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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting mighty sick of faffing around trying to cut flat square pieces of wood. I have a router table, but not a table saw.
Whats the feelings on building a dual use unit?

Cant afford cast iron tops, cant afford all singing all dancing finished things. I can afford to make it myself. All I need is a pointer to;

A/, is it worthwhile?

B/ are there any plans?
 

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Heh...
How much time you got, Bob? :)

This controversial topic comes up a lot.
Personally, I don't want any other power tool intruding into my TS working space.
A random example might be having the router set up exactly, to do a specific dado, then realizing you need that space to breakdown a sheet of plywood.
If you need to go elsewhere to do the breakdown then what's the point of having the TS?
Are you asking if there's plans to build a TS?! Yes, but why would you?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have a few problems;
1/ not a lot of space.
2/ not a lot of money.
3/ not enough use for either to have them set up permanently.

Remember, unlike most here, I'm only playing at this as a retirement hobby to fill spare hours.
What i like to do is make various shaped boxes and other stuff that needs (usually) flat square pieces of wood.
A half dozen pieces makes the piece at hand, then I make something else with a completely different set of dimensions.

My router sled is now producing dimensionally flat work to within my tolerances, and I now have my mitre saw accurately cutting 90 degrees, but the cross cut only has a capacity of 5", and the top saw section is tiny, about 16" square. I cant cut more than a 5" piece without resorting to clamps to hold the fence in place, and then cant cut across because the fence is 2" from the front of the blade.

My ideal is to have a table saw with a sliding sled so I can cut square pieces on a much larger scale.

I can build with ply even if it isnt pretty, but I dont have to impress anyone as long as its functional, and that way I hope to get a bigger table than anything I can afford to buy.
 

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Don't know the real numbers, Bob..."Remember, unlike most here, I'm only playing at this as a retirement hobby to fill spare hours."...
but at a guess I'd say most of us are hobbyists(?). A LOT of us are retired, even if we did carpentry/woodworking when we were actually working.
Me, I'm doing my stuff out of a 12' x 27' garage. Like you, I feel frustrated with the lack of space, especially in the Winter when it's just too wet to work out on the driveway. :(
This morning I made a 2' x 3' fully castoring dolly to pile stackable totes on...I have to clear some floor space...it's making me crazy.


My Contractor TS is the heart of the shop, keeping it clear and functional is rule #1.
 

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Bob if you look around maybe you can find a decent used contractors saw cheap , and then build a router table plate into the table saws extension. Just a thought


@Dan 27/12 , I'm finding it's very frustrating being navigating in a 22/26 shop (especially when it's cold) I think 36/36 should be the bare minimum :(
 

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@sunnybob

Check out Ron Paulks videos on You Tube. He has a bunch of different variations of an ultimate worktable featuring a table saw, router and miter saw. It might be a good solution for you. Configure it your way based on available space.

Maybe his videos will give you some inspiration. I bought his miter saw station plans and built my version, my way but used his plans for reference. I have got a lot of use out of that miter station.

Good luck.
Mike

BTW, I am retired also, and loving it.

Edit: Here is a link to my garage makeover thread. The details and pics of the miter saw station are in that post.
http://www.routerforums.com/workshop-showroom/42403-garage-workshop-makeover.html
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Dan, theres hobbyists, and then theres hobbyists, and then theres me!. (lol)
I have no hesitation in claiming to be the least skilled person here, easily proven by the fact I never post pics of my work (g)
Your shop sounds huge.
I have a 3 metre x 5 metre garage, which also houses all the house decorating junk.
I'm further hampered by the floor being made of sloping stamped concrete with a 6" drop across the 3 metres and another 3" from back to front. I cant use anything with wheels. And theres a roller door both ends, so I only have two walls to work with.

Ok,. enough of the "I'm worse off than you" game (think I won that one), back to the question, does anyone have practical experience of a dual table? Can it work?


Rick, I'm in a unique situation here in Cyprus, I dont have to worry about the winter temps, Even January daytime is usually 10c, and can get up to 15C on occassion, but my main problem is that there is no such thing as ebay here, and as I dont speak or read Greek, finding anything for sale is a very difficult task. I have been unable to find any other ex-pats with a woodworking hobby, which is why I ask all my stupid questions here.
 

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Mike, just looked at ron paulks bench.
That bench is almost the size of my workspace!

Something a little less ambitious I think would be best.
That's why I said "Configure it your way based on available space."

Just make it smaller. :)
 

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Bob I've heard of guys taking a circular saw and bolting it under a table top. It can be made to work okay I was told. You could use a straight edge clamped to the table for a fence but it would be a bit slow to set up.
 
