You would almost certainly be better buying a cheap table saw and
cutting a hole for it in the flush door you really want.
Then you can make an insert the same size to drop the router in.
You need to make or buy a decent fence as cheap table saws are somewhat
lacking. The rest of the table saw is usually fine.
You can 3d print a template to make dog holes if you want.
I have seen quite a few people rave about the Festool MFT and similar
things, but never really been that keen myself. I suppose if you want
the combination of spot on accuracy and portability, then there is
something to be said for the idea.
Have a look at:
That would seem to be a DIY option that will fit the bill nicely (even
if you build it a little smaller)
He has a few videos on these, e.g.
The option of using holes for Parf dogs (or similar) means that you can
very accurately line up a track saw track above the bench. There are
quite a few of those available now at more sensible prices than the
Festool ones. Makita, and Dewalt both have quite good ones.
Now, instead of spending silly money on a worktop with an array of nicely d
rilled holes, you can buy a guide system that lets you drill your own nice
array of holes - still silly money for what it is, but only half the silly
money, and you can make a new top whenever you knacker up the old one.
On 15/08/2017 21:46, email@example.com wrote:
I'm going to be bankrupt and it's your fault! ;-)
Yup, saw that - probably worth it if you need to do it several times.
(although if you have access to an accurately drilled surface, its
trivial to copy it with a router and a bottom bearing guider cutter ;-)
Do you have a wall which could act as one side of the work table? You
could screw battens or something else such as metal angle to the wall
and ensure that is dead level, effectively removing the need for two
legs of the table. The other two legs could be adjusted to whatever
height gives a completely level surface. The work table would be
removable, just resting on the battens (or using temporary fixtures to
assist with stability). No reason why a removable panel couldn't be used
for your sawing and router work, or maybe use the same idea with
wall-fixed battens to take the weight of one side of the saw/router.
I'm happy with the idea for a bench now.
I have to do somethign that fits in a 1.7 x 3.4m shed for now, but
would be happy in a proper space later.
I'm probably going to do something on a 2x4" frame that sits on
sawhorses (the type with the slots to take 2 off 2x4" beams).
And make it into a torsion box topped with something suitable.
Later, if I manage to build a proper workshop (the full 15m2) I could
fix 4x4" legs to the frame.
So how to start, with small scale woodworking that can grow?
Build into bench as a lift out module? Or separate table saw that can be
lined up with bench to use latter as an outfeed?
If modular, I think it would need a pre made ali module like the Festool
one (or similar) to get a decent and safe mount, where the blade has all
the correct tilting and raising mechanisms done properly. This could be
mounted in a removable ply carrier that itself forms the "standard
module" on my bench - and thus could be removed and replaced with a ply
infill if using the bench for hammering which might damage machinery.
Router - that seems a little easier - either the cheap option to mount
to a ply module plate of my own making, or fit a router lift module to ply.
Thicknesser - that's easy, many are quite compact.
Planer/Jointer? These are expensive and big. Is there any other way to
true and square up random timber?
You can make a jig for use on a table saw with toggle clamps to hold
down boards, you then run the straight edge of the jig along the fence
(or in a mitre slot) to get one straight cut on the board, then run the
cut edge of the board through the saw again to get a parallel opposite
edge, e.g. < https://youtu.be/mMmFNdN7toY
It's so obvious when you say it :)
Yes - it seems to me that constructing a versatile table saw actually
trumps everything else.
I've seen some really good ideas using fences sliding on parallel tracks
to get spot on motion inline with the blade.
Once you have that basic sled, it seems a slot of jigs can be made to
work with it, eg mitre, cross cut, and this.
Once you have a table, routing in tracks is easy and I don't see it
would take very long to construct a table top with a drop in saw module
(if accepting that buying a less cheap Festool tracksaw and its table
mounting would deal with the tricky parts of the engineering).
One could justify that on the basis it gives you a tracksaw too and if a
good table saw avoids needing a chop saw and a planer, it's a win.
Yes, OK, a chop saw is better, but I've seen people using table saws for
most of the common work a chop saw does.
Next question, how big a table?
The full 8x4' is too big.
