What Should I Get for the Shop?


TomInNC
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Thanks for the feedback on the spindle sander. If my bandsaw ever comes in, I will have to look into the ridgid model.

A purchase that I will likely make before that is a router table. I currently have one of the Bosch fixed/plunge combos, but I do not have a table, nor have I ever used one. I know I want a lift and want to be able to change the bit above the table. Aside from that, I really can't tell what the difference is between a lot of these table options. Is it worth dropping the extra money to get the high-end packages from Incra and Jessem?

I'm having trouble projecting exactly how I would be using the table since I have not had access to one before. It does seem like the table will make a lot of what I have been doing with the handheld router safer. 

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It seems to me that most folks who post here end up with more than one router.  Once you have a router table you'll probably want to mount a router permanently.

I have a cast iron table from Rockler with an Incra insert.  My only beef is that there always seems to be a tiny step off somewhere along the perimeter of the insert no matter how I adjust it.  If I were buying again I'd look at the SawStop router table.  

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12 hours ago, TomInNC said:

Thanks for the feedback on the spindle sander. If my bandsaw ever comes in, I will have to look into the ridgid model.

A purchase that I will likely make before that is a router table. I currently have one of the Bosch fixed/plunge combos, but I do not have a table, nor have I ever used one. I know I want a lift and want to be able to change the bit above the table. Aside from that, I really can't tell what the difference is between a lot of these table options. Is it worth dropping the extra money to get the high-end packages from Incra and Jessem?

I'm having trouble projecting exactly how I would be using the table since I have not had access to one before. It does seem like the table will make a lot of what I have been doing with the handheld router safer. 

Yes, I feel much safer using the router table compared to a handheld router. I also think I can be more accurate with a table. Learning how to use a starting pin on the router was super nice in regards to controlling the piece I'm routing. I have a mid level table made by Kreg, works fine for my purposes. but I am not a heavy router user by any means. The handheld router is my least liked tool in the shop, mainly because t's so noisy and  messy. The router table makes it tolerable.

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If you get into the router lifts Rockler has a nice inexpensive one that fits the PC890 size routers (2.25hp). I really like mine and it was very affordable.

For a lot of handheld use the 1hp bosch colt size routers are really nice. I have a few off brand ones and they are meh but they hold a bit and spin it in a circle so it's good enough for quick edge treatments that don't require precision. Some of these size can be found used on facebook for quite cheep.

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Is there any advantage in having a router table mounted to the table saw instead of as a standalone table? I've seen several setups like this and was curious why people go that route. My table saw is 240 and there are no nearby 120v, so going that route would require wheeling around to the other side of the shop. 

I was watching some videos last night on the Incra wonder fence and their #3 bundle. Seems really cool, but I have no idea how much I would use a lot of the joinery functionality. Incra's videos make everything look suspiciously easy.

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18 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

@TomInNC, one advantage of mounting the router in the saw wing is space savings. Important for folks with tiny shops like mine. Also, there is the advantage / hinderance of having the saw fence to do double-duty.

Thanks. So would this mean that if I got something like the SawStop integrated table, if I bought the fancy Incra fence down the line this could be used for both the router table and the table saw? I have only used the stock fence on my SawStop, and I am not sure how these after market fence systems work on the table saw. Incra said their fence system is on at least a 6 month backorder, so I was leaning towards getting the integrated table from SawStop, then adding a better fence system down the line if I felt it would be helpful.

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I was going to buy a grizzly oscillating sander in 2006, but something came up and didnt. It's 2021. Sinice 2006 the prices have increased and has gotten further and further from my reach. 

Edge sanders,floor model oscillating sanders, floor model mortisers,etc are all tools we can use in the shop even if it's a small percentage of time. I missed an oportunity to buy a nice powermatic model and the boss owed me money , but he couldn't give it to me and had to pass. These tools like ornamental legacy just don't come up often...

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44 minutes ago, TomInNC said:

Thanks. So would this mean that if I got something like the SawStop integrated table, if I bought the fancy Incra fence down the line this could be used for both the router table and the table saw? 

I have no personal experience using a fence system designed specifically for a free-standing router table. However, saw fences must move parallel to the cutter, where a router fence has no such requirement. I suspect a fence designed for a router table will not simply drop on to a saw fence rail system. Good thing to ask the manufacturer.

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On 6/18/2021 at 9:37 AM, TomInNC said:

if I bought the fancy Incra fence down the line this could be used for both the router table and the table saw?

Yes, you can use the Incra TS LS as a router fence, but you will need to get some extra accessories from Incra, at least the Wonder Fence Split Router Fence that mounts in front of the table saw fence.

Or you can just buy a combo: https://incra.com/table_saw_fences-tsls_combos.html

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On 6/17/2021 at 11:17 AM, TomInNC said:

Is there any advantage in having a router table mounted to the table saw instead of as a standalone table? I've seen several setups like this and was curious why people go that route.

In addition to the space savings, The additional mass that the tablesaw adds helps to dampen vibration.

 

On 6/18/2021 at 6:37 AM, TomInNC said:

Thanks. So would this mean that if I got something like the SawStop integrated table, if I bought the fancy Incra fence down the line this could be used for both the router table and the table saw?

You could, but I'd definitely wait until you're certain you would use the functionality of the Incra fence. I can't remember (and not because of my age!) the last time I needed a router table fence to do anything other than move forward and backward. Many router table fences simply pivot on one end and lock down on the other. 

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13 hours ago, Mick S said:

You could, but I'd definitely wait until you're certain you would use the functionality of the Incra fence. I can't remember (and not because of my age!) the last time I needed a router table fence to do anything other than move forward and backward. Many router table fences simply pivot on one end and lock down on the other. 

Most of the time I just clamp my router upside down in my vise and use the edge guide as a fence. Yeah, the redneck way, but it works.

When I need some quick joinery done, I use my PC dovetail jig. A Leigh would be a better choice and I'm considering the upgrade.

My Incra fence has been in storage for years.

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