Total Shop in a Box

Can a system of portable European power tools find a home in U.S. woodshops?
By Scott Gibson
Pages: 57-61

From the April 2005 issue #147
Buy this issue now

If you work alone in a small shop, it’s easy to dread the backbreaking start of a cabinetmaking project. It usually means spending hours reducing 4′ x 8′ sheets of plywood to finished cabinet parts that are ready for assembly. Getting straight, square, chip-free cuts is a job for a table saw equipped with a good blade. Yet wrestling 75-pound sheets of 3/4″ birch or maple plywood around the shop and over the saw can be awkward, even dangerous, work.

With a stack of plywood parts at hand, there are still a variety of operations that may follow: routing dados and rabbets, drilling holes for shelf pins, and boring 35mm holes for European-style cup hinges. These operations may require several table saw or router set-ups and building one-purpose jigs. Working with large pieces of solid lumber – a glued-up tabletop, a heavy slab of hardwood or a door, for example – presents exactly the same problems as woodworking with plywood does.

From the April 2005 issue #147
Buy this issue now