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I'm in the midst of writting an article on Building Collapse and I have a question. How many of you have pre-assembled cutting tables? If you do...why? And if you don't.....why not?

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We keep a pre made table in our lumber trailer. It just stacks in with our trench panels and plywood. This takes up little space and speeds things up for us.
We keep a pre-made cutting table on our Tech Rescue Squad too. It's a 4x8x3/4CDX with 2x4 guides and rulers with spot for miter saw and electrical gang box. We set it on two fold-flat saw horses. Works nice. We also have a Rubbermaid tote with cut station stuff in it and we color coded all the cut station stuff so it is quick and easy to gather and set up.
Seems like a lot of us keep a pre-made table if space allows. We have one that has all of the regular stuff, plus we added an area that we can put different jigs in. One we can do 12' x 12' gussets, another to do wedges both 2 x 4 and 4 x 4. They bolt in place and can be removed when not needed. We can also bolt in a chop saw. We also made up a separate chop saw table that measures 2' deep by 8' long. The chop saw drops in and it supports the wood on both sides. Both tables have real rulers built in, recessed along the guides. It may seem like overkill, but it makes things a who;e lot easier and quicker when you need wood cut right away.

I had to set up a cutting table at a USAR drill, and I just had a bunch of wood dumped in front of me, and it took at least a half hour before I had a functional table. Pre made is a lot better.
We made our cut table out of a shore form panel with table legs connected to the bottom, it has wedge jigs on it and has all the measurements laid out on the table. Includes a spot for our Chop Saw. Easy to get it set up and going quick. It is a little heavy but well worth the extra strudiness.
We also have a pre-made table on our rescue made from finn-form. One of our guys works with cabinets and routed it all out including measurements, cut spots, etc. It's a real work of art. It just slides in with our trench panels and just like some of you all have also done, we put all of the cut table stuff together with a firefighter-resistant sign - "TAKE THIS TO THE CUT TABLE" - on it. We have some of those rubbermaid type delivery bins with the hinged locking top that found their way on our truck (CVS and Walgreens usually stack them up in the back, but it's kind of like those milk crates: you know, "Property of Acme Dairy" but they were an essential part of all of our first living rooms) . By the way, good to see ya', Brian.
We keep a half table, 4' by 4' set so we can get started quick on scene. it goes up on rubbermaid saw horses, and it has wedge stations and cleat station on it so the first thing to get started is our wedges and cleats. We figure dimensional timber can get cut pretty much anywhere, but wedges require some skill

Here is another angle: When we do our collape training class at our academy, we have the students build the cut station and practice with tools and saws for 3-4 hours prior to us doing any shoring. It sounds like a bit much, but here is the rub: in all of our rescue classes, and even in our recruit Firefighter training, saw and power tool work is the worst skill that our students have been showing up with. I do not wish to stereotype the next generation of firefighter/rescuer, but the inadequacy of their skills when it comes to power tools and saws made us go back and develop a cutting practice session. On this night, they build their cut station and use it for the class.

Hey Mike....whats up? Thanks for the info. I also want to thank you all for your input so far. Any others are more than welcome to add in their 2 cents.

Like many of the replies from the brothers, we have a 4 X 8 sheet of plywood that has jigs for wedge, cribbing and shoring cuts. With the jigs screwed on it takes up the 4 X 8 and about 6" of depth in the collapse trailer. We also have saws that can be set up independently. Pre-made or pre-rigged in technical rescue is always valuable. The key is knowing the plan "B" and having options.

Can you send me any info and pictures of the different jigs you have made..

Charlie May\
I would also very much like any photos you could post of your work stations and jigs, especially Jigs for cutting 2x4 wedges
many thanks in advance Michael Yinhar
The long planned and anticipated article on cut tables is sent in and I hope it will be in print should answer a lot of questions....and maybe provoke a few questions too

Michael Yinhar said:
I would also very much like any photos you could post of your work stations and jigs, especially Jigs for cutting 2x4 wedges
many thanks in advance Michael Yinhar


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