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Table Saw Router Station for SawStop Contractor Saw

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Blog entry by Spencer posted 231 days ago 1929 reads 5 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Taking inspiration from zzzzdoc, tedth66, Jeremy Greiner, and others (here, here, and here), I am setting out on a mission to create a Table Saw Station for my SawStop Contractor saw. The reasons for the project are similar to theirs: I need more storage space in my small shop, I’d like a robust stand for the saw that’s easy to move around, and their’s look really cool! I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this and many hours mocking up ideas and dimensions in SketchUp. I have not actually cut a piece of wood for the project yet. This is partly because I want to make sure I’ve got the design right, and because, being in school, I don’t have a lot of $$ to spare.

I will have to build this in phases, so each completed section will need to stand on it’s own for some time. I want to start with the mobile base, followed quickly by main cabinet upon which the saw rests. Later, I will add more cabinets for storage and an integrated router table on the right. A cabinet on the left of the main cabinet is something I’d like but am not quite sure yet. Later, I want a short, fixed out-feed table (maybe 12-14”) integrated into the whole contraption. (I plan to use another workbench for long out-feed support when necessary, thus, no flip-down support needed.) A few spanners in the works, however; I need it to be able to come apart in some fashion as I am a renter and will probably have to move it a couple of times before my wife and I can buy a house (still have to finish school!). Also, the way the saw sits in my (rented) garage now I don’t have access to the right side of the table, hence, putting a router there would be useless now. I want to put a router in the left extension wing for the moment. This build will come after the main cabinet build.

I’ve included some pics of the SketchUp drawing here. This has gone through many iterations! I spent (too much) time creating a SketchUp rendering of the saw itself to help with proportions, and because I think SketchUp is fun. As you can see, I didn’t render the motor, and I don’t think I will as I think at my current skill level it will take too much time and I can get most of what I need with what I’ve done so far.

Here’s some more views of the SketchUp rendering:

From the left:

Looking underneath at the base. It is a torsion box with skins on top and bottom.

And the base without the bottom skin to see the ribs:

And a view of the back:

I’m not sure how to post the SketchUp file itself here, which I’d be willing to do. If someone knows of a way to do that, please instruct me. I’m willing to simply send the file to anyone who’s interested.

Here’s some explanations of the design.

1) I made the mobile base deeper (from from front to back) than others have. The stock base is 27” deep. I don’t think others have made their bases that deep. I figured SawStop had some reason to make the base that deep and I’m gonna go with that. My base is actually 28” deep. It’s also longer, extending to the left of the saw. I did this to accommodate a future cabinet on that side.

2) I decided to put a skin on both sides of the torsion box. I know others have not done that, but I’ve never seen a torsion box with only one skin before. I figure it will be stronger with two. I’m also using 3” wide ¾ ply for the ribs. This makes materials easy: just cutting everything from ply. I do worry about the weight, however. As I mentioned before, I will have to move this probably a few times before it finds it’s final resting (working) place. While I plan to take the whole contraption apart in pieces, this base may still be fairly heavy. I do tend to overbuild: would rather have it too strong than not strong enough. I thought perhaps I could go with ½” ply for the whole base, which may still be strong enough (save a few bucks, too).

3) I put an extra layer of ply where the casters attach to the base. Not sure if this is necessary (I don’t think anyone else did that) but again, my tendency to err on building strong leads me to this. Maybe that’s too much, though.

Here’s some questions I pose to the LJ community, especially those who have attempted this build (i.e. zzzzdoc, tedh66, Jeremey Greiner: you out there?):

1) Should I bolt the saw to the cabinet? I’m not sure any of you guys did, as a couple of you related experiences of the saw tipping to the right. You guys have 52” rails though – mine are 36”. I prefer the idea of bolting the saw to the cabinet as that is where the stress will be when moving the beast around.

2) What are the dimensions of the opening underneath the saw? I, like you, want to make sure that the cabinet does not get in the way of tilting the saw.

