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TS Router Table Insert with Left Tilt/Left Motor (Incra)

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Forum topic by DavidNJ posted 12-16-2012 08:05 PM 11248 views 2 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DavidNJ

389 posts in 1460 days


12-16-2012 08:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: incra router ts-ls

There are a variety of Router Table Inserts available. Many are cast iron and can replace either the left or right wing. For a typical contractor saw that isn’t a problem. They bolt to the center table section in the same manner as a wing. For a hybrid or cabinet saw, that can require a right side mounting which blocks front access.

Incra offers a rail-mounted laminated MDF router table that can be mounted to the right of the right wing on longer rails or replace the left wing where there is room for the router. Incra sells a router fence that mounts on their table saw fence and takes advantage of its accurate positioning.

Would it be possible to mount it to the left of the left wing? Incra’s long rails are 92” long, the instructions say the right side should be 65” to the right of the blade. Would the rail have to be 10-15” longer?

The goal would be to keep both cast iron wings, and have a left side router that could use the Incra fence.

Thanks,

David


17 replies so far

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Cosmicsniper

2202 posts in 2625 days


#1 posted 12-16-2012 08:11 PM

David: You can do that, but you’d be borrowing from the rip capacity of the fence.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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MJCD

483 posts in 1838 days


#2 posted 12-17-2012 01:04 AM

David:

Do the math – you want to crosscut to the center of a plywood sheet – I assume. If you are willing to do this via an off-the-TS guide system – any guide system, then you don’t need your TS to do this – decisions, decisions.

MJCD

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

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DavidNJ

389 posts in 1460 days


#3 posted 12-17-2012 03:58 PM

Talked with Incra. Longer rails are not available. However, the fence can be placed in the opposite direction. If desired, the router table could be mounted on the right end of the rails and the fence accessed from the rear of the saw.

They also suggested that a dedicated router table with its own Incra fence would be $300 more (plus shipping) than the router table and fence added to the table saw. Other than space used, they thought that would be more convenient and practical. Do you agree (and why)?

Thanks,

David

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MJCD

483 posts in 1838 days


#4 posted 12-17-2012 06:36 PM

Yes:

I’ve gone through this discussion with Incra – Mark Mueller. His perspective is that for the additional funds, you get free & clear, full-time access to the RT; rather than it being tacked-onto a busy table saw. He’s correct, of course – and he’s thinking of your functionality, not an extra $300 for Incra. The question I faced was – do I have room for the physical & grey-space which a stand-alone, Incra-based RT requires? That is, the Incra design requires space to the right of the Positioner-base; how much depends on the size of the Positioner; then you have the RT footprint, itself. This was not an easy ‘give’ in my shop. I opted for the standalone RT.

The LHS mounting, and reversing the attack on the RT, relative to the TS, was attractive to me – it served my ‘creative solutions’ need. However, I found that as I became a serious woodworker, the RT/TS combo was something to leave behind – which is Mark’s point (just to close the circle on that one).
MJCD

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

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DavidNJ

389 posts in 1460 days


#5 posted 12-18-2012 01:37 AM

I’m not that convinced. Space is tight…and I’m beginning to think it might be nice to have a magnetic router table for the same reason as having a magnetic table saw table (e.g. magnetic cast iron vs. non-magnetic granite). That wouldn’t allow an Incra standalone router table solution.

General has a cast iron router table top that could be used. It is not widely advertised, #40-070 │ Cast-iron table 16” x 27”. It is used in one of their router tables. It could also use there dust collection cablnet.


At least one person has added it as left side table: Installing a Cast Iron Router Wing in my Ridgid TS3650.

If I got the SawStop contractor saw…not a problem. The saw comes with stamped steel wings. However, If I have the PCS I think I might prefer it as an extension table to the right of the right wing.

It always leaves an option for a dedicated router table latter, if the projects and time spend require it.

