my multifunction tools is part of the fun. –Ed Brady
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