Shop Smith #12: Souping up my Shop Smith using a Dewalt 745 table and fence

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Blog entry by htl posted 11-15-2017 01:08 AM 6021 reads 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: fine adjustment jig for the drum sander [wheel making] Part 12 of Shop Smith series no next part

I love my Shop Smiths, yes I have two. lol
For my model building they really help in the making of and being part of my jigs.
But as a table saw they are always my last choice for getting things done.
For table saw work my trusty OLD Dewalt contractors saw is a clear winner LOVE the fence on these machines!!!!
I also love the smooth top on the Dewalt saw for my toy and model work there’s tons a little bitty parts to be worked and a grooved surface just makes things harder.

Guess what the SS has those hated grooves and deep ones at that, they’re just fine for furniture building as the heavy wood slides over it better but for model building they can be dangerous.

So what am I getting at here, well what if I could have the smooth table and super accurate fence of the Dewalt on my Shop Smith?

Well with a tape measure and a quick look under the table of both machines it looks like the dewalt table top will bolt right up with just a little filing of the bolt holes to make it work, can you believe that, they use almost the same bolt pattern.

I need to add some info here I’m talking about using an old Dewalt dw745 table saw and a 510 Shop Smith.

!!!PLEASE REMEMBER THIS IS A TEST!!! A first day trial, I still need to see what strengthening the top will need.

The 510 SS uses 4 bolts to hold on the top the older 500 SS uses a different bolt pattern and would take a lot more work to get it to work, not saying it can’t be done but the 510 is almost a straight bolt up.

I’ve been putting this off trying to talk myself out of it but it just keeps coming back over and over can it be done, well without pictures it didn’t happen so here we go.

First I took the Dewalt apart, a bunch a little screws holding on the yellow plastics and the four leg braces, something like 20 small screws, then I unbolted the four main bolts and the top was free.
It would probable take me an hour to put it all back together not counting getting the top right with the saw blade.

Then I took the SS top off and unbolted it, 4 bolts.

Now we can really see if this is going to work.
I at first had it in mind to just bolt the Dewalt fence rails to the SS table saw top and it wouldn’t be to hard but once you start looking underneath the Dewalt saw you find out how the fence gets locked down and it would be a lot more work.
It could be done but!!!

The picture don’t show it very well but the bolts will line up with the front two fitting in the holes just right and the back ones will need a little filing to work.

Before I went any farther I tightened up the two bolts that worked and just wanted to be sure what I had in mind would work with all clearances so off to the SS the see how thing will fit.

The table top hangs over the motor about 4” more but that isn’t a problem you can still get to the off on switch just fine.

Now some will say that I’m limiting what the SS can cut using this set up but I could get 23” cuts with this fence, just set it and cut no having to double and triple check if the fence is right IT’S ALL WAYS RIGHT ON by looking at the tape rule on the fence !!!
And if I would want to cut anything wider just pop off the Dewalt fence with two clicks and use the SS fence as usual on the auxiliary table.

Others would point out about the fence hanging out so far over the right side and rightly so but it’s made to do that but it’s easy to put up the auxiliary table to add a little extra support under the fence for those super heavy cuts.

Please remember I’m not building this for sheet goods but for model building up close to the blade.
I will use my New Dewalt saw for all heavy duty and large work.

The saw blade shield bolts to the main shaft so it works just fine with the new top.

Years ago I used to need to cut sheet good with the SS but now I just want to be able to use it with a true fence that works.
I have been spoiled by the Dewalts great fence would like the SS to be as easy to use for my model building, but truth be told I just wanted to see if it could be done and it looks like it will work just right for my light duty sawing. I’ll still be using a Dewalt table saw for my main saw but once I get it all bolted down I’ll not hesitate to get on the SS and get er done!!!

I should add that I’ve still got to bolt it all down and line everything up, but for my uses it should work just right.

This is where I stopped today so tomorrow will be checking if the frame that was under the Dewalt can be used for extra support on the SS and file the holes and add some longer bolts than what the Dewalt came with.

Some will ask why but I say why not give it a try, if you’ve ever used a Dewalt fence you know why. lol

I will update as it happens.

!!!PLEASE REMEMBER THIS IS A TEST!!! A first day trial, I still need to see what strengthening the top will need.

