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Forum topic by Nates02gt posted 07-16-2014 11:06 PM 844 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Nates02gt

73 posts in 663 days


07-16-2014 11:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router table extension

I have been planning on building a router table extension (I started a thread about it a week or so ago) for my table saw but the more I think about it, the more I am thinking I would be better off with a stand alone table. I have already purchased a Triton router and Kreg place combo. Here is why I am leaning more towards a stand alone table:

1. TS portability. It seems like the added extension (on a Laguna Fusion TS) would decrease portability. I have to move the saw out of the corner whenever I need to use it and then move it back. Living in Vegas, it is only humane to make a way for my wife to park in the garage. =)
2. Decrease or eliminate bowing. I have been doing a bit of reading and one complaint I see again and again is the weight of the router bowing the table. I understand that this can be reduced or eliminated with a proper build. With this being my first experience with building an extension, I am a little apprehensive.

So my thought process has led me to think that it would be best to either build or buy a stand alone table and keep it in a different corner of the garage. I am leaning more towards buying one, mainly due to time constraints. I have more project orders lined up than I can keep up with and it seems it will be that way for quite some time. I know there are many differing opinions on making one vs buying one and all that. Thanks in advance for your input.

Nate


30 replies so far

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

1979 posts in 926 days


#1 posted 07-16-2014 11:23 PM

My response here is the same as your other forum question and that is to build your own table. I say this because it will probably be cheaper and you can customize to suit your needs.

This picture below is a cabinet I built around 20 years ago with an upgraded (to me) Rockler top I put on say 3 to 4 years ago. Nothing fancy, but the storage drawers hold my bits and behind the doors hold more routers and router accessories along with a dovetail jig stored on one end

There are lots of great plans for router tables. Look here and/or maybe someone will post one you like and will help with design and execution.

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1226 days


#2 posted 07-16-2014 11:23 PM

You can build a stand alone table that’s not too big. :-)
My router table is ~20” x 25” and it handles everything I throw at it.

As for bowing (or more accurately, sagging) from router weight, bracing under the table will prevent that. I used white oak for mine:

Just make sure your braces are straight, and your router table will stay flat.

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

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kdc68

1979 posts in 926 days


#3 posted 07-16-2014 11:34 PM

Nitewalkers design for a router table is rock solid. Consider his design into an extension router table for your new table saw if you don’t have the room for a stand alone router table like I posted above

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1473 posts in 2775 days


#4 posted 07-16-2014 11:37 PM

I built. If I had to do it over again I’d just buy, because some of the L-channel stiffened 1” masonite tops are probably as stiff as my laminated torsion box with 1” HDPE top, and if you count my time and the house projects I still need to get to, would cost less.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

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Nates02gt

73 posts in 663 days


#5 posted 07-17-2014 12:35 AM

kdc68/Nitewalker: The tables look great! I have a very limited lumber variety here. I am thinking if I make my own top, I would you 3/4” Laminated MDF or particle board with a 3/4” plywood sub base. I could work in braces below that. Do you have more details on how you built your table? I haven’t ventured into building anything close to furniture yet. I have mainly focused on small stuff, pens, flag boxes, scroll saw art etc.

Dan: That is exactly why I am on the fence, If I had more time, I would be all for building my own but I have a very limited amount of time between work and family and all the other ‘money making’ projects I have lined up. I can’t decide which would be more cost effective. If I had experience with cabinetry or furniture, I am sure it would be quite easy to put something together but as I stated above, I don’t and I am sure building a table would take me a solid weekend or more.

Nate

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kdc68

1979 posts in 926 days


#6 posted 07-17-2014 12:44 AM

Nate, I can’t speak for Nitewalker (hopefully he will respond with details on his design). But if you were interested with one about the size of his I’d imagine you could go to a cabinet/countertop fabricator and get a sink cutout or scrap for cheap or free. Then you could build your sub base and braces to support it from sagging

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

517 posts in 679 days


#7 posted 07-17-2014 12:57 AM

for temp purposes, could just buy a simple router table from bosch or craftsman while you figure out pro’s / con’s of TS router table or stand alone.
I am leaning towards stand alone. It seems, the top 3 machines used in a woodshop are the table saw, router, and drill press. Which should mean, specialized accessories over time, meaning more real estate needed, more drawer / storage space, etc.

Vegas? egads. 100 degrees up here in Reno all this week. So that must mean… 150 degrees in Vegas :)
And a woodshop in a garage. I feel your pain as I am in same situation. Fliptop cabinets will double your machine work space either as standalone cabinet or bolted to wall.
This is what i had for a little while. Saved alot of space. I am changing things around so that my planer & jointer will be on same fliptop cabinet with double 4’ extended wings. But first, 5 or 6 other projects to hit up.

