Integrating INCRA : Craftsman Table Saw [TS] & Router Part 3 [ii] Bridged X-cut Box
This Part 3 Thread reviews how to apply the INCRA jig plans [My Shop Reference ] to the Craftsman Table Saw [TS]. The starting point for most of the plans is the basic base described in Part 1 of this Thread [see photograph]. Its constituents are: a Zero Clearance insert; a T-Slot Panel Connector; A Small Build-It [B-It] Panel; a Miter Slider
Figure 1 basic Build-it Base assembly (drop panel is also shown in this photo)
(ii) #002 Bridged Cross-cut Box
The left-hand (LH) side of the Plan (as viewed by the Operator) is constructed from the base of Plan #005, adapted for the Craftsman Table Saw as described in Thread Part 3[i].
The right-hand (RH) side of the Plan requires some expansion beyond the INCRA Build-It System Starter Kit. As an interim step with minimum additional purchases, 1 @ Large B-It Panel attached to [email protected]
Miter Slider provided a RH Drop Panel; the Drop Panel was set up around the cutting line of the saw, then Miter Slider was locked in one of the slots in the Router Table. The photograph shows the Drop Panel assembled with the Short [Back] Fence of the Cross-Cut Box in position. For this example, the workpiece is a length of 1” x 4 “ PAR.
Figure 2 Short (rear) Fence assembled onto B-It Panels
The provision of a Drop Panel by itself is a useful addition to the Shooter Board [Plan #005, Thread Part 3[i]]. The Drop Panel is also be employed in the Plan #001 “Adjustable Angle Crosscut with Drop Panel” jig, which will be reviewed in Thread Part [iv].
as shown, there is a ~0.5” gap between the Drop Panel and the RH face of the saw blade. This is because the leftwards movement of the Router Table is limited by the butting up of a router handle to the Table Saw motor cabinet. Removal of the router handle [put it in a safe place!] will enable the Drop Panel to reach the RH face of the saw blade.
Alternatively, as shown in Plan #002, a dedicated zero-clearance insert piece could be made for the right-hand side. I did not do this – I had other ideas for how to use my valuable B-It Large Panel!
As for the use of this Plan #002 Bridged Cross-cut Box on the Craftsman TS, there were a few observations:- <a> safety guards
When the Anti-Kick Back Pawls Assembly was installed, the pawls had to be lifted up and over the Short Fence in order to provide any capacity for a workpiece [see photograph]. With the suggested height of Short Fence, the climb-up took the Anti-Kick Back Pawls very close the point where the Anti-Kick Back Pawls Assembly sprang out of its installation in the Spreader/Riving Knife [it sprang a couple of times on while preparing this Thread!].
Figure 3 Spreader/Riving Knife interferes with Short (rear) Fence
Use of the Anti-Kick Back Pawls Assembly with this Plan #002 Bridged Cross-cut Box seems to me to be ruled out.
The Blade Guard also attaches to the Spreader/Riving Knife. As with the Shooter Board reviewed in Part 3[i] [see photograph], a notch must be put into the Front Fence to allow the saw blade to reach and completely cut through workpieces. A notch accommodating the range of workpiece dimensions that can be accommodated by the Table Saw would cut completely through the Front Fence.
Figure 4 Use of Blade Guard is incompatible with the Plan #002 Bridged Cross-cut Box
Thus use of the Blade Guard with this Plan #002 Bridged Cross-cut Box seems to me to be ruled out.
With neither the Anti-Kick Back Pawls Assembly nor the Blade Guard installed, alternative safety features would be required to make an acceptable installation. <b> Maximum Cross-sections of workpieces
A first step was to make provision for the profile of the Spreader/Riving Knife in the Short [Rear] Fence. A series of tactical cuts into the Short Fence were made with the saw blade set a different heights. In total these cuts reduced the cross-sectional area of the Fence by about one third. There remained sufficient cross-sectional area of the Short Fence to assure its continuing integrity. Examples of workpieces that could then be accommodated by the Jig [with the Spreader/Riving Knife sliding into the slot in the Short [rear] Fence] are given below:
0.25” thick [high] plywood: maximum depth = 6”
0.75” thick [high] railing; maximum depth = 4.5”
2.75” thick [high] batten: maximum depth = 2”
Use two cutting passes to avoid cutting excessively into the front Long Fence. Although this sounds tedious, using the Fence Stop [shown as Detail 3A in the Plan] when workpiece dimensions permit ensures repeatability.
an end-stop to prevent over-travel can be clamped to the far [back] end of the Miter Table Base. This is most effective when the Sliding Miter Table is locked to the Miter Table Base. <c> length of workpiece
Use of the B-It Panels described above [the 1 @ Large + 1 @ Small supplied in the B-It Starter Kit, plus the addition of [email protected]
Large Panel] made up the Jig to support a workpiece length of ~34”. This nicely matched the 36” Front Fence proposed in the Plan; the T-Track Plus of 36” length was an additional purchase.
