Making A Table Saw Extension Wing For A Router Lift

Last week I built my quick release router lift and this week I made an extension wing for my table saw to mount the router lift to. If you haven’t already you might want to check out that project before this one as the actual plans for this wing are included as part of the router lift plans. My last router table was built specifically for my last shop. It had a French cleat on the back which allowed it to be mounted to a waste height French cleat on the wall. It worked great in the last shop but in this shop I really didn’t have a decent place to use it. So it just sat and collected dust for the past 6 months.

I previously had a table saw mounted router table but my main issue with it was breaking down the router table setup to use the table saw. With the stop block incorporated into the new router lift that is no longer a problem. So for that reason I decided it would be best to save shop space and put this one back in the table saw. I’m not sure if I have been making projects that don’t utilize a router table because that just happens to be the design outcome or if subliminally I have been designing projects that can be completed with out the use of a router table because in the back of my head I knew I didn’t have one. Either way, completing this should allow me to complete router table tasks much more easily.

I do have plans available for those who are interested in this entire router table setup. The materials cost me about $50 and I picked up a 2HP Drill Master router from Harbor Freight for $39.75 plus tax (using one of their common 25% off coupons). A router table with a router lift and a router for about $100-$110. I’d consider that budget friendly. Detailed plans are available at the bottom of this article.

The extension wing itself continues the theme of the router lift in that the goal was to be super simple. There’s no need to complicate it so it’s just a shallow box. The router lift plan has a cutlist that includes parts for both the extension wing as well as the table fence. Because I already cut these parts in the router lift build all I had to do was assemble.

table saw extension wing router lift (1)

I often get asked what kind of plywood I am using. For this one, and most of my other shop projects, I used a 11 ply 3/4” Blondewood plywood from the blue store. It’s primed white on one side and I think a natural birch on the other side. While this stuff is a huge step up from cheap pine plywood I do wish I could get a hold of a little better quality plywood for around the same price. I’ve heard good stuff about Purebond plywood so maybe I’ll make a trip up to the orange store one day and get some.

table saw extension wing router lift (2)

Simple is the name of the game. Just glue and brad nails to complete the box structure.

table saw extension wing router lift (3)

With the insert plate cut to its final rectangle size I located it on the surface according to the plan and marked the perimeter with a pencil.

table saw extension wing router lift (4)

And then cut close to the line with a jigsaw to remove the bulk of the interior material.

table saw extension wing router lift (5)

Previously I used pocket holes to make a guide frame when cutting insert plate holes. For some reason I chose to use double sided tape instead. The tape worked great but unfortunately I was left with a lot of sticky residue that took about an hour to remove with a chisel.

table saw extension wing router lift (6)

The purpose of the guide frame is to give a reference for the exact perimeter needed for the insert plate. Using a router bit with a guide bearing I could route out the rest of the material leaving a perfect opening for the insert plate to sit in.

table saw extension wing router lift (7)

The router lift will be mounted to the bottom side of the extension wing. When you drive screws into a material without predrilling the material will mushroom out just a little bit so I predrilled countersunk holes into the top of the router lift. That way after the screw goes through the router lift and starts to go into the extension wing the mushroom that will be formed will have a little bit of expansion room into the countersink thus allowing for a snug connection between the two layers of plywood.

table saw extension wing router lift (8)

And mounting it to the bottom of the extension wing before it is installed. I made sure to line it up with the dimensions in the plan.

table saw extension wing router lift (9)

With the factory extension wing removed from the table saw I can transfer the mounting locations to the new extension wing.

table saw extension wing router lift (10)

And drill the holes. I was actually able to use mounting holes that were much further away from the table saw than the previous wing which helped to evenly distribute the weight of the wing.

table saw extension wing router lift (11)

Time to install. I was quite pleased at how much of a snug, yet effortless fit it ended up being.

table saw extension wing router lift (12)

Of course the next step is leveling it to the table saw surface. I didn’t get too crazy with this step. So long as my cheap straight edge says they are coplanar then it’s good enough for me.

table saw extension wing router lift (13)

An area where this router table system will shine is in dust collection. I’m using a 4” dust collection port to directly hook up to my dust collector. I’ve used this exact dust collection setup in my last two router tables and it is fantastic. It really does a great job at bringing full dust collection right up to the cutting edge of the router.

table saw extension wing router lift (14)

After a bit of sanding and filing to remove the corners on the insert plate it is fit into the hole.

table saw extension wing router lift (15)