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As I understand it, you're making small boxes about the size of a jewelry box. You have a router, miter saw and bandsaw. For minimal outlay, you can make a T-square that guides the edge of your router base. Using the wood that you've reduced with your ski set-up, cut one good edge on your miter saw. Using the ACCURATE T-square that you've made - you're going to make an initial cut across a piece of scrap using the T-square that's going to give you an alignment slot in the short arm of the T-square. Layout your finished size on the workpiece, set the short arm of the T-square on the finished edge and line the inside edge of the groove cut with the router with your line. With everything securely clamped, cut the second face of the part - two cuts, into a sacrificial surface. After that cut is complete, rotate the part until the edge you just cut is against the T-square and repeat - you now have 3 of four finished edges complete, rotate the part and cut the final edge and you now have the finished part. You can rough the parts on your bandsaw, it should be accurate enough for that, and you should be able to cut fairly close to your finished size so that you're only trimming a small amount to get to finished size and minimizing waste. You may need to climb cut the outer end of the cut for a short distance first to eliminate splintering - or plan your cuts so that your final pass is along the grain. It's going to be slow initially until you get the hang of the system but minimal investment until you manage a table saw or equivalent - and it will let you make finished parts while you're working on the saw..
 

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Bob, I have a Ryobi TS with a sliding table and a router extension on the right side. My shop is 14x40 with everybody else's junk in it. I built a table around it so I can easily cut sheets up to 50". All I have to do is take the fence off of the table saw and I get very accurate cuts. I also have a attachment that goes on the fence that allows me to use it as a fence for the router. The model # for this TS is BT3100. I don't think they carry this model in the stores anymore but I can still get parts if I need them. Perhaps you could look at this one or maybe find one around some where that would give you a idea of what you are looking for. I hope this will help you in some way.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
ok, multiple replies here so thanks for all the suggestions.
Mike;
that paulk bench is something else, but it doesnt help me because he's just using a portable table saw, which still has a fence 2" in front of the blade. No good if I want to make a 6" square.

Charles; the circular saw under the bench is a way forwards, but if you look at Mathias Wendal you tube build of one, the effort is enormous. But its still on my "possible" list.

Tom, That reply needs some serious study while at the workbench with the bits in my hands, looks highly probable, thanks.

Buddy; The ryobi looks good, but it doesnt appear to be available in europe.
I cant ship anything from the USA, import taxes and shipping triple the price.

I have 1 (ONE) shop on the whole island that I know does this kind of stuff, I shall have to visit and see what they have.

I have built my own router table with sliding front panel, so building the table itself isnt a problem, just finding a suitable saw /motor combo is.
 

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Hi Bob,
From my time in Cyprus a few years back, I doubt that reading Greek would make a difference. There is no great DIY culture there, and only a few stores on the island, selling either cheap knockoffs or incredibly expensive top-of-the-line stuff (Milwaukee, no less). That said, people toss out an unbelievable variety of very useful stuff- just look on the pavements before collection morning, especially at the beginning of spring. Nobody bothered much with fixing stuff there. I could have rebuilt at least one Land Rover out of the number I saw abandoned, and could have built and furnished a modest residence with discarded materials and furniture. May have changed since the financial crisis though.
Have you considered mounting a portable circular saw upside down under a piece of mdf or melamine countertop, with a board clamped across as a fence? You could have space for a router plate in the same board (or even mount the router upside down directly to the board, and use the same fence. You can even attach the board to a wall with hinges, so that it swings down when not in use (remove the tools first).
Not saying that it would do for fine wood working, or compete with some of the marvellous tables built by members here ( I can only bow in respect), but it will do as well as what many professionals use on the back of a pickup truck at a jobsite.

One could pick up a cheap but usable tool at Carrefour without breaking the bank, and throw it away when it packs up. I bought an impact drill there for next to nothing, has done me really sterling service over the past five years. Chinese knockoff of a Ryobi, just recently replaced the switch with a Ryobi spare.
 

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Bob, do not be put off by the complexity of Matthias Wendel's ingenious design. He is essentially replacing functions already on the portable saw, with wooden improvements. One can simply drill four holes in the base of the saw, drill through the table top correspondingly, mount with countersunk bolts and nuts, and use the saw itself to make a zero-clearance cut through the top. If the thickness of the top means you will lose too much cutting (i.e. Blade) height, you may have to route out a pocket for the saw base (or use two layers of 19mm mdf, cutting the pocket in one only, before laminating them). Since you can place the saw where you choose, you can set the "fence" any distance from the blade you want. Remember to either allow the riving knife and blade guard to come through the top without obstruction, or make a knife and guard and screw to the top.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Biagio, youre perfectly correct . Were you UN?
It did use to be like that untill the recession in 2012. The fields were strewn with old cars and implements. But when the money got tight, everybody suddenly became scrap dealers.
Youre also right that there is no hobby culture, so unwanted stuff useful to me just isnt there in the first place.

