Adding a router-table extension to your contractor-style table saw is fairly easy to accomplish – simply remove the metal extension that’s there now, and then build and bolt this one into place.
Important note: This table was built for a specific 10″ saw model, so the dimensions and connections may vary somewhat for your saw.
As a general rule, you should plan to make the tabletop as wide as the extension being replaced and as long as the front and rear rails can sturdily support. Sometimes, the extension table can be slightly longer than the metal extension it replaces.
Constructing the tabletop assembly
1. Cut the extension table-top (A) to size from 3/4″ plywood.
2. Cut the banding strips (B, C) to size, mitering the ends as shown in the drawing on the next page.
3. To mount the banding strips to the plywood, drill and countersink mounting holes through the strips and into the tabletop edges. Making sure the top edges are flush, glue and screw the strips to the tabletop. Sand the top surface of the banding flush with the top of the plywood tabletop.
4. Measure the length and width of the banded top, and cut a piece of plastic
laminate to the measured size plus 1″ in length and width. Using contact cement,
center and adhere the plastic- laminate to the top of the tabletop assembly (A,
5. Fit your router with a flush-trimming bit, and rout the edges of the laminate flush with the edges of the banding.
6. Follow Steps 1 through 5 on the Tabletop Layout drawing (next page)
to form the opening in the tabletop for the router plate. (Tip: when routing
the 3/8″ rabbet 3/8″ deep in Step 5, it’s a good idea to go 5/16″ deep on the first pass, and then 1/64″ deeper per pass until the top surface of the plate is perfectly flush with the top surface of the table-top laminate. (Your other option is to have a piece 3/8″ acrylic cut to size.)
Mounting the extension to the saw table
1. Follow the four-step drawing below to mark the mounting holes in the tables aw extension. Before drilling, double-check that the top surface of the extension table will be perfectly flush with the top surface of your saw table.
2. Use a chisel to form notches (1-1/2″ wide by 1-3/4″ long by 1/2″ deep)
on the bottom side of the extension for housing the hex-head bolts. See the Front
drawing on previous page for reference. Fasten the extension to the saw table.
3. Using the holes in the guide rails as guides, mark their location onto
the outside surfaces of both banding pieces (C). Remove the extension table from
the saw table and drill the guide- rail mounting holes where marked. See the
End View for reference. Chisel a notch (3/8" deep) on the inside face of the
banding strips (the mounting bolts aren’t long enough to go completely through the 3/4″ thick
4. With the top edges perfectly flush, fasten the extension table to the saw table and rails.
Mark & Drill the Mounting Holes
STEP 1: Mark and transfer the centerlines from the saw-table holes to masking
STEP 2: Position the extension table against the saw table, and transfer
STEP 3: With a square, extend the lines down the edge of the table extension
STEP 4: Measure the distance from the top of the saw table to the centerline
of the existing hole. Transfer that dimension to the table extension. Drill the
mounting holes through the banding.
This article is excerpted from the book “Router Tips, Jigs & Techniques” and is reprinted by permission of Woodcraft.