We last left off with the wooden table frame almost completed. Last Friday, Ellery and I met up again to finish this thing off. Unfortunately I forgot to start taking photos until we were almost done, so I’ll have to just describe what we did until that point.
First, we wanted to attach the four legs to the top frame piece. Unfortunately we did not cut all four legs to the exact same length. Two of them were about 1/4″ too long. The miter saw made quick work of that. We secured one leg in each corner of the top frame using two screws each. It is a tiny bit wobbly but not so much where it will be a problem. We also plan to attach wheels to this thing so hopefully we can fix some of the wobbliness with those somehow.
After the legs were attached, we needed to attach the bottom frame piece. This piece sits flush with the bottom of the legs, so it was easy to attach. Two more screws per leg attached the frame just fine. Once the bottom frame piece was attached the whole thing felt much sturdier.
Once the bottom frame piece was screwed to the legs we had to attach the plywood top to the bottom shelf. It was important to do this before attaching the middle shelf because there are only a few inches of clearance once the middle shelf is attached. This would have made it difficult to nail or screw down the plywood to the bottom shelf. We purchased the plywood in 2′ x 4′ dimensions so we didn’t have to do anything to make it fit. We just set the plywood on the bottom shelf frame and nailed it in place with about eight small nails.
Next we had to attach the middle frame. This part was trickier because it wasn’t flush with the top or bottom of the table as the last two frame pieces were. We actually had to measure out about 11.5″ from the bottom of the frame and make sure the frame piece was mounted evenly on all four legs. If we weren’t careful the middle shelf would not end up level. Although, the only thing going on this shelf will be the vacuum pump and tank so even if it’s a little bit off it shouldn’t matter as long as the table itself is level. We used a couple of quick release clamps to hold the shelf in place while we screwed it in. That way it wouldn’t slide around and end up uneven.
Once the middle shelf frame was screwed in place, we had to attach the plywood to the middle shelf. Again, we used 2′ x 4′ plywood so it fit perfectly onto the wooden frame. Another eight nails and it was securely attached.
The final step we planned to do was to attach four caster wheels to the bottom of this table. We wanted to make sure the table was easy to move around since it will end up so large and heavy. However, we didn’t have the proper mounting hardware. We made a run to Harbor Freight to look for some bigger screws and some washers but they don’t really carry that kind of stuff. Hopefully we can get those wheels attached this week and the wooden base will be complete.
The next step after attaching the wheels will be to purchase the steel for the top frame and start cutting it and welding it all together. That part should be a fun learning experience.