Add a Router Table to a Table Saw





Introduction: Add a Router Table to a Table Saw

About: Analog maker dabbling in digital manufacture

A router table + router came on sale locally (similar to this one), so I picked it up but hadn't anticipated just how much room it would take up on my workbench. However, my table saw has an extension that was not really doing anything other than allowing me to cut large stock. Luckily (because I didn't measure it in advance), the router table I bought was a good size match, and so I built a frame to house it, discarded the legs that came with the table, and popped it in place. It works like a charm - it made it really easy to make a mallet, for example.

For instructions on how to make the whole thing yourself (e.g. if you already have a router), check out Mathias Wandel's version. Actually, if you haven't seen his site before, do yourself a favor and have a look around - loads of fantastic stuff there.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

If you got this far, doubtless you already own a table saw. For this project, you need a full size one with an extension - mine is the Ridgid R4512, which is probably the most affordable one of this type out there. You will also need a mini router table, of the type intended to be mounted on a workbench. The one I bought came with a fixed base router and all the fittings.

Beyond the table saw, I used a cordless drill, a hand saw, a jigsaw, measuring tape, square, wood glue, 1.5" drywall screws, some clamps and sandpaper. The wood was all offcuts from spruce construction lumber from my woodpile.

Step 2: Measure and Cut Frame

Measure the size of the hole in the table extension and the size of the table. For me, the dimensions were 687 × 370 mm and 605 × 363 mm, respectively. That meant I needed to extend the table by 41 mm at each end, but didn't need to do anything on the sides except provide support. So I made a frame by cutting two long skinny pieces 22 × 38 × 687 mm and two short fat pieces 38 × 41 × 370 mm, and cutting out a rebate at the end of each of the end pieces such that the frame was 44 mm high and the skinny pieces were exactly 18 mm (the thickness of the table top) lower than the fat pieces.

Step 3: Assemble

I glued and screwed the frame together, put it in place and realized I needed to cut a rebate for the switch and slots on each end for the sliding miter gauge. I did the former with a jigsaw and the latter with the table saw, then fixed the frame in place using flat-head screws in the holes that were already there.

Step 4: Done!

Drill holes and drive screws through the frame into the underside of the table to fix it in place (I used 6), and mount your router. The way this is set up I can either use the fence that came with the router or the fence on the table saw if I need to rout a larger workpiece. This router/table setup came with a switch that powers the router, LED lights in the router, and your shopvac if connected. The whole setup works very nicely and it was just a quick job. Great place to put a router table without taking up any more room in your shop - I can still tuck the table saw away under my workbench (see last picture), which is important given my shop is just ~1/3 of a garage.



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    33 Discussions

    Yup - love the portability of those saws. I managed to snag one of the last cast topped tables before the switched them to the new material (can't recall what they make the table tops out of now). Just one little tidbit to add - you will want to add some sort of angled brace from the outer edge of the router table insert to the table saw base to prevent any strain on the TS rails over time. Doesn't have to be anything fancy - just to take the load off the rails.

    Handiest upgrade you can make to any table saw - and your router table will actually get used more!

    4 replies

    This one has a cast iron center with pressed steel wings. It's still heavy, but not compared to a cabinet saw.

    I thought about bracing it, but the router is not all that heavy and the rails are very solid. The brace may also make it a little tricky to store (I tuck the saw under the my workbench when not in use). May have to reconsider if I detect any signs of strain.

    I have seen some guys build a little support/cabinet under that side. Fun saw for $529. Am in the process of building my router table add on. Great idea buying a compact table and retro fitting it to your saw.

    I just purchased this saw.The center section is still cast iron. They no longer make either wing out of cast iron. And am in the process of building my router table. What a cool idea buying a compact table and retro fitting it into the table.

    I agree with your support idea. I think this idea is great but I would be concerned about stressing the rails. I route heavy hard wood stock sometimes which requires heavy pressure against the fence to get a nice clean cut and I would be afraid of bending the rails and bringing my table saw out of square or worse.

    Just completed this on my tablesaw. Instead of cutting out a dado for the switch, I removed it from the table and relocated it to the front edge of the support frame. Great instrucable, and your measurements were bang on!

    1 reply

    Thanks! I'm really glad to hear it was useful. Good idea with the relocation of the switch.

    I've done this too- mine worked out so that I could use the table saw fence with the router too-

    1 reply

    Nice. Yep, that works with this one, too - you just have to disconnect the router fence.

    I built a shaper table for my portable Rigid table saw (Yes, I have the very first year they made the saw) about 12-13 years ago and still use it. Mine is not nearly as well put together as yours, but I built the top surface from Lexan, so I can also remove it and use it as a circle jig. I'm suddenly feeling inspired to make a new one. If so, I'll post pics.

    My only suggestion what looks like a great application.

    Get back to Canadian Tire or Harbor Freight tools and buy an inexpensive foot controller for the router. I use mine like a dead man switch, so that I can turn the machine on and off without leaning down or looking away from the project. (note: these units are probably not capable of operating the table saw, they're great additions to bench/floor mounted sanders, drill presses, jig saws and the like.

    2 replies

    Good idea... would they run router + shop vac? The nice thing about this unit is they power off and on using the same switch.

    Only if the sum of the amps required on each tool is less than the rating on the switch. Since each tool is unique, you'll have to check it out.

    I've been putting off doing the same for my shop for a while now, and just this past week I had an Eureka moment. Why not put the router table not to the side, as you have, but in line with the table saw AS THE OUTFEED TABLE. Two birds, one stone. One less structure taking up space around my saw. Actually two less.

    Still, you're spot on with your thinking. Routers and saws take up lots of room in your shop, and this brings your workpiece out into the center of the room where you have the most ability to move about. Good idea.

    2 replies

    One good reason to put the router table in between the fence rails os so you can use the table saw fence with your router table. That is how I use mine.

    Yep, me too. I don't have space for an outfeed table... I just tend to grab the closest kid and use them instead :)

    I think this idea is great but I would be concerned about stressing the rails. I route heavy hard wood stock sometimes which requires heavy pressure against the fence to get a nice clean cut and I would be afraid of bending the rails and bringing my table saw out of square or worse.

    2 replies

    Good point. I think I will cut a length of wood to prop under the table if I'm ever routing heavy hardwood.

    So I agree with AnimattersInc in that you need some sort of support underneath. Nothing fancy just a piece of wood with a base would suffice.

    GREAT IDEA!!!!

    What an AWESOME Instructable! You have just solved a problem I have been facing for six months! I have a Scroll Saw, Router Table, Table Saw, Radial arm Saw and Drill Press! Now I can fit them ALL in my Tiny Shed AND use them! On the other side I can place the Joiner and Planer because they need longer running space. It helps that I am a welder/fabricator and can precisely align all these machines and secure them with steel! After reading this Instructable I ran out and measured everything. It is ALL going to fit the space with four inches to spare! So COOL!