Thinking about building your own out feed table for your table saw? Check out this DIY project where I built my own out feed table!
The table saw is just about my favorite tool in my wood shop. I love it. Since I have gotten it, I have gotten loads of comments from viewers and fellow woodworkers about me not having an out-feed table. I have been putting off building one because for the past year and a half I’ve put to use a Multi Stand that has been my support however I do think it’s time to upgrade to more surface area. This week I am finally biting the bullet and building a folding out-feed table that bolts directly to my Saw Stop table saw.
Things I Used In This Out Feed Table Project:
As you can see above, I wanted something that was coupled directly to the table saw and had a pivoting deck that could be rotated down and out of the way if needed. If you’ve been following my work for any amount of time at all, you probably already know how much I aim for function and “storability” of work surfaces. If you are looking for other folding workbench designs check out my fold down T-track table DIY project and my fold-down work bench DIY project. They’re super easy builds and are extremely functional for any space.
I first tackled the main block that would bolt directly to the table saw. Since I was going to have to glue several boards together in order to get a thick enough block, I chose select pine for the top surface and standard pine for the lower layers. This drastically cut down on the cost but will give the visible top surface of the block a really nice and clean look (since select pine doesn’t have any knots). Also, for the boards making up the bottom, I looked at the boards edges before making my cuts and tried to use a piece without knots visible. That way when the block is glued together and mounted, there are no knots on the front side that is visible.
When cutting these boards, I cut them an 1/4″ bigger than my final needed dimensions so I would have room to trim off edges after the glue was dry.
I glued all of the pieces of material together using wood glue and then clamped the entire assembly together using almost every clamp at my disposal then let it set up overnight. Tip: It’s quickest to pour a bunch of glue directly on your boards then use a putty knife to smear it around.
While that was drying I focused on the actual table portion. Fortunately I had some material left over from a previous project that I was able to put to use. The top of the outfeed deck would be a piece of cabinet grade plywood while the bottom is a piece of construction grade plywood. Again, I used a boat load of glue here, but since all of my clamps were pretty well occupied, I held the two pieces together by nailing them together with my brad nailer.
To get a perfect match between the two pieces of material I made sure to cut one piece slightly larger than the other then came through with my flush trim bit after they were nailed together to trim off the exact amount to make them totally flush to one another.
Next I started making what I call the arms of the table, the parts that will connect the table to the mounting block and allow the table surface to pivot. I began with some material which I cut to the same thickness of the two pieces that make up the deck. Since the deck is fairly wide, making the pivot holes nice and straight it very important. Knowing this I decided to pre-drill the pivot holes in all 4 pieces of material, at the same time, on the drill press and not by a hand drill.
Tip: The drill press is a much more precise means of creating holes than a hand held drill. The drill can easily move slightly off centerline in your hand if you’re not careful. This can cause your pivot hole to be misaligned with the opposite side when you’re assembling the deck to the block, and will cause binding in the folding action of the deck.
Anyhow, to drill the holes, I tightly taped all four pieces of material together, marked my center on the material, then drilled all four pieces at the same time.
With my pivot holes done I started gluing and nail them to the two pieces of plywood. I started with the two long arms, then added the top and bottom, then the two side arm pieces.
The pivot bolt supports a lot of weight due to this out feed deck. Which is why I doubled up the material here. I glued and clamped the piece to the inside of the arm. However if you are pressed on time, you could glue it in place then use brad nails.
The following morning after the glue was good and dry, I unclamped my mounting block piece and began squaring it up. I started by using my electric planer to get rid of excess material on one edge and provide a square edge for my table saw fence.
Now that I had a straight edge I ran it through my table saw to get the other side nice and square. I used my miter saw to get both of the ends square and cut to size.
Alrighty, now comes the nerve wracking part: passing the block through the table saw and committing to the mounting slot!
My idea is to cut a slot into the block that will sit directly on the flange of the angle iron that makes up the part of the frame of my table saw. Setting up this slot was fairly tedious but I made it work with a couple of spacing blocks. I cut one block about 1/16th shorter than my saw deck as seen below.
