Table Saw Update



Here's my old table saw.  I've had this thing for about ten years now.  It's underpowered and loud.  The worst thing is that it's really too small.  It looks like a standard Delta contractor's saw, but it's actually smaller than that.  Cutting big sheets is hard on a small surface.  So, I've decided to buy a new table saw.  I want one of those big cabinet saws!  That will be perfect.  I wonder what those cost?

[picking up a catalog] [flip] [flip]  Holy Cow.  $5,000!!!  Okay, new plan.  Maybe I need to just upgrade old faithful. 

Here's the plan.  I want a bigger work surface, so I'll be replacing my current table extensions with new larger panels.  And, I'll be adding a new, removable table extension to the back of the saw for better outfeed.  I'll use one of those new table extension wings as a router table too.  I'll probably do some other stuff, but that's start.  (And, much less money than a new $5,000 cabinet saw.)



10/4/12:  My table saw produces a staggering amount of saw dust.  Mountains.  Well, I needed to put an end to that.  A few hours with scrap plywood, glue and paint resulted in this custom dust collector.  My 4" vacuum hose easily attaches and now all the sawdust just disappears.


11/25/12:  The router table wing project begins.  . 

    To create a router table that's perfectly flat and very dense, it's built up from three layers of 3/4" MDF and wrapped in plywood.  A strong aluminum plate will hold my Bosch 1617 router.  The miter track is aluminum. 


11/29/12:  I managed to spend a little time in the shop this week and was able to build the under-table dust box.  This will surround the router and contain dust.  The fence will also have a dust collector and that debris will flow into this box through a 2 1/2" hose.  This box will be connected to my shop dust system through a 4" port in the very bottom of this box.  Lexan windows will let me keep an eye on what's going on inside.


And, here's the new table saw router table.  That dust box is bolted to the saw's cabinet and this makes the whole thing quite sturdy.  Now, I need to get the router mounted and the fence built.


12/6/12:  More progress on the table saw upgrade.  Above are shots of the other table extensions under construction.  These are built from MDF with plywood bracing.  The top is covered with Formica that (somewhat) matches my iron saw table.


Here's my new expanded table saw work surface.  My little table saw is in the middle, but is now augmented by the three new extensions.  That back (outfeed) extension is removable and hangs on the wall behind the saw when not in use.  I also now have three usable miter tracks. 

My original table saw top work area was about 800 sq. inches.  Now, with all the extensions in use, I have 2,300 sq. inches.  That almost triples my table top surface and this will make working with big plywood sheets much easier.


The last step of the router table project is the fence.  It's built from MDF.  The face of the fence is an aluminum multi-track from Rockler.


Here she is.  The router table fence attaches to the table saw's fence.  When I'm not using it, it will probably hang on the wall somewhere.  The fence's dust port directs debris into that 2 1/2" hose that runs down to the under table dust box and then on to the shop's dust collector.  That aluminum track will let me attach accessories, like the combo bit guard / feather board shown.


1/26/13:  Here's my new crosscut sled.  The surface is about 36" X 22" and the fence is a full 48".  I've got numerous t-tracks inset to hold stop blocks, clamps and hold-downs.  Auxiliary fences will let me cut miters easily.  I routed a channel that holds a 1/4" sacrificial  throat plate.  This will let me insert replacement ply strips to enable zero-clearance cuts, even after future dado stack passes have opened up the cut slot.



11/2/13:  The power switch on this old table saw has always been trouble.  That's trouble with a "t" that sounds like "p" that stands for "poor design".  I replaced the thing twice with factory replacement parts and they'd just stop working after a while.  For years, I've just been plugging and unplugging the power cord at the wall to turn the saw on.  That's awkward and somewhat dangerous.

So, I bought this heavy duty switch from Bench Dog.  It's got a safety switch that prevents it from being 'knocked' on accidentally.  I can't figure out why I waited so long to fix this problem.



Speaking of safety issues, I now have this great push block.  My Dad gave it to me for my birthday.   It's the GRR-Ripper push block system from Micro Jig.  You can read up on it here.

This push block has a grippy rubber base that allows the user to push a wood piece through a table saw or past a router bit with greater accuracy and safety.  I really like all my fingers and this may just help me to keep all of them.