If you’re operating in a small workshop, you probably know how important it is to have some room while you’re working. Well, adding more tools means less room for smooth work. Why wouldn’t you try and fuse two smaller instruments into a big one and save space that way? There’s a way of attaching a router desk to a table saw and we’re going to show it to you. As long as you follow the steps and advice, you should have a new saw with a router attachment in no time.

Tools and materials needed

If you’re already an experienced woodworker, you probably have all of these tools available in your workshop. However, if you don’t, it’s not an issue; everything you’ll need is pretty cheap and affordable.

First of all, you’ll need a table saw. For this project, you’ll need a full-sized one with an extension. You will also need a router desk which is designed to be mounted on a workbench. These are the two main components of your projects – a table saw and a mini router desk. 

router table drawers

Along with these, you’ll need a drill, a hand saw, square, measuring tape, wood glue, screws, jigsaw, sandpaper, and clamps.

Measuring and cutting the frame

Measure the size of the desk and the size of the hole in the table extension. After taking the measures, build a simple wooden frame to adjust the size of your table in comparison to the frame. Once you fine-tune your data, you should end up with a prolonged desk and a wooden attachment which fits your table dimensions. You’re done with the preparations; it’s time to put the whole thing together.

Frame cutting

The assembly

Before you attach the frame, make sure it’s sitting flush with the router desk. Use a ruler or a square for this step. Remember, this is probably the most important step in the whole process, don’t skip it! If you don’t do it correctly, you risk building an uneven surface which is unusable when it comes to processing wood. Also, crooked surfaces are a severe safety threat. All it takes is a slight misalignment, and you could end up with a missing finger.

Once you attach the wooden plate with the frame onto the desk, it’s time to cut out the part where you’re going to put your mechanism. Measure the dimensions of the router plate and cut the wood accordingly. Measure the depth of the route and the table. Set it up so you can cut the rabbet and fit the routing plate into the table, so they are perfectly aligned. Use your table saw’s fence to make a straight rabbet. Once you fine-tune the rabbet, screw it to the frame. Now you have an extension to your desk with a router plate installed. The next step is installing the mechanism.

Installing the mechanism is pretty simple. All you need to do is align the screw hole on the mechanism with the frame and mark the holes with a pen. After that, drill the marked holes and attach the mechanism. This step is the final one as far as installing the attachment goes. Now, it’s time to setup the fence.

The fence

One good thing about these saws is that they come with an adjustable and straight fence. However, router fences need to have a gap in the middle so that you can put the barrier over the router. The simplest way to modify your saw fence is to add a couple of wooden joists to the existing barrier and cut a gap between for the router.

There is no need to drill holes in the existing fence because you risk warping and damaging it. Instead of drilling, use wood glue to put the wooden joints together. After the glue dries, use sandpaper or a band saw to smooth down the edges. Remember, the surface needs to be flat and straight or else it won’t have a purpose.

Fence

If you don’t want to cut the gap for the router bit, use two joints and measure the width of the bit; glue those two joints to a big one, but remember to leave a gap between them for the bit. It may not be as precise as cutting the gap by yourself; it will still do the job.

Finishing up

After you’re done with the project, make a test run. If you notice any anomalies, fix them before using your new tool for bigger projects. Also, you can attach the wooden extension with hinges instead of only screws. This way you’ll get a foldable router section integrated into the saw. The whole project can be finished within a day, and it’s not a complicated thing to do.

The project itself is pretty cheap, to say the least. Most of the required tools are already in your workshop. The advantages are pretty obvious. For example, you’ll get a 2-in-1 machine for a couple of dollars. Instead of buying a brand new router table separately, you can build your own in a heartbeat.