In terms of integration with Craftsman Table Saw though, it fell somewhat short. The rails give the Craftsman TS a supported length capability of ~56”. Read the Evolution below to see what happened next!
<d> Life of the Fences
As shown in the pictures given with Plan, the saw blade is expected to penetrate both fences. It would be only a matter of time, I felt, before one of the fences was completely cut through.
This would be rather a waste of all the effort and materiel to make the fence pieces. Surely something could be done? LONG [FRONT] FENCE EVOLUTION
First Stage: length of workpiece.
Adding a couple of additional Large Panels and associated T-slot panel connectors would give a compatible length. However inter-connected B-It Panels are intended to be used with support; the T-slot panel connectors do not themselves provide sufficient self-support for the assembly. Fastening the shop-built Aux Table would give support at the RH end of the TS rails. Support along the length of the jig assembly could be given by making both the Front and Rear Fences 24” longer. Second Stage: length of workpiece.
INCRA’s “Owner’s Manual & Jig Plans” for the Miter Slider [My Shop Reference ] provides dimensions for making a compatible jig Panel. I cut available melamine-coated particle board (MCP) to the 5/8” x 15.50” x 30.25” size needed. The MCP Panel was plenty strong enough to be self-supporting over the 24” span between supports. Thus the fences could be attached to the Panel after trial fits were completed. Fitting the Miter Slider was simple. The MCP Panel was laid down supported by the Saw Table [at the left] and the shop-made Aux Table [at the right]; the Router Table was ‘floating’ in between the two supporting Tables. With the MCP Panel close to the RH face of the saw blade, the Router Table was slid left-right on the TS rails until the RH slot in the Router Table was aligned with one of the rows of holes I had drilled in the MCP Panel. The Miter Slider was then attached to the MCP Panel through that row of holes per the instructions given in the Miter Slider Manual. Third Stage: life of the fences + Cross-sections of workpieces
The Plan proposed a Long (Front) Fence height of 2.5”. One concept spelled out in the Plan is that the Long Fence can be moved to suit the workpiece. So saw slots in several places could be expected, each with a potential risk of breakthrough. Given the ~3” thickness [height] capacity of the Table Saw, the height of the Long (Front) Fence would be increased to 5”. The extra height would protect not only the fence, but also the [valuable] T-Track Plus which was to be mounted upon it. Fourth Stage: life of the fences
At this stage there came a notion that most of this risk of Long (Front) Fence breakthrough could be eliminated if the Long (Front) Fence were to be intentionally split into two, with the break in the plane of the saw blade. A 24” LH Long (Front) Fence to the left of the saw blade, a 36” RH Long (Front) Fence to the right of the blade, and a Bridge piece connecting them. A sacrificial block was inserted between the LH and RH Fences around the plane of the saw, and fastened to the Bridge [see photograph]. The sacrificial block ensured clean cross-cuts and further protected the Bridge. It was sized to accommodate beveled cross-cuts. 24” and 36” T-Track Plus units were affixed on top of the LH and RH Fences respectively.
With this length of jig, the need to exploit the concept of moving the Fence to suit the workpiece might only arise occasionally. On those occasions when it was desired to exploit the opportunity to re-position the TS Rails, the Bridge and sacrificial block would stay in place relative to the saw blade; alternative LH and RH Fences could be made and appropriate T-Track Plus units affixed on top of them.
Figure 5 shop-made RH panel; bridge piece connects split front Long Fence Fifth Stage: safety
The Bridge and top of the sacrificial block together provided a good mounting area for a guard. In this case, a seldom-used transparent router sub-base was fitted. It performs admirably, being tough, having an “in your face” reminding presence, and yet allowing observation of the saw blade cutting.
Figure 6 safety guard attached to sacrificial block and long Fence Bridge Conclusion
So, it took a while, but in the end a jig was created which captured the intent of the Bridged Cross-cut Box Plan AND exploited most, if not all, of the features offered by the saw.
This Thread article is quite long – thank you for taking the time to read it. By listing the principles and thoughts that went into the jig design, I hope that the Thread will also be value to those making sawdust with other models of saws!