JcMcGrath

Dedicated Router Table vs Table Saw Wing Unit

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Greetings- Working on space management, totally cool as I just watched Marc's shop evolution and find myself with many of the same issues.

Projects are evolving forcing me to do the same and the need of a router table is becoming very clear and imminent. SO question is for those due to space or even preference have utilized a wing of their table saw to become the router table. Obviously, one of the most respected Wood Kings- Mr. David Marks has his router mounted in wing of table saw. So I am reaching out to the most knowledgeable of families and asking for opinions and thoughts. Thanks so MUCH!!! Jc McGrath

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JC I am going to through my two cents in. Keep in mind I havent really used any of my stuff I just sit around and picture what I want it to be like.

I went with a stand alone router table for a few reasons. Seemed I gained more work space and clamping space going with a stand alone. I don't have the weight of the router hanging on one end of my saw. I could set it up for a little better dust collection I believe and can move it wherever I want to when I want to. The very few things I have built including my router table I like using the top of my saw as a parial assembly table. Brings things up to a comfortable height for me and I really don't have room for anymore tables. I have 1/2 of a 2 car garage except when I am working I get to spread out and she will park outside.

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I'm in a small basement shop,(17'x21) and I have a stand alone router table, I often think the right side of my saw just collects scrap lumber. I'mthinking of tuning the extention table Into a router table and that will give me more floor space.

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Well JC, I’m not the expert you’re hoping for, but just wanted to share an observation. To go along with Cowchaser’s comment, I was reading one of the community forums recently (don’t know which one), and this woodworker was saying that he has his router mounted in his table saw wing / extension table. His complaint was, that every time he needed to use the router table, he had to clear off a large amount of accumulation, and since he used his saw fence for the router table fence (typical arrangement), he needed to move that over as well.

I guess the moral to the story is, if you have the space to mount a dedicated router in a dedicated table that is designed and optimized for routing then by all means, do it. There are a number of plans out there that show how to build a portable or table top router as well as “flip-up” router tables that can be moved below the counter top to do other tasks.

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I have the same question, My shop is 12'x45', long and skinny, and it is packed with all kinds of tools. The only issue I have is that the 52" table on my SawStop is about the only place to put a router, I just really don't want to cut into the top just yet, maybe I will make a second top and just replace it.

Has anyone done this?

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Onboard's comment is correct, if you treat the extension wing like a place to store stuff, you'll have to move it when you use the router (similarly, you'll have to clear it to move the fence there for using the table saw!)

I prefer having it in the extension wing because I don't use it all the time so it's nice to have the space it takes do double duty. I also get the benefit of using the back of the table saw fence sometimes (though I have a fence for the router table). I have a nice dust box built-in under the router table that interconnects with the DC connections for the table saw. Lastly, the integrated mobile base of the SawStop easily moves the router table as well so I've often moved the saw to get better placement of the router top (this is because I prefer to move the saw over making the working space around the router table a bit smaller).

David, I have my router table in the extension wing of my SawStop. I swore I had photos of it, but I cannot find them. I'll take some new ones and post back later.

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I vote for the router being apart of the table saw. I don't use the router all that much, but I find that the extra work space on the table saw to also come in handy, as I build a larger (unique) picture frame and I route the back of the frame for the opening to put the pictures.

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I'll be putting mine in the outfeed table. Any surface in your shop will become cluttered if you allow it to be. That's just a matter if breaking a habit.

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My workshop is in the basement of my old Victorian. Field stone foundation (so no stud walls for handy storage), lots of jogs & bump outs, and tree trunks for support columns. Space is always at a premium for me. I bought a Rockler router table package (top/lift/fence/stand) and for a while had it near my table saw. However it made for a choke point that was a pain to get past, especially when I upgraded from the stock 24" fence to a 40" Vega. I finally broke down & turned the table into a wing extension. Had to cut it down to fit between the rails, and recreate one of the fence slots, but all in all I'm pretty pleased with how it came out. I find it much easier to use, and gained some valuable floor space back. You can see pictures of what I did on my Flickr page.

