Workshop Solution - Table Saw Router Table Extension

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Project by Delain posted 02-24-2014 08:43 PM 10813 views 42 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Workshop Solution - Table Saw Router Table Extension
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Here we have sweetness, all day long!
Not bragging on my craftsmanship at all; just elated with the results and with now having the ability to use a router table.

Here is my first offering of a project to LJ.

I’ve taken a bit more time to annotate this project since it took quite a lot of time to make happen and it also includes a product (Keen Dust Collector) that has been reviewed on this site. I thought it would be helpful to show how I implemented it into this build.


Main Parts List
Table Saw: SawStop PCS 36” T-glide system
Router: Triton TRA 001

Keen Dust Collector (herein aka ”the blue cup”)
Rockler brand router table insert

Originally, I wanted to build a full-size router cabinet style “table” such as from Hylton’s “Woodworking with the Router” book, but, I became overwhelmed with all of the versions that others have built and which ideas to implement. And, since I haven’t learned how to do case work (cabinets), I was hesitant with where to start.

I’m also a reader of magazines and books and an information junkie, so I’ve bought several of the special edition books (magazine style) that FWW, PWW, AWW, and the others publish. Within one of these from FWW, I came across one of John White’s projects and fell in love with the idea. The fact that it involved the exact same router and almost the same SawStop that I have was all the confidence builder I needed to try to make a router table a reality. This will serve me while I build my skills and perhaps build a stand alone cabinet version later.

This table top replaces the stock extension table section that came with my Sawstop cabinet table saw. I did have to modify White’s dimensions a bit since he has the larger saw model. I didn’t mount the table exactly as he did, in that, I didn’t mount metal angles to the stock angle supports. I just couldn’t bring myself to drill into my already perfect and still somewhat new table saw. So, I utilized the existing mounting holes and the extension leg supports to be the support for the router section. So far, it seems more than adequate to support the table with the beast (Triton TRA 001) mounted.


Dust Collection
The idea of the original design, from the magazine, is to create two vacuum flows – - one at the stock router dust shroud and the other through a “dust box” within the fence.

An opening in the table top leads to an enclosed area directly underneath it where a vacuum hose connects to a dust port.

The fence also has an enclosure that covers the table opening creating the overall “dust box”. Air flow starts at the fence directly at the bit, then down through the table opening, and out the dust port at the box bottom.

If the fence is moved away from the bit for pattern routing or such, I disconnect the dust box bottom hose connection and block the hose with a round piece of foam. This acts as a “gate” to create a stronger suction directly at the bit by way of the blue cup.


Bit Changes
Changing bits above the table is working just fine due to the design of the Triton. The only thing I have to be careful of is not raising it too high to engage the collet lock. The round plastic insert that is part of the overall metal table insert plate will bend slightly because of the blue cup being squished up from the under side.

The Blue Cup
So, how many of us have used a router on a 3/4” piece of MDF and said, “Holy cow! Did a nuclear dust bomb just go off in my garage/shop or what? “Dadgummit, I knew better. I just wanted to get the cut done so I can move on.” I’m still cleaning dust off of stuff in the furthest away parts of my shop from where I made the cut.

Well, I didn’t want that to happen with the router table. And, the standard shroud around the Triton is woeful at best, at collecting(?) or directing the dust to the port of the stock shroud. And I’ve yet to see but maybe one other user find a workable solution to connect to that size port. I’ve read many of the comments from guys who say they are making the Triton dust shroud work, but that shroud is a pretty poor design. The harshness of this criticism is born from having seen the Keen Dust Collector in action.

The blue cup is as perfect of a solution for router dust collection that I think we’re going to get. And for the Triton, it is also probably a life saver since the air flow vents are located precisely in the path of downward flowing dust when mounted upside down in a table. The blue cup all but eliminates that issue.

Can you relate?
To help you understand my reaction when I first connected the vacuum up to the blue cup and routed a stick of wood on my new table, and just how happy I was, this should speak to you. How many times when you’re making a jig or some shop helper and you call your wife down to see it in action?
Well this is one of those times!

Addendum to the yet-to-be-posted project
Since I first completed the router extension table build, setting up the photos and making notes for this write-up, I’ve yet to do any major routing projects, but the use the router table and vacuum system has received continues to prove up the blue cup installation and the utility of a router table.

Overall, this was a good confidence builder. Not too many gotchas during the build, but enough to keep me humble for sure.

Thanks for reading,

Sources for the Keen Dust Collector (aka The Blue Cup):
No, I’m not affiliated; just helping those who have asked for a supplier.

13 comments so far

View BillyD3152's profile


112 posts in 2726 days

#1 posted 02-25-2014 01:54 AM

Nice job!

-- Billy Long Island, NY

View Jokker78's profile


148 posts in 2545 days

#2 posted 02-25-2014 02:50 AM

Very sweet !