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

512 posts in 74 days


#8 posted 07-17-2014 02:04 AM

I am almost finished with mine. Waiting for some Paduak and Hard Maple for the drawers.

Has a 2” torsion box built into the top and bottom. The drawer space on the left of the router lift is for bit storage. See my projects for detailed pictures.

Don’t forget locking casters!

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

1979 posts in 926 days


#9 posted 07-17-2014 02:07 AM

timbertailor......now that’s a sweet set-up !.....Well done !

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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timbertailor

512 posts in 74 days


#10 posted 07-17-2014 04:35 AM


timbertailor......now that s a sweet set-up !.....Well done !

- kdc68

Thanks for saying so.

I can not wait to finish the drawers. They will not have any fronts. All the drawers will be flush with the face frame so the jointery will be exposed.

Double double box joints, dovetails half blind and through, etc. Kind of a show case for the different Incra jointery that is possible with their fence system.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View Nates02gt's profile

Nates02gt

73 posts in 663 days


#11 posted 07-17-2014 04:42 AM

Timbertailor: that set up does look really nice! Is the top from Incra or just the fence? I have been looking at that fence quite a bit and it seems like it would be a good investment.

Holbs: It is quite hot here and has been pretty humid as well. I am trying to steer clear of temporary fixes. I know it isn’t always possible, but I would rather figure what is going to suit me best for several years and then invest in that. Most of what I have read makes me lean towards stand alone too. Yes it will take up more space, but it is also going to be a better fit over time. Being that I use a router regularly for shadow boxes and the like, I really just want to get a solid setup in place and call it good. =)

Nate

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1226 days


#12 posted 07-17-2014 05:14 AM

Do you have more details on how you built your table?

My table is just a 3/4” piece of columbia purebond plywood with formica (countertop laminate) on top, the braces underneath, and a porter cable 690 bolted to the top. No plate or inserts. I made bit hole 2 1/8” since the largest diameter bit I use is 2”. No t-track or miter track in my table top; the fence clamps on the edge (this works great) and there’s nothing on a router table that can’t be done without a miter gauge.

I got one of rockler’s steel stands on clearance, so I have the top resting in that. The braces are sized so they fit snugly inside the steel stand. There’s no movement at all. I also use one of rockler’s switches I also got on clearance a while back (before they introduced the paddle style switch).

The fence is a simple L-shaped type with moveable faces. I used rockler’s t-slot router bit (also on sale; see a trend here? ;-)) to rout the slots on the back of the fence faces. This allows them to be adjustable. I used the same bit to rout a slot in the strip above the movable faces that I use for featherboards. The fence is made entirely from baltic birch plywood. There’s a dust port which catches most of the dust.

The whole system works great for me. Later on when I get the time I’ll add a few drawers below the router for storage and to add some weight to make things less top heavy.

Pics:

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

View Nates02gt's profile

Nates02gt

73 posts in 663 days


#13 posted 07-17-2014 05:56 AM

Nitewalker: That looks nice! Speaking of Rockler, they have their table top discounted $100 right now. Not sure if it is worth it. =) I really like the idea of the Incra system due to all the joinery options. I am not sure how easy that would be to replicate on a basic table. I haven’t used mine for more than chamfers, dados and round-overs. I know there is a lot more potential than that even with a basic table setup. Thanks again for the pics and the description!

Nate

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NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1226 days


#14 posted 07-17-2014 07:59 AM

Thanks. :-)
My router table is my pride; it’s easily one of the most used tools in my shop.

Unless I’d be using the incra stuff every day, I just don’t see the need.
The rockler stuff isn’t bad for the money, but their tables don’t have any bracing, which I’d still add.

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

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3391 posts in 1162 days


#15 posted 07-17-2014 01:01 PM

Nate, I read through your OP but for the sake of me I can’t fathom how a router table can bow a table but as for as my application I’m not worried as the avenue I took was a pretty light setup, I have a very small shop and had already had a stand alone Benchdog mounted on stand I also wanted to make some changes to remove the stand alone in hopes to add more space to the shop but by adding the extension to my TS actually worked out better as I kept the stand alone as well so it actually gave me two router tables.

The only Pro / Con to a Table saw setup apposed to a stand alone, at least in my view is with a stand alone you have 4 open sides that allow you to clap jigs too with a TS setup you really don’t have any edges or sides with ease for clamping jigs too, thats one of the main reasons I decided to keep my stand alone in the shop as well so as mentioned it gave me two router tables.

Here’s the blog and the avenue I went with if you care to look.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

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