router/outfeed table; previously charted territory?

In working on the redesign of my shop, I'm planning some sort of outfeed table. The table bit is obvious enough. I'm trying to think what else to do with the space.
The saw eats most of my itty bitty shop, and the outfeed area is a corner that has always been poorly utilized for one reason or another. I've had all kinds of stuff there over the years, but have never found an efficient way to use the space.
I have room for a table perhaps as much as 36" deep while still allowing enough of an aile to get in between it and the wall to stand there and do something. (Only about 48" outfeed area; it's the best I can possibly manage.) I'm tossing around different ideas for how to make use of the space under the table.
* storage cubbies * drawers * shop vac housing
I'm also tossing around different ideas what to do with the top of the thing.
* router table ? * general-purpose place to use free-standing Crapsman router table (nah), homeless belt sander, bench grinder, scrollsaw * horizontal item accumulator
I'm thinking what to do for the top itself too. I have a waterbed I've been keeping around for years now, trying to find some use for the thing. SYP probably. I'm thinking to use this bed for whatever underneath bit I come up with, but I'm going to have to buy something for the top. I suppose the top could be anything from a hunk of plywood to a closeout special piece of melamine-encrusted particle board countertop or something. The ultimate use I pick out for the thing will have some hand in dictating what I make the top out of, and the bottom too for that matter.
So anyway, throw out some ideas. Picture in your mind a Crapsman 24/24 Contractor's saw with waffle wings. You have a big dead space behind it about 48" deep. You want to put something there to catch cutoffs, and you want to make the space double as something else, or as several something elses, as efficiently as possible.
Is a router table about the best I could do? The only router table I have now is one of those silly Crapsman ones with the corrugated top and the two piece fence. The (Crapsman) router in it is a complete POS that's almost completely useless. My budget is extremely confined, but I have half a mind to skimp on lunches and scrounge $99 for a bottom of the line P-C router, and stick it under some kind of table.
So far, I never have used my stupid two part fence for much of anything on the POS router table. I usually just use a ball bearing pilot. I don't really expect having fancy tracks and fence-age would change how I use the banshee. To me a banshee is a machine for putting fancy edges on frame members, and putting rabbets on the back of frames. I don't want to joint with it, do router lettering, mortises, tabletop surfacing, or any of umpty dozen other things you banshee afflicted people rave about with the thing. I do as much of that kind of stuff by hand as I can, because I hate the scream of a router, and I love the gentle shick of hand tools, and I have no deadlines, and no reason to try to speed things along. I just want a mechanical way to do a few select jobs that really suck to do with a combination of hand tools and a table saw. I could just about do a plain table and stick the Crapsman crap-o table on top of it (with a P-C or similar router retrofitted onto it) for what little I plan to do with the thing, but that table is SUCH a POS.
Well, anyway, have fun. Feel free to start raving about the incredible virtues of banshees too. If I had a real banshee with a 1/2" collet that actually held a bit securely, and a depth adjustment that worked, I might even stop hating the screaming, obnoxious things so much. Maybe. I still don't ever expect to use it out of a table though. A hunk of carbide whirling at 25,000 RPM 4" from my squishy parts? Nah. Playing with matches is more fun, and less dangerous.
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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Doubling up is a great idea if you can do it. My outfeed table fits securely level to the tablesaw and conceals my shaper, which is on a home-made stand with two drawers and two shelves for bits and fences. Makes it easy to span both with a slab of reinforced MDO for glue work, too.
My router table lives on a home-built stand underneath my belt/disk sander until required, then it's clamped onto the Workmate which normally hangs behind it. The left wing of my tablesaw shelters part of my jointer, which rests on a homebuilt stand low enough so that I can clear wood over it on the saw.
Everything but the tablesaw and drill press is on wheels in my shop, giving space, when required, to another tool. Even the lathe _can_ be moved, but it's a chore and a half.
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"Silvan" wrote in message

YMMV, but due to space limitations, my main work/assembly bench has always done double duty as my TS 'outfeed' table.
IOW, the TS and workbench/outfeed table take up most of the middle space of the shop, leaving the periphery for tools on mobile bases, wood storage, wall cabinets and a wall mounted workbench.
The space under the bench/outfeed table is half drawers, and half shelf. Under one end, and out of the "aisle", is a pancake air compressor. Under the opposite end is the shop vac.
There is a lot of room for storage under both the TS extension table and workbench ... bit tough to keep free of sawdust, but it is a shop after all.
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Postulate #1: Any horizontal space accumulates crap.
So live with that notion, and plan around it.
The outfeed table of my saw folds down. When up, it extends out the garage door. This means that any stuff which accumulates there must be moved before close of working hours. Rather forces me, against my nature, to clean stuff up at the end of the day.
My (primary) router table is homebuilt. Slab of Borg-purchased melamine, reinforced with 2x materials, on a homebuilt frame. Sort of like Unisaw's 'before' picture. Works for me. The fence is overkill, although it was purchased at a woodworking show for $80. A jointed piece of straight hardwood works just fine. In fact. that's what my 'traveling' router table is: 3/4" cabinet ply, with a PC690 fixed base screwed to the underside, several pieces of hardwood for fence options, and a bag of C-clamps. Chip collection is done with a broom. For this, the PC690 is just perfect. The 3.x hp screamer lives fulltime in the other table. Which is used as an aux assembly table for most of it's time, anyway. (See postulate #1.)
The $99 PC is a great primary router for your described use.
Patriarch
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Patriarch wrote:

Damn man, I was all excited, expecting a tale/plan/information on a router table which is rounded! And here it just folds down. Bah.
PK
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Patriarch wrote:

Am I the only one who had a sudden vision of that automatic cat pan with the little mechanical arm that combs through the box after the cat has taken a dump? I could borrow some technology for that, and build a space that cleans itself of crap at regular intervals. Then I'd have to remember that that tape measure/marking gauge/can of soda/glass jar/pile of razor blades/whatever is in the collection bin on the side of that when I can't find it.
Maybe I should patent the idea, and make one for workbenches too. :)
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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the
that
I think I'm more in favor of a simple solenoid actuated dump mechanism. Easier to construct, lower maintenance over its life, and it will dump everything in a convenient place to kick it around. Neat freaks could always station a 33 gallon garbage can at the end of it. The rest of us know that kicking it around, stepping over it and generally getting frustrated with the mess is just part of the ritual.
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On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 02:43:43 -0500, Silvan wrote:

Here are my suggestion, for what it's worth (2 kanuckistani cents, soon to be 3 or 4 cents in US pesos).
1. Forget about the shed. Move your WW stuff into the basement room. I'm sure Keith will be happy to help you with set-up ideas. Think of what you'll save in heating costs. Betcha you haven't insulated the shed yet. You can move SWMBO's giant pukey ducks in there
2. Failing 1., Patriarch's idea of a folding outfeed is good. That's what I have too, on a contractor saw. You'll have to build a one-foot or so extension on the back of the saw to clear the motor and hinge the outfeed table off of that.
3. Get rid of one of the wings on the TS and make a router table to fit there.
4. #3 will prolly make the TS unstable, so ditch the sheet metal stand and build a cabinet on wheels instead. The portion under the saw itself is a sawdust trap. The rest (under the router & mebbe under the left wing) is storage for geegaws.
If you want more details, ping me on the back channel (tmKB).
HTH
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Luigi
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