-- Measure once, cut , measure again, cut and damn its still to short

View Ken90712's profile


17902 posts in 4036 days

#3 posted 02-25-2014 09:32 AM

Well done, very clean.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Violaine's profile


68 posts in 3669 days

#4 posted 02-25-2014 11:39 AM

very cleanly executed!

btw have you seen the dust sweep by Incra that is totally housing the router and then a dust port is found at the bottom hooked to a hose…all dust literally will be captured by this clever design.. this will also reduce the noise from operating this noisy tool and that is the router..

this is what im gonna do for the next router table project soon.

View Delain's profile


41 posts in 2771 days

#5 posted 02-25-2014 11:58 AM

Thanks for the comments, everyone.

violaine – One thing to consider is that by enclosing the router inside a small ‘box’, it seems that sawdust is more likely to find its way to the internals of the router. One of the negatives of the Triton that some owners have remarked is the location of the vent openings. They are directly below the bit when mounted upside-down in a table and poised to catch more of the dust than if used in upright, hand-held position. Some folks have had to dismantle theirs in order to clean out and get it running again.
Not trying to push the blue cup on you, but something to think about.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9645 posts in 3176 days

#6 posted 02-25-2014 04:33 PM

nice set up….. should work well for you.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3461 days

#7 posted 02-25-2014 05:03 PM

great job,like the set up

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Spur's profile


87 posts in 2875 days

#8 posted 02-25-2014 05:08 PM

Delain- This looks perfect for my garage shop. I have the sawstop also. What issue were the plans you used in? I think I can figure it out from the pictures, however it doesn’t hurt to have extra info. Why did you not use the extension that was already there rather than using plywood for the top which you cut to fit (not meant to sound like I am challenging or questioning your approach, but my only worry is messing up the purty extension top that came with it)? I’m sure it would have needed some reinforcing, but it is already installed and lined up (or at least mine is)? How did you repurpose that extension or are you just storing it? Thanks for posting this?

-- Henryk, South Carolina

View oldnovice's profile


7644 posts in 4215 days

#9 posted 02-25-2014 05:19 PM

Good looking addition, really nice to have an easy to adjust and keep clean router table!

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View botanist's profile


167 posts in 4386 days

#10 posted 02-25-2014 05:32 PM

My main beef with the Triton Router is that it’s really difficult to find hoses in the US that are compatible with the factory dust shroud. Looks like you found a good solution.

View oldnovice's profile


7644 posts in 4215 days

#11 posted 02-25-2014 06:34 PM

I don’t have a Triton router but I have had the same issue with finding proper diameter dust connections so I buy either the 1” or 2-1/4” (like one shown below) round tapered attachments and cut them to fit the odd size connection … it works most of the time!

Because of the taper a friction fit is pretty tight but sometimes a little glue is required.

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1335 posts in 2782 days

#12 posted 02-25-2014 06:50 PM

I have wanted to build this exact fence from the same magazine. I am really glad someone posted on it and I will be coming back to this when I get to build my fence.

Great job!!!

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Delain's profile


41 posts in 2771 days

#13 posted 02-25-2014 08:49 PM

I found it in FWW’s Workshop Solutions “book” that they sell as a Special Issue. However, when I bought their very good Annual Back Issue DVD/CD (up to Winter 2013) that’s when I discovered that they had reprinted it from their Winter 2010/2011 #216 Tools & Shops magazine.

I recommend getting the back issue DVD/CD as a first approach to getting hold of this plan. Highland Woodworking is selling it for $69.95 (plus S&H). I have not looked into how/why HWW is selling it so much lower than FWW. I bought mine direct when FWW sent out a coupon code deal; jumped right on it. If that is still pricey, then I definitely recommend the Workshop Solutions “book” shown in the photo above; very good deal.

Existing extension table
Nope, just could not bring myself to start whittling on that very nice phenolic(?) laminated table top that came with the SawStop. It even has the original clear plastic protectant sheet still on it; hasn’t gotten in the way and if it prolongs the sweetness of the top, it stays. And, if I buggered the job of cutting the opening for the insert, I didn’t want it to be on that. Just not sure how you would cut the top for the router insert plate without removing it between the support angles.
Plus, I have to imagine that I will one day build a stand-alone router table to be located off in its own spot in my fantasy shop . . . one day. And the stock top will go back to its home.
Yes, it is being stored for now.

I had the Triton pretty much earmarked for being the beast in a table from the beginning. Then, when I used it to route . . . something(?) . . . oh yeah, the opening in this here router table top, I knew it would need to be encased in a cabinet or such. I was so sorry for thinking I could use it to route MDF with that shroud and a vac-hose. I was hoping my wife wouldn’t come out and check on me and see me standing in the midst of the dust cloud . . . uhh, cough, uhh, cough, spit, spew. Dadgum!

I’ve got one word for ya – - the blue cup.

Thanks for reading,

PS – My wife is my best fan and encourager, but when it comes to something that hints of shortening my life, she gets concerned. I love her.

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