I spent an hour at my local woodyard today,trying to buy a 1/4" radius round over bit (nope) and 7mm glue sticks (nope) and complained to Adamos about this "no hobby" thing. He didnt believe me, got out his laptop, and spent a half hour searching every greek web site he could find, before finally admitting I was right.
Industrial stuff is still to be found though. In the next village there is a Harrison 3 phase metal working lathe just sitting on a front doorstep, 2 foot from the road, no garden fence. But it would need a lorry with a HIAB to take it away, and I have no 3 phase. In the UK that would fetch many hundreds of pounds.

I'm working myself up to building a wendel type unit, but as my wood experience is so little, am afraid that I will spend more money making something that doesnt work, than buying something that kind of works.

Decisions decisions.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
As I understand it, you're making small boxes about the size of a jewelry box. You have a router, miter saw and bandsaw. For minimal outlay, you can make a T-square that guides the edge of your router base. Using the wood that you've reduced with your ski set-up, cut one good edge on your miter saw. Using the ACCURATE T-square that you've made - you're going to make an initial cut across a piece of scrap using the T-square that's going to give you an alignment slot in the short arm of the T-square. Layout your finished size on the workpiece, set the short arm of the T-square on the finished edge and line the inside edge of the groove cut with the router with your line. With everything securely clamped, cut the second face of the part - two cuts, into a sacrificial surface. After that cut is complete, rotate the part until the edge you just cut is against the T-square and repeat - you now have 3 of four finished edges complete, rotate the part and cut the final edge and you now have the finished part. You can rough the parts on your bandsaw, it should be accurate enough for that, and you should be able to cut fairly close to your finished size so that you're only trimming a small amount to get to finished size and minimizing waste. You may need to climb cut the outer end of the cut for a short distance first to eliminate splintering - or plan your cuts so that your final pass is along the grain. It's going to be slow initially until you get the hang of the system but minimal investment until you manage a table saw or equivalent - and it will let you make finished parts while you're working on the saw..
Tom, having had more time to study your post, It doesnt work for me. The first step "cut one good edge on the mitre saw" is my stumbling block. If I want a 6" square piece of wood, the mitre saw only cuts 4". Trying to turn it around and cut from the other direction with no straight edge to work from, leaves me with another bad edge.

I need to be able to cut at least 6" in one go.
I have tried doing this on the router, but because of the thinness of the wood, its impossible to clamp it securely, so I get small kick backs in the edge again.

As far as I can see at the moment, I really need a table saw and sled.
 

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Tom, having had more time to study your post, It doesnt work for me. The first step "cut one good edge on the mitre saw" is my stumbling block. If I want a 6" square piece of wood, the mitre saw only cuts 4". Trying to turn it around and cut from the other direction with no straight edge to work from, leaves me with another bad edge.

I need to be able to cut at least 6" in one go.
I have tried doing this on the router, but because of the thinness of the wood, its impossible to clamp it securely, so I get small kick backs in the edge again.

As far as I can see at the moment, I really need a table saw and sled.
Bob,

The T-square will still work. Say you have a piece of wood that's a random size, mark the first edge with a pencil, eyeball the slot in the T-square relative to that line (you can make a strip of wood that's equal to the distance from the leg of the T-square to the slot to assist), clamp and cut the first edge. Now continue as described initially. An even easier way to get the first true cut on a piece of wood is to make a guide similar to my first post - a strip of hardboard with a fence attached, make the setback slightly larger than that of the distance from the edge of the router base and the cutter and take an initial pass along the guide. You will now have a guide that gives you the EXACT location of the cut line of the router and that router bit. Put your starting line on the piece of wood and align the edge of the guide with the line - you now have an accurate straight edge on the wood and can continue from there. Either fixture/jig is inexpensive and easy to make - just take care to get the arm and leg of the T-square at exactly 90° as that will affect the accuracy of the parts you make. The system is a little fussy, definitely not high production, but should allow you to turn out good parts until you're able to sort out your table saw situation.
 

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"As far as I can see at the moment, I really need a table saw and sled."
Is there regular and reasonable cartage from Italy? Good stuff available there.
What about Mainland Greece?
 
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