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Stretching the capabilities of a Dewalt Jobsite Saw

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Project by PlanBWoodworks posted 06-10-2017 12:27 AM 1018 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Like a lot of people who first start woodworking, I had no idea what tools I needed. My wife wanted me to build a 36”x48” picture frame that would hold dozens of photos of our dogs. To make this happen, I knew that I needed a table saw to cut small strips to divide the photos. Well, that’s what I told her to justify the purchase…

I did what I thought was solid research that led me to purchase the DWE7480 jobsite saw. It made sense at the time. It had great reviews, a great fence and at the time I had no idea what a dado set was or why I would ever want/need one. I made the purchase, and was immediately in love.

Now, don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I love my table saw, and for what it is, it does an outstanding job. However, as many woodworkers eventually learn, a jobsite saw lacks certain features and capabilities that are desired in what we do. I had already made a major improvement to my saw by building a table that increased my rip capacity to 40” and built a new fence (using John Heisz’s design). That build can be found on my projects page.

I am on vacation (or Staycation!) this week and have spent a great deal of time tweaking and fine tuning the workhorse of my shop. I began by listing the things that I wanted to improve with my current setup.

1. I needed an outfeed table. All of my workbenches are built to a height that allows them to serve as outfeed tables, but as they are extremely heavy and not on casters, I never used them. My pieces generally just ended up on the floor. I wanted an outfeed table that would address that problem
2. I also recently built a dust collection system (see my projects page) and while I always attached it to my table saw, it was not very efficient. It collected all of the dust that came through the built in 2.5” dust chute, but all of the other dust fell on the floor or on the shelf that the saw sits on. I wanted to enclose the saw to capture as much dust as possible, and open the dust collection port to 4”.
3. When I initially built my table to increase my rip capacity, I put down a seamstress measuring tape to allow me to set my fence. I used epoxy to attach the tape, and it was bumpy and not at all accurate. I actually stopped using it. I would set my fence using my normal measuring tape. I wanted something more accurate, and more professional looking.
4. Finally, since I built my fence, it has been difficult to trust that it would remain where I set it and also that it would remain parallel with the blade. I am absolutely certain that any inconsistencies that the fence has arise from my inability to properly follow the plans that I bought as opposed to any flaws in the design.

These were the issues that I wanted to address. Oh- I forgot to mention that my wife still insists that we keep up that charade that we have the capability of parking in our garage. We don’t actually park in the garage, but apparently it makes her feel better to think that we could if the heavens opened and balls of fire came raining down. All of that to say that I needed my outfeed table to fold down.

As you see in the pictures, I addressed all of my issues. I built my outfeed table using 3/4” MDF and trimmed it out using 1 1/2” pine. I also installed 3 3.5” door hinges to allow the table to fold down. I installed fold down legs, again using hinges. I also installed barrel bolts to lock the legs in place. I coated everything with thinned shellac and paste wax.

I enclosed as much of the saw as I could using 1/2” pine plywood. I also used duct tape to seal up any gaps that I could. After removing the side of the factory dust chute, I cut a hole below the saw, and installed a table saw dust hood with a 4” dust port. I laid down a bead of silicon and screwed the hood to the bottom of the table saw shelf. I did leave access to the power switch and to the gear to adjust blade height. I also installed hinges and a door to allow access to tilt the blade.

To replace the messy tape, I purchased a 48” straight edge from HD. After removing the tape and using a chisel to remove the epoxy, I intended to use my router to cut a channel to place the straight edge in, but to my surprise, it sitting proud of the surface actually improved the operation of my fence!

Finally, I began to work on the fence. I added a 1/2” strip of plywood behind the fence in the channel that the fence sits in to keep it parallel with the blade. Also, I reread the fence plans and realized that the plans mention a shim for the cam handle in the parts list. That step is actually not mentioned anywhere that I could find in the build, but I added a thin plastic shim, and Wow! what a difference. Now, my fence locks down perfectly.

All in all, I am very happy with the outcome. I am not certain that my legs for the outfeed table are going to remain in the same configuration. I don’t love how they stick out from the front of the table when folded down, and also I don’t like the way that they flex if the table moves, even with the barrel bolts. I think that I am probably going to cut them down at an angle and install a bracket on the base of the table that the angle fits in to support the table. That way they will be shorter and will not be effected if I bump my saw table.

As far as the dust collection, is it flawless? Nope. However, by containing the vast majority of the dust inside the cabinet, it is SO much better. I also installed yet another set of hinges and another barrel bolt on the exterior side panel so that I can clean out the cabinet occasionally if needed.

While I would still love a lot more horsepower and the ability to use a dado set, I am very happy with all of the improvements that I have made to my saw. I hope you enjoyed this project, and let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for further improvements!

-- Hardwoods shouldn't be so expensive. Unlike money, hardwoods literally grow on trees!!!





7 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile (online now)

Jim Jakosh

18827 posts in 2822 days


#1 posted 06-10-2017 01:08 AM

Real nice enhancement to your saw!!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Mike_in_STL's profile

Mike_in_STL

67 posts in 250 days


#2 posted 06-10-2017 01:32 AM

That’s a nice build. The only enhancement my old Delta contractor saw is going to get is listed on Craigslist for a song when I get a new saw. (Soon) Otherwise, if I was going to keep it, your setup would be a candidate for copying. Nice job again!

-- Mike in STL

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

900 posts in 3148 days


#3 posted 06-10-2017 11:51 AM

Thinking of downsizing my contractor saw to something similar. I like it.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View PlanBWoodworks's profile

PlanBWoodworks

52 posts in 198 days


#4 posted 06-10-2017 09:41 PM

Thanks for the comments. I spent all day in the garage today and am SO happy with my new table saw setup. It has exceeded my expectations. Also, that addition of the outfeed table gives me a huge area for glue ups and assembly. Of course, it is also another area for me to clean up at the end of the day…

-- Hardwoods shouldn't be so expensive. Unlike money, hardwoods literally grow on trees!!!

View EricLew's profile

EricLew

149 posts in 1082 days


#5 posted 06-12-2017 02:14 PM

Very nice work!
It reminds me about 20 years ago, my first table saw was a Craftsman bench top model, unlike your DeWalt, mine was a piece of crap, but I didn’t know any better at the time. I built Norm Abrams table saw station, which worked out really well. It is long since gone, but I still have the saw horses, they still get a lot of use.

I love your out feed table. I currently have a Delta contractor saw and have been meaning to build an out feed table like that

Enjoy

-- I love the smell of coffee in the morning, and sawdust in the afternoon

View SJWoodCreations's profile

SJWoodCreations

38 posts in 652 days


#6 posted 06-12-2017 06:56 PM

A box cutter set from Freud (“here“) can be used safely with this saw – I have the same one. Obviously not quite as handy as a dado stack, but often easier than a router setup. Nice build!

-- Sam --- Tulsa, OK

View PlanBWoodworks's profile

PlanBWoodworks

52 posts in 198 days


#7 posted 06-13-2017 01:21 AM

Eric, thanks for the comments. The outfeed table goes in the list of projects that I wish I had gotten to so much sooner. Build it ASAP! You will be so glad you did.

Sam, Thanks for the recommendation. It’s ordered! I can’t wait to give it a shot!

-- Hardwoods shouldn't be so expensive. Unlike money, hardwoods literally grow on trees!!!

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