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Router table on BT Series saw: Right or Left

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  • Router table on BT Series saw: Right or Left

    Okay, so as stated before, I'm setting up the BT 3000 again in its new home. I have almost all the bells and whistles. Ryobi folding outfeed table, flotation table, leg kit, mobile kit (don't use because of flotation table extension). Router/jigsaw kit (I only use the router, and NOT Ryobi's horrible indeed outfeed fences). Long fence kit. I even bought a1/2 length of rails to extend more, from another user ages ago.

    That was just bragging... I wish I'd bought their shop vac for the flotation table.. But didn't. I also don't have the slot attachment for placing a standard saw miter gauge... I'd really like to get one of those. So I don't have ALL the bell's and whistles.... Sigh.

    When I built my balustrade for the house in Iowa, I used the router table to the left of the saw. Many seem to use it on the right.

    If someone uses it on the right, I guess I'd like to know what the thinking is.

    I currently left enough space to the right of the saw to put it there, and there it sits. Looks odd to me, because the router station seems purpose built to sit on the left, with a ledge matching the ledge on the left of the saw table in which to insert a plywood table (potentially with a groove to mimic a standard tablesaw miter gauge slot....)

    Anyway, that's my current dilemma... All input is wanted and welcome. And THANKS!

  • #2
    In its original configuration, the accessory table sits on the right side of the blade with the SMT on the left. There is more rail space to the right where one would normally use the fence which easily slides over the accessory table. While I have the router mounting hardware (which came with the accessory kit, I simply do not use it, preferring a separate and significantly larger router table from Rockler.

    While I know many posters state they use and like the router mounted in the accessory table, it just doesn't suit my way of working... I don't want a tool that I have to mount and un-mount whenever I want to do another function. In my shop, I go from tool to tool and back again as the process continues and I don't like to have to disassemble, mount, clean-up, or re-mount to continue through the process of building somethings (problem I see with a tool like a ShopSmith or mounting accessory tools like a router on my tables saw; hence I keep my table saw and my router work station separate.

    However, I do understand my work preferences are my own. That said, the BT does have the versatility to adjust it's rails left or right, and mount the SMT or Accessory Table (with or without the router) to either side of the blade, the choices is up to the owner and their work comfort. But, the original configuration is to have the SMT to the left of the blade, the fence and accessory table to the right.

    Taking note of your statement regarding that "ledge" on the left of the saw blade area. If you examine that closer, that is to allow the SMT to sit closer to the blade, where the SMT table actually fits that ledge at almost the same level as the main table. Likewise, the accessory table on the right side fits nicely and at the same height as the main table, with minimal gap. (Positioned on the left, the Accessory table will leave a prominent space because of that "ledge".

    Hope this is helpful,

    CWS
    Think it Through Before You Do!

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    • #3
      if i had a flotation table, it would be on the right;
      so by default, router mounted aux table to the left
      Loring in Katy, TX USA
      If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
      BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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      • #4
        Thanks... To both of you! You both affirmed my thought process.

        I think, I'll stay to the left... But with the SMT between the saw and router accessory table. I'll have to move my rails a bit left I think.

        I added a feature to my router accessory table. It has a Router Raizer in it. (I did have to drill a hole, but, I also counter bored it, so the mechanism "cover slug" fits flush with the top surface.)

        So, I can cut all my pieces... With the router down if need be. And then raise it for the routing process required.

        .... Edit below ....

        Hmmm... Thinking some more.. I may put the SMT far left, with the router nearest the saw.... But that can easily change... Either way as need arises.

        Thanks again guys.
        Last edited by oakchas; 03-17-2019, 01:23 PM.

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        • #5
          I've always had the router accessory table to the right of the main table. My folding out feed table then becomes an in feed table to support longer work pieces. I have the SMT immediately to the left of the main table and I have a second accessory table in between the main table and the router table on the right. This allows me to have two fences on the saw at once. The regular rip fence with a high fence add on, and the other rip fence with the router table fence attached. I also have two other accessory tables for very wide rips or crosscuts. The saw is nearly always set up L to R as SMT, main, accessory, and router tables. For what I do, this seems to require less set up changes. I have also swapped the router and right side accessory tables if I have wide work pieces to rout or I'm doing pivot post routing. That "ledge" on the side of the accessory tables was originally designed to be a miter slot, but I don't recall anyone using it as such.
          Last edited by Jim Frye; 03-17-2019, 02:59 PM.
          Jim Frye
          The Nut in the Cellar.

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          • #6
            Thanks everybody! I've readjusted it all now...

            Here's another question...

            I'm thinking of putting a mobile base (a la Delta knock off from Harbor Freight). With steel square tube instead of hardwood. Any thoughts at that length? About 6 feet all told... And I'd have to put a plate near the left half for the saw table legs to set on...

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            • #7
              When I had my BT3100 it was on a mobile cart as shown below. I have an HTC mobile base now as you describe for my Rigid 4512 with 8' rails and legs on the far end. I 'm planning (someday) to build a new bile cart for the 4512 similar to the one I had on my BT3100. It was just much easier to move the cart than it is to move the new saw on a mobile base.

              Click image for larger version

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              Chr's
              __________
              An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
              A moral man does it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cwsmith View Post
                While I know many posters state they use and like the router mounted in the accessory table, it just doesn't suit my way of working... I don't want a tool that I have to mount and un-mount whenever I want to do another function. In my shop, I go from tool to tool and back again as the process continues and I don't like to have to disassemble, mount, clean-up, or re-mount to continue through the process of building somethings (problem I see with a tool like a ShopSmith or mounting accessory tools like a router on my tables saw; hence I keep my table saw and my router work station separate.
                I use the BT3100 as a router table, along with my own homemade router fence (from an old Wood Magazine plan. I certainly would not say it's better than a standalone table, but in my garage shop which is still used for vehicle parking much of the year, I simply don't have room for a dedicated table. But it's rare that I need to both cut and route at the same time (plus I can do a lot of cutting on my separate 12" SCMS) so it isn't as bad as one might think. Plus it isn't hard to convert between the two, just remove my secondary fence (a couple of clamps) and lower the router bit into the table.

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