3) Dust collection: here, I have a problem. I don’t have a dust collector. I have a shop-vac with cyclone attached (you can see it here. Not sure if that would even be worth trying to hook up. In the (distant) future I plan to buy a “real” dust collector (Oneida class, 6” ducts), so I want to plan that into the design of the cabinet. In the meantime, I need a stop-gap solution. Did any of you hook up the dust collection to the dust shroud? Or did you just close up the box and hook the collector hose to that?

4) Should I make the mobile base out of ½” ply?

5) What things do you like about your design and what would you change?

This build is going to take some time, but hopefully you guys can send me your input. I figure I’ve only got one chance to build this; I don’t think I’ll want to go through the time and money to build it again. And if I get it right, it will be with me for a long time!

Thanks for looking, and I’m looking forward to anyone’s input!

-Spencer



30 comments so far

View zzzzdoc's profile

zzzzdoc

506 posts in 1589 days


#1 posted 231 days ago

Welcome aboard Tedth66 flight 1245. This is zzzzdoc, your copilot. LOL.

Looking at this quickly. I’ll be more than happy to help. I’m sure Ted will chime in as well.

1.) I would stick with 3/4” ply for the base. This thing is darn heavy. Even with a torsion box design. Extra strength not a bad thing. Also, only use 4 casters, not 6 like I did. Ted had that one right. More is less on my part there.

2.) Put on the biggest casters possible. Both Ted and I would have changed that and put on larger casters if we rebuilt ours. Big casters made out of a material that doesn’t flat spot. Mandatory!!!!!!! Had to change a tire on one of mine. Not fun.

3.) It will prove very difficult, if not impossible to bolt the saw to the cabinet. Ted didn’t. I spent a long time trying to figure out how to do it. It’s totally unnecessary.

4.) I hooked up dust collection to the dust shroud when I first purchased the SawStop – before building the cabinet. Not wonderful. Like all contractor’s saws. I made provisions for 6” ducting on mine. I’d make sure you have that capability in the future. Also, highly suggest using the dust collection for the blade guard. That catches a huge amount of dust. Even with my 5HP cyclone, I’m constantly vacuuming around it. I use my Festool shop vac connected to the blade guard, and that helps tremendously.

5.) I think my blog has exact dimensions for under the saw. The issue I have is with the tilting table hitting the outfeed table. I built mine made of two 3/4” plys glued together for the outfeed table. Don’t do that – it interferes with the tilting saw motor. I’m now rebuilding my outfeed table to add a ton more storage and a Flatmaster drum sander. Shameless plug for my blog. It will have 3/4” ply top, and I may shorten the pulley to lower the motor a bit.

6.) Think hard about dust collection for the router table portion also. Ted and I picked different solutions. Both work for us, but in very different ways. I incorporated the Incra LS positioner router fence. I think, if I remember correctly, Ted made an elegant homemade solution that suctions from below.

7.) And most importantly. If you are building this in stages, you need to take into account that the saw will want to fall down to the right with the right side of the table not supported. As you have it drawn right now, THE SAW WILL FALL OVER, POTENTIALLY CAUSING GREAT HARM TO YOU AND YOUR SAW!!!!! Let’s just say that Ted and I both learned this lesson, narrowly diverting disaster. You must build support under the right portion of the table (where the router would be) until you build the cabinets under them to support them. The moment arm to the right is huge, and the saw knows it.

8.) If you have room, and I had room to do this over again (my shop can’t do this spatially), I would build the router table to the left of the saw, and use an Incra LS-TS combination table saw / router fence. That would be awesome, but wouldn’t work in my shop.

Anyway, hope this helps Spencer. I’ll keep an eye on the blog. Take a gander at my new outfeed table blog as you will have to deal with an outfeed table soon too (I just laminated the top and cut the miter tracks, just haven’t posted it yet. Supports and drawers next.

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

View tedth66's profile

tedth66

458 posts in 1776 days


#2 posted 230 days ago

Hello Spencer,

Everything zzzzdoc has mentioned above is very accurate and brings back memories of my build.

