Outfeed / Assembly table

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Project by David Taylor posted 11-17-2015 04:35 AM 2116 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am in the process of finishing up my shop build. I now have all four interior plywood walls installed and painted white for good light reflection, and now it’s time to start thinking about making the shop something I can work in, not just a big box with tools in it and a bunch of potential workshop detritus (junk) on the floor :)

To that end, I need to turn my slab (21×70 x 2 inches thick [53×178 x 5 cm], weighs about 80 pounds [36.28 kg]) of Kentucky Coffee into a workbench top. I started to do so, and found to my dismay that it is twisted. Like a half an inch twisted, which means if I flatten it as-is, I will have an inch thick slab, which will no longer be a slab, but just a wide board. So I says to myself, “Self,” I says, “if I cut that slab in half length-wise, I will have less to remove to make it flat.” Then I thought about pushing an 80 pound slab over my new table saw (Delta 36-725) which has some 6-8” after the blade. The slab will tend to want to fall off before it is cut. I’m a big guy, but not big enough to hold an 80 pound slab level while only holding the last six inches of it.

So, like so many things, one thing has to be built before another can be worked on. In this case, i need an out-feed table to catch my slab after cutting it. This can and will be useful for many things. I can use it as an assembly table, it’s another horizontal surface for holding stuff I don’t want on the floor while I make the myriad shop things I need to make over the coming months, etc. Very useful project.

I went down to the local Home Depot (after spending the last year or so building my shop I am on a first name basis with most of the people there!) and found a couple of 2’ x 4’ [61×122 cm] pieces of melamine (I don’t have a truck, and the pieces needed to fit in my Outback) and I found 8 actually straight 2×4 [5×10 cm] studs! Brought them into the shop, glued the melamine pieces together, cut and mortised and glued up some double thick legs, made stretchers and rails, and in a few hours had me an out-feed table.

I had just seen Frank Howarth’s giant CNC frame build video in which he uses hockey pucks and bolts for adjustable feet. I didn’t use hockey pucks, but instead turned some feet on the lathe from 2×4 off-cuts, and ran a 3” carriage bolt through them. T-nuts centered in the leg bottoms gave them a place to go, and now I could adjust the height of the table to match the table saw (or rather, just a smidgen lower than, so as to not have trouble with things catching on the edge.)

Route a couple of grooves in line with the table saw miter slots, and we are good to go!

Overall 4’ x 4’ top [122×122 cm], 36” [91.4 cm] tall at lowest, adjustable to about 38” [96.5 cm] tall (table saw is 37” tall) base is 40” by 40” , so there is a 4” overhang on the table top all the way around. I am thinking of putting a vise on it, so it can be a temporary workbench while I build the real one. The workbench I have been using, Wood magazine’s One Weekend Workbench that I built some ten years ago is in the basement, and it nearly killed me and my son getting it down there – it’s staying there!

-- Learn Relentlessly

12 comments so far

View Chuck McIntyre's profile

Chuck McIntyre

81 posts in 2073 days

#1 posted 11-18-2015 01:51 AM

Nice build. I had an outfeed table on my list for a while. I finally put the effort into it a couple months ago and it has paid off handsomely. Mine is the same size as yours and features a melamine top. The slickness of the melamine top is great for outfeeding. You can check out my version under my projects if you have any interest in doing so. The 4” overhang you left will be incredibly handy as a clamping option when you need it. Keep up the good work!

-- Wood is a gift from God that maintains its beauty forever via the hand of a woodworker.

View David Taylor's profile

David Taylor

326 posts in 1887 days

#2 posted 11-18-2015 02:33 AM

Chuck, I just checked out your build, putting those T-tracks in the surface was a brilliant idea! I may just have to copy that :) Thanks so much for your comment and inspiration!

-- Learn Relentlessly

View NormG's profile


6506 posts in 3804 days

#3 posted 11-18-2015 06:38 AM

I need to build one. I have the Melamine and the 2×4’s, just getting the new shop in shape.
Both great builds

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Sawdust's profile


128 posts in 5207 days

#4 posted 11-18-2015 08:18 PM

Your table looks much like the one I built many years ago and still use, including the routed grooves. My top is formica and has withstood a lot of use, and it is easy to clean any thing that gets spilled on the top, including glue. Add a row of bench dog holes on each side will make it even more useful. I also use the stretchers below to stack quite a bit of left over lumber stock and cutoffs.


View David Taylor's profile

David Taylor

326 posts in 1887 days

#5 posted 11-18-2015 10:56 PM

Sawdust – Ooooh! Bench dog holes! Didn’t think of them, especially as I am thinking of putting a vise on it! Great thought, thanks!

I was thinking of putting some kind of storage under there, I don’t know if I want to go with a box with drawers, a box with shelves or maybe fill half the space with a box of drawers, and use the other half for more lumber storage. Or a clamp rack. Definitely will be some kind of storage on it thought, that’s too much space to leave empty!

-- Learn Relentlessly

View Pointer's profile


453 posts in 1911 days

#6 posted 11-19-2015 01:57 AM

Simple and effective table. Need to put this on my list too. Thanks to all for some great improvement ideas.

-- Joe - I am not entirely worthless, I can always serve as a bad example.

View jciccare's profile


30 posts in 2067 days

#7 posted 11-20-2015 01:06 PM

Newbie question about the stretcher tenons. I see the ends of the through-tenons on the sides of the legs that face the camera. I’m guessing there are also tenons on the other two stretchers whose long sides face the camera, i.e. the ones parallel to the saw’s fence. If so, how far do those tenons extend into the legs, and how do they intersect the tenons whose ends I see? (Pointers to furniture anatomy & construction resources appreciated!)

-- Accomplish the great task by a series of small acts. (Tao Te Ching / Lao Tzu)

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3666 days

#8 posted 11-20-2015 03:04 PM

That’s a very nice out feed table. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View David Taylor's profile

David Taylor

326 posts in 1887 days

#9 posted 11-21-2015 03:06 AM

Thanks, Joe and Charles!

jciccare, all the rails are left full size, in other words, there is no smaller tenon on the ends. I cut half mortises in the 2×4 stock before I glued them together, those are the mortises you see the ends of the rails in (outlined in red in the picture below). I also drilled and chiseled full size mortises into the face of the 2×4, centered at the same place as the half mortise Outlined in yellow in the picture below). So when I glued each leg half together The glue line seam is in black in the picture), I had one full size through mortise, and one full size mortise that basically goes into that mortise. I then glued the rails in through the long mortise, and after those two pairs of legs set up, I glued in the (slightly shorter) side rails into what is now a 3/4