Saving time with dedicated machinery

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Project by edp posted 07-30-2007 09:37 PM 5074 views 2 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In my world, nothing eats up more unbillable time than setting up tooling that is used over and over and over again but torn down between uses. I’m talking about routers and shapers in particular. Well, here is what I have done about it. The first step was to purchase a stand alone router table. Yeah I know, I could have built one and I was planning on just that but with a full time day job and enough woodworking to provide for a second full time job I couldn’t squeeze it in. Up until I purchased the table, I had a router mounted on a lift in my saw extension table. That one is still there but it sees almost no use now. So, on the router table pictured below you will see 3 machines that are dedicated to the tooling they hold and will continue to hold until they become dull. The router on the right holds the rip tool from the rail & stile set. The router on the left holds the cope tool from that set. The router in the middle holds the drawer lock bit for making drawers. So, you just pop one machine out and pop another in. Presto, adjust the fence and you are making parts. The next picture is my Grizzly (Green!) shaper with a panel raising bit and back cutter. Again the only adjustment required is the fence. The depth is matched to teh rail and stile tooling in the routers. I usually can raise a panel in Oak with 3 passes and the spacers on the fence are set up to handle that. The final picture is my Delta shaper with the door/drawer edge tool mounted, no adjustment of any kind required. This small investment in tooling has payed for itself over and over.


-- Come on in, the beer is cold and the wood is dry.

19 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35224 posts in 5204 days

#1 posted 07-30-2007 09:53 PM

Great Setup. I like the dedicated routers. I’m going to do something similiar for dovetailing on the Leigh Jig one with the dovetail and one with the straight bit. Once you get them set for the wood thickness leave them alone.

I’m probably going to set up a table saw for Dado and leave the other saw for straight blade cutting. The router fence is also on the table saw and it requires a lot of resetting the fence for the saw – then setting it for the router. A real pain.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View TomFran's profile


2964 posts in 4798 days

#2 posted 07-30-2007 10:21 PM

Can’t argue with the logic there. Dedicated machinery will speed the job up and even make it more enjoyable, and, if you’re trying to make money with your woodwork, it will pay for itself in short order.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4891 days

#3 posted 07-31-2007 05:12 AM

You are right.
Our guild used to meet at a local tech college that had a woodworking shop.
They had one three sided bench set up for just the same purpose.
Probably cost a lot more and you had to walk all the way around it to accomplish all the cuts but it did not take up too much space.

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4869 days

#4 posted 07-31-2007 06:57 AM

Nice setup. Wouldn’t work for me – because I don’t have the space – but I’m not making any money woodworking anyway, so I have the time to make the setups. Great idea.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View edp's profile


109 posts in 4764 days

#5 posted 07-31-2007 10:38 AM

Well don’t go assuming that I am overly gifted with space either. My shop is 24×22. Kind of tight when you consider that my table saw with it’s permanent outfeed table and extensions to left and right comes in at 8’ wide by 6½’ deep. I have a tractor shed on the one end (outside) that I closed in and I store my shapers, a couple of shop vacs, my 20’ x 40’ finishing canopy, 14” bandsaw, 2 portable heaters and a furnace out there. When I need the shapers, I lug them in and then back out.


-- Come on in, the beer is cold and the wood is dry.

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 5114 days

#6 posted 07-31-2007 02:14 PM

I’m with Karson on the deticated router for dovetailing. If there’s one thing I’ve learned using my dovetail jig, it is that once I get that bit dialed in, I don’t want to have to ever move it again. Nice setup.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View mot's profile


4927 posts in 4840 days

#7 posted 07-31-2007 06:57 PM

Oh, I’m a big fan of dedicated machinery. My motivation is limited shop time and a reluctance to spend alot of it with setup. Thanks for posting!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4678 days

#8 posted 10-19-2007 06:32 AM

So I take it you don’t own a “Shopsmith”? ...You are absolutely right. My table saw and router table are going through a divorce right now. A big step for my small shop.

-- Happy woodworking!

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 4881 days

#9 posted 10-22-2007 06:12 AM

Nice set up indeed.

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14182 posts in 4786 days

#10 posted 10-23-2007 06:07 AM

Gotta agree special tools are a real time saver.

In my world , my 16-32 Ryobi drum sander and 6×89 edge sander have saved me loads of time.

And made my woodworking more enjoyable.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View edp's profile


109 posts in 4764 days

#11 posted 10-25-2007 03:12 AM

Hey, Dan. Have a very good friend down your way in Hamilton. We trade visits back and forth. I absolutely love the area between Dayton and Cincinnatti.


-- Come on in, the beer is cold and the wood is dry.

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4825 days

#12 posted 10-25-2007 05:11 AM

Hi Ed.
I am convinced the only way to make $ in any type of fabrication is with dedicated stations.

You are definitely on the right track.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4548 days

#13 posted 04-06-2008 01:55 AM

I’ve done the same with dedicated routers, but I really like the idea of the drop in set up for the router table.
I’m looking to get a shaper to take up some of the slack also. Nice post.

View gator9t9's profile


333 posts in 4508 days

#14 posted 04-17-2008 06:38 PM

Hey Ed How do you like that RT 1000 LSE looks like a nice table …what can you tell me about the ins and outs of it in 10 sentences or less …or more if you like …I am in the mkt for a router table and dont want to build it…
Mike n Bonney Lake

-- Mike in Bonney Lake " If you are real real real good your whole life, You 'll be buried in a curly maple coffin when you die."

View edp's profile


109 posts in 4764 days

#15 posted 04-18-2008 01:06 PM

I was in the same boat. My original router station was, and still is, located in the table saw deck. Less than optimum for a cabinet shop. In the heat of a production log jam, I purchased rather than build the table you see. It is well built and fine for most applications. Having had it for a while now, I am developing a list of tweeks to incorporate into a table I will build later this year. Most important to me will be a more stable top surface. I’m considering aluminum plate, 1” thick with formica adhered to the top. I would also like a taller fence.


-- Come on in, the beer is cold and the wood is dry.

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