Finished result:

4772080575_b864390d05.jpg

Mounted up by UnstoppableDrew, on Flickr

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I use my router table so little that I've grown pretty accustom to putting things on top of it for quick storage. (shame on me) Not a good thing, I'd go with the table saw wing if you don't some of the advantages that a dedicated unit would provide.

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My workshop is in the basement of my old Victorian. Field stone foundation (so no stud walls for handy storage), lots of jogs & bump outs, and tree trunks for support columns. Space is always at a premium for me. I bought a Rockler router table package (top/lift/fence/stand) and for a while had it near my table saw. However it made for a choke point that was a pain to get past, especially when I upgraded from the stock 24" fence to a 40" Vega. I finally broke down & turned the table into a wing extension. Had to cut it down to fit between the rails, and recreate one of the fence slots, but all in all I'm pretty pleased with how it came out. I find it much easier to use, and gained some valuable floor space back. You can see pictures of what I did on my Flickr page.

Finished result:

4772080575_b864390d05.jpg

Mounted up by UnstoppableDrew, on Flickr

I have the same router table package and also the same table saw and fence system. Can you comment on how you attached the router table to the saw extension and if there is any support structure under the router table? I'm considering your idea as I'm trying to make room for a band saw.

Thanks - Ron

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I have the same router table package and also the same table saw and fence system. Can you comment on how you attached the router table to the saw extension and if there is any support structure under the router table? I'm considering your idea as I'm trying to make room for a band saw.

Thanks - Ron

The Vega rails have some tabs on them that are meant for attaching cross bars to support a top. I made wooden strips for the front & back rail to bring the router table flush with the saw table, and then screwed up through the tab, through the strip, and into the base of the table. There isn't currently any extra support, the Vega rails seem to be sufficient to hold it without sagging.

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I have a setup similar to Drew's Victorian Basement setup, though with a Delta contractor saw. my shop is very small (11x12) so it was a no-brainer to combine the router in with the table saw. The router portion is actually two sheets of 3/4" MDF with 1x2's as a frame to bolt it into the saw. I had to get creative with the bolts, replacing the stock ones from the saw with ones that were longer but the same thread size.

Personally, I like the idea of sharing the table with the two tools. Save space, and easy to connect power and dust collection. However, you're telling me you don' t have five different dedicated routing and shaping stations like Norm Abrams? Well, you should...

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Here's a shot of my router table in the extension wing of the SawStop. Note that the extension wing has its own legs (came with the SawStop fence); adds ginormous stability.

post-50-034528900 1283209651_thumb.jpg

Mine is a 30" fence, not the 56", but I believe you just have 2 of the extension wing bits that I had. I removed that panel used as a wing and cut my existing router table top to fit between the fence rails. I built a small frame that got bolted between the rails then the top gets attached to the frame with connecting bolts. The dust box underneath it is attached to the frame, not the table. The frame also makes it easier to shim the router table top to be flush and flat to the saw deck.

post-50-096360700 1283209697_thumb.jpg

My table was a Woodpeckers table for a stand-alone table. I cut the sides to make it fit the opening. That said, the miter slot isn't continuous because the fence rail blocks it. I only use it for feather boards so there's no problem there. If ever I needed a coping sled, I'd rather make one that works against the fence than the miter slot anyway. Oh, I keep the fence off to the side; sometimes leave it there; trivial to attach.

post-50-030776100 1283209679_thumb.jpg

If you make your own table top, I'd still recommend the frame for the reasons listed.

