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POWERMATIC PM2000 Workbench Extension Table
A sneak peak at a really cool accessory for the POWERMATIC PM2000
Text and photos by Tom Hintz
Posted - 7-17-2007
We all see tons of accessories for our power tools but the Workbench Extension Table featured here is proof positive that the new product folks at POWERMATIC had a very good day recently. This is such a practical idea that it makes me wonder why it hasn't been thought of before. I am glad that it was the folks at POWERMATIC with their penchant for producing high-quality products that experienced this bit of inspiration and decided to bring it to market.
The POWERMATIC Workbench Extension Table is designed to be a direct replacement for the laminate-covered table extension shipped with the POWERMATIC PM2000 with the 50" Accu-Fence system. It even installs using the instructions that came with the original POWERMATIC PM2000 Accu Fence kit but uses extended hardware supplied with the POWERMATIC Workbench Extension Table to accommodate it's thicker sides.
The POWERMATIC Workbench Extension Table is 39 1/4"-long (not counting the vise and jaw) making it over 6" longer than the 33"-long standard laminate-covered table. That additional length puts the working end of the POWERMATIC Workbench Extension Table beyond the fence rails, clearing the way for clamping long pieces in the vise.
The POWERMATIC Workbench Extension Table is solid hardwood throughout. The entire unit is made up from pieces of clear hardwood joined with super-strong factory finger joints. The result is a butcher-block appearance that is as strong and stable as it is attractive.
The leg set is also made using the same hardwood glue-up process. The full-width "foot" is attached to the legs with included dowels inserted into pre-drilled holes. POWERMATIC even includes a tube of white wood glue for assembly.
One of the things I really like about the POWERMATIC Workbench Extension Table is that it arrives sanded but unfinished. This allows the woodworker to apply a finish system that matches their existing shop cabinetry and or needs. That also makes repairing the inevitable surface damage easy and eliminates trying to match a factory finish color.
Because the POWERMATIC Workbench Extension Table is all natural wood, applying finish to all of its surfaces is important to combat moisture absorption and the resulting dimensional changes woodworkers have learned to anticipate. I used several coats of clear, water-based polyurethane on my POWERMATIC Workbench Extension Table but virtually any good quality finish material will work. I chose water-based poly because it dries quickly, creates a tough surface and when the time comes, it can be repaired just as fast.
Because I intend to use the POWERMATIC Workbench Extension Table for glue ups, I applied a couple coats of Johnson's Paste Wax after the poly had cured to make removing glue drips easy. This is the same wax I use on the cast iron surfaces of my POWERMATIC PM2000 so re-coating the Workbench Extension Table can be part of my normal maintenance routine.
The POWERMATIC Workbench Extension Table includes a single screw, double guide post woodworking vise. The table and included hardwood vise jaw are pre-bored to make installation very easy. Even the mounting screws fit into pre-drilled pilot holes under the table surface.
A hardwood vise handle is included and features hardwood knob ends that are secured with dowels and the included wood glue. The handle can be finished like the table but I chose to wait until after it was assembled to the vise to give it a couple coats of Danish Oil.
In The Shop
The POWERMATIC Workbench Extension Table is proving to be far more than a looks-only accessory. Though I have had the POWERMATIC Workbench Extension Table installed for only a short time, its usefulness became apparent instantly. Just having another flat surface available is a huge help in many shops. It is heavily built and designed for workbench use but I wouldn't use it for heavy-duty hammering. However, it is perfect for assembly, clamping and nearly all other common shop operations.
The POWERMATIC Workbench Extension Table comes with two rows of six, 3/4"-diameter (round) holes that accept common bench dogs. The moveable vise block also has a pair of identical holes, spaced equally to the rows in the table. While I don't use bench dogs, (yet anyway) I do have JET Parallel Jaw Clamps that can be used with their screw-in 3/4"-diameter round dogs to locate them on the table. Having the clamps locked in position makes getting a truly square glue-up faster and easier.
The POWERMATIC Workbench Extension Table is an exceptionally good idea that has extensive uses in the home woodworking shop. Most of us are bench-space-challenged and the POWERMATIC Workbench Extension Table is a very attractive way to expand that capability and extend the usefulness of the traditional table saw extension. The POWERMATIC Workbench Extension Table is currently designed to fit only the POWERMATIC PM2000 table saw which will leave other saw owners envious.
Somewhere between the great looks, heavy-duty construction and extensive usefulness, the POWERMATIC Workbench Extension Table is sure to become a must-have accessory for the POWERMATIC PM2000.
It appears that this version of the POWERMATIC Workbench Extension Table will not make it to market. There may be a newer version released in the future.
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