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Do it yourself

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When you need something for the shop, even though several may be commercially available sometimes they just aren’t what you want or need. No problem.

Years ago I cut down a commercial router table and adapted it to fit the right extension on my table saw. I could have bought a new one sized for the saw, but since I already had the router top I saved a few bucks and used the old one. Wasn’t pretty, but it’s worked great for nearly a decade. I want a router extension for my new table saw, but can’t just take the extension from my old machine – it won’t fit, plus after all those years it’s really taken a beating. Time for a new one.

Unfortunately, the many router extensions I’ve researched are either too darned expensive or just not quite the right size. So I’m making my own.

I’m using 3/4" melamine-coated particleboard for the table, and affixing it to a “mounting box” attached between the fence rails on the right side of the saw. I did the tough part already, routing out the inset for the new router plate, and it came out just right – the new plate drops down into the inset and is perfectly flush with the table. The next step is to add some hardwood trim to the raw edges of the particleboard (it will then exactly match the wood-trimmed melamine tops of my assembly/outfeed table, and those cabinets I made last year), followed by routing a groove for an aluminum miter slot of the same color as the new plate.

Although this has saved a lot of money over commercial extensions, a factor that’s very welcome in my shop, that’s not the point. The result will be an exact match not only for my saw, but the entire shop. It’ll work great, and look great in photography. Most important, this is turning into a fun project.

And for many of us, that’s the whole point of doing something yourself out in the shop in the first place.



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