Zzzzdoc stressed the selection of the casters and I’d like to add to that…. I’d go with 6” casters with a 2” wide FLAT tread. I say that because I’ve changed my casters once before to make the beast easier to move and I was only able to make it slightly better.

I purchased some 6” – 2”wide flat tread casters but in order to use them on my tablesaw cabinet, this will require a rebuild of the base. I intend to do that very soon.

On my saw cabinet refresh …

1) Ply for sure

2) mentioned above

3) I used a forstner bit and drilled into the 1.5” thick top only the depth 4 fully seated rubber feet on the SawStop.

4) This is probably the most challenging part of the design. The chute that hangs out of the bottom of the saw is very difficult to design around. You have to consider the different angle settings. I even thought about removing or cutting this big plastic chute and might do that on my redesign.

5) zzzzdoc’s blog covers the entire build very well.

6) my rebuild will remove the router portion off of the table in an effort to lighten the cabinet. I have PVC tile on my garage floor so lightening up the cabinet is my number one goal. I too have the Incra LS positioner router fence and it gets in the way far too much so separating the router table and tablesaw will solve two big issues, I hope.

7) yes.. be careful

Good luck Spencer. please do check-out Zzzzdoc’s blog.

-- Ted

View Spencer's profile

Spencer

30 posts in 641 days


#3 posted 229 days ago

Thanks so much for your input guys! I will adjust my design according to your suggestions. I’ve got a couple of questions from what you said.

Zzzzdoc: I’ll go search your blog for those dimensions for under the saw. Definitely will put something over on the right side to keep it from tilting. I paid too much of my limited income for this saw to see any damage. And I’ve been looking at your blog of the drum sander already! Looking forward to see your solutions for that.

Tedth66: Do you think 5” casters would work? I want to leave as much room for cabinet space as I can. That’s why I was planning on 4” casters, and 6” would take 2” off that. Maybe I’m being to fussy. . . in the end any cabinet space is more than I will have had before!

Do you guys have any idea what the final weight of your cabinet, including the saw, is? I’d be interested to know.

Again, thanks! I appreciate your support. You are the experts on this for the SawStop Contractor Saw! Maybe I’ll finish this sometime in the next year. Depends on how much homework I have. . .

-Spencer

View tedth66's profile

tedth66

458 posts in 1776 days


#4 posted 229 days ago

Hello Spencer
I think if you use 5”, 2” FLAT treaded casters, you’ll be fine. I’m going with the 6” version mainly because of my PVC tile floor that I have.

I suspect my cabinet weighs somewhere around 500-600lbs.

Good luck Spencer. It’s a lot of work, but well worth it. :)

-- Ted

View zzzzdoc's profile

zzzzdoc

506 posts in 1589 days


#5 posted 229 days ago

I was thinking more like 700-800 lbs, but I have tons of heavy stuff stored in it, cast iron router table, etc. Total WAG, though.

It certainly doesn’t like to be moved. Bigger casters would make that easier.

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

View tedth66's profile

tedth66

458 posts in 1776 days


#6 posted 228 days ago

i think you’re right zzzzdoc. i was thinking about the initial build without anything stored in the cabinet and without the cast iron router table and extras.

-- Ted

View zzzzdoc's profile

zzzzdoc

506 posts in 1589 days


#7 posted 209 days ago

Spencer:

How do you get the plywood texture in SketchUp?

I didn’t notice it in the standard textures, and it would be more accurate for my present project.

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

View Spencer's profile

Spencer

30 posts in 641 days


#8 posted 207 days ago

zzzzdoc,

Sorry for the delayed response. There is a whole universe of Sketchup textures, even an entire website dedicated to them: www.sketchuptextures.com. I googled “add texture to Sketchup” to find out how to add them. Basically, you have to download the texture, then go to the “Materials” browser and add it. I’m on a Mac, so in my materials browser I click the drop down box “Color” and select “New texture,” then navigate to where I saved the file. I’m sure it’s something similar on Windows.

Here’s the texture I used:

How’s the project coming?

View zzzzdoc's profile

zzzzdoc

506 posts in 1589 days


#9 posted 207 days ago

Thanks, Spencer.