Then I did the same for the depth of the slot; cut a block to the depth of the angle iron flange which was nice and straight (just before the inside radius of the corner of the angle).
Use the depth block to set the depth of your saw blade, then use the other spacer to make a mark on the block so you can line it up to the blade.
To stabilize the block as I passed it through the saw, I set up my multi-stand to support the weight as I was feeding it in, and then also attached a feather board to help keep it nice and flush to the fence. After triple checking everything, I committed to the first cut.
Two passes were required to get to the same width as the flange, which on my saw is 3/16″. Once it had a nice snug fit, I moved on to attaching it with lags.
Fortunately for me, the flange already has 3 holes drilled in it from the factory. So, I decided to use those as bolt holes for the block. After sliding the block into position, I crawled underneath and predrilled the bolt holes into the block.
In this case, I need the lag bolts I’m using to compress the slot really tightly to the flange of the angle iron. On the lower portion of the flange, I drilled a clearance hole for the lag bolt so it can spin freely in its hole. The rest of the block material only gets predrilled.
The lag bolts were spec’ed to be just slightly shorter than the block to make sure I wouldn’t break through the top side. After the drilling was complete, I turned in 3 lag bolts with washers.
Like you might expect, this was a bit of a high moment for me as I could see it coming together. : )
From here I would say the rest of the work is pretty well down hill. I needed to get the folding deck attached to the block, but not before I carefully pre drilled some holes for my final set of lag bolts. These lag bolts serve as the pivoting pin for my table deck.
To locate the center of the pivot I physically moved the deck in place, positioned it exactly where I wanted it, then marked the center of the deck pivot holes onto the side of the block. This method helps me to have total confidence that my hole placement is correct.
As you can see this little multi stand is like having another helper in your shop : )
The hole centers get marked with a regular #2 pencil. But not so fast! I almost forgot to make sure that the position of the hole allowed for clearance when the deck is lowered. And thank goodness I checked. Basically the deck was TOO CLOSE to the block and would have collided with block at the lower corner had I used the first center. So, I simply moved the position just over to the right, measured it out for clearance, then committed to a hole location.
To make a good straight hole in the side of this big block I used an old method shown to me by a good friend. I pulled a piece of 2” material out of the scrap bin, took it to the drill press and then drilled a hole through it using the same size pilot bit I’ll need for pivot bolts. I then used this piece of scrap as a drill guide on the side of the block. I place the scrap piece on the side of the block and aligned the drill head on my mark, then slowly predrill the mark on the side of the block while holding the guide piece in position.. The scrap piece helps me to make sure my drill bit is nice and straight.
Now comes the real fun part; fitting the deck to the block. I used my multi-stand to hold the deck in position as I turned the large lag bolts into the side of the block. I used a impact gun and was sure to not clamp down on the side pieces too hard; otherwise the bolt would squeeze the hinge and it will not swing up and down smoothly.
I chose really long bolts for this portion to support the mass of the deck as best as possible. I also spec’ed out a lag bolt with a shoulder on it that is about the same thickness as the side extensions of the deck. This will make for a nice smooth pivoting surface between the deck and the bolt.
The deck swings perfectly. Now the issue becomes how to hold it up? I went with a classic table leg look with my new tapering jig. First I glued up some strips of material to make two legs. After drying, I made two passes with them through the table saw with my new jig. I don’t know exactly what the angle is, I really just kind of eye balled it : )
The base of each leg got jack screw which will be used for leveling the deck. My shop floor is not perfectly level so these little guys will account for any issues with the shop floor.
I found some perfect little hinges at Rockler that allow table legs to fold away and will latch in the up position. These worked perfectly since I need the legs to tuck away nice and tight to the deck when it is closed against the saw in the lowered position.
And here it is once again. You can see here I was so thrilled with it I just had to stand on it! Maybe I have a little billy-goat in me lol. Just kidding.
This outfeed table works perfectly! The main block as well as the deck are perfectly aligned to just below the table saw deck. At a later point I will add miter slots to the outfeed table so that I can easily move my miter gauge and (soon to build) cross cut sled.
For now though, I’m calling this project done!
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