Where do I begin????? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Question Where do I begin?????

Well... As I said in my introduction post I am trying to set up my garage and tools so that I can begin to make some fun projects. As a result of one of the suggestions I took the wood top off of my craftsman TS and I am now trying to make some sort of table extensions for it as well as add the tilting router lift made by Matthias Wandel to one side of the TS extensions to mount my craftsman router to.

Are there any suggestions out there on the best way to go about adding these extensions?

My current plan is to attach some sort of wood frame using the existing bolt holes (for the cheap, retractable extension clamps that broke) and then building the table surface out from there, level with the cast TS top. I also want to try and work out how to extend the rip fence ledges so that I can just continue to use the fence that came with the saw.

My usual method of attack on these sort of projects is trial-and-error (usually with an equal amount of both).

My goal is to make my tools functional enough to where I don't have to bring my projects to a complete halt while I figure out how I am going to make a certain cut or groove or rabbet , dovetail, jig, etc., etc.

Any suggestions that don't involve me getting new, more expensive tools would be greatly appreciated, and I don't mind making my own machines and mounts and such, it just seems to me like to make those things accurately you first have to own those things...

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 03:43 PM
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Hey, Mitch; I'm in the camp that says tying up the TS while you do some routering is not very efficient. I know a lot of woodworkers have done it, but the way I work it'd make me crazy.
You'd have to have your work progression so carefully planned out, to avoid any conflicts as to make it a chore rather than enjoyable.
Picture having your router precisely set for a very demanding cut, then discovering you're one gable short and you need to rip/crosscut more plywood before you can do the router task.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 07:00 AM
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The problem with the router table in the table saw is that you have to stop using one tool to use the other. Router tables are really easy to make and if space is a problem, I've seen some that fold up against a wall, or you could set it up on any cabinet or stand you can find. Lots of plans for making a router table on this site and even on Youtube. I suggest that you make your first TS project an outfeed table. Rockler has a hardware kit for that, which is what I used. Easy project.

I used a Bosch 1617 in my table with a Rockler lift. The lift is now in the dump, and I have a Triton TRA-001 in the table now, which is a great machine with a built in lift. I think Sommerfeld (router bit company) is selling them and so is Amazon [http://www.amazon.com/Triton-TRA001-...eywords=tra001 for $281, less than many high end lifts and 3.25 hp.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 08:21 AM
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Mitch I built a router table for my son this summer that cost me about $5 and I put fold up table legs under it so that it wouldn't take up muchh space. It's in my uploads.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 08:27 AM
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As the others have stated a router mounted on a table saw is not the way to go. A basic router table is nothing more than a flat surface with a hole in the middle for the bit to stick through. What you add to that is up to you.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 08:32 AM
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Hi Mitch. Welcome to the forum. I have to agree with everyone so far, IMHO a combined table saw/router table is a pain in the backside. Mind you, people have done it and really like that type of setup.

It really is personal preference here... as long as you do something with safety in mind, and use your tools properly, there is no right, or wrong way to pursue this hobby.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 09:13 AM
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Hi Mitch,

Like you, my garage is my shop so space is at a premium.

My opinion is contrary to most of the posts. I have a Triton TRA001 router mounted on a wing extension on my TS. I did mine a little different than most I have seen. I purchased an MLCS cast iron router extension since my TS has cast iron wings. They also sell a less expensive version. Instead of replacing one of the wings, I added the router wing to the right side of the existing wing. It does not get in the way of most cuts I make with the saw and I just drop the bit below the table if I need to cut wider sheet goods. I was able to do this since my saw has the longer fence rails.

I also have an inexpensive router table top made of laminated MDF that I use with my Dewalt DW625 router. I purchased some great Trojan steel saw horse legs that provide a rock solid base for the top when I need more room. The legs are a little pricey but they allow you to build saw horses as wide as you need and collapse for easy storage. These legs provide me with more versatility in my shop than any other single tool.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 09:31 AM
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What type of rails does your saw have? That will definitely help determine which is the best way to go. In the end it is all personal preference and opinion.

My old Ryobi table saw had a separate router plate wing, and it worked OK, I liked being able to use the same fence for both machines. I definitely had to plan my work so I wasn't going back and forth with my set ups all the time.

My new table saw actually has MORE surface area than the Ryobi, and I find that I have gotten into the bad habit of using that extra real estate as a staging area for the different pieces of the project, or as an assembly area. I definitely have room for a router in there, but I really like having the extra work surface.

My router table is not typical, it is basically an assembly table/tool cart/storage unit that I can roll all over the place. I can even mount my daughter's mini lathe on it, so it serves multiple purposes.

My favorite reason for having a stand alone router table is the ability to take it OUTSIDE when doing a lot of routing. If the weather is good, I can make sawdust all over the drive way, and not in the shop. Cleanup is a lot easier with a leaf blower. Even though my table saw is on wheels, the idea of moving it in and out of the garage would be more trouble than it is worth.

If space is an issue, you can make a fold up router table. The base is a back with 2 gate leg panels, and the removable top locks everything in place. Pop the router plate out and set it on the shelf. There are also tons of other folding or quick set up designs on the web if you search for images of folding router tables

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the advice! Man, not what I expected at all.

I am making my arms for the table right now so I think I will just stick with widening the table for now. The outfeed extension is still functional and suits my purposes so I don't really want to tackle that end of it right now.

I have built a router table out of some scrap that I had but I fixed the fence for it so I am limited to edge cuts only right now.

I have reevaluated my need for certain things after looking at the availability of all the tips and trick on the forum and youtube. So, I think I will just learn how to make due with what I currently have and probably learn to walk before I start trying to levitate...

Thanks again for all the help! Maybe I will post some pictures of my projects as they progress. Maybe not...
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