Edited by Paul-Marcel
Pointed out extension legs

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Here's a shot of my router table in the extension wing of the SawStop. Note that the extension wing has its own legs (came with the SawStop fence); adds ginormous stability.

post-50-034528900 1283209651_thumb.jpg

Mine is a 30" fence, not the 56", but I believe you just have 2 of the extension wing bits that I had. I removed that panel used as a wing and cut my existing router table top to fit between the fence rails. I built a small frame that got bolted between the rails then the top gets attached to the frame with connecting bolts. The dust box underneath it is attached to the frame, not the table. The frame also makes it easier to shim the router table top to be flush and flat to the saw deck.

post-50-096360700 1283209697_thumb.jpg

My table was a Woodpeckers table for a stand-alone table. I cut the sides to make it fit the opening. That said, the miter slot isn't continuous because the fence rail blocks it. I only use it for feather boards so there's no problem there. If ever I needed a coping sled, I'd rather make one that works against the fence than the miter slot anyway. Oh, I keep the fence off to the side; sometimes leave it there; trivial to attach.

post-50-030776100 1283209679_thumb.jpg

If you make your own table top, I'd still recommend the frame for the reasons listed.

This post came at a perfect time as I plan on adding a router to my sawstop extension table this weekend.

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Jc,

I have both, a router in the table saw wing and a freestanding router table. I started out with the router in the wing because my shop was 9'x17' foot when I first started out. I did this to save space. After I moved and have a larger shop, I had the opportunity to get a freestanding router table. I have found that I use the one with the saw 99.9% of the time and the other one just collects dust and takes up extra space. Now it is being used for the latest tool in the shop. I have the room for it but I just find that I go back to what I started with, the router with the saw. Just my experience.

I do have the 52" fence so that takes up a lot of space and I might as well use it to its fullest. It also helps me to keep the table top free of clutter...... well sort of. ;)

post-351-032990200 1283234123_thumb.jpg

post-351-030792900 1283234136_thumb.jpg

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Jc,

I have both, a router in the table saw wing and a freestanding router table. I started out with the router in the wing because my shop was 9'x17' foot when I first started out. I did this to save space. After I moved and have a larger shop, I had the opportunity to get a freestanding router table. I have found that I use the one with the saw 99.9% of the time and the other one just collects dust and takes up extra space. Now it is being used for the latest tool in the shop. I have the room for it but I just find that I go back to what I started with, the router with the saw. Just my experience.

I do have the 52" fence so that takes up a lot of space and I might as well use it to its fullest. It also helps me to keep the table top free of clutter...... well sort of. ;)

Excellent- Some Great responses - exactley what i thought i would get. Brett- I think i am on the same page as you - thanks to all for the thoughts, pics, etc. JCM

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This post came at a perfect time as I plan on adding a router to my sawstop extension table this weekend.

Excellent! Because you're looking to build something and maybe steal ideas, tonight I wrote a more elaborate post on my blog with many more pictures. Last week, a thread elsewhere talked about dust collection options for the SawStop and this one about the router wing. Since my router dust box does both, I just combined the pictures and elucidated a bit :)

Post what you come up with (so we can steal ideas right back).

And I really liked Brett's post since he's likely the only one who has both setups and clearly preferred the wing option. Nice planer, Brett... you'll like it (cuz I like mine B))

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Guest Trace

I had a Ryobi Table saw with a place to mount the router, but it was not really a situation that worked for me. I purchased a Bosch table at Lowe's for next to nothing (the checkout clerk read the tag wrong and was vacuous to say the least). I'm fairly short, so I made a stand for the router table so that it's height was comfortable for me to work with. The dedicated stand and table take up an area about 24" x36", and is easy to move. All of my routers are stored under the top of the stand. My shop is large 26' x 19' so it's size is not a problem.