3x6' seems maybe better, or 4x5' ? What's a practical size? We could
assume full ply sheets are cut on the ground either roughly or with a
track saw - so we only need to really be able to handle what we are
actually building - say cupboards, that sort of thing.
Yup getting a full sheet over a fixed saw takes loads of space - I can't
do it in my workshop (about 17' x 12').
I find the table on my saw is more than adequate in width for most
things I need to do (keeping in mind the lack of space for working full
sheets on it). In a small space a roller stand or two helps but is not
ideal. I found lack of outfeed space to be the biggest problem. I built
a two part table for mine, with a small short section that is "always
there" and a fold away larger bit. The small addition (another 12" or
so) makes quite a big difference, and on its own helps with many small
to medium projects. You can get an idea from the photos:
Sure - I would expect to work with half sheets or smaller typically for
most things I'm likely to do.
Thanks - I'll have a look.
The main thing is to get something useful working fairly soon, rather
than spending 2 years making tables, cabinets, stands :)
But with a long term evolutionary plan in mind...
Indeed. Hence why contractors table saw that can be used anywhere and
"now" is a good start. Other stuff can be built round it with time.
Then a tracksaw (either a real one, or a normal circular saw and a
sawboard), plus a spare sheet of insulating foam will serve to cut down
big sheets. Lay the foam on the floor, board on that, and set the depth
of cut to just cut into the foam through whatever you are cutting up.
My first router table was the router clamped upside down in the B&D
You don't say how oversized this random timber is.
If you've got one straight side then just running it through the saw
against the fence will give a second parallel side.
That's assuming the timber's not bowed in either direction.
If it's bowed then If its not for show just timber for a fence shed etc then
it can simply be pinned to a piece of straight sided ply with the straight
side run against the fence.
It might even be possible to position any pins - panel pins etc so they're
positioned in the waste. and as the pins wont go all the way through in
any case it may be possible to get away with pin holes on the back
in any case.
Then the timber is levered off the ply after each operation
and the pins hammered and then pulled out (the point
is hammered to loosen them) of the ply.
This will need to be done for any operation where the face
to be be pushed against the fence isn't perfectly straight.
(more expensive and sophisticated options are of course available)
So that gives you two straight parallel sides. a) and b)
Now if the timber is straight on one of the two remaining sides, say (c),
then flipping 90 degrees and running either a) or b) along
the bed of the saw, and c) against the fence will produce a side
d) which is at 90% to a) and b).
Then bringing the fence in and running d) against the fence will
with a) or b) against the bed will produce a fourth face c) which is
again at 90% making the timber perfectly square.
Whereas If neither c) nor d) is straight then the plywood base will
first need to be brought into use again
Basically the fact that the fence, the bed of the table, and
the saw blade are, or at least should be at 90% gives you your
references when machining.
It should be pointed out maybe that in all these operations
the operator should stand to the side, rthar than directly behind
any timber being pushed through the saw. And use push sticks
Blah blah blah
I think in your circumstance I would go with a decent quality
"contractors" table saw - i.e. a portable one. You can build a table to
use for outfeed space. Later you can build a proper bench to drop it
into to give you more table space etc.
Or intermediate - a steel / ali router mounting plate that will let you
mount in a table. Trend do several as do others.
Look for a 4 post design with long tables. The DeWalt I use is not bad.
With a bit of ingenuity you can do a certain amount of surface planing
with a thicknesser as well, although you could look at a combined
You a dedicated jointer planer is nice (I got a really good small Delta
on ebay for about £60). However if you don't mind titting about with the
thicknesser you can do a fair bit on that. Start with a flat bit of ply
or similar. Then fix you rough board to it (screw from underside, hot
glue etc). Use wedges to prop up any wobbly bits. Then the thicknesser
will "copy" the flatness of the ply to the top face of your board. You
can then flip it on its own to get the other face. Square the narrow
edge on the table saw. (make a clamping board with a guide rail bar on
the bottom, so you can run a bit of odd shaped timber straight past the
blade without needing to use the fence.
No time to read the whole thread, but I will just say this. Many a
lightweight saw or bench has been made rock solid with a few sandbags
hung over the cross pieces. Wadkins are good, mainly because they're so
damned heavy :-)
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