To precisely locate the center of the router bit I used a 1/4” brad point bit in the router collet. Then the insert plate can be lowered on top of the bit to form an indent right at the correct location.

table saw extension wing router lift (16)

I used a 1-1/2” diameter forstner bit for the router bit hole. I know I’ll be using different router bit sizes so I can always make more insert plates later to accommodate different bit diameters.

table saw extension wing router lift (17)

To make the dust collection really efficient a much larger hole is cut behind the router bit hole. This creates an unobstructed path for the dust collection to reach right up to the router bit. The hole in the back is 4” in diameter but it will all be covered by the router fence later.

table saw extension wing router lift (18)

With the extension wing build and mounted and the insert plate fitting properly I had to call it quits for the day. I ran out of time and I knew the video was getting long. The router fence will be for another day.

table saw extension wing router lift (19)

Quick Release Lever Router Lift Plans

featured-image-router-plan

[purchase_link id=”8965″ text=”Add To Cart” style=”button” color=”orange”]

This router lift is lever activated for quick movement while still allowing precise positioning. An included stop block will allow you to easily drop the bit if needed and quickly return to the exact position you were at. The plan includes the router lift and enclosure, a 27” x 20” top so it can be used as an extension wing for a table saw, and an adjustable fence. Every piece in this plan is color coded to designate it’s location. I find this approach easy to follow as you can visually glance at the layout or reference diagrams and know where on the final assembly that particular part will end up. There are two versions of the build in the plan. One for use with a 4″ dust collection hose from below and the other to use with a shopvac hose attached to the fence. The lift extends 15-3/4” below the surface of the table. This plan fits a standard 3-1/2” diameter router. An approximate build cost is about $50 depending on where you get the hardware. My cost for everything except the 1-1/4″ wood screws that I had was just shy of $50 with sales tax. Links to the SketchUp files are included in the plan.

The entire plan is included in one PDF document. Most everyone will have a PDF reader installed on their computer already but if you do not you can use the free program Adobe Reader to view the plans. You can download Adobe Reader HERE.

Included in the lever router lift plan:

  • 30 detailed pages
  • shopping list
  • tools list
  • plywood layout diagrams
  • reference diagrams for specific part dimensions
  • exploded view diagrams
  • step by step 3D assembly diagrams with written instructions

router-lift-collage

The checkout process for this plan uses PayPal. You can use major credit or debit cards through PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account. To purchase the plan follow the link below. After you purchase the plan you will receive an email receipt from me containing a link to download your plan. Make sure to check your inbox and spam filter for the receipt. If you do not receive the email within 10-15 minutes or encounter any problems please contact me.

[purchase_link id=”8965″ text=”Add To Cart” style=”button” color=”orange”]


 

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14 Comments

  1. Tom Pritchard

    Are you planning to have “T-slotted” rails running cross to accommodate feather boards? As you stand in front of router rail would run left to right. Also including into your fence?

  2. Paul C. Dickie

    One useful trick I saw elsewhere was to use masking tape (painters’ tape) and Superglue, instead of double sided tape. The masking tape leaves less residue whilst holding well enough when rubbed down properly on both pieces, and the Superglue is used to stick the two tape surfaces together.

  3. Brian W.

    Jay, it looks awesome!!! Keep up the good work!!! When I get my table saw, that’s probably the first thing I would do…

  4. Mike Sawyer

    Jay – I really like this design. I will probably build it this spring. Question – are you going to use the table saw fence for the router or build a second fence?

  5. Paul C. Dickie

    How big is the shaft of the Forstner bit?

    Could the blank insert be clamped in place with the Forstner bit in the router and the router then raised to start cutting the hole, before flipping over the insert and finishing off the cut from the other side?

    1. Jay Bates

      The forstner bit shaft is 3/8″ I believe and the collet I had in the router was 1/4″. Spinning the forstner bit with the router would probably do more burning than cutting due to the speed.

      1. Paul C. Dickie

        Yes. the speed would be a problem unless an additional speed control was used to slow down the router sufficiently – and you’d need to “peck” at the insert, withdrawing the bit intermittently, to let both the bit and the router motor cool down.

  6. Artie Libman

    I have not ordered the plans for your router table insert as yet because I am not sure that I can resize it to fit the opening in my Rigid jobsite saw. The available opening is about 10″ x 20″ with the extension opened and locked. I read that the other users who have made an insert for this saw are able to leave the insert in as long as the fence is locked down on top of the insert since there is no way to fasten it in place. Any thoughts?

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