Been hugely busy at work. But in the scant free time I’ve had, I’ve basically completed the carcass and installed the Flatmaster. Built two drawers. I’ll force myself to post details to the blog later.

Have you started building yet?

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

View Sk1pp3r's profile

Sk1pp3r

56 posts in 359 days


#10 posted 199 days ago

This looks awesome! I got a sawstop for Christmas so I’m planning on building one also. Thanks for the info!

View rance's profile

rance

4125 posts in 1746 days


#11 posted 199 days ago

Looks well planned. My very quick(not necessasarilly thought out) bservations:

1) Yes, bolt it down, but I defer to others with actual experience. Mine is only conjecture. At least add a supporting leg on the right.

2) Go to a dealer and measure it.

3) Small DC & Separator could go under the right wing where you are planning a future cabinet.

4) Base: 3/4 on the top and 1/2(or even 3/8) of good baltic birch on the bottom would be sufficient. 3/4” ribs.

5) Don’t have all 4 casters swiveling. Have both on one end fixed, the other two swiveling.
Loose about 2/3 of the torsion box ribs(lenghtwise) and add 5 drawers on each side.
Consider bringing the casters inward one section of the torsion box to get a smaller turning radius. No drawer room lost in doing this. This is not an easy design change, but could be done. I could mock this up in SU if not clear.
You have lots of doubled-up plywood on the cabinet part. I truely believe 1 layer of 3/4 alone would be more than sufficient.

Comment from others to move the router to the left wing has some merit if you are going with an LS positioner.

Edit: Very well done on your SU rendering btw.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View zzzzdoc's profile

zzzzdoc

506 posts in 1589 days


#12 posted 199 days ago

No way to lock the casters if they are moved in, though.

As we discussed earlier, no question you need support on the right. Gravity is not just a good idea, it’s the law.

Rance, I always wondered what the advantage of having two non-swiveling casters is. Could you tell me? It’s one of those things I’ve never gotten. You see it all the time, I just don’t get it.

BTW, Spencer, I just added your plywood texture to mine. Haven’t posted it yet. I have a few design changes I need to put in first. I’m still pretty slow with Sketchup Pro.

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

View Sk1pp3r's profile

Sk1pp3r

56 posts in 359 days


#13 posted 198 days ago

It looks like the consensus is plywood vs mdf correct? I might use mdf for the drawer fronts but I am thinking of going with ply on the base and frame.
Zzzzdoc, I am really new but I would imagine if the castors underneath the saw on the left side were unable to swivel and the ones one the right, like you have under your router table,could swivel then this setup would be better for pushing the wood through. The mobile base wouldn’t roll in the direction you push the wood.
Although working in medicine and helping transport patients to the OR, the beds have locks for all wheels, or just the foot wheels and it makes it easier for one person to move the bed and steer rather than it rolling all over the place.
In all honesty, I’ll probably be putting all swivel on my base :)

View zzzzdoc's profile

zzzzdoc

506 posts in 1589 days


#14 posted 198 days ago

Having just finished the drawer fronts on my extension table (and finding one warped badly and needing replacement), plus not being totally happy with the edges, I think I prefer MDF for the drawer fronts IF THEY ARE PAINTED and GLUED ON.

With locking casters, the base shouldn’t move when locked. Mine sure don’t. Pretty good locks.

What do you do in the OR? I think you can figure out my profession by my name.

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

View Sk1pp3r's profile

Sk1pp3r

56 posts in 359 days


#15 posted 198 days ago

I figured as much with the casters which is why I am planning for the locking swivel ones.

I might try plywood drawer fronts depending on what wood I have on hand. I’ll just wood fill the edges and paint. I’ll have to see after I finish the sketchup. Does anybody have a sketchup file they worked from or did you measure as you went along?

I am an orthopedic PA in Nashville. I never put two and two together but think I have it figured out after your comment. My friend had a shirt that said, “Sleep better with an Anesthesiologist”. haha, sounds like a good pickup line.

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