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  • Questions on BenchDog ProMax Router Table

    I have been going back and forth on whether to get a ProMax for router jointing or a dedicated jointer. Well the versatility of a router table mounted within the footprint of my 3650 and the small size of my 1 car garage shop won out over getting a dedicated jointer, for now. I like the idea of mounting this unit to the right side of the blade, but have a number of questions about my mounting options. Well here goes...

    1. I would prefer mounting it to the right wing rather than replacing the wing, but I have only vague ideas on how to go about doing so.
    Place the ProMax against the exsting wing. Any good methods to do so? Match up the surfaces and trace the mounting holes.
    I have never drilled into cast iron. Does it crack?
    Should the holes be over sized to allow for adjustment? How much bigger?
    Support the weight from the outside edge back to the stand cross member with braces? Will the mated cast iron surfaces of the wing and ProMax which are also tied into the fence rails be sufficient support? Or does cast iron crack?
    Do you think I'll need a drop down leg to the floor to keep the saw from tipping over? It weights 55# without a router mounted.
    It's just that I want to do it right the first time, and especially don't want to mess up an excellent TS 3650. Any and all help will be appreciated. Well folks, thats all I've got for now, but I'm sure I'll have more questions.
    Hector
    Last edited by Hector B; 06-06-2007, 02:44 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Questions on BenchDog ProMax Router Table

    I have the ProMax cabinet (basically the same top with a pre-made cabinet under it). I haven't mounted it to the TS, but I've read a lot of threads here about people that have mounted router tables to the saw.

    You can drill cast iron without it cracking. Most here say to use a bit of lube (mainly to disperse heat) when doing so. I'm going to also assume the lube helps to keep the drill bit cool. Start the hole with a punch first so the bit doesn't wander.

    You're going to want to support the outboard end of the table with something. Someone here posted a pic of his setup that had the router table legs angled in and attached to the side of the saw. I've also seen a setup that had hinged legs. If you're worried about the saw tipping, use the hinged leg design.

    I'm sure there'll be more posts pointing you to a satisfactory answer. You can also do a search for router table and it should come up with all the threads.
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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    • #3
      Re: Questions on BenchDog ProMax Router Table

      Originally posted by Hector B View Post
      I have been going back and forth on whether to get a ProMax for router jointing or a dedicated jointer. Well the versatility of a router table mounted within the footprint of my 3650 and the small size of my 1 car garage shop won out over getting a dedicated jointer, for now. I like the idea of mounting this unit to the right side of the blade, but have a number of questions about my mounting options. Well here goes...


      1. I would prefer mounting it to the right wing rather than replacing the wing, but I have only vague ideas on how to go about doing so.


      I'm sure that I've seen this done by someone on one of our forums. Do a search for the pics.
      Place the ProMax against the exsting wing. Any good methods to do so? Match up the surfaces and trace the mounting holes.
      You could try clamping a piece of 3/4" ply to the existing table with a good overhang which your could clamp the BenchDog to it. I would also use a vertical support under the B-Dog. While you have it there, trace the holes with a scratch awl or chuck up a drill the size of the hole and spin it against the table. That should help locate center (if the B-Dog has holes - if not you can choose where to drill them before this step)
      I have never drilled into cast iron. Does it crack?
      Naw, pretty easy to drill and you are on an 90* edge which is pretty stiff and stable.
      Should the holes be over sized to allow for adjustment? How much bigger?
      That's going to depend on how accurately you drill your holes. Assuming that they are pretty accurate, 1/32" larger should be plenty.
      Support the weight from the outside edge back to the stand cross member with braces? Will the mated cast iron surfaces of the wing and ProMax which are also tied into the fence rails be sufficient support? Or does cast iron crack?
      I hope that the folks who hae already done this chime in but to my mind the diagonal bracing won't be enough. I would plan on two legs connnected with a cross-brace. That prevents too much continuous stress on the fence rails and the bolts holding the extension to the main table. Without proper bracing you could develope a crack - man, I can still see this already done - do the search and get it from the ones who have done it! All I'm giving are opinions on how I'd do it.
      Do you think I'll need a drop down leg to the floor to keep the saw from tipping over? It weights 55# without a router mounted.
      Yep, see above.
      It's just that I want to do it right the first time, and especially don't want to mess up an excellent TS 3650. Any and all help will be appreciated. Well folks, thats all I've got for now, but I'm sure I'll have more questions.
      Hector
      Keep up the good work and don't get frustrated if you do have to re-do something. It's all part of the fun of the craft - like making jigs and fixtures... temporary or permanent.

