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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Table Saw Side Extension Table Router Lift Mounting VS Stand Alone Router Table

I just received a Jessem Rout-R-Lift 2 for the shop. I was planning on mounting the lift on the side extension table of my General 350 table saw and use the Biesemeyer as a fence. After some thought and study on the Incra LS fence system, I thought perhaps I might do a stand alone router table and take advantage of the versatility of the Incra fence. I would like to know the pros and cons of either installation. I know the router table route means I have one more item taking up space in my already cramped shop, but it also means I could use the Incra LS for so much more.

Looking of opinions....

Thanks, Eric
 

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To me it kind of depends on what you're making. Giving up maybe 5-6 sqft of floor space is a big deal in a small shop. Perhaps you could work out a way to turn the router table into an outfeed table. You want that fairly wide, and if you make a cabinet, you can store stuff in it. Maybe create a second, flat top to fit over the table for outfeed use? I don't much like having the table in the saw, and that just won't work with the LS system installed. Then again, is the LS system really necessary for what you're making? If not, then the combo outfeed/router table is a realistic option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes Tom, I kinda agree with you I'm not real crazy about having the lift in the table saw extension table. When ever you cut plywood or any sheet good, based on where you place the lift you could be dumping who knows what...saw dust etc. constantly into the lift and the router below. I'm not really sure what I am going to do with this lift, but I want to leave my options open to be the most flexible, and I really liked the Incra LS router fence as it appears a very flexible tool.

Thank you,

Eric
 

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Table saw fences have to be modified to use as a router table fence because most of the time the bit is only partially exposed and the rest is behind the face of the fence. There is also the problem of feeding into the bit unless you have it mounted near the end of the table. At some point you will will either need to use the saw while the router is set for a job or vice versa. You can solve the saw issue by having the router and plate just sit in the rabbet, meaning you can lift it out and then put it back later and it will be at least within a few thou of the original setting.

The only advantage of adding a router to a saw wing is the saved space. That's about it. If you don't need to most of us will recommend that you don't. Put your router table stand on casters or make it lightweight enough to move or build a table top version that you can stack out of the way when you aren't using it.
 

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I used a table saw extension for my router table for several years. It worked ok but the constant changing of fence setups and the height of the table made me go back to a dedicated table. At 35" I found long sessions at the table made my back hurt. I am not a tall guy, but raising the table top 2" made all the difference in comfort for me.
 

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Like Chuck said, trying to use the saw fence for the router just isn't worth the hassle. There are just too many times I go back and forth between saw and router. Then there's dust collection to think about. Lots of the better router fences have a way to hook up a shop vac hose to the fence and catch a lot of shavings. Those shavings would have no where to go and would build up if you just cut a mouse hole in an auxiliary fence and attach it to the off side of your tablesaw fence. I have my router table in the extension wing of my saw for space considerations, but I also raised my saw 3 1/2 inches on a 2 x 4 base. That's mostly to provide clearance for boards that hang over the left side of the saw to pass over my joiner fence. However, like Bob said, I wouldn't want the router table to be as low as a standard tablesaw. If I wasn't already cramped for space, I'd have a dedicated router table.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, I coming to agree with you Andy and Bob as well. I think a dedicated router table is probably how I will go. If I put it on casters, I can position it anywhere in my garage I want. Thank you for the advise.

Eric
 
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