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MJCD

483 posts in 1838 days


#6 posted 12-18-2012 03:09 AM

I like the idea of the General (that is, the Cast Iron Table), as well as installing some type of slider. Becomes a question of cost, perhaps. There are 4 or 5 cast iron/alum tables out there. Having recently put the money into other tools, I was compelled to re-service my Incra TS-based router table for stand alone duties.

You may want to consider the General table with a JessEm lift and Kreg router fence – this would be a very functional solution.
MJCD

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

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Peteyb

131 posts in 2022 days


#7 posted 12-18-2012 04:24 PM

David,

Be careful with that General Cast iron router wing. I am trying to get my second one. I have a woodpecker sidwinder and the router plate will not fit. I am waiting for General to make another batch and supposedly I will be able to use my woodpecker sidewinder. The problem is that they are not supposed to send out the second batch or receive them till the new year. I am on hold with my project because of this. If you are wanting to see pictures of it I have them on my blog.

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MJCD

483 posts in 1838 days


#8 posted 12-18-2012 08:30 PM

Peteyb:

Thanks for coming into this; owner comments sure cut through the theory and marketing.

I’m not in-market at this point – regarding a metal table and slider, but I’m always on the lookout. My latest project (Jatoba Outdoor Bench) took a nasty toll on my RT – table.
MJCD

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

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SCOTSMAN

5839 posts in 3052 days


#9 posted 12-18-2012 08:37 PM

Those cast iron router tops are beautiful wish I owned one. Where can you buy them? Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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DavidNJ

389 posts in 1460 days


#10 posted 12-18-2012 08:41 PM

Petey, I read the blog, not quite sure why the Sidewinder didn’t fit. However, your cabinet makes an excellent argument for a contractor saw, Doesn’t it?

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Bill White

4457 posts in 3427 days


#11 posted 12-18-2012 09:10 PM

Not a hijack, but I’ve battled (in my mind) with the value of the TS extension vs: the existing free-standing router. Would like to hear more about the value of the extension other than saving floor space.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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MJCD

483 posts in 1838 days


#12 posted 12-19-2012 01:22 AM

Bill:

The one solid advantage to the TS-Extension is the additional support when routing end-grain (tenons, for example) – my most recent project would have benefited from this; though, I doubt there’s much call for this. Also, if you can use the existing TS stand and stability, you don’t need to purchase or build (pay for the wood) a standalone table. Certainly, part of the soft-cost is conversion time between the two functions, if you’re using the wing – thinking dust collection, router fence vs. TS fence.

I used a combo for a decade; made the decision to go separates; and have somewhat satisfied with the results – it’s not a game-changer for me.
MJCD

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

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DavidNJ

389 posts in 1460 days


#13 posted 12-19-2012 02:23 AM

My reasons are simple: floor space and re-use of the Incra fence core. My basement shop has to share space with my gym, golf club assembly area, and storage for bicycles, golfing equipment, and lots of household stuff. Space is/will be consumed with the table saw, dust collector, and existing drill press, belt sander, etc.

Not having a router table I don’t know if my analysis is correct. However, putting it on the TS always gives the option of adding a router table.

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Peteyb

131 posts in 2022 days


#14 posted 12-19-2012 04:26 PM

DavidNJ I am building my table saw and router table mobile for the similar reasons. I have found out with more research that each company is a little different on their own measurements but will still say that the router plate is 9 1/4” x 11 3/4”. I found out that there are only two companies that make a cast iron router top with an opening of 9 1/4” x 11 3/4. They are General and Peach Tree, they are woodworking store out of Atlanta. I learned about General and there cast iron from my local Woodcraft store. He said it was a new product that he had seen at a show with them. I have talked to a very nice man at General and he had asked me about what I was doing with it as they had planned on the cast iron top not to be with the table saw extension. I told him what I was doing and said that they have been getting a lot of woodworkers doing what I am doing. He also asked how I was going to use my Incra 25 LS super system. My plans are since I have made my right extension and don’t have cast iron I will be able to use the system both with the router table and with the table saw. When using the table saw I will just take the bolts out and turn it around and will be be about ready to go. That way I can cut precision pieces for cutting boards and other similar smaller pieces of wood.

