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Converting an old table saw into a router table

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Forum topic by Blakep posted 1355 days ago 4177 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Blakep

232 posts in 1404 days


1355 days ago

I have an old cheap table saw that has been burnt up for several years. It is a cheap skil brand I think. I would like to make a router table out of it. Has anyone ever done this or have any advice on doing this?


7 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2251 days


#1 posted 1355 days ago

I actually was considering doing the exact same thing – picking up a burnt table saw from someone that just wants to get rid of it, and using it as a base for a router table.

My thought was to use the blade raising mechanism to lift and lower the router, and just put an insert on top of the table top.

I never did get to do it as I just built a router table from scratch using things I had at hand, but I think it’s a great idea if you can make it work!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 1585 days


#2 posted 1355 days ago

Not saying it can’t be done, but might be impractical for access purposes as you would have to go around to the back for access. Depending on the model of table saw you might be cramped for space with the router. You might remove the top and mount it into a base to compensate for those problems. Just my thoughts. Although before I got my scroll saw I did convert an old bench top to mount a jig saw for a makeshift scroll saw.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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Blakep

232 posts in 1404 days


#3 posted 1355 days ago

My only concern is mounting the router to the table. How would you go about cutting it for a plate or how would you attach the router?

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2251 days


#4 posted 1355 days ago

if it’s a skil table saw, I assume the top is aluminum and can easily be cut with a metal cutting blade in a jigsaw, hacksaw, or carbide bit in a router. be careful though – those metal chips are mighty hot when cut though and can fly all over the place – protect yourself FIRST.

like I said – I dropped the idea since there it was just easier building a router table from scratch, but you’d have to take the motor off with the arbor, and see what you have to work with. depending on the blade/motor mount you’d have to figure out a way to either mount the router directly to it, or build an aux holder for the router, or take the entire thing off all together and custom build something from the ground up.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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Gregn

1642 posts in 1585 days


#5 posted 1355 days ago

You would need to make a steel mounting plate to mount the router to the top. 1/8” steel plate should be enough for a mounting plate. Mounting to the top might be tricky depending on what the top looks like from underneath. You may need to drill mounting holes through the top and countersink for the screw heads to be flush with the top.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2697 posts in 1888 days


#6 posted 1354 days ago

I did that to an old Craftsman years ago. After removing the trunnion,I took the cast iron top to a machine shop and had it milled flat underneath to accept the router. I ended up overlaying the top with a laminated top, so I lost some of the height of the router bit. At that time, there weren’t all the accessories available for router tables.

Looking back, I would do it differently. You could, with a jig saw, cut a round hole in the saw top bigger than the router. Then add a top over the saw top with a regular router plate. Then, the only advantage to the idea, is you have the base of the saw for a stand. I’m not sure it’s worth the trouble, but it will work.

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View hhhopks's profile

hhhopks

560 posts in 979 days


#7 posted 876 days ago

Makesure your table top is good to begin with.
Flat/level to personal spec.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

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