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Retrofit Benchdog ProMax to Sawstop ICS

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Project by Dave posted 01-28-2011 09:15 PM 10677 views 7 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was taking my weekly stroll through the local Klingspors woodworking shop and I came upon a SALE on the Benchdog products. If I remember right they were going to stop carrying the line. And you know how it goes…its a Sale, nothing beats a Sale (says the Evil Priceline twin). So I left with the ProMax cast iron router table that included an extruded aluminum fence. This particular type is made to replace your existing table saw extension wing.

I went into this knowing that the Sawstop Industrial Saw has a 30” deep table and the ProMax was made for a standard 27” table. I searched the web for someone else who has done this – no luck. I called Sawstop – no luck. No worries I say… I’m an ENGINEER, I can do ANYTHING!!!

The instructions want you to mount the router table to the right/left side of your saw table in a cantilever arrangement. I was not incredibly happy with that as I felt the odds of stacking heavy items there(wood) was likely and I did not want to break the table at the connection flange. And I was going to essentially have two extension wings to the right of my saw.

After being a bit of a dork and checking the shear strength for the included M8 bolts, I realized that a singe M8 bolt alone could hold the table in both shear and tension. I was being overly cautious – worrying about the impact to the fence rails and potential for cracking the table flanges if I were to overload the table (sit on it). After realizing I was a bit of a dork, I carried on knowing that the fence rails, cast iron tables and bolts were plenty strong!

My plan was to fit the new table into my existing stock laminated Sawstop extension table. To do this I would create a cradle for the new router table to sit in and connect the table top and mount the whole system to the saw.

This began with disassembling the stock Sawstop extension table and removing the stiffening rails underneath. From there it was layout work. I laid the cast iron table on the laminate and marked the profile and then measured the remaining space.

I had some maple laying around and figured that a half lap cradle would do and the maple would remain stable and is plenty strong.


From this point I cut the maple and verified the fit around the ProMax table and into the Sawstop rails. Then I glued the half lap joint.

Now that I know the cradle fits I needed to layout all of my bolts. This was all done by hand with a pencil and brad point bit. It is important to make the holes as straight as possible. I made all of the holes through holes but I did not leave alot of play. The connection from the ProMax to the cradle is 6 – 1/4-20 screws/washers/nuts in counter bored holes so as to not interfere with the cradle’s slip fit between the rails. I also needed to make a slot to accept the connection bolts to the fence rails. Specifically, I needed to be able to get a wrench in to tighten the nuts.

Now that the cradle fits…it was time to cut out the opening in the table surface. I had previously marked the location of the table. I pre-cut close to the lines with a jig saw and used a straight piece of scrap as a guide for the router. The round corners were done freehand and a little filing/sanding.

Now it is time to add the top – just countersunk screws.

Now that everything was put together I mounted the entire system to the right extension table with 3 M8 bolts/nuts and to the rails with 4 M5-screws/nuts.

All that is left is to assemble the fence and install the router and router plate.

I hope that gives everyone some insight into this retrofit.

Let me know if I can help.

Dave

-- - Dave





10 comments so far

View Wilton's profile

Wilton

96 posts in 1437 days


#1 posted 01-28-2011 09:25 PM

hey great job and nice saw. It looks like solid construction that is both accurate and sturdy. That is never easy to accomplish. Thank you for sharing.

-- Wilton, Phoenixville PA http://kimbertonwoodworks.com

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 1756 days


#2 posted 01-29-2011 12:41 AM

Sweet setup and good use of those engineering skills. :)

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View joirishman's profile

joirishman

27 posts in 1425 days


#3 posted 01-29-2011 01:35 AM

Just curious if you made accommodation for the miter slot on the new extension. Curious as to your thoughts if you intentionally left it out. Knowing me I would have completely forgotten about that.

View joirishman's profile

joirishman

27 posts in 1425 days


#4 posted 01-29-2011 01:36 AM

Oh yeah, it’s awesome! Great job.

View Splinterman's profile

Splinterman

23057 posts in 2107 days


#5 posted 01-29-2011 03:01 AM

Hey Dave,
Now this is what it’s all about…sweet job.

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2740 days


#6 posted 01-29-2011 03:10 AM

Very impressive. Isn’t it nice to be an engineer? Seems like you would have a huge edge over non-engineers…

Thanks for sharing with us. You did a very nice job here.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1796 days


#7 posted 01-29-2011 04:10 AM

Looks like a nice, sturdy retrofit!

I’m also curious about the miter slot decision?

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2568 days


#8 posted 01-29-2011 04:32 AM

Dave, this is an excellent upgrade to your saw. The extension wing is of very little use, in my opinion, by itself other than providing some horizontal storage and support for cutting sheet goods. Your approach has markedly improved the functionality of the saw.

Thanks for the inspiration.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Dave's profile

Dave

20 posts in 1592 days


#9 posted 01-29-2011 02:59 PM

joirishman -

I left out the miter slots for a couple reasons.

1- slight oversight. haha
2 – I dont really use a miter gauge – to do this you need to ensure the gauge bar is parallel to the fence. This can be challenging. I prefer to use sled style miter gauges that ride the fence…this allows me to set the fence quickly. I get the fence close then I lock out one side and pivot the other until I get the profile I want.
3- I would also need to cut my extension rails. Im a bit hesitant to do that.

Dave

-- - Dave

View Steve Rosenlund's profile

Steve Rosenlund

29 posts in 1542 days


#10 posted 02-27-2012 03:17 AM

I know this is an old thread, but i wanted to ask the OP how you accommodate your motor cover door opening with the router hanging down from the table?

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