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DIY Table Saw and Router Table

In this post I will walk thru a unique DIY project to build an inexpensive combo table saw, router table and maybe a jigsaw to add to my very limited space workshop. Dust collection will use a shopvac with a small cyclone. There will be a gallery of photos, but there individual images and text will take you thru the project.

The goal of this project is to use my used $50 Makita 2711 table saw with the gifted JOINTECH Clincher CabinetMaker Clincher Fence System designed for use with a Delta table saw. The JoinTech company no longer exists. This six foot Saw Train and Fence System came to me unused and still in the packing boxes. Once done I expect to have a very nice DIY table with a precision fence with minimized out of pocket expense.

The Makita 2711 was cleaned it up, brushes replaced and a 10″ blade was installed. The 3 1/2″ cutting height will loose 3/4″ to a 7-ply AC plywood table top. The Makita slider will be replaced by two 6′ zinc plated angle irons to form the backbone support for the table. I have an Inca miter so a t-track will be used. I also plan to use Grippers to protect my fingers.

DIY Table Saw Contsruction

This is my initial list of steps to build the table saw. I will add pictures and notes as I progress.

Makita dust port.
  1. Attach finished Makita saw 4″ dust port.
    a. Using routing template held secure with double stick tape cut dust funnel hole.
    Sand, urethane and assemble. Lube the table saw before sealing it closed.
    b. Practice with template bushings. Use at test board to practice cutting the router plate hole with a template bushing.
    c. Nice to do: Attach the Freud router to a new woodpecker phenolic plate.
    • Notes: My template bushings are too small to use for the Router table plate template. I want a 1/2 ledge for the plate, but the bushings are not close to being large enough. The double stick tape worked well to hold down the template to cut the table saw port. I think the tape will help with the jig for routing the table top hole for the router plate
  2. Move the angle iron backbones to the 27/45 location. Add horizantal spacers (19 3/8″ ?) to ensure they are parallel.
    • Notes
  3. Attach wood edges for Jointech rails to the Makita saw.
    Build the maple wood edge rails. Use the workbench to get them flat and straight. Glue and screw.
    Predrill screw holes each foot for attaching to table top.
    Add three countersunk (due to rails) holes for attachment to the Makita.
  4. Determine the size of the table top: 72 1/4 x 27 1/2????
    Should it be longer than 72″ say 72 1/4 to allow trimmming and endplates to be fitted tight?
    Shorter than the rails is a problem. An extra 1/8″ on each side is not an issue.
  5. Flip table right side up. Level the rails to the Makita top.
    Attach the dust funnel to the Makita.
    Add eight small vertical spacers to hold table level. Measure height with calipers.
  6. Buy and install plywood table top.
    Check the length against that of the side rails.
    Cut the side rails to length.
    Fashion some temporary endplates with legs and level?
    Level and connect maple side rails to the table top.
    Edge trim the side rails.
    Install the Jointech rail clips, check for clearence to cut t-tracks.
    Remove JoinTech rails and epoxy coat the wood rails filling srew holes for better grip.
    Sand and urethane the table top.
    Add the permanent vertical spacers.
  7. Install JoinTech Sytem.
    Install the Jointech rails.
    Add endplates with permanent legs. Level again.
    Install the Jointech SawTrain and fence.
  8. Using the JoinTech fence for alignment of router and miter tracks.
    Raise the Makita saw blade and align JointTech fence to be parallel.
    Decide where to place the Router plate and dust box, draw outline on table.
    Draw lines for the t-track miter slots using fence.
  9. Cut the router plate hole in table and miter tracks.
    Cut the router plate hole. Epoxy edges and finish.
    Cut the t-track slots using plunge router and JoinTech fence if rails permit.
  10. Build the router dust box with phenolic plywood.
    Need a cable grommet for the router cable exit from box.
    Need to cut hole for dust funnel, add a door and attach table.
    Attach to dust portal to dust collection system, cut a new PVC extention as needed.
  11. Finishing table top.
    Remove the fence and do a final finish on the table top.
    Reassemble and test dust collection.

DIY Mortiser

DIY Mortiser
DIY Mortiser

To build my radiator covers, I would like to use mortise and tenon joinery. Making the tenons using a router table and a jig seems doable. Trouble is that a mortise machine is costly. While I don’t have enough use to justify buying a mortiser it may just be that owning one would cause me to come up with more uses. So I acknowledge that a DIY mortise tailored for this specific use could be foolish if it were expensive or worked poorly. I do have an inexpensive floor drill press. My attempt to find a compatible mortise attachment for this drill press failed.

From the image you can pretty much see what I made. There are a couple of hold downs on the sides to secure the jig to the table. There are a couple of clamps that hold down the wood while I make the mortises. Clamps also hold the wood in the jig. Using the t-track to hold the bit straight did not work. Once I start up this project, I will provide more images of the fork like tool I used to hold the bit straight and also measure the distance between mortises consistently.

There is not enough power to cut deep mortises, but 1/2″ or so does work. Sharpening the bits is critical, so I have some cones to use on my drill. Otherwise, I sharpen them the same board I use for my chisels. I may try smoothing out the inside of the bits to help reduce clogs. With mortise chisels I can get deeper when needed.