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Here's a shot of my router table in the extension wing of the SawStop. Note that the extension wing has its own legs (came with the SawStop fence); adds ginormous stability.

post-50-034528900 1283209651_thumb.jpg

Mine is a 30" fence, not the 56", but I believe you just have 2 of the extension wing bits that I had. I removed that panel used as a wing and cut my existing router table top to fit between the fence rails. I built a small frame that got bolted between the rails then the top gets attached to the frame with connecting bolts. The dust box underneath it is attached to the frame, not the table. The frame also makes it easier to shim the router table top to be flush and flat to the saw deck.

post-50-096360700 1283209697_thumb.jpg

My table was a Woodpeckers table for a stand-alone table. I cut the sides to make it fit the opening. That said, the miter slot isn't continuous because the fence rail blocks it. I only use it for feather boards so there's no problem there. If ever I needed a coping sled, I'd rather make one that works against the fence than the miter slot anyway. Oh, I keep the fence off to the side; sometimes leave it there; trivial to attach.

post-50-030776100 1283209679_thumb.jpg

If you make your own table top, I'd still recommend the frame for the reasons listed.

This is great, I just might make a slight change to the router top to allow access to the T-slot. thanks for the pics...

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Excellent! Because you're looking to build something and maybe steal ideas, tonight I wrote a more elaborate post on my blog with many more pictures. Last week, a thread elsewhere talked about dust collection options for the SawStop and this one about the router wing. Since my router dust box does both, I just combined the pictures and elucidated a bit :)

Post what you come up with (so we can steal ideas right back).

And I really liked Brett's post since he's likely the only one who has both setups and clearly preferred the wing option. Nice planer, Brett... you'll like it (cuz I like mine B))

DUST COLLECTION::

The $199.00 SawStop wants for their system seems a bit overpriced for what you get so I figured I would create one of my own. I am using 1-1/4" EMT conduit with spa vacuum hose to create my version of the SS overarm dust collection system. It is in the rev 1.0 stage and hope to have it completed with the EMT painted gloss black by next week. I plan on combining overheard and under saw collections to a 4x4x2.5 Y fitting under the table.

post-558-048485500 1283368880_thumb.jpg

post-558-027571600 1283368906_thumb.jpg

post-558-073815800 1283368924_thumb.jpg

post-558-057307500 1283368947_thumb.jpg

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ROUTER TABLE ON SAW ::

I used a plate that I picked up at Woodcraft and put it in the OEM SS extension wing. I don't have a dust box built yet however wish to use Paul's blog as motivation and incorporate it into the SS dust panel below the saw. This will allow me to hook up my little JET DC to one panel for both router and saw operations. The fence dust collection works extremely well and to be honest I forgot where I got the idea for it but it is definately not mine. I hope this helps.

post-558-042149500 1283369404_thumb.jpg

post-558-066000600 1283369415_thumb.jpg

post-558-062154000 1283369420_thumb.jpg

post-558-010790100 1283369425_thumb.jpg

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Jc,

I have both, a router in the table saw wing and a freestanding router table. I started out with the router in the wing because my shop was 9'x17' foot when I first started out. I did this to save space. After I moved and have a larger shop, I had the opportunity to get a freestanding router table. I have found that I use the one with the saw 99.9% of the time and the other one just collects dust and takes up extra space. Now it is being used for the latest tool in the shop. I have the room for it but I just find that I go back to what I started with, the router with the saw. Just my experience.

I do have the 52" fence so that takes up a lot of space and I might as well use it to its fullest. It also helps me to keep the table top free of clutter...... well sort of. ;)

That's quite a router fence!

Chester

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I also have my router in the TS extension ... and have had it that way for a long time. Someday, maybe, I will get into fine profile routing but mainly I use it for the larger (and longer) stuff. Having it in the TS wing insures that I have the space to feed the long stuff in ... and out.

The TS that I have the router in is actually my old Craftsman contractor saw. When I bought my new Grizz cabinet saw, I decided to keep the old CM and upgrade it. It has a new Delta T2 fence (fantastic) and a new Freud dado blade set mounted in it. The dodo set stays in full-time and the CM saw sits (more-or-less) back-to-back with my new Grizz ... and, by way of a small outfeed/connector table is part of the integration of both saws into a system. The two saws, facing each other with a small connector table between, provide full outfeed in either direction, a dedicated dado saw, a dedicated cross-cut and ripping saw, a router table and two great fences. The full surface is flush and can also be used, if need be, as a 4' x 6' assembly platform.

Chester

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