Adding an Incra router setup to a new tablesaw?

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Forum topic by Jonathan posted 02-04-2011 09:41 PM 6986 views 1 time favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3050 days

02-04-2011 09:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: incra sawstop tablesaw router extension

I will be purchasing a new tablesaw sometime within the next month. I will be purchasing the SawStop Professional 3HP model. I was originally thinking about the 36”-size, as I have a fairly small basement shop. I started thinking about it last night and was wondering if the 52”-model might be the way to go, if I can build a router table into the extension, between the rails? More specifically, it would be to accomodate the 24” Incra Jig Ultra, WonderFence, etc. which is a bit larger and bulkier than a normal router extension wing setup.

I have also thought about building a standalone router table, but again, space is pretty tight, especially for a standalone table for the entire Incra setup. I also eventually adding a router lift.

Has anyone done this particular modification to a 52” SawStop?

I’d like to politely ask that this discussion be about the possibility of adding the mentioned Incra setup to the 52” SawStop, rather than this being another endless SawStop debate.

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

28 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3074 days

#1 posted 02-04-2011 09:54 PM

I already have my table saw (a Jet) and I am going through the, sort of, same debate with myself: a stand alone router or an extension on my table saw.

I insist on using a router lift and that means that I, essentially, have to rig up my own way to connect the router table to the table saw. I’m leaning towards a table saw extension, but I will be monitoring what others say on this topic.

May I respectfully suggest that if you do not want to this to be a discussion about SawStop, you should have never mentioned that you own a SawStop. The brand of your saw is not germane to the issue raised.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Todd Clare's profile

Todd Clare

67 posts in 2985 days

#2 posted 02-04-2011 10:25 PM

Hey Jonathan,

As you know I’ve got a router table that’s pretty swanky. I would agree that the lift is pretty much essential, but the super expensive fences and table surfaces? Likely not. Mine adjusts, can become an edge jointer with offset fences, etc. but the same can be accomplished with some slightly different thicknesses of MDF against a big, jointed block of MDF (my experience in the shop at Red Rocks, met 99% of my needs)

if you can work the lift into the saw-side solution, I say go for it.

-- Todd (Denver, CO -- Highlands)

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3050 days

#3 posted 02-04-2011 11:05 PM

Rich, I briefly mentioned that it is a SawStop (within the body of the question, not in the title) in case anyone had done this to a SawStop and had any specific pointers for the exact saw, on the off-chance that someone has encountered something I haven’t even thought of yet. I was basically trying to be proactive all the way around, not cause ripples in the water.

Todd, I thought you had seen the Incra setup, maybe not? Got it as a package deal with the bandsaw. Or were you maybe suggesting I sell it and go with a more straightforward setup?

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

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2684 days

#4 posted 02-04-2011 11:41 PM

I’m pretty new here but get a laugh about the pretty testy debate on the sawstop (personally I try to keep my fingers clear of the blade and happy to say that I still have 10 of them and happier yet to say that when I am about to do something stupid a little alarm goes off in my head at which time I hit the off switch and evaluate).

I have to agree with Rich…brand of the saw is not important. If you have the room, then I would opt for a standalone router station. If not and installing a router station on what is your primary tool in the shop doesn’t ruin the functionality of the tool (e.g. will your right table still be flat with the router totally disengaged so you get full use of the premium you paid for such a tool), then give it a go.

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3010 days

#5 posted 02-04-2011 11:59 PM

Jonathan – a router in your TS extension is a good idea regardless of your saw brand or size. You can have a perfectly great router setup in even the 36” saw.

I myself have the 36” PCS, and I stuck a router in the extension table no problem. I attached an auxiliary fence to the other side of the Sawstop fence made of MDF + laminate that does a great job.

Now, if you’re considering Incra from the get-go, then there are a few things to decide on.

First, are you wanting incremental positioning for your saw fence? If yes, then you’ll be getting the TS-LS, which is a 32” positioner. It will replace your Sawstop’s rails and fence. A Wonderfence can be attached to the TS-LS positioner, giving you a full routing setup. In this case, the same side of the fence is used for both sawing and routing, meaning that instead of being able to locate the router at the end of the extension table, the router table must be closer to the blade. This basically means removing the right cast iron wing and extension table, and replacing with a table that you made yourself or bought from Incra.

If you have designs on having an Incra router setup on your saw anyways, you might as well as add the incremental fence to your saw as well and give yourself incremental positioning on two tools instead of one. It isn’t possible for most people, but some folks manage to buy the Sawstop without the fence and rails (if their dealer will work that out for them). Add on the TS-LS + wonderfence, and you’re only a little bit over what the saw would have cost normally-equipped.

The Incra TS-LS positioner comes in two models – a 32” version (72” rails – comparable to the 36” PCS in terms of size ) and a 52” version (90-something” rails). In both cases, the positioner itself has a 32” range.

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

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3050 days

#6 posted 02-05-2011 12:11 AM

live4ever, thank you for your response. I went back and reread my original post and I did not make it clear that I already have the Incra router setup. The guy I bought it from simply attached it to some plywood that fit over his contractor’s saw top. I’ll be removing it from the plywood and either build it in to the wing of the saw, or build a standalone router station.

My original intent was to build a standalone station. Now I am just trying to figure out what direction makes the most sense. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused.

