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router lift in a unisaw side table

mudmanmike's picture

Hello All,

  I come to yall with my tail tucked between my legs. I have in the past proclaimed that it is rediculus to spend $500 on a router and lift instead of buying a shaper..... However I now have in the shop a new Jessem Master lift and the big ol' 3.24 horse PC router. I want to put this stuff in the side table of my 50" Unisaw. The complications are:

1. the Delta side table legs are in the way.

2. I am not real confident in the 3/4" table board's ability to support the weight over the long term.

3. I have a Unigaurd that could potientially get in the way. The Unigaurd is like the excalabur over head blade gaurd system.


  I can remount the legs closer to the end of the table, but I fear that Delta put those legs in that spot for a reason. Mabey the table will sag if I move it out more especially with the added weight of the router.

There is really no reasonable way to use a 1" board because of the existing hardware.

I think that I can work around the blade gaurd arm.

However, I think that the best solution might be starting from scratch making a new table setup with a cabinet of sorts supporting the table. Sort of like that router table of Norm's that yall are always talking about stuck under and supporting the side table.  I am certin that some of you have done this and mabey could give some advice.

Also my TS is a Right tilt so the motor cover is under the side table as well.

Thanks for reading,



I didn't say this because I thought it was obvious, but I really don't want to make a stand alone router table becaue I don't have the space.

please excuse my spelling.
nikkiwood's picture

(post #97082, reply #1 of 11)

I would go ahead and move the legs, and make a cut-out in the table just to the right of the motor cover.

I would then glue and screw two ribs on the bottom of the table just outside your cut-out. These should run the length of the table (motor housing toward the legs), stopping short of any hardware that's in the way.

Then I would run two ribs front and back, between the two ribs running lengthwise. Again, you can mount them just outside your cut-out for the router.

If you use 1 1/2" stock, you will be able to mount the ribs with 2" screws. Any 3/4" stock will do the job -- even MDF or veneer core plywood.

I know the big PC router is heavy, but this arrangement will do the job.

If you are tight on shop space, you might appreciate having the extra storage space that would come with the cabinet you mention, if you don't mind spending the time to make it.

*** "It is what we learn after we think we know it all, that counts." John Wooden ,1910-2010

bones's picture

(post #97082, reply #2 of 11)

Norm's router table is nice. I'm building that for my PRL and 7518. There are commercial versions of tables out there but I thought building my own would be fun. If you have a space problem that probably won't work. Good luck

Edited 5/16/2004 10:22 am ET by bones

...For that old machine lovers:

rrpm1's picture

(post #97082, reply #3 of 11)


It would seem to me that you could modify Norm's router table to fit under your 50"'d have to give up the deep storage draws but you'd have good space for all the bits and whenches.  Do you have the TS on a mobile base?....could that support the weight of a router cabinet under the table?  The one problem I see would be dust collection and a fense....and not have them in the way when you want to use the saw...

What about on your outfeed table side..would that be a beter candidate for mounting a router with a cabinet underneath?



jeffno's picture

(post #97082, reply #4 of 11)

first and foremost, a shaper isn't nearly as good as a big router and lift... and a router/lift isn't nearly as good as a shaper. It just depends on what you are using it for.

Now, on the main issue, a router cabinet tucked under the unisaw table is what I did. Not only did this solution solve the stability issue, the table will sag (assuming you have a unifence) under the weight of the router and lift if you don't reinforce it, but I also added dust collection and storage.

The stock legs actually come in kind of handy, I cut them off and used them under my router cabinet, they work well with the mobile stand and allow for height adjustment.

Attached is a couple of pics of my setup

pict0003.jpg71.04 KB
pict0004.jpg73.05 KB
mudmanmike's picture

(post #97082, reply #5 of 11)

Hi Everyone,


  Thanks for all the responses. I do have the Unifence, and like it a lot. I like the idea of screwing the strips underneath to reinforce the table because it is fast, though it would likely be temporary untill I build something better. I don't wan't to put it in the outfeed table because I have an employee who might be sizing stock while I'm routing edgeing or what ever. I really do not like to build shop fixtures or jigs as I have a (paying) work backlog several months deep. It is hard to spend two days making something for free when I could instead be earning money. However, sometimes, as yall know, you have to make what nobody sells.  By the way I would spend $300 on a comercially availible solution.

   All of the solutions so far are good. If I can steal the time I might build Jeff's setup.


Thanks everyone,



please excuse my spelling.
mudmanmike's picture

(post #97082, reply #6 of 11)



How did you attatch the cabinet to the board? And is that the origional board?


Thank you ,



please excuse my spelling.
jeffno's picture

(post #97082, reply #7 of 11)


it is the original table board. I routed in a miter slot and a couple of t-tracks to secure the fence with. Incidentally, this is the one aspect that really comes up short in this system, there is not a good way to attach the fence... you can't use clamps like you can on a router table because of the fence rails.

As for attaching the cabinet, I simply screwed it to the extension table and let gravity do the rest. I built the cabinet with it's own top, so the full thickness of the top (the stock Delta plus the cabinet) is 1.5" and that is plenty to drop a lift and router through. Also, I cut down the original metal legs and used them on the cabinet so the whole thing is very secure.

by the way, I'm with you on not putting a router in the outfeed table... it would require you to remove the fence everytime you wanted to cut something!

mudmanmike's picture

(post #97082, reply #8 of 11)

Hi Jeff,


The carcase is in clamps now so I should be (trying to)  make money after lunch tomorrow. Thanks for the pics and for the last reply. I was going to top the ply with a face frame of sorts then screw through the flanges. Putting a top on the cabinet will add more support, so I went that route.

BTW, I did spend an hour searching for a comercially availible product to no avail. But, this was a good project to teach my helper how to use a buiscuit joiner.

Thanks again,


please excuse my spelling.
jeffno's picture

(post #97082, reply #9 of 11)


know what you mean, I'm at the point where if it's for the shop I just try to find something I can buy instead of spending the time making it myself. Sometimes, like with this router cabinet, you have to bite the bullet and do it yourself. One of these days I might find the time to install a lower drawer face and put a coat of finish on the one I made, but I've been saying that for the better part of 3 years!

I just installed a patternmakers vise that I got for Christmas...



mudmanmike's picture

(post #97082, reply #10 of 11)



I think that were in the minority in that thought. I am a little suprised that there isn't one availible retail. There may be an idea there...

Thank you for the pics, I finished the cabinet last week and it works well. I only worry about the motor running hot. When dust collection is sucking from underneath it is actually working against the motor's cooling fan, which also sucks from the cabinet and blows out the bit hole.

Thanks again,


please excuse my spelling.
jeffno's picture

(post #97082, reply #11 of 11)

you could put a couple of 1.5" holes in the front door to facilitate airflow up through the cavity where the motor resides (I need to do this on mine). My DC pickup is in the fence so it's pulling air up through the router motor, however, a lot of debris ends up in the cavity with this setup, especially if I'm hogging off raised panel doors.