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The Great Garage Reorganization and Shop Improvement Act #3: New Table Saw

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Blog entry by captkerk posted 02-11-2010 12:45 AM 10934 reads 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: The Before... Part 3 of The Great Garage Reorganization and Shop Improvement Act series Part 4: Let there be light! ...and lumber storage. »

Any good workshop redo includes new tools and I finally replaced my old Craftsman bench-top saw with a Ridgid R4511. I got it for the clearance price of $499, but then three days later it dropped in price to $299. I was able to get Home Depot to honor the new lower price and I came away with a brand new saw for an almost criminally low price.

table saw

The assembly was a bit time consuming, but the other lumberjocks’ reviews helped with some of the common issues. I was quite annoyed to find that two of the bars for the Herc-u-lift were missing and that halted the assembly very early in the process since I didn’t want to build the thing without the mobile base attached. Ridgid was prompt about getting the parts out to me and I had them in three business days. The rest of the assembly went pretty well except for the bolts that were also missing for the rear fence rail, but a quick trip to the store got me some replacements.

I’m pretty happy with the saw. The motor is smooth, quiet and strong enough for my purposes. I didn’t really care one way or the other about the granite top versus iron, but I was glad to have the granite a couple weeks ago. The weather had been cold, but warmed up substantially during the day to the upper sixties with near 100% humidity. It felt so nice that I opened the garage up, but after about a half hour I noticed all the condensation on my cold tools. The saw was fine, of course, but my planer, jointer, band saw and drill press are all cast iron! I spent a day the next week cleaning all my cast iron tools and tuning them up while I was at it.

Back to the table saw. Another reason I wanted a new saw was to put a router table in the extension wing for better accessibility and still good use of available space. I scoured the web for ideas on doing shop made extension/router tables and got busy building my own.

extension table

I saw one version where the guy just moved the stock fence rail over to gain extra capacity to the right of the blade.

front rail

This leaves no room on the left, but in the five years I used my last left-tilt saw, I never used the fence on the left side of the blade. So I tried this version after buying a six foot long piece of angle iron and painting it to match. This serves as the rear rail and to help mount the extension table.

rear rail

The extension table is laminate coated MDF over a 3/4” plywood frame with a maple edging and is bolted to the rear rail and front rail mounting bracket.

underside

I will be adding some permanent support legs to help keep things level and keep the strain off the rails, I just haven’t finished them yet.

By moving the fence rail over, this eliminated the mounting location for the switch, so I just used some metal angle to remount it. This is ugly, but gets the job done.

switch mount

The extension table works pretty well. I’m still waiting for the router plate to come before adding the router, and the legs should be on soon. Initially, I hooked up my shop-vac as a temporary solution to dust collection until I get a true dust collector, but the only way it actually collects dust is when I open the motor cover and push the dust into the port! The dust collector will be here soon.

I also plan to add fence faces, zero-clearance inserts, a low-profile riving knife and quicker access to the motor cover. It will be much more enjoyable spending time at this table saw than my last!



10 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115207 posts in 3045 days


#1 posted 02-11-2010 12:46 AM

It’s coming along very well

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13347 posts in 3141 days


#2 posted 02-11-2010 01:21 AM

Its coming alone great.

View Gunny66's profile

Gunny66

7 posts in 2495 days


#3 posted 02-11-2010 03:56 AM

Real nice install, I look forward to the finished product.

-- John Madison Wi Be safe

View Cory's profile

Cory

758 posts in 2887 days


#4 posted 02-11-2010 05:15 PM

Nice work, Capt. I have the same saw and I’d love to get a big table to the right. Timbo has a great mod on his 4511. He swapped out new rails both front and back. That gave him something like 48” of cut capacity.

I’ve already modded my motor housing, the fence, and the insert. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Cory

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2103 posts in 3196 days


#5 posted 02-11-2010 06:30 PM

cool. i am so jealous of all you guys that got this saw at such a great price.

View Padre's profile

Padre

930 posts in 2957 days


#6 posted 02-11-2010 07:05 PM

Really, really nice!! That table will give you lots of options, and let you work safer too.

-- Chip -----------http://www.penmanchip.com-----------------Micah 6:8

View captkerk's profile

captkerk

169 posts in 2709 days


#7 posted 02-12-2010 04:39 AM

I thought about changing out the front rail bracket and even the square tube fence rail for longer pieces, but I figured I’d try the free version of just shifting it over first. Since I’m building legs for the extension table, this should be plenty sturdy and it gives me 54” to the right of the blade.

View captkerk's profile

captkerk

169 posts in 2709 days


#8 posted 02-12-2010 04:44 AM

Speaking of free, the extension table was done with all scrap material except for the rear rail, a can of spray paint and some nuts and bolts. I had the laminate laying around from putting a new top on an old desk a couple years ago. It should find it’s way to a drill press table sometime soon too. Probably another blog entry!

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5610 posts in 2700 days


#9 posted 02-17-2010 05:23 PM

That deal on the R4511 really was a steal! And I love what you did with the extension wing… Are you going to put a router plate in that as well or do you have other plans there? (I probably missed that somewhere…)

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View captkerk's profile

captkerk

169 posts in 2709 days


#10 posted 02-17-2010 05:35 PM

Router plate came in the mail a few days ago along with the miter track. As soon as I get around to it, that will all be going in.

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