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  • R4511 - Featherboards & router wings

    I have little experience with table saws and routers. I'm looking to buy a table saw and attach a router table wing. The R4511 looks like a sweet saw and is at the top of my budget limit ($600).

    The guy at Home Depot mentioned that I will not be able to use a magnetic featherboard to keep the wood in place as I cut. He didn't seem to think it was a huge deal, but that seems pretty significant to me (of course I know squat about table saws). How do you deal with this issue when you have a granite top? I won't have a freehand to hold the featherboard when cutting larger sheets.

    The guy at Home Depot also mentioned I could drill holes in the granite, glue nuts in place, and mount a cast iron router wing to the granite. Does this sound okay?

    Does anyone who actually owns an R4511 had trouble with the granite chipping? I've seen threads on some websites about floor models being damaged, but am curious about the experience of actual owners.

    What are the downsides of this saw other than the top chipping?

  • #2
    Re: R4511 - Featherboards & router wings

    You can use featherboards that work with the miter slot in the table also. A magnetic 1 is more convenient since you can 'stick it' anywhere on the table to assist in your cuts. If you're working with large sheets, 4'x8', you wouldn't be using a featherboard anyway. I can't answer any of your questions concerning the granite top, I hope this helps with the featherboard issue.
    If at first you don't succeed, try reading the owners manual.

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    • #3
      Re: R4511 - Featherboards & router wings

      i'd think twice about drilling holes in granite to epoxy nuts in place for anything.
      there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

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      • #4
        Re: R4511 - Featherboards & router wings

        Originally posted by FINER9998 View Post
        i'd think twice about drilling holes in granite to epoxy nuts in place for anything.
        Yeah I wouldnt plan on making new holes for anything in the granite.

        I have been wondering though........how come there hasnt been any "vacuum operated" featherboards for saws? Something as simple as a heavy duty suction cup, like those used to remove floor tiles from a raised floor in computer rooms, etc. Plop the featherboard in place, few pumps on the suction cups hold it there and then a release valve to remove it.

        Would work on cast iron AND granite.

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        • #5
          Re: R4511 - Featherboards & router wings

          I've had several cast iron saws and never used a magnetic featherboard, just those that mount in the miter slot. It's a matter of seconds.

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          • #6
            Re: R4511 - Featherboards & router wings

            Feather boards have long been in use before the advent of the magnetic models, although nice, a miter slot board works just fine. As far as drilling granite, unless your well versed in stone work, I would not recommend it, granite is a very durable product, but if you drill it the wrong way, it becomes very easy to crack. In fact I have heard quite a few reports of these particular saw tables chipping and cracking, one thing that needs to be done with the granite top saws, is make sure and seal it quite often as the sawdust will cause the stone to dry out quicker than normal, which will promote chipping and cracking, use the same stuff they use on granite counter tops, and make sure to keep the table free of as much dust as possible after use. Granite requires a certain amount of moisture content to maintain maximum strength. Dp

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            • #7
              Re: R4511 - Featherboards & router wings

              chrisexv6.. interesting idea. i'm imagining a featherboard attached to the kind of suctin cups used by glass and mirror installers. they certainly hold well!
              there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

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              • #8
                Re: R4511 - Featherboards & router wings

                Originally posted by FINER9998 View Post
                chrisexv6.. interesting idea. i'm imagining a featherboard attached to the kind of suctin cups used by glass and mirror installers. they certainly hold well!
                www.mcmaster.com has a few of them. one in particular has a 5/8" long threaded portion coming out of the top. Rated for 50 lbs capacity.

                Not sure if 5/8" is enough thread to put a featherboard onto, but if it were I bet two of those suction cups would work perfectly on a granite saw and maybe even CI.

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                • #9
                  Re: R4511 - Featherboards & router wings

                  Originally posted by MtMountains View Post
                  Feather boards have long been in use before the advent of the magnetic models, although nice, a miter slot board works just fine. As far as drilling granite, unless your well versed in stone work, I would not recommend it, granite is a very durable product, but if you drill it the wrong way, it becomes very easy to crack. In fact I have heard quite a few reports of these particular saw tables chipping and cracking, one thing that needs to be done with the granite top saws, is make sure and seal it quite often as the sawdust will cause the stone to dry out quicker than normal, which will promote chipping and cracking, use the same stuff they use on granite counter tops, and make sure to keep the table free of as much dust as possible after use. Granite requires a certain amount of moisture content to maintain maximum strength. Dp
                  I made a feather board and use a piece of 2"x3/4" by 31" long and place it over the feather board, then clamp it to the table. Works fine for ripping pieces up to about 18" or so wide. You dont need a lot of clamping power to hold it down. I made a sacrificial fence jig for dado'ing I clamp it to the fence, it has a vertical fence over the sacrificial fence and I clamp a feather board to it for holding down whatever piece I;m dado'ing. Works like a charm.
                  For me it's a not a problem.
                  The only chipping problem with regards to temp changes are if you crank the wings down too tight, just snug the wings to the main table enough to compress the lock washers. I put a mirror up one time during the winter. When the summer came I heard a cracking sound, went into the bathroom and saw the mirror was cracked. Had the holders to tight. Live and learn!

                  Buck

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