Here's what I did with the rest of the table saw.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

12 comments so far

View crowie's profile


3372 posts in 2557 days

#1 posted 11-15-2017 01:27 AM

Well arnt you the clever duck…

always thinking and engineering a better way to do thing with the limitations of whats at hand to suit your current situation….

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View htl's profile


4872 posts in 1765 days

#2 posted 11-15-2017 01:32 AM

crowie I know some ducks, well at least one but to be a clever duck I’ll leave to Ducky!!!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View sras's profile


5289 posts in 3735 days

#3 posted 11-15-2017 03:09 AM

Nice upgrade!!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View htl's profile


4872 posts in 1765 days

#4 posted 11-15-2017 10:56 AM

Nice upgrade!!

- sras

I love this!!! —Steve – Impatience is Expensive

Steve I tried and tried to not do this but my Impatience has my old Dewalt {planning on getting a new one} table saw and SS both out of action for now.
But this is not a problem as I’m retired and have no need to get any work done.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View shipwright's profile


8453 posts in 3404 days

#5 posted 11-15-2017 03:06 PM

This is a fine piece of planning / execution not to mention challenge handling. (I do love a challenge myself) I also understand your feelings about the 510 fence and the need to check constantly if you need real accuracy. If for some reason this doesn’t work out for you however the 520 fence upgrade is a massive improvement.

I did a full upgrade last year from standard 510 to “virtual Mark VII”, big casters and all, and it is a completely different machine. It’s not so easy to justify the expense but man is it a joy to work with.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View htl's profile


4872 posts in 1765 days

#6 posted 11-15-2017 07:06 PM

Thanks shipwright!!!
The 520 looks like a winner and the Mark VII even more so but I’m way past making big projects so the heavy duty fence and all is not needed, but if one fell in my lap I would grab it like FAST!!!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View htl's profile


4872 posts in 1765 days

#7 posted 11-19-2017 01:51 AM

Some thoughts after getting the table set up and working.

Still haven’t had time to use it much but from taking it all apart and then putting it all back together the table will work fine for my needs for sanding and shaping parts. [The smooth table top]
For normal sawing it will work great for my small model needs, plus the just set it and cut not having to double and triple check if the fence is right is a super PLUS in my book.

The one negative I see is the fence is light duty so will need the be braced behind on horizontal boring jobs, but this isn’t a problem, I don’t do it that much.
Before with horizontal boring jobs I would have to try and line up the fence [which was a pain] then add my other guides then if some thing wasn’t right move the fence and check it over and over to get it right, NOW just move the fence and it’s right.
Now when I say all this I am talking about the 510 SS fence not the newer model which I havin’t had a chance to try.

Parting thought.
This would be a great project if one had an extra SS table top base and could get hold of a died 745 Dewalt table saw for parts.
It would take less than a minute to switch from the stock SS heavy duty table and fence to the super fast Dewalt fence’s benefits.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


3423 posts in 1427 days

#8 posted 11-27-2017 09:53 AM

Phew #4... Way above my payrate. Lucky we can’t get SS’s down under so I don’t need to rack my brains of how to follow suite.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View htl's profile


4872 posts in 1765 days

#9 posted 11-27-2017 01:37 PM

Ducky you’re right up there with the tool souping up with the last video you posted.
Way cool!!!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View GR8HUNTER's profile (online now)


6818 posts in 1318 days

#10 posted 11-27-2017 03:25 PM


AWARD :<))
shame on you calling Bruce a Duck LMAO

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View htl's profile


4872 posts in 1765 days

#11 posted 11-27-2017 09:59 PM

GR8 I don’t know about genius

But in the end it all adds up to

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View htl's profile


4872 posts in 1765 days

#12 posted 03-30-2019 05:28 PM

Been using it now for nearly a 1 1/2 and it has done just as I asked it to.
I don’t use it as a table saw but use it every day as my drum sander and lathe for making model parts.
I do some very strange things with it in sanding mod which taxes it use as much as sawing wood would.

How hard would it be to find an extra set of SS table saw legs this way if you needed to cut really heavy stuff use your SS table and switch over to the SS Dewalt table for the finer work. This is a work in progress and testing is still on going but so far it’s covered all the bases for my work.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

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