View Full Version : OT- bright colors in the shop

03-09-2012, 12:25 AM
I'm building a new surround table for one of our table saws at work. Overall it will be 8 feet wide and 5 feet front to back. I will be covering the top surface with some plastic laminate.

So here we are in the shop the past two days rooting through the stock of arborite and formica. The boss is looking to get rid of a lot of it that we never use. I'm looking for a full sheet that I can lay up on the new table. I need more than a full sheet, but I'm willing to match up one join anyway.

What comes up that I can use- a full sheet of-------A&W orange! It's kind of bright- I was thinking more like an off-white, light grey, etc. In addition to being able to easily see everything that passes across the table, I don't want to be distracted by the color. I also don't want to be coping with whatever optical delusions this might raise.

Just fishing for anybodys thoughts on the matter-

Mike Burch
03-09-2012, 03:12 AM
Orange is certainly going to get attention, but it would be a very distracting colour in that situation. Pyschologically unsound.
I like the idea of a light neutral grey much better.

03-09-2012, 03:38 AM
I brought up a patch of A&W orange a while ago and had it on my screen. It did seem to make it harder to read lettering near it. Yeah, I think it would be too distracting.

Here I am in front of the computer, thinking about this color, when I look up- there on the wall right in front of me is this curtain- wall to wall and a good four feet high- ORANGE. Ironic. Not as bright as A&W, but pretty loud anyway. And not two feet from my face, the side of a file folder hanging there like it has been for the last ten years, out in the open- bright orange. Hmm-

OMG- in every direction in this room there's something that's bright orange- there's some sheets of orange paper, two orange bodied voltmeters, a laser level, the file folder, a piece of orange felt, a silly putty egg, a couple of lithium batteries, a lampshade, a two colored tape measure, a box of epoxy, and a cookie bag. Oh crap, and there's some bright orange pvc ducting and a pack of led puck lights on an orange cardboard background. Goodnight folks, I'M GETTING OUT OF HERE!

03-09-2012, 04:12 PM
Darryl, I have no constructive comment on colour.
I too built a "saw surround" of sorts. Mine is about 5ft deep and 6 1/2 or 7 ft wide, with the saw table occupying the front lefthand corner. I built two table tops using torsion box construction to save weight. The larger is full width and mounts behind the saw. the smaller one mounts on the right of the saw. Both are laminate covered, (white is what I had,) but the rear one has two groove extensions for the miter slide grooves in the saw table. I bolted my tops both to the edge of the saw table AND to each other. I also used three legs across the back and a midpoint one on the right end.
Since mine is a hobby shop, I modified the righthand table to take a router, thus being able to use the saw fence as a router guide.
This is too simple to bother with a picture, but it works really well. It also doubles for a large assembly surface.

Dr Stan
03-09-2012, 04:24 PM
Orange is certainly going to get attention, but it would be a very distracting colour in that situation. Pyschologically unsound.
I like the idea of a light neutral grey much better.

Very much unsound. When I took Safety & Organization of School Facilities (read shops) the professor included some lessons on the use of color. You need something that will give good contrast and reflect light without glare. Your boss needs to spring for an off white, light grey, or similar color. This will also increase the contrast and improve the accuracy of the cuts.

BTW, A&W orange is just w a y too close to safety orange and should not be used for a surround table.

On edit. I used white shower board to surface the table extension on my table saw. Much cheaper than laminate and has held up very well.

03-10-2012, 12:17 AM
Well, firstly my 'orange ordeal' didn't end when I left this room last night. I got into the bedroom and there was orange things around as well. Then I went to take my shoes off, and guess what- I have orange shoelaces.

Ok, so much for all that. I will not be using the orange laminate for the top. Instead I have set aside some off-white and light grey pieces. If I don't like the way they have to be fitted, I'll wait to get a full sheet.

Shower board- I'll have to look at that. If that's what I think it is, it's more expensive than laminate, at least from what I've seen. Hmm, I think they call that barker board here.

I like the idea of having an area to mount a router, and being able to use the saw fence with it. That would be so easy in this case, since the fence will have a range of 3 feet to the left of the blade, and a bit over 4 feet to the right side of the blade. The fence will be 6 feet long as well, making it easier to find a position for the router where it's easy to use. It will be cable-controlled so it will always be square to the blade, and it won't bind. Definitely some metalworking involved in that.