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Shop Improvements #3: Ryobi BTS15 Tablesaw Mods

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Blog entry by wolflrv posted 11-30-2011 04:35 AM 6431 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Hanging Up the Tools Part 3 of Shop Improvements series Part 4: Shopmade Grr-Ripper, Heat and Bandsaw Fence »

My tablesaw was a gift when I first built my shop. I’ve used over the last few years for cutting plywood, 2×4’s and general construction use. It’s worked fine as is and didn’t need much. Now that I’m doing more woodworking, I’m finding it lacking in many areas. I have managed to make a few improvements to it though.

First I fashioned a dust collection attachment to it, rather than the old canvas bag, that I had originally. I must say this design is not working as well as intended. The suction from the dust collector and the velocity of air from the blade, crash badly inside the main case and it ends up spitting half the saw dust out the front. When I rework the dust collection for the saw, the new plan will be to build a dust cabinet below the saw with locking casters and remove the steel base legs. I’ll also build the cabinet large enough to cover the whole footprint of the table top, which should give me enough room for a drawer or shelf to the side as well.

Here is a pic of the current setup with the tablesaw removed.

Next, I needed to add a featherboard, but mine is lacking a miter slot, since it has it’s own miter sled setup. I got a piece of plywood that was 3/4” and cut it to fit and then routed the bottom, to allow for some built-in mounting areas and also routed the top to accept my featherboard.

The biggest change I’ve made was to make a zero clearance insert for this saw. It was very tricky for someone as unskilled as I am.

Here’s the challenge…less than 1/8” depth on the edges.

I started with a 1/2” piece of oak and routed the edge clearance first. It’s sitting flush upside down at this point.

Next I drilled out some of the excess wood from the corners that I’d need for clearance and then carefully chiseled the corners out.

Here’s a pic of the finished piece upside down to show the details. I placed the fence over the right side of the blade when I cranked the blade up to add stability to the thin plate. I did glue the tiny split you see in this pic.

And finally a pic of it installed.

I also plan to modify my fence and add some height to it. It’s a bit short for some resawing I plan to do. More on that later.

-- Handcrafted toys, models & gifts at -- http://www.wolfwoodworks.com



4 comments so far

View bwhizzle's profile

bwhizzle

1 post in 626 days


#1 posted 02-01-2013 08:25 PM

Nice updates. I was just looking at my BTS 15 and thinking “Man I need a new table saw”, but since I don’t have the funds was looking for some mods I could do myself.

Thanks for the inspiration!

View wolflrv's profile

wolflrv

85 posts in 1057 days


#2 posted 02-02-2013 12:22 AM

glad you like it..:) It’s still working very well..I also added a new dust collection cabinet underneath that has really helped! It's here in this link:

-- Handcrafted toys, models & gifts at -- http://www.wolfwoodworks.com

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3032 posts in 1173 days


#3 posted 02-02-2013 01:08 AM

I never had a BTS-15 but I had it’s lesser cousin the really cheap BTS-10S
I built a lot of custom RV interiors with that junky little saw and milled a lot of big tree branches into usable lumber.
I finally burned it out about 2 1/2 years ago and stripped it down for pieces.

I now have a mostly new BT-3100-1 and love it mostly. I don’t use the miter sled very often either, it’s too difficult to keep in alignment.

I got an old Powermatic miter gauge at a yard sale and since the saw has the dual miter slot accessory table, I use that.

Your mods look like about what I did with my BTS 10. except for the miter slots, mine came with those and a cheap miter gauge.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View wolflrv's profile

wolflrv

85 posts in 1057 days


#4 posted 02-02-2013 01:44 PM

Mine does have a full miter sled that comes with it as well, but it wouldn’t accommodate the feather board, so I made the drop in just for that.

I also added a CMT combo blade and it now cuts like butter, with beautiful finish on the cuts.

-- Handcrafted toys, models & gifts at -- http://www.wolfwoodworks.com

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