      Later,
      Chiz
      Last edited by ironhat; 06-06-2007, 03:41 PM. Reason: clarify
      Later,
      Chiz
      https://www.ridgidforum.com/core/ima...lies/frown.pnghttps://www.ridgidforum.com/core/ima...es/redface.pnghttps://www.ridgidforum.com/core/ima...s/rolleyes.pnghttps://www.ridgidforum.com/core/ima...lies/smile.png

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      • #4
        Re: Questions on BenchDog ProMax Router Table

        I have a Bench Dog Promax on my 3650, but I replaced the left wing with it. If you are going to add it to the right side you are going to want legs going down to the floor. Just think of all that weight, the router table, the router, and you are going to be running lumber across it, pushing down on it.You are going to need the extra stability. Do a search for 3650 and router table extension. Someone has pictures of therse where they used extendable aluminum legs. I think they used sliding glass door security bars.

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        • #5
          Re: Questions on BenchDog ProMax Router Table

          Hi Hector_B,

          Responding from your other thread, as requested...

          Congrats on the new router table! It's a great router table, IMO, especially for those of us with small shops. It is occasionally inconvenient when I realize, in the middle of a routing operation, that I need to cross cut something and it's not worth getting the miter saw out.. But just get used to taking an extra minute before you setup your router to think ahead about any potential cuts. With that said, I have no issues with ripping stock up to about 8" wide with the router fence in place and fully setup. This is really handy when I'm making door / window molding and I route a fairly narrow profile on each side of a board, then rip the board, cutting off the profiles, creating fresh new edges to continue routing again. I actually do this a lot, as the molding in our house has a three-piece construction, of which two parts are routed.

          Anyway, I wish I could help you with regards to your question about mounting the ProMax. I chose to mount my on the left side, replacing the left wing. There were several reasons I did this:
          a) Simplicity. The holes on the TS were already present ( and if I recall already, they're already tapped, too) and the holes on the ProMax just needed to be enlarged, and the support structure on the left side is already good and solid. You can drill cast iron using a HSS bit, with a drop or two of oil machine oil. I actually used the oil that was all over the packaging of the ProMax - just wipe it onto the drill bit.

          b) Layout. I use the area under the right side of my TS for storage of a variety of things, which I wanted to continue doing without covering it all in router shavings... and, most importantly, the right side fence is pretty much butted up against the wall (layout of my shop requires this). So using a router over there is out of the question. Mounted on the left side I get a lot more flexibility for how I approach using the table. If I'm doing long boards, I actually have to angle my table saw slightly to aim the boards out the doorway. ;-)

          I saw this comment in another thread, so I'm going to address it here, specifically for the ProMax. You can turn the fence / routing operation around and go the other direction, if you're so inclined. Normally you'd put the fence on the opposite side of the miter slot, so the bit is in between, right? But you can turn the fence around and install it so it backs up against the miter slot and you can lay a board on the central part of the table and table saw. This is handy if you're doing large panels, as you basically are working with a 36" wide router table. :-)
          You just have to remember that 1) you still need to feed with the bit on your right (so from the opposite side as normal) against the bit rotation and 2) you need to remove the table saw splitter. ;-)

          Oh, one last thing. My phenolic plate would not sit perfectly flat. It had a tiny bit of a crowning, which got old after a while. I recently installed the Bench Dog aluminum router plate which is dead flat and vibrates less, so I like it and I plan to use the phenolic as a sort of extended base-plate for my plunge router (for large board jointing). But in retrospect, I could've contacted BD for a replacement. So, keep an eye out for that...

          Good luck with your installation process. As others have noted there are some great pictures and write-ups in other threads related to other users' installation of a router extension in their TS3650. Just do a search for "ProMax" or "router extension" For ease, here's a link to arguably the longest thread related to this router extension, as well as a picture of "djb"s installation supports. Please note, in that photo, however, that his router extension is not cast iron, and thus much lighter.
          http://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/sho...ghlight=promax

          https://www.ridgidforum.com/filedata/fetch?id=614395

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          • #6
            Re: Questions on BenchDog ProMax Router Table

            Thanks W_J. As I am in the middle of a table project, I think I'm going to mount the ProMax to the left side as you have done. That way I can joint the three table top boards I need for the project. Then I can have some time to think about a right side installation.

            Did you have to remove the fences for the left mount PM installation or just take the endcaps off and slide out the wing followed by sliding in the PM? Less than an hours work?

            Hector

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            • #7
              Re: Questions on BenchDog ProMax Router Table

              I removed the rails completely before installing the ProMax. I didn't want to risk dings or dents from hefting that 55 lb beast around. ;-)
              I'm pretty sure you have to remove at least one rail, since the bolts don't retract enough to slide the wing out. You have to actually pull the wing away from one rail or the other. The rear rail has fewer bolts, but one is really awkward to get to (just above the motor).

              Anyway, I figured installing the ProMax was a good excuse to re-calibrate my saw alignments, fence, etc.
              Last edited by Wood_Junkie; 06-08-2007, 11:19 AM.

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