This Instructable shows you how I modified my portable table saw to replace the left extension table with a jig saw table. The hinged table design allows easy access to change jig saw blades.
This Instructable shows you the specifics concerning how I modified my portable Delta contractor table saw. Since table saws vary in construction details, you will need to modify the construction approach as necessary for your table saw.
I got the idea for this as I was constructing a hinged router table for my table saw. I wanted to be able to have a jig saw table that would be able to use my table saw fence for cuts. With the router table on the right side, why not use the left side for a jig saw (as long as the blade can be quickly and easily removed)?
See the Instructables below for more information:
I have just put the jig saw table into service and it appears to functioning just fine. I'll provide more feedback as I use it over time.
Step 1: Overview
I've been building a lot of shop cabinets, drawers, and tool improvements, and occasionally have a need for a jig saw with a larger cutting radius than my Harbor Freight band saw. For example, when I was making the hole for the dust collector for the router table, it would have been nice to have access to a jig saw table.
I've been wanting a jig saw table for a while, and I don't have a lot of space in my garage for a separate jig saw table. But it was very important to me that the jig saw blade be very easy to install and remove.
After some investigation, I purchased a used Bosch 1590EVS jig saw from someone off of Craigslist for $75 as this jig saw has excellent reviews and has an easily removable blade. If you already have a jig saw, you should be be to use it, although you may want to consider getting a jig saw that has an easily removable blade.
I also wanted a smooth white formica top, but I wanted to use a solid wood base vs a particle board base, and I found a white formica table top at the Restore that I could cut up and use for the jig saw.
I'll explain the design/assembly process I took in the following steps. You'll need to modify them as appropriate for your table saw and jig saw.
You'll need access to the following tools:
1) Table saw or circular saw
2) Drill press or drill
3) Tap set if you choose to drill & tap the jig saw mounting holes
4) Jig saw or band saw
Step 2: Remove Existing Table Saw Extension and Attach Angle Bracket
Remove the existing table extension and keep all bolts and washers.
Similar to the router table project, I purchased 2" x 2" x 4' aluminum angle bracket from Lowe's and cut it into three pieces to mount to the table saw. Where there were existing mounting holes, I used them. Where there were no mounting holes, I drilled new ones. The left side of my table saw is shorter than the right side, so I made sure that I had three mounting bolts to hold the left and right angle brackets in place. Make sure that your rip fence still slides smoothly after you mount the angle brackets.
Step 3: Cut Base, Top, Attach With Hinge, and Align
I used a sturdy piece of oak veneered plywood as my base and cut it to size.
I also cut and rounded the formica top (using the router table!), and then attached the formica top to the base with a hinge, using a 1/8" piece of plywood under the hinge to raise the top up so that it would be even with the top of the table saw (I alternated the screws for the bottom and top). The table top was just slightly lower than the table saw top so I just left it as is (see the router table Instructable for what to do if the table top is too tall).
I drilled and countersunk two mounting holes on the left and right side of the base. I also added two 1/4" pronged screw inserts at the rear of the base to allow adjustment of the height of the rear of the jig saw top (to make it level).
Step 4: Locate the Jig Saw, Route the Underside of the Table Top, and Attach
I decided to recess the jig saw about 1/4" similar to the router table project (this allows more of the blade to protrude through and gives more cutting depth).
Position your jig saw under the table top and make sure that it and the cord will clear the left and right sides.
I wanted the jig saw blade to be in the middle of the table, and I wanted the blade to be facing the front of the table saw. After checking and rechecking, I located the position of the blade (unfortunately it was not the middle of the table as there wasn't enough clearance on the left side) and then removed the top for further work.
I located the jig saw on the bottom side of top and used a plunge router (I borrowed the router from my router table) to route a 1/4" depth opening accommodate the jig saw.
When I carefully examined the jig saw, I noted that it already had 4 mounting holes; however, these holes were for 4 mm x 0.7 mm screws (I think) and they were NOT through holes (which would mean that I would have to get the screw lengths exactly correct). After some deliberation, I decided to drill through the existing mounting holes and tap for a larger American thread screw (#21 drill bit and 10-32 screws). Alternately, you could buy longer metric screws and attach the jig saw using those screws (assuming that they don't bottom out).
I then used the jig saw base to mark the mounting hole locations and drilled holes through the top and countersunk the top so that the 10-32 mounting screws would be flush with the top.
I then attached the jig saw using the mounting screws, marked the location of the blade, and used a small diameter drill bit to drill a "slot" for the jig saw blade.
Step 5: Make a Cutout in the Base for the Jig Saw & Level the Top
With the jig saw mounted, I then carefully measured and made a cutout in the base for the jig saw to pass through.
With the jig saw now in its mounted position, adjust the adjustment screws at the rear of the base so that the top is level and then lock in place.
Step 6: Attach Blade and Tie Wrap
I then tie wrapped the jig saw switch to the ON position, inserted a quick-disconnect blade, and tested the jig saw table.
The jig saw table seems to work great so far. I'll update this Instructable with more information after I've used it for a while.
Note: I connect the power for the jig saw table to my portable dust collection cart. This cart has a switched power outlet that allows me to turn on the jig saw and the shop vac dust collector at the same time (although there is no dust collection for the jig saw).