I’m starting to really overflow my garage/shop. I’ve started to realize that I need a better solution for an assembly table, but I simply don’t have the room for it. So I’ve started a big re-organization of my shop. So far I’ve built several new carts with drawers for storage, but the big change is I’ve decided to dump the free standing router table in favor of an extension wing on my table saw.
I looked around at all the available options and just didn’t see one that I liked that wasn’t going to cost $300 plus for the extension and probably require me to buy a new fence as well. Add in the cost of the lift and It was looking like a $700-$800 change. Even getting a fair price for my current table (first version Jessem Mast-R-Lift Excel) I was going to be out of pocket quite a bit.
After doing some searching and seeing what other people had done, I decided to bite the bullet and just build my own extension table. I really like the layout of the Jessem table with the miter slot and T Track group, so I decided to stick with that in my design.
The table top is 3/4 Phenolic faced plywood supported by a double skirt of 3/4 hardwood. One skirt of oak 3/4 wide by 1 3/4” deep under the edge of the plywood and then a wrapper of oak 3/4×2 1/2” around the outside. I trimmed a rabbet in the back of the side pieces to mount T-Track for the fence. I routed a slot in the table for the miter slot and T-Track and glued in a support underneath the table to accept the screw for the hardware.
Mounting to my saw (Steel City 3HP cabinet saw) was pretty straight forward, I pulled the original 12” plywood wing and installed this one. I did add three new bolt connecting the router wing to the cast iron center section. I was a little worried about drilling the cast iron, but with a little oil and taking my time it turned out to be easy.
So now I’ve got the wing mounted. The next step will be to make the cutout for the new lift. I’ve decided on the Jesse Mast-R-Lift II after looking around. I think I have a buyer for my existing table, so I plan to use the money from that to get the lift for the wing.
Currently, the extension wing has a very solid frame, but the 3/4 ply is essentially unsupported in the middle, so I’m a little concerned about potential sag when the router and lift are mounted. I was planning on adding some additional support using aluminum angle once I get the router lift and know for certain where the mechanism is going to be.
I didn’t take pictures during the construction of the basic table, but in the next post I’ll do a better job of documenting the lift installation.
-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......