Advice on router wing for TS compared to dedicated table

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Forum topic by Mike_D_S posted 11-21-2012 01:54 AM 9686 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mike_D_S's profile


491 posts in 2390 days

11-21-2012 01:54 AM

I’m currently using a dedicated router table (Jessem Mast-R-Lift Excel phenolic table with PC 7518) but due to space constraints in my shop (half a 2 car garage and not even the good half) I’m thinking about moving to a router extension wing for my TS (Steel City cabinet saw).

Things which I really like about the Jessem table:
1. Size. It’s a good size and I use it for double duty as an assembly table for smaller stuff since I don’t have a good bench.
2. Portable – It’s not super easy to move around, but it can be moved a bit to work on larger items.
3. The phenolic top slides easy with minimal maintenance.
4. Fairly good dust collection, especially when using the fence.

Things I don’t like about the Jessem table:
1. Big footprint, basically takes up 3×3 ft.

Obviously there are going to be some trade offs (portability for instance) but i’d like to get some input on pros and cons for the router table saw extension wing compared to a free standing table. Also recommendations on particular extension wing/lift combos you like would be appreciated.

As a follow on question, if I decide to pull the plug, any thoughts on fair value of the Jessem phenolic Mast-R-Lift Excel (table/lift combo), Jessem fence, Wixey digital read out and stand?


-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

14 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2753 days

#1 posted 11-21-2012 02:15 AM

I have less than a one car garage and I have a stand alone table and wouldn’t have it any other way.
I just use my router table too much to share it with a tablesaw and have to change setups one way or the other (lowering the bit to cut a piece of wood). I’m actually adding a shop built router table wing to the left side of the table for common operations like roundovers and flush trimming.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View duosonicdave's profile


42 posts in 3332 days

#2 posted 11-21-2012 02:38 AM

Mike – I too have a very small shop. I added the Bench Dog Cast Iron extension from Rockler along with their lift mechanism and I personally love it. It’s well made and very solid. The few times that I need the extra table space are few and far between since I do most of my crosscutting on a RAS. Anyway, that my .02 worth. It’s been a great addition to my 1954 Delta Unisaw!

View knotscott's profile


8140 posts in 3551 days

#3 posted 11-21-2012 02:57 AM

No room for a separate RT in my shop either. Putting it in the TS is a good space saver that I think is a very reasonable compromise. I put a rolling cabinet right under neath it for storage, and use the other side of my TS fence for a router fence. There are definitely some cons, but its a great space saver.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View TeamTurpin's profile


85 posts in 2237 days

#4 posted 11-21-2012 03:13 AM

I start building my TS router extension tomorrow. That’s my Thanksgiving weekend project.

Now, if I can just decide whether to put it on the right or the left.


View a1Jim's profile


117276 posts in 3753 days

#5 posted 11-21-2012 03:18 AM

I have both a free standing router table and one on my table saw. I think if I had give up one it would be the router on my table saw ,the main reasons are that I don’t like tying up my table saw up and the fence on the table saw is the only way to use the router on the table saws side extension. If it works in your budget I would say add the router to your extension before your sell your free standing router table so you can see how you like the router on your table saw.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View DIYaholic's profile


19667 posts in 2851 days

#6 posted 11-21-2012 04:14 AM

I think a1Jim hit the nail on the head.

For your follow up question: No value, I’ll happily dispose of it for you. I won’t even charge a disposal fee!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3334 days

#7 posted 11-21-2012 04:46 AM

I have a Benchdog wing on the left side of my right-tilting Unisaw. Equipped with a PRLv2 lift, Milwaukee 5625 router, Wixey digitals, and Rockler enclosure. This combination just can’t be beat, IMO.

For small shop owners, it’s a logical choice. But the side benefit is that the extra TS space created with the wing works in favor of both the TS and the router. I use an Incra TSLS fence to service both the TS and the router, so it’s a wonderful synergy of usefulness.

