Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Guided Tour of my Pimped SawStop :)

I ordered my SawStop 3hp PCS cabinet saw during the pre-release.  Since I received it, I've made a number of modifications to it that have been documented here such as adding a router wing with dust box, adding an overhead collection arm, wiring a single pigtail to the wall to power everything at the saw 'station'.  (All of these are easily found under the 'SawStop' label in my blog's sidebar)
Well, that's a lot to read.
Since I had the video camera out, I shot a tour of these SawStop modifications as well as one that has not been documented here before: a dust port for catching the dust when edging a board (cuts that aren't captured will spray dust to the side that isn't normally collected).
If you want your SawStop and router table to be as dust-free as possible, give these ideas a looksy.


  • Eric said...

    Paul-Marcel, that is some superb engineering you've done to your Saw Stop.
    It is much more efficient and the compactness and trim profile you've achieved is a safety plus.
    I would like to add a dust box like yours. I hope it comes out half as nice.
    Thank you.

  • HalfInchShy said...

    Thanks, Eric! So, uhm, I am an engineer so I tend to over-do things. But I don't regret the effort on this especially since each addition was an idea worked on in spare time until it was done. Hard to notice the time that way :)

  • Vic Hubbard said...

    Awesome saw/router set-up. Pure genius!!!

  • HalfInchShy said...

    Thanks, Vic!

  • rmac said...

    What are you using for the dust collector itself?

    -- Russ

  • HalfInchShy said...

    I'm using a Harbor Freight 2.0 HP DC. While the rumor is that the more expensive ones that look identical have better motors, I'm very happy with this unit. Very DIY friendly, too. I've modified it a little mostly to add a Wynn canister filter but also to replace the dust bag with a trash can. I've had it that way for a long time. Soon, I'll be installing a separator before it.

    But... as is, it was a great DC; I'd just go with the canister for better filtration.

    A neighbor once said "man, you could suck the butt out of a cat with that thing". While I don't altogether understand that statement, it seemed very positive. :)

  • KennyInMaine said...

    Paul, I too have the same HF DC unit, and I agree, it's awesome. I don't have a canister, as I opted for a larger, custom made filter bag that is about twice the size of the original, and it has increased performance dramatically.
    I know you mention adding a separator, and I plan to as well. If you haven't seen the Thien Baffle system, it's worth a look and works awesome! (I have a small Thien baffle for shop vac use)

    As for the Router lift, it will have a router plate attached to the top already and just drops down in from the top of the router table, so you won't need to lift it up from below as you had planned.

    I recommend the Incra Side-Winder lift myself, just received mine a few days ago, just a superb unit. I added an I-Gaging 6" digital readout, and it too is an awesome unit, especially for the price ($28).

    Awesome blog site though, keep up the great work!

  • KennyInMaine said...

    Here is a link to the Side-Winder from Incra, which I like a bit more than the standard WoodPeckers Side-Winder, as it uses Incra's magnetic plates around the router bit, and they are very easy to change.

    And I too use the same router, and also used the same base before adding the lift, and it worked great as well. Though the new lift with digital readout has really blown me away with it's accuracy and ease of use. And as it has a remote mounted crank to lift/lower the router in fine increments, it really makes adjustments super easy.

  • HalfInchShy said...

    Thanks, Kenny! When the sidewinder was first introduced, I considered getting one, but then was concerned that the crank handle needed more room than I have in the back. Still not sure as I haven't seen one in person. That's the one benefit of above-table height adjustment is that there'll always be room there! The sidewinder would be nicer for eyeballing the bit height through the change.

    My comment about wanting more room in case the lift needed it was because some lifts have longer rods so in effect they make the whole unit longer than the router itself. Not knowing which I'd pick, I thought to over engineer it :)

    I still don't have a lift, but also don't have any cash for one since upgrading my bandsaw!

  • KennyInMaine said...

    If you do have interest in the Side-Winder, after looking over your set-up again in the video, I'm quite sure you could accommodate it without any serious modifications to your existing down-draft box. The handle would fit on the end, opposite side of the power switch, with no issues. It's not too big, nor does it protrude that far. It's also on a cable, which has ample length, which makes mounting it pretty flexible.
    If you do have interest in it, once you can fit it in the budget, you should find a retailer that has one and take a few measurements. I think you will find it will fit just fine.
    My router box is similar to yours, as well my saw is narrower front to back, and I have mine installed just as I had suggested to you, and it works great.

