While this exercise was conducted on a 520 system it should also work with any of the shopsmith systems that make use of the connecting tube system.
This experiment is to see how a main table would work as a floating main table. What is a floating main table you ask? In its simplest terms it is a main table with the trunnions and below removed. What advantages might that offer? Well I assume that is why you are reading this so lets get started with the project.
I have been thinking of this project for some time now. However I wasn’t able to do much with it due to not having a spare 505/510/520 table to work with. The one system I have was a basket case machine which I got working but the table top was not as nice as it could be. Mis-use of previous owner(s) has sort of bugged me so when I had the opportunity to get a used table in much better condition I got it. This then left me with a spare table. I am missing the necessary 520 rails but I wanted to see how well this worked before spending the $$ to get them.
I think the best way to proceed is with the use of pictures. Here is a shot with it mounted to the right.
When mounted to the left side it would look like this.
Due to the design of the table mounting it on the right will limit the depth of cut to about 2-1/2”. This of course can be changed if you don’t mind removing some of the underside of the floating main table. I would not do this if you think you would want to return it to a regular table again in the future.
The two table will need the support of either the support legs or the use of an extension table but will afford you with a minimum width of 35-14”. By position it farther from the main table you can increase this dimension.
I have checked the alignment of the miter slots and they seem to be fine. The setup shown slides like butter and might get you to think about making a very wide sled??
By using the “extension table brackets” that shopsmith sells the table will also mount in front of or behind the main table. I have a picture of it in both places and as you can see the added depth you get when using a sled. The added depth is the same as when you use floating tables at about 52-1/2” of support.
As can be seen the system can be adjusted so the sled will slide in the miter slots on both tables. It takes a few minutes to set up but it seems to be on a path I want to continue working on.
Hope this inspires some of you to see how much opportunities us shopsmith owner have in the way we use our tool of choice.
-- Knight of the Shopsmith