Cheap Table Saw & Belt Sander Upgrade... well, sorta (Stumpy Nubs Jig Contest)

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Project by Ted posted 05-14-2012 11:05 PM 7216 views 4 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Looking at how to improve my cheap ($65 used) Ryobi table saw, I threw together this sled and rip fence out of scrap lumber. I put a stop cleat at the right side of the fence so it will align with the slot for the sled tracks. Of course, I can set the fence aside if I have to.

It may look flimsy, but the rip fence is dead-on accurate. Note that I’m using the “heavy duty” Irwin Quick Grip, as their regular duty does not hold tight enough. I could use a c-clamp but it takes longer.

I also converted my cheap belt sander to a mini horizontal sander. The jig has a lip which clamps into the vice. I can use any thickness of a wood block to support the work piece, to use different parts of the sand paper. The belt sander just drops into place, no clamps or adjustments needed. I plug it into a switched outlet to turn it on and off, since the trigger is difficult to reach without lifting the tool out of the jig.

Some day I will re-do the table saw setup, as there are some things I should have done different. Mostly, I should have used straighter lumber for the sliding parts. But it works well as is. I figured anybody else out there, who is struggling with cheap power tools, might find this useful.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

13 comments so far

View wlojr's profile


68 posts in 2412 days

#1 posted 05-14-2012 11:12 PM

This gives me some ideas for my hand held belt sander that i never use, Thanks

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2683 days

#2 posted 05-14-2012 11:32 PM

Hey Ted… That looks cool!

BTW, if you happen to need an extra table top, I still have the one off my old BT10, you could bolt it on the side of yours and have an extended table LOL!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Ted's profile


2873 posts in 2407 days

#3 posted 05-14-2012 11:45 PM

Thanks, but that seems a bit too conventional. :D

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21709 posts in 3302 days

#4 posted 05-15-2012 02:58 AM

Way to go!! Necessity is the mother of invention!!

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

View Ted's profile


2873 posts in 2407 days

#5 posted 05-15-2012 02:06 PM

This made the Daily Top 15… Yay! :D

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View Jason's profile


659 posts in 3705 days

#6 posted 05-15-2012 03:17 PM

I have the same table saw and have wanted to add a better, bigger top to it. However, my wife’s uncle gave me an old craftsman table saw that needs some TLC. Not sure which one to put time into so I have done anything to either one. Go figure.

-- Jason - Colorado Springs

View nomercadies's profile


590 posts in 2535 days

#7 posted 05-15-2012 03:58 PM

Do you know how many table saws I have passed up because there was no rip fence? (of course you don’t) How do you secure the part of the rip fence that is farthest away from you? I like and admire the thinking that goes into projects like this. I noticed the rim you put around the flat part of the rip fence. I bet it keeps things from jumping to the floor from saw vibration. Good man!

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2810 days

#8 posted 05-15-2012 06:37 PM

Tedw thats very cleaver , the sleds i love mine too and like the sanding jig too.great jigs

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2810 days

#9 posted 05-15-2012 06:56 PM

TedW grads on the top 15 looks like it may go to the top three i have one right behind you good luck on the contest they are a lot of fun

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2502 days

#10 posted 05-16-2012 02:19 AM

Where were these project 25 years ago, when I needed them? I said it back then and I still beleive it, you dont need perfect tools or the best setup this is an art form and come from within.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Ted's profile


2873 posts in 2407 days

#11 posted 05-16-2012 06:16 AM

I just read the email telling me this project made it to Daily Top 3, but I only saw it at #7 or #10 here on the site – guess I didn’t get online at the right time. Oh well, it’s still a much needed boost to my ego.

Eddie, I see your square clamping jigs also made top 3, and well deserved. Congrats! :)

nomercadies, the far end of the rip fence is not secured, but it’s rigid enough for my purposes – just make sure to use a good strong clamp. If I ever need to secure it, I can tack a stick to it and clamp that. And yes, the rim does come in handy. I set my pusher in it so I can grab the pusher without taking my eyes off the work or, more importantly, the blade.

Martin, well said! :) All the fancy tools and expensive gadgets aren’t worth sawdust without some sense of how to get things done. But that said, I would still love to have a big fancy shop with every imaginable tool and gadget. The perfect setup might not make me a better woodworker, but it sure would make me a more productive one. ;)

Jason, if you have the space you could set up the old Craftsman for general purpose cutting, and set up the Ryobi as a dedicated slider. If not, I would set up the Craftsman. I’m sure it’s a better saw than the Ryobi.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View StumpyNubs's profile


7681 posts in 2997 days

#12 posted 05-28-2012 12:43 PM

You should enter this into our jig contest! Email photos along with your LJ name to You might win!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Ted's profile


2873 posts in 2407 days

#13 posted 06-02-2012 03:19 AM

Thanks Stumpy, I didn’t realize I had to email but I’m writing it right now. Have fun judging.. I saw the other entries and it ain’t gonna be easy.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

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