The only downside is when you need to use the tablesaw, but you don’t want to reset the router position when doing so; however, for me, the repeatability of the setup with the digitals and the Incra setup makes this less of an issue. It is a minor annoyance, however.

Even so, it’s hard to beat.

-- jay,

View pintodeluxe's profile


5784 posts in 2989 days

#8 posted 11-21-2012 05:29 AM


-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View newwoodbutcher's profile


776 posts in 3026 days

#9 posted 11-21-2012 05:42 AM

I’m in an over sized and dedicated two car garage. I’ve always had my router table as a right wing on my TS, at first on my contractor saw (on a base) and now on my Grizzly 691 with the router table on the right side, somebody’s MDF and laminated Formica sort of skin around it, and the big Triton router. The only improvement I would make at this point ( and it really wouldn’t matter much except for the cool factor) is an above the table raiser and a cast iron table with tracks in perpendicular lines, again right side mounted. I see no reason to take the extra footprint (unless space is not an issue) for a separate table. The TS top is way bigger than I will ever need for a router job. There are any number of fence configurations etc. etc. but for my money I’ll use that footprint for another tool (wide belt sander?)

-- Ken

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2286 days

#10 posted 11-21-2012 03:08 PM

I have both a free standing router table and a router mounted on the right side of my table saw. The free standing router table works as the outfeed table for the table saw. The table saw uses the Incra LS-TS fence.

Each has its advantages and disadvantages. The common disadvantage is that I have a router setup that I must preserve and I need the table saw. The design of the LS-TS fence and table saw router table mean that the router bit and the fence occupy the same space. Therefore I must lower the router bit to use the table saw fence with the saw. Similarly, with a setup on the router / saw outfeed table if I need to rip something long I can’t use the outfeed table.

In a large shop (and I am hoping for one) I would have two (or more) free standing router tables and an outfeed table for the saw. But, until I can afford a 3,000 foot shop I have to live with the compromises.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View Mike_D_S's profile


491 posts in 2390 days

#11 posted 11-21-2012 04:08 PM

I see several discussions about right wing mounts. On my steel city TS its left tilt and I hardly ever work (basically never) on the left side of the blade. I’m thinking I could dismount the left wing and replace it with the RT wing and not really lose any functionality on the TS and the fence wouldn’t be an issue. This link below shows a saw similar to mine in layout, though mine’s an older version.

I’m a one man fixit shop at my house, so in addition to the wood working tools I also have two big rolling chests of other tools/auto repair stuff plus a couple of shelves full of assorted other home maintenance/repair items. So while it sounds silly, the 9 sq ft of floor space the RT takes up is pretty impactful. With the thousands of dollars I’ve saved myself over the years on car repair and house repair doing it DIY, those items have definitely earned their place.

There’s a lot of good input above, I guess a lot depends on what type of work you are doing.

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10985 posts in 3604 days

#12 posted 11-21-2012 05:51 PM

Mine is an extension to the Shopsmith on the right side. A 7518 in a Jessem RLP. The way it’s set up, I use the same fence for both ripping and routing.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Randy Woodworker's profile

Randy Woodworker

68 posts in 2505 days

#13 posted 11-21-2012 08:54 PM

I have always had mine on the RHS with a separate fence. I have seldom needed to disturb a router setup to make room for a wide cut on the table saw.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3090 days

#14 posted 11-21-2012 09:08 PM

I use the Grizzly cast iron router extension wing. Here is mine. I use a Triton router with its own lifting mechanism. Not cheap but I love it:

Price: $399.95
Freight: $49.00
Your Price:
* $448.95
In Stock

Precision-ground cast iron table
Unique “double cross” 3/4” x 3/8” T-slots
Accepts most brands of portable routers
27” width fits most table saws
Aircraft grade extruded aluminum fence
Two large aluminum lock handles
Equipped with a starting pin
Includes an adjustable support post

Table size: 27” W x 20” D
Table T-slots 3/4” x 3/4”
Fence size (x 2): 12-1/2” x 2-3/4” x 5/8”
Table insert size: 4”
Dust port size: 2-1/2”

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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