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Thread: Building a router extension. Any advice?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Red Feather Lakes, CO
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    Question Building a router extension. Any advice?

    I am building a new shop from scratch, in my garage. What I have for a table saw is a Delta 10" contractor that is about 15 years old.
    My experience it limited to basic framing and making an occasional simple home project.
    I am replacing the old fence with a Vega Pro 50 rip fence. It shipped yesterday. I want to add an extension to the right side of my saw for a router table. I saw Alan Bienlein's mobile table saw base and decided to steal some ideas from him.

    http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ad.php?t=22376

    I am going to pull the saw off the stand and put it on a rolling cabinet.
    I have the top designed but I need to ask if I need to add, change or subtract something before I start cutting up wood. For instance: are the rails right or are they to short/long or in the wrong place? I hate doing anything twice that doesn't need to be done twice. That means I probably didn't learn my lesson the first time.
    I want to do this in three phases.
    1. Install the new fence and build the router table extension.
    2. Build and wire the cabinet.
    3. Mount the saw and extension assembly.

    Here is a pic of the Sketchup design that I am working on. I am using two layers of 3/4" MDF for the extension. I think am going to cover it with Formica.
    Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Mark
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ext Top.JPG  

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rice View Post
    Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
    Mark,

    Make sure that MDF is very well supported. You don't want to have to make a new top when the first one sags. Don't ask me how I know!

    What kind of fence will you use for the router table? Do you have provisions for upgrades?

    What are you doing about dust collection?

    Thanks,

    Bill

  3. #3
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    Mar 2011
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    Red Feather Lakes, CO
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    Sorry Bill,
    I guess that information would be helpful. Not much sleep last night so I am running on auto-pilot.
    I am working on a budget right now so I am trying to get the most bang for the buck without spending a huge wad. I tried that thing where I buy something and then tell the wife I have had it for years but it didn't work.
    The router is a Milwaukee 2 1/4 hourse 5616-20. I am going to mount it with the regular base and use the one that is built into the housing. I ordered a Rockler plate with the wholes already drilled for this router.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001LEICFO
    I might go to a lift later. I am going to put a door on the front of the area that houses the router so I can get to the adjustment lock.
    Dust collection will be a shop vac hooked up to the back for now. I need to finish designing the layout that I want to use for the garage before I get any dust collection for right now.
    I am going to design the fence later today or tomorrow but it will be a home built. I was thinking of something similar to this:
    http://www.amazon.com/DELUXE-ROUTER-...1668786&sr=1-9

  4. #4
    Hi Mark,

    I did alot of searching on the internet before I decided on this design. I used 2 sheets of 3/4" birch ply for the basic cabinet. I already had the swivel locking casters that are rated for 300# a piece. I didn't do a torsion box like the others as I had a piece of steel tubing I cut to support the front and the back is solid 3/4". If there is anything I can help you with on this project or if you need me to take some pictures of mine to help you out let me know.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2011
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    Thanks Alan.
    Two questions:
    Where did you put that 3/4 tube? I can't seem to find it in the pics.
    Do you think MDF would be sufficient for this box? The only reason I ask is because I have a bunch left over from a speaker project.

  6. #6
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    Looks basically good. I replaced my top recently (it helped that Rockler was blowing out their old style tops for a song. Saved me the build). I had gone through great pains to make the left and right edges of the RT flush as you are showing. Oops! I rebuilt to add 2-1/2" of overhang on each side for clamping all those one-off, improv and shop made fixtures that come into use. I am now a much happier guy.

    Before: Click image for larger version. 

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    Also, make your router table miter-slot-to-bit-center distance the same as your table saw slot-to-blade distance. Now your tenon jig, feather boards, etc. all work for both.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 04-02-2011 at 03:28 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rice View Post
    Thanks Alan.
    Two questions:
    Where did you put that 3/4 tube? I can't seem to find it in the pics.
    Do you think MDF would be sufficient for this box? The only reason I ask is because I have a bunch left over from a speaker project.
    Here are a few more pictures for you Mark. The first is a picture of the steel tubing I used underneath. I did it this way since I had it and thought it would work better for me rather than a torsion box.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    As far as the mdf being sufficient it depends on the span your are planing on having along with a few other factors as far as construction goes. If your going to also include your table saw with this cabinet then I would say the mdf isn't sufficient for this with out some type of torsion box or steel tube like I did to prevent sagging.

    Here are a few more up to date photos along with some of the ways I mount my feather boards and my sled I use for the cope cut on the rails for raised panel doors.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Looks basically good. I replaced my top recently (it helped that Rockler was blowing out their old style tops for a song. Saved me the build). I had gone through great pains to make the left and right edges of the RT flush as you are showing. Oops! I rebuilt to add 2-1/2" of overhang on each side for clamping all those one-off, improv and shop made fixtures that come into use. I am now a much happier guy.

    Before: Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	55431 After: Click image for larger version. 

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    Also, make your router table miter-slot-to-bit-center distance the same as your table saw slot-to-blade distance. Now your tenon jig, feather boards, etc. all work for both.
    Both are great ideas! Thanks Glenn. Now I have to change all my drawings. When I was trying to figure out where to put the miter slot my brain started hurting and I just put it in a place where it looked like it would work. Your suggestions helped a lot.
    Also, I didn't think about an overhang for clamping. I just have to figure out how I will work that around the fence rail. That shouldn't be much of a problem tho. SketchUp is great.

    Alan, Thanks for the pics! Now I know exactly where you put the bar. I am going to go with the birch. It is only about 40 bucks more and I can use the left over MDF on new speaker cabinets. Better to be safe. I will just follow your example so I don't screw up and regret it later. I am thinking about making a base out of steel angle and welding the wheels to it. I get rocks and pebbles on the floor of the shop sometimes and I want to avoid folding the wheels under.

    I have all day to work on the drawing today. We cut down 9 trees yesterday and I was going to work on limbing and stacking them today but we woke up to a blizzard. I don't think I want to work with a chainsaw on a mountain side covered with snow. The parts come in on Wednesday so I need to make up a cut list today to get the materials tomorrow.

    I will post an update when I get done with the drawing.

    Thanks Guys, this is a tremendous help.
    Last edited by Mark Rice; 04-03-2011 at 08:18 PM.

  9. #9
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    Update Router/TS bench

    I am about 90% done with this. Put a new rip fence on it, built the cabinet, made the router table top and just have to put in the t-track and miter track on it. Still pondering how I want all of that to work.
    I took Bill Lantry and Alan Bienlein's advice about bracing the whole thing to eliminate bowing. I put a 2X2X1/4 inch steel angle down the middle. I don't think it is going to bow anytime soon. It doesn't have much ground clearance but I am not taking it off road.

    Here are some pics of where I am at now.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails TS1.JPG   TSRouterCab1.JPG   TSRouterCab2.JPG   TSRouterCab3.JPG   TSRouterCab34.JPG  

    It wasn't a party unless it involved fire, an ATV, a chain saw and whiskey.

  10. #10
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    What about DC???
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

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