combined table saw router table or seperate units

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Forum topic by John_G posted 10-23-2013 12:40 PM 3163 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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165 posts in 2659 days

10-23-2013 12:40 PM

Hey everyone, so i have a question regarding my shop and i figure what better people to ask than my fellow jock and jockettes. I currently have a craftsman professional table saw model 137.218301 (for anyone that reall wants to look it up). I will very shortly be purchasing a Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP router. I definetly plan on some sort of router table for this baby. My questions is this, do i create a mobil workstation for the tablesaw and router, basically utilizing the same table, or do i make two seperate carts, a router table and a mobile cart for the table saw. Here’s my hangup… I know that making a single one is really the best idea. But like everything it comes down to money. I can get plenty of scraps to build with from laminate, to lumber, and plywood isn’t to expensive. But to make a single cart i really need a fence that will work with both pieces of machinery. This is my problem. Should the price of a new longer fence be such a huge factor or is it worth it enough that i should just bit the bullet . Or should i make two seperate units and just make the standard wooden router table fence. Hopefully this all makes sense i tend to ramble on things like this. For what it’s worth i’ve been looking at fences and really like the ones people have made from the 80/20 material and a couple linear motion glides with locks.
Please let me know all of your opinions on this, thank everyone.

John Gray
Spencerport NY

-- John Gray

16 replies so far

View Jeff's profile


428 posts in 3162 days

#1 posted 10-23-2013 12:58 PM

I have two separate units but only because I’m space limited. I can’t have a long unit in my garage and have it portable, too. Building my router cabinet has two other advantages. It allows me to have lots of strage underneath (like pockets you can never have too many drawers) and I have a longer table than I would have if I put my router in the wing of my table saw.

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Don W

18686 posts in 2535 days

#2 posted 10-23-2013 01:09 PM

I’ve had both a seperate unit and my current setup is a router table built into the saw cabinet. I really don’t see a difference from a usability point of view.

So what you’re saying is the fence with the table saw won’t work with the routertable? Not seeing the fence I wouldn’t comment, but making another fence for the router table shouldn’t be a huge project. My saw fence will work, but I typcally use a difference fence for the router anyhow.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View bondogaposis's profile


4687 posts in 2318 days

#3 posted 10-23-2013 01:11 PM

I think having them separate is a little more convenient in use. In my shop I don’t have enough clearance on the right side of my table saw to have a router mounted there. It primarily depends on your shop layout and how you want your work to flow.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View ChuckC's profile


828 posts in 2902 days

#4 posted 10-23-2013 01:27 PM

I’ve done both and I prefer having a separate router table. Often is the case that I setup the router and/or TS and I don’t want to move it until I am done. When you have both on the TS they get in the way of each other. I have a Craftsman contractor saw and for me there’s not much room in front of the router for any sizable operation. I ended up bolting a 2×4 piece of oak to the side to help the situation but in the end I went with a separate router table.

You can make a simple router table fence with some scrap as well. My first router table was a 2×4 frame, an MDF top, and a couple of pieces of pine for the fence. It worked fine.

View John_G's profile


165 posts in 2659 days

#5 posted 10-23-2013 01:29 PM

Thanks everyone for your comments. The fence onthe table saw will not work for both Don W. The fence on the table saw is really crappy anyways. I think going with two seperate units will be a smarter idea, my shop isn’t exactly small but it’s an odd shape so i’m usually moving things around a lot. Having two seperate units will be usefull, i’ll end up having a parking lot area for my mobil units (random orbit sander, tiltop with a planer and miter saw, router table (soon), and table saw).

-- John Gray

View Don W's profile

Don W

18686 posts in 2535 days

#6 posted 10-23-2013 01:36 PM

You wrote I know that making a single one is really the best idea.

You must have had a reason behind that statement. Bondo made the best point, It primarily depends on your shop layout and how you want your work to flow.

For instance, I went to a single unit for most of the reasons the other guys like a separate unit. My single unit is big enough that I can have 2 different setups and not interfere. I really don’t have room for another table, and the space where my router table is in my cabinet saw would be wasted space most of the time if the router wasn’t there.

Another note, I have a shaper, so that comes into play in the decision as well.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View TeamTurpin's profile


85 posts in 2028 days

#7 posted 10-23-2013 01:51 PM

I’m space limited so I built a combined unit. Two separate units would have been preferred, but in my small shop, this works very well.

Details on my setup are here: My Table Saw Upgrade


View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10368 posts in 3396 days

#8 posted 10-23-2013 02:02 PM

That’s a fantastic upgrade, TT!
Some years ago, I bought a Jointech Saw Train with a built in RT for my shopsmith. The fence serves both the saw and the RT. Sometimes, this can be a PITA when operations must be switched frequently. I’ve learned to work around or just accept the situation.
If I were doing it over, I’d opt for a separate RT.

-- 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 Estley's profile


66 posts in 3751 days

#9 posted 10-23-2013 02:11 PM

I have an old Craftsman contractors saw, and the smaller of the triton routers. I went ahead and put them on the same station with the 80/20 fence. My set up is basically two cabinets, butted side by side, and place on top of a rolling plattform. It’s not finished yet, I still have to do the router side of the fence. I’ll try to send you images later…

View John_G's profile


165 posts in 2659 days

#10 posted 10-23-2013 02:14 PM

WOW these responses are very helpful. That would be great Estley to see some images.

-- John Gray

View woodenwarrior's profile


226 posts in 2162 days

#11 posted 10-23-2013 02:16 PM

I have a Rigid TS that I built into a mobile workstation. I used the open space taken up by the fence rails to build my router station and cabinet. I don’t use my TS fence as a dual fence set-up like some do. I have a seperate one for the router table. I lilke having the flexibility that two fences gives me. After work I can post photos of what I use. Maybe it will be of some assistance in your decision making process.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

View John_G's profile


165 posts in 2659 days

#12 posted 10-23-2013 02:21 PM

Thanks Woodenwarrior, i like the few people that have said using 2 fences is nice. That’s been my delima with going with a single station thinking i would have to spend some $$ on a single fence that rode the entire width of the station. Having a nice router table fence that i can just remove and hang sounds great. It also speak to above comments on setting up the table saw and router table speratley and not wanting to move either fence. This is helping very much

-- John Gray

View b2rtch's profile


4851 posts in 3016 days

#13 posted 10-23-2013 02:21 PM

These pictures are not best to show my setup.
I like my router table integrated with my table saw, it works great for me.

-- Bert

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2964 days

#14 posted 10-23-2013 02:24 PM

I have both.
My first Table saw is a Craftsman contractors saw. I built the router attachment in 1980’s. It served me well because I would move this saw from job to job. (I built and installed kitchen and bath cabinets in homes.)
The convienience of moving ONE machine was what I wanted. Two years ago I found an old cast table saw that had a jointer on the same base, I built a router attachment for hat one as well. PORTABILITY, 3 machines in one.
Down side is, you have to plan ahead abit, sometimes I need to recut lumber, I then have to move router fence again.
My router table cabinet was bought as complete unit from auction sale, I do use it. Just not as much. Its always covered with short pieces of lumber. Guess I use it as storage more than use.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Don W's profile

Don W

18686 posts in 2535 days

#15 posted 10-23-2013 03:26 PM

What I’ve thought about doing someday (tou know, the someday the usually never comes) is make mine both. I would build a router table on casters that will slide in between the rails of my table saw.

So the butcher block top you see on the right would be movable.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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