Anyone converted a table saw to router table? - Page 2 - Router Forums
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post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old 11-05-2009, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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I measured the distance between the miter slots and it's only 9", so I'd probably have to cut whatever plate I used down to about 8". The area around the miter slots seem to be the weakest on the underside of the cast iron table.

The handles on the router can be removed, which would leave me with a 6"-7" diameter router base, if I remember correctly. This will be a dedicated table router/base, so I'm not worried about taking and leaving the handles off. I have another identical router for non-table use.

I took some pictures of it and how the router would fit underneath, but then I realized that I can't post pictures or links until I hit ten posts. I think I'm about half way there.

Hamlin - I don't have my own mill, and I'm guessing that having it machined in a shop is going to bump the price to a point where it may not be worth it. My goal is to do this for relatively cheap without sacrificing too much in the way of quality. I know that that's asking a lot. You definitely bring up a good point though. The top is somewhere around 1/4" thick in the thinner areas. If I were to cut out a chunk of the top, I was thinking of cutting straight through (and not creating a ledge). Then I'd add additional pieces that would go under the plate to support it.

bobj3 - If I understand you correctly, the main reason that you encourage the use of a plate is that it can be lifted out for bit changes and height adjustments. If I were to mount the router directly to the cast iron and then rig up the cast iron so that one side was hinged and it could be propped up (like the hood of a car), do you think this would work just as well? If so, it'd save me the trouble of cutting a chunk out of the cast iron top. I've located zero clearance inserts for the table saw, so I could get a few of those and plunge through them to accommodate different sized router bits.

Thanks for your help! It's always nice to have people to bounce ideas off of, especially those with experience.

Thanks,
Tyler
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post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old 11-05-2009, 08:55 AM
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Hi Tyler
That may be the best way to go
Harry has his router setup that way almost..he put some gas shocks on it to help with the lift..cast is very hvy. plus it's alot essayer to cut a round hole..

Heavyweight and Precision Router Table

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Originally Posted by OneStaple View Post
I measured the distance between the miter slots and it's only 9", so I'd probably have to cut whatever plate I used down to about 8". The area around the miter slots seem to be the weakest on the underside of the cast iron table.

The handles on the router can be removed, which would leave me with a 6"-7" diameter router base, if I remember correctly. This will be a dedicated table router/base, so I'm not worried about taking and leaving the handles off. I have another identical router for non-table use.

I took some pictures of it and how the router would fit underneath, but then I realized that I can't post pictures or links until I hit ten posts. I think I'm about half way there.

Hamlin - I don't have my own mill, and I'm guessing that having it machined in a shop is going to bump the price to a point where it may not be worth it. My goal is to do this for relatively cheap without sacrificing too much in the way of quality. I know that that's asking a lot. You definitely bring up a good point though. The top is somewhere around 1/4" thick in the thinner areas. If I were to cut out a chunk of the top, I was thinking of cutting straight through (and not creating a ledge). Then I'd add additional pieces that would go under the plate to support it.

bobj3 - If I understand you correctly, the main reason that you encourage the use of a plate is that it can be lifted out for bit changes and height adjustments. If I were to mount the router directly to the cast iron and then rig up the cast iron so that one side was hinged and it could be propped up (like the hood of a car), do you think this would work just as well? If so, it'd save me the trouble of cutting a chunk out of the cast iron top. I've located zero clearance inserts for the table saw, so I could get a few of those and plunge through them to accommodate different sized router bits.

Thanks for your help! It's always nice to have people to bounce ideas off of, especially those with experience.

Thanks,
Tyler



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post #13 of 57 (permalink) Old 11-05-2009, 09:58 AM
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Hi OneStaple, just my lil 2... after seeing the cast iron top that bobj3 linked to, I'd think hard if not long, on just going that route (pardon the pun...). It was made to do exactly what you want... but it isn't your original (kinda cool btw) idea. If you can afford the time... putting the contractor saw idea on ice or the back burner might well put you ahead in the game... but, ya, darnit... it is a cool idea! Good luck.
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post #14 of 57 (permalink) Old 11-05-2009, 02:05 PM
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if you want to save the effort of conversion i have a 2nd craftsman shper you might be interested in
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post #15 of 57 (permalink) Old 11-05-2009, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, that cast iron is certainly heavy. I've been moving it around my garage from time to time.

