Power carving has many advantages, especially in removing large amounts of waste wood. On the contrary, power carving can also be troublesome sometimes, like dealing with wood dust. The dust is harmful to your lungs, no matter what kind of wood you use to carve. The first thing you need to do is research and get an idea to make your work effective and easy. Once you already have the idea, then it is the time where you have to build a workstation that suits you.
It is quite hard to figure out what you have to do when you are starting. I would highly recommend for you to build a strong table to get you going. The simplest way to do that is to make a carving station from an old table. Any table will do, but in this case, I will teach you how to set up a carving station from an old sewing table.
Steps on how to set up a carving station
It would be best if you have an all-in-one station to make your job easier. I will teach you how to set up a carving station built from an old sewing table. If you don’t have an old sewing table, you can still use other wood or materials you preferred. You can follow these steps to guide you.
Prepare the materials needed
Before you proceed on the steps on how to set up a carving station, here is the list of the materials you will be needed to execute your desired station:
- Adjustable lighting
- Backboard for posting reference photos
- Bracket for handpiece
- Dust collection
- Hanging motor support
- Storage for your tools and on-going projects
- Old sewing table
- Pocket screws
- Regular screws
You can also add other materials depending on your preference. You can put some decorations and designs. Its final output might be small, but it is enough for you to move it around easily. You can also store it quickly when you are not using it.
Disassemble the old sewing table
The first and important step you have to do is to disassemble your old sewing table. Remove anything that is attached with fasteners. You can buy an old sewing table in the surplus shop near you, or if you have someone who has an old sewing table. You can get that for an affordable price. Sewing tables come in many shapes and sizes. If you find this tutorial on how to set up a carving station helpful, you can share it with your friends who are also planning to make one for themselves.
Create a storage area
The next step you have to do is to close the underside of the table using some scrap wood so that you can create a storage area for your tools and materials. You will need the brads, clamps, pocket screws, glue, and regular screws.
Place the flat bottom inside the cavity prior to attaching its support cleats to the case. Screw the bottom piece to the cleats from the topside into the opening at the top of the table. Make sure to enlarge the sewing table’s opening to make it easier to access your storage area if you need to get tools.
You can use a jigsaw to cut the original front to back width of the top hinged cover piece and reinstall over the opening with the hinges in the back.
Install the dust collection port
Install the dust collection port in the top panel. The first step is to measure the area where you will install the dust collector. Put the clamp to the table saw and raise the spinning blade into the wood. Repeat the process until you made a groove four-blade thickness wide.
Assemble the top work cover
Place the top piece to its new position to transfer the hinge location. Make sure to mark the new location and then notch out using a small trim router. Fasten the screws into the pre-drilled holes to reinstall the hinges.
You can use the old door and the other parts that you have removed earlier. You can cut them and reinstall them on the top to widen your workspace. Use glue and the screws installed from the storage area.
Install the dust reflector
You cannot replace your eyes and lungs, so it is important to protect them from dust. Putting a dust reflector helps in collecting dust immensely. The dust reflector is better if it is made of acrylic. Put it into a groove along the front edge of the top piece. Make sure to cut it for about ⅜ inches deep and use the table saw to cut it with the blade set at about 25 degrees. It will help if you are careful as it is dangerous to do.
Add the other important and useful features
Besides the steps on setting up a carving station mentioned above, you can also put these important and useful features, but these are only optional.
- Backboard and motor hanger – The backboard is a useful feature as you can hang the reference photos of your project. A motor hanger is helpful if you have a rotary tool with a separate motor to hang them on the motor hanger. Use pine and vinyl to make a backboard and motor hanger.
- Handpiece bracket – The small handpiece bracket is also helpful as it holds the handpiece. It is made of PVC. You can cut it using a band saw with a narrow blade.
- Dust collection port – You can add a dust collection port in your carving station by cutting a hole underneath for the dust collection. It is important as you need an airtight area to transfer the dust to a plastic adapter that can fit in your dust collection hose.
Knowing the steps on how to set up a carving station can give you the freedom to work on some of your projects. You can conveniently work around your workstation while keeping your eyes and lungs safe from the dust. Learning the practical ways on how to set up a carving station can also be a good business if you enjoy doing it. Here’s how to learn more about carving.