-- 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's profile


153 posts in 2972 days

#7 posted 02-05-2011 12:44 AM

I think someone on this site did what you are talking about. It stood out to me because I was thinking of doing the same thing.
Also, a recent article in FWW did the same thing only it was on the contractor model SS.
As the others have said, if you have room, you may benefit for with a stand alone setup.

View sh2005's profile


97 posts in 3236 days

#8 posted 02-05-2011 12:48 AM

I had built a stand-alone router station a while back and had gotten quite a bit of use out of it. Lately I had been thinking about adding a router extension to my R4511 saw. There are few benefits to it:
(please note that the following are based on my observations and assumptions, since I don’ have the router on the table saw yet. Others may disagree with these points):

1) Save space. My router table takes up quite a bit of space in my small work area. I had built some storage space in the table thinking I will need them in the future – I can do without those storage space.

2) i don’t know on which side it makes sense to mount the router on your table saw, but if you can mount it on the right, then you get quite a bit of table top. It helps with dealing with routing on large sheets.

3) It allows you to employ the table saw’s fence as your router fence, if you can buy or make the necessary sub-fences.

The drawback to mounting the router on the table is that while working, if you have to go back and forth between the table saw and router, then you may have to constantly change the fence settings, blade settings, etc. But a little pre-planning and organizing can avoid that. With a stand-alone router table, you can leave the settings as is. Another thing is when moving the fence, you may have to lower the blade/router bit so that the fence can pass over (unless you can lift up the fence).

If putting it on the table saw won’t take you very long and it won’t compromise the leveling of the table saw’s top surface, then you can start with that. If you find out later that a stand alone table is what you need, then you can build that. At that point you will also know exactly what you need.

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3010 days

#9 posted 02-05-2011 01:27 AM

Ah, sorry Jonathan, I misunderstood what you were trying to do. There’s no reason why what you’re suggesting wouldn’t work just fine on the 52” Sawstop. You would probably want to anchor the positioner as close to the end of the extension table as possible. The supplied extension table is just MDF skinned with slick black laminate on top, with pine reinforcements underneath. So the bottom is completely accessible…

You could probably come up with a hundred different ways of bracing the positioner, either directly (LS) or on a board (Ultra).

After that, just a matter of locating and routing a place for your plate/lift for maximum positioner range.

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

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3158 days

#10 posted 02-05-2011 01:36 AM

“May I respectfully suggest that if you do not want to this to be a discussion about SawStop, you should have never mentioned that you own a SawStop. The brand of your saw is not germane to the issue raised.”


Actually, Rich…it is germane to the issue since an Incra system requires a custom fit to that saw.

EDIT: Uh, nevermind…just read that he’s not looking at a TS-LS…so, yes, it’s NOT germane to the discussion.

-- jay,

View Loren's profile (online now)


10401 posts in 3647 days

#11 posted 02-05-2011 01:44 AM

The issue with the Incra fence (I have one) is that when you go from
using the fence for the router to using it for the saw, you have to take
apart your router setup. It’s a workflow issue because with your bit
sticking up there’s no simple way to bypass the router area and bring
the fence up for a saw cut. Sliding the fence forward (or back) on the
end of the positioner rail, moving the rail past the router bit, and
tightening up the fence again is one workaround.

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3010 days

#12 posted 02-05-2011 01:58 AM

Loren – think we all got confused. He’s not talking about the TS-LS, but rather using the saw’s fence for sawing and having the positioner on the end for routing. The only times there would be an issue using the saw is when he needed 36+” of cutting capacity. In that situation, the router bit would have to be lowered, positioner’s fence would have to be pushed back, or at worse, removed. I would imagine that with a 52” saw, many saw cuts would not require any futzing with the router setup.

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

View Bill Davis's profile

Bill Davis

226 posts in 3924 days

#13 posted 02-05-2011 02:47 AM

Can’t add much in the way of specifics but my router setup is mounted on the table extension on my TS and I find it very handy. I would not choose to separate them as I originally had them. My TS extension is 52” (love it) so router is far enough away from TS operations it is not often an issue – but sometimes it is. When it is, a bit of brainwork on what I need to do has gotten me through without undue resetups (usually). For me the advantage outweighs disadvantages. I can use my TS fence for sawing and routing and have also built an aux router fence so have at times used both at (almost) the same time. I think it is an excellent marriage in the shop. Be sure to show us a picture of the results of this investigation. Sounds like some super upgrades in the offing for your shop. In the next few months I’ll be tearing down my shop to move it back to Denver. Somewhat looking forward to that.

View jack1's profile


2107 posts in 4027 days

#14 posted 02-05-2011 03:50 AM

It’s always nice to have stand alone stations if you have the room. If you don’t, do the combo set up.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3688 days

#15 posted 02-05-2011 08:16 PM

I have a small basement shop AND a JET cabinet saw with the extended rails and built in router table with router lift.
As nice as it is , it has a BIG footprint {roughly 86” x45”} and I often mentally kick myself for not thinking ahead.You still need ample room to work safely at the saw and the router station.
Make yourself a cardboard template of the size you want your saw/router combo to be and then place it on your shop floor and ”work” around it. I have mine on a mobile base , but still don’t have enough room to do too much off the left side of my saw , and have to do a lot of rearranging at times to accommodate certain items. So in my case , If I went with the normal size cabinet saw and had built a router table on wheels, I would have had much more room to work and my set-up would have been more flexible. At the end of the day , I could have just “parked” the router table at the side of my saw anyway : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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