Half the fun of this router table is just the process of making it and having it be my own "original" table. The ones from MLCS certainly look nice though.

So, assuming at this point that I'm not going to add a plate and attach the router to it, does anyone have any slick ideas for attaching the router to the cast iron? It looks like many real cast iron router tables (including the MLCS ones) use a t-track system under the table with clamps. Obviously, I don't have this luxury. The simplest approach would be to just drill through the table, and that'd work just fine (countersunk in, of course). But I'd love it if there were no bolts showing on top of the table. I'll have to ponder this a bit. Any thoughts?

Bob McDonald - a used shaper table would certainly work, but shipping would be a killer unless you're just down the road.

It would appear that everyone here (or at least those responding to this thread) are named Bob. Weird.

Thanks,
Tyler
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post #16 of 57 (permalink) Old 11-05-2009, 04:48 PM
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Hi Tyler

Now you want to get tricky

They make arc welding rod for cast iron and with some Z iron you can make a tracks that the router could side in and with some Allen set screws you could lock it in place..without any holes showing on the top side...


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Originally Posted by OneStaple View Post
Yeah, that cast iron is certainly heavy. I've been moving it around my garage from time to time.

Half the fun of this router table is just the process of making it and having it be my own "original" table. The ones from MLCS certainly look nice though.

So, assuming at this point that I'm not going to add a plate and attach the router to it, does anyone have any slick ideas for attaching the router to the cast iron? It looks like many real cast iron router tables (including the MLCS ones) use a t-track system under the table with clamps. Obviously, I don't have this luxury. The simplest approach would be to just drill through the table, and that'd work just fine (countersunk in, of course). But I'd love it if there were no bolts showing on top of the table. I'll have to ponder this a bit. Any thoughts?

Bob McDonald - a used shaper table would certainly work, but shipping would be a killer unless you're just down the road.

It would appear that everyone here (or at least those responding to this thread) are named Bob. Weird.

Thanks,
Tyler



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post #17 of 57 (permalink) Old 11-05-2009, 05:21 PM
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BJ.. isn't welding cast iron a bit tricky, like aluminum?

Bob (aka BigJimAK, but going with the flow!)

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post #18 of 57 (permalink) Old 11-05-2009, 05:47 PM
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Aluminum is actually quite easy to weld, just need the right welding rod. CI however, is a real PITA to weld. You most definitely need the correct welding rod plus, the CI should be preheated to prevent cracks from forming.

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post #19 of 57 (permalink) Old 11-05-2009, 06:05 PM
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Hi Jim

With the new rods they have now days it's not to bad ,welding a trans. is very tricky because it's like a peanut shell ...and must be pre heated the norm but not always ,,

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BJ.. isn't welding cast iron a bit tricky, like aluminum?

Bob (aka BigJimAK, but going with the flow!)



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Last edited by bobj3; 11-05-2009 at 06:08 PM.
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post #20 of 57 (permalink) Old 11-05-2009, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Ohhh, I like the idea! But I've also always heard that CI is very difficult to weld. I'm not up to date on the welding rods that are available. I've done a little bit of welding in the past and have access to my grandpa's flux core welder. You mentioned arc welding rods, but they don't happen to make ones that might work on cast iron for flux core, do they?

Also, could you clarify what you mean by "z iron". Is that just the shape, like two angle irons back-to-back?

What about using something like JB Weld to attach some t-tracks to the underside, similar to "real" cast iron router tables that I've seen? I could then put four clamps in the angle irons to hold the router down (or up, I guess). That approach might be a little easier than trying to weld the cast iron.

Thanks,
Tyler
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