I have begun construction of my enclosure. Actually a rebuilding of my original enclosure to enlarge it. But the size of the XXL did not allow for reusing much of the original top. I removed the original 2’x4’ 3/4 ply from the top of the bench. I replaced that with 2 sheets of 4’x4’ of 3/4 ply. I glued and screwed the first sheet down, then glued and screwed the 2nd sheet. Now I have 2’ of ply hanging off the back of the old footprint. So I created triangle brackets out of 3/4" ply to give support. Next I moved the enclosure against the wall where it will go and bolted a 2x6 to the studs on the wall. The back edge of the enclosure will sit on the 2x6 ledge and have additional support from the triangular braces. It feels very firm. And it is level in both directions.
Now for the actual enclosure. Since the XXL is so deep, I wanted to have access to the rear of the machine in case I need to get back there. I decided to build access doors in the right and left sides. So I cut the sides to size (19" tall by 48" wide, 3/4" MDF) and marked out doors. I made the openings so I will have 6" of MDF on each side and 3" above and below the door. I used an edge guide and did a plunge cut with my circular saw. Not the prettiest cuts I have ever done, but this will leave the smallest gap other than trying to cut it with a jigsaw. I plan on gluing some strips of 1/4" MDF along the inside to block the small gaps.
I could not cut the top of the doors first. Then I went ahead and put hinges on. This helps keep things aligned. Then I gut the bottom, then the sides. There is a little material left in each corner where the circular saw could not reach. I will cut those at later with a handsaw to finish the openings.
I decided to not make an access panel on the back since it will be up against the wall. So the back is just the remains of the 2’x4’ original base cut to size and screwed to the base and sides.
I used my Kreg pocket hole tool on the edges of the side panels. This made assembly very easy.
For the top, I decided to make a stationary panel in the back, connected via a piano hinge to the front section. This will allow the top to hinge upward to give me room to lean in when necessary. The stationary section is 16", the hinged section is 32". So I will have plenty of room to get in there as needed. Again I plan on adding a 1/4" strip of MDF along the hinge line to keep dust and noise contained.
That is as far as I got on the enclosure this weekend.
Putting out flags for Memorial Day with our Boy Scout Troop took the rest of our time, but it was worth it to honor our fallen. We placed flags about every 15 yards on both sides of the road to the local cemetery, then about every 30 yards throughout the main street connecting to the cemetery road. We also placed small flags on the grave of each veteran, some going back to the Civil War. Doing this really helps the boys to think about the sacrifices that have been made throughout history.
Enclosure pics to come!