Scotsman, If you are looking for the 9 1/4” x 11 3/4” openings you can find them at General part number (#40-070) or order them through woodcraft but I did this at the store as I can’t find it online. The second place is Peach Tree here is the website http://www.ptreeusa.com/routerTables.htm

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Cosmicsniper

2202 posts in 2625 days


#15 posted 12-19-2012 05:34 PM

@David – I have a Bench Dog Cast Iron Extension wing on the left-side of my right-tilting Unisaw. Several thoughts on this…

- Left-tilting cabinet saws will have a large motor cover preventing some left-side mounting. You know this. So, to use the left side you will need the ability to mount the extension to the table saw rails. Again, you know this. However, for a cast iron extension, I would affix to the TS table itself. You will need to remove the existing wing to do this, IMO. You gain space with the large extension because it’s larger than the wing you remove; however, you might not gain enough to make left-side usage a possibility.

- The Bench Dog wing is awesome. But its router plate size is non-standard, so you need to plan for the plate and/or router lift accordingly. For example, I originally wanted the Incra version of the PRLv2 lift, but they did not make it in the Bench Dog size…so I had to buy the Woodpeckers version of the PRLv2 lift, which has that as an option.

- If you hang a big 3+ hp router from it, like I did with my Milwaukee 5625, I’d be carefully with phenolic MDF table extensions to make sure they are thick enough to support the weight (particularly if you use a router enclosure as well).

- Regarding router enclosures, I have a Rockler version pretty much identical to the Excalibur you posted above. This requires even MORE room. For me, it still works on the left-side; however, I had to remove the handle from my bevel adjustment wheel on the TS to make it work. That adjustment still works, but I have to spin the wheel at its edge…somewhat of a pain, yes, but I don’t have to make that adjustment all that often.

- As for actual real-world issues with the all-in-one setup…

- It’s great. If you started with a stand-alone table, you’d likely never add a wing, Incra fence, and router to the table saw. That’d be unfortunate because adding a wing to the TS increases the TS work-space, the Incra TS increases productivity and accuracy 10-fold, and the router gives secondary capabilities to a stand-alone system. You can always add the stand-alone system later…but if you start with it, you might not be inclined to buy the Incra TS-LS fence (which is the best tool in my shop).

- On the left-side, I do have to unlock and slide the carriage down (there are stops for this), add the Wonderfence, and re-zero everything when I goto router-mode. But I find that to be no big deal and it’s done very quickly.

- In the event you need a right-wing system, you won’t have to move the TSLS carriage to goto router mode, which is great. It also gives more table space for end-grain router cuts. However, you might not have enough room with the carriage on the right side, especially if you have the 32” system with a Wonderfence. You can buy some room with the rails, by mounting the rails further down on the right-side and robbing from the left-side. This gives my 32” system an actual 34” rip capacity…so that’s cool (I’m trading bevel capacity with my setup).

- You can also use an extreme right-side setup, where the router table is mounted between the far right rails, supported by the Incra legs. Then, you’d unlock the entire Incra carriage, flip it backwards (it comes with extra stops for this), and then use the router at the far right side. For my setup, I flip the fence when in TS bevel mode because of my right-tilting Unisaw. That’s a little inconvenient (and I can only bevel about 14” boards in that way), but I don’t do that often and, honestly, anything bigger than that and I just make the bevels in the normal fence position (lots of room to push big boards through there without kick-back concerns).

- Having a router lift with digitals also helps because then you won’t mind dropping the router if you need to use the table saw in between. There are even ways you’ll learn to work around that deficiency, such as slotting a TS sled to accommodate raised router bits and using the TS with the TSLS in router mode (carriage position and Wonderfence).

Whether you lack the space for a stand-alone system or not, I just don’t see why people wouldn’t STILL have a table saw workstation with a router wing extension, router, and Incra TSLS system. It’s the ultimate table saw system, IMHO, even if you don’t use the router that much. To me, the power of the system is what the Incra TSLS does as a table saw fence…the router part of it is just a bonus.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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