Shop Workbench

This butcherblock table top is something I purchase when I was in high school to be flat and sturdy. Today I have added a back to keep things from falling off and some magnetic strips to attach tools that used to be on another wall using pegboard. The magnetic strips helps me keep the tools handy and off the table surface. I have trouble keeping the table top workspace cleared. The power switches are on the far right and my old DeWalt corded drill is hung plugged into a power outlet ready to use. The magnifier on the left is handy for close up work. At some point I will hang an LED light to improve the lighting.

Not included in the picture is a family inherited set of storage drawers which I also use to stack some not in use tools.

Configuring my DIY Table Saw with Router

The JoinTech manual shows three table Delta table saw/router configurations based on the length of the table. I have the 6′ rails, which puts the saw on the far left side of the table (JST-6). But I don’t actually have a Delta saw and plan to use my Makita 2711.

The SAW TRAIN is the part of the fence system that attaches to the side rails and secures the adjustable fence.

Trying to come up with the best configuration for my DIY table has been a bit of a challenge. The Makita is a mobile table so my inclination is to configure like in the bottom image (JST-4) but 6′ long putting those two extra feet of table space to the right of the saw? There would be three miter tracks. One to the left of the Router and two bracketing the saw blade. The possible addition of a JigSaw would be on the right side of the table, say 2′ from the edge.

With the JoinTech Saw Train taking up space on the right side of the table I would like to keep the saw near the center if not a bit to the left of center, probably located 27″ off he left edge giving the router a 27″ square area.

How to determine the best saw blade location on the table?

I’m having trouble figuring out where to locate the saw on the 72″ x 27 1/4″ Baltic Birch 13 ply plywood table surface. This is expensive plywood, so I need to be sure when I position the saw blade.

Sawing large sheets of plywood would require a large out-feed and in-feed area for support, but most to the time I would use the lumber yard for such large sheets. I might not even be able to get 4×8 sheets into my basement shop! The lumber yard will make a rough cut, but straight. A trim router could be used to smooth the edge if needed. See the post on the Betterley Stacc-Vac.

I don’t see the need for running large pieces on the router part of the table. I have a sled for smaller stock and good for cutting tenons. If I really need to use larger pieces, then I suppose I could use the two T-Tracks for the saw to make a sled. Maybe, but the JoinTech fence might handle this.

Counting +Pro vs. -Con for the saw blade location
Neutral: 36/36 down the middle.
BL: 27/45, more room to the right of the blade. (Blade more to the left side)
BR: 45/27, more room to the left of the blade. (Blade more to the right side)

1). Radiator Balasters:
Cutting a plank repeatedly for narrow <1″ parts. This seems to cover all thin slices off narrow planks widths < 24″.
A: I would stand to the left with the distance between the blade and fence fixed.
The Gripper would be used. Blade locations BL and BR work fine.

1.5). Radiator tops (maximum size of 1.5’x4.5′):
Note: presuming it is not wide stock, might even be a two piece glue
up to get to 1.5′ width so the Bosch miter saw could be used.
a. Widthwise (a cut to length) is not going to be easy, probably a miter cut,
will need more space on the left side of table favoring +BR. Placing the board
on the right side of the blade will require the fence to be removed. I think the best
solution would be a slider sled, which would still favor BR.
b. Lenghtwise (a cut to width) either BR or BL work.

2). 4’x6′ sheet of plywood cut down the middle
a. lengthwise a 2’x2′ cut
b. widthwise a 3’x3′ cut
A: +BL works better since it allows more room for board and fence on right.

3). 4’x6′ sheet of plywood trim of 3″ strips repetative.
a. lengthwise
b. widthwise

A: +BL works better since it allows more room for board and fence on right.

4). 4’x6′ sheet of plywood cut 1′ and 3′ widths.
a. lengthwise 1’x’3 or 3×1
b. widthwise 1×5 3×3

A: +BL works better since it allows more room for board and fence on right.

5). Miter cuts with Incra miter slide on the left side of blade and fence.
These cuts favor having more room to the left of the blade, B2.
A: +BL favoring miter cuts and maybe the right hand use of the gripper (pushbars.)

Betterley Stacc-Vac

Betterley Stacc-Vac

This was purchased this years ago, but never had the opportunity to put it to use. I can see using my refurbished Porter Cable plunge router for edge trimming simply because the dust collection is very good. My idea is to use this plunge router with the Stacc-vac for those times when I can’t use the router table. It is a well made accessory. https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?150612-Betterley-Router-Dust-Collection-Comments.

The base plate fit my Porter Cable 2529 plunge router with existing mounting holes, the dust port fit my vacuum attached to a cyclone and the clear plastic top dust guard allows my 1/2″ trim bit to pass through it.

Did I already mention that the dust collection is very good.

I will be removing the bottom brushes to see how well this works for template work. My first effort will be to cut the holes for my dust “hoods” that will be used as funnels under my table saw and router table. The large plate makes this large and heavy router more stable, safer and easier to use. The need to improve dust collection is driving me away from using my Bosch Colt as my go to router. The Stacc-Vac will not fit my brass Porter Cable template bushings (a different base plate), but then neither does the Colt. Will try making this my go to router for anything I can’t do on the router table.

Monarch Hatchery

  • Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
  • Ice Ballet Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
  • Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Inspired by by neighbors, I decided to attempt making a monarch butterfly hatchery for this spring. Once the weather warms (50-85 consistently) I will get some butterflies and plant some perennial milkweed:

I will add some pictures as I get flowers and butterflies.