    Do you happen to show the "trash can collection system" you made for your dust collector? Thanks.

    Again, awesome blog. Really have been enjoying it since finding it.

  • Steve R said...

    Hey Paul

    Do you have plans for the dust box on your router wing of the saw stop? I'd like to build it for mine. I think you did a fantastic job on not only the form but also the function.


  • HalfInchShy said...

    Hi, Steve,
    I have no drawn plans for the dust box. Just did each step and measured for the next as I went along. It's just a frame that fits under your table and out to the table saw rails then add cross bracing that frames around the router table insert. The box's dimensions come from that inner frame made tall enough for the router and the dust ports. Pretty flexible; paint makes it look better and makes the dust inside slide out more than pile up. At least that's what I tell myself to justify having painted it :)

  • Andrew said...

    Paul - I just got the 3hp PCS - not even assembled yet.

    You said you used a spa hose for the blade guard DC - any specifics on where you got it?

    Thanks, and great video.

  • HalfInchShy said...

    Hi, Andrew,

    The spa hose is a "Barracuda" hose. Apparently there's a popular spa cleaner called Barracuda and that's the hose for it. The local pool/spa supply place up the street had it there. I went there looking for bulk hose and thought I'd end up with some Frankenstein connectors to get it to work, but that hose came preassembled and the fittings could not have been better. I just spent some time trying to find it online with no luck.

    I just took some closeup photos and here are the links. Bring them to the pool/spa store and they should figure it out :)

    whole pipe
    blade guard connector
    EMT connector

  • Andrew said...

    Wow - thanks so much!

  • Josh said...

    I have to chime in and say what a great job you did on these various mods. I'd been thinking about getting a SawStop for a bit and spent some time studying your blog entries for inspiration on similar projects. I did end up getting the 3 HP PCS and have already made several improvements, heavily inspired by your posts. I had already started a blog for some woodworking projects so I thought I would document these mods on the blog as well - hopefully they are as useful to someone else as your posts were to me!



  • HalfInchShy said...

    Nice job on the mods, Josh. It was funny to look at the head-on photo of the router table dust box because it looked close to identical :)

    I dunno if SawStop beefed up their extension table, but the one I had would not have made a good router table without a lot of sag. Hopefully yours is beefier or you made it beefier. If not, add bracing now!

    You'll love that power box under the table, too. In my case, I'm adding a second duplex 110V socket since right now the two sockets are taken up with the overhead light and router. Often when I record video, I need a softbox plugged in over there. Problem is I can't find a 3-gang box that will work for me.

  • Josh said...

    Thanks! That design made a lot of sense for the way I do dust collection too (using the dustright hose and handle). Makes it really convenient to switch between the saw and router dust collection... As you know!

    The extension isn't what I would call beefy, but it wasn't bad. I did add a lot of bracing to both strengthen the top and support some drawers and shelving I'm adding underneath. The whole thing ended up quite solid after that.

    The power box is a fantastic idea. I can already see maybe wanting a couple more outlets though like you said. I can definitely see it being useful for recording video. The 3 gang box is a bit of a challenge. I suppose you could do a short section of conduit between the current box you have and a single gang. It would be nice to have it in 1 box though. I'll be interested to see what you come up with!

    Thanks for all the great info

  • Josh said...

    It's been a while, but I wrote a follow-up to my earlier SawStop mods, and for the router extension in particular.
    Hopefully someone finds this useful!

  • Morgan Patton said...

    I have the same Bosch 1617ev router and I've replaced that switch 3 times. I like the idea of wrapping it to avoid the dust contamination but I wanted to chime in to say that after I sent it off for repair for the first failed switch and had to wait 7 weeks to get it back, I found out that it only takes 2 minutes to change it out myself. I keep an extra switch on hand since it's my field router. I now have the Festool 1400 but I'm not going to be bringing that out into the Portland weather, ever. Replacing the bosch switch is extremely simple and, once you open the top of the router, you can see that it's just 2 connectors and some simple routing of the wires and you're done. No reason to send it off just for that.