Drilling through table saw wing to make router table?

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Forum topic by ADHDan posted 01-08-2015 07:14 PM 1452 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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800 posts in 2102 days

01-08-2015 07:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question router table tablesaw

I have a Grizzly 1023RL, with the tabletop from a Bosch RA1181 router table bolted in place of the right wing. This tabletop isn’t perfectly flat, and I was thinking about replacing it with the router table designed for the 1023RL – this one:

Looking at that router table, it basically looks like a cast iron wing with a hole for the router bit and a simple “universal router mount” underneath that’s basically just four metal clamps – no miter slot, fence, or other accessories. So I was wondering whether I could save myself $300 by taking the original cast iron wing and drilling out holes for the router bit, adjustment wrench, and mounting pattern (or for clamps similar to the Grizzly router table)?

My understanding is that it’s not that difficult to drill out cast iron with cobalt or even HSS bits, so the counterbored mounting holes and the adjustment hole shouldn’t be a problem (1/4” and 1/2”, respectively); would it be too difficult to drill out a hole for the collet/bit? If it matters, I’m using a Triton 3.25 hp router, which features above-table raising/lowering and also auto-locks the collet at max height for one-handed bit removal.

The original wing isn’t as deep as the router table wing, but for $300 I can live with that. I think the fence has enough room to add an additional extension, which I could make myself out of plywood (and build in a miter slot).

Am I overlooking something that makes this an obviously bad idea?

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

9 replies so far

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18149 posts in 1850 days

#1 posted 01-08-2015 07:19 PM

Drilling that hole with a hole saw should be doable, but what is the area under neath there like. It needs to be flat and not have any structural bracing around where the router will go. Also the bottom needs to be perfectly parallel with the top.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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9444 posts in 1480 days

#2 posted 01-08-2015 07:23 PM


-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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800 posts in 2102 days

#3 posted 01-08-2015 07:39 PM

Hmmm, I suppose that’s the rub. I’ll double check tonight but I suspect there is structural webbing throughout the underside of the wing.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View playingwithmywood's profile


413 posts in 1591 days

#4 posted 01-09-2015 04:30 AM

I have a router table in my table saw but I built another freestanding router table and that is the one I use

others do it and some like it but when it comes time to vote…. I vote NO when it comes to router tables in table saw wings

this saves you from having to drill the holes

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586 posts in 1393 days

#5 posted 01-09-2015 04:40 AM

I’ve done it with my Ridgid TS’s sliding wing. Had to whittle away a bunch of ribs on the underside. I don’t use it often, but when it’s needed, nothing beats it, and includes not having to store an idle router table.

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3168 posts in 3225 days

#6 posted 01-09-2015 05:27 AM

I have the RLW model. That hole also has a recess so a plate can sit in it for different size router bits. Other than that, your description is right on. I drilled a hole for the hex key so I could adjust the height on the Bosch 1617 router.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View EEngineer's profile


1102 posts in 3607 days

#7 posted 01-09-2015 12:25 PM

… and includes not having to store an idle router table.

Now that’s funny! I opted for a separate router table (or it opted for me – I fell into a deal). Idle, indeed! I don’t think there is any project I have undertaken since I acquired it that hasn’t used the router table in more than one step of the project. Mine is setup up behind the table saw so it serves as an outfeed table so even when it is idle, it is not.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View ADHDan's profile


800 posts in 2102 days

#8 posted 01-09-2015 03:59 PM

I just straight up don’t have the room for a standalone router table, and I’ve gotten quite used to my router mounted in the table saw. In fact, I actually prefer it to when I used the Bosch router table as a standalone – in my 11×17 shop, the table saw is oriented to maximize infeed and outfeed space, and now with the router mounted there I have much more room than I did when it was abutted by other tools. Now, I can rest assured that if I have room to rip a board, I definitely have room to route it. Plus I love being able to set up dados and other straight cuts with a Beisemeyer-style fence.

Splatman, can you describe what you did to whittle away the ribs – do you mean you actually cut out cast iron material? How did you do that, and how did you get the bottom parallel to the top? Presumably you didn’t run it through the planer :-).

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

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2750 posts in 2019 days

#9 posted 01-10-2015 12:25 AM

I’ll let Splatman supply his own answer, but if I were to do it, I’d use a 4 1/2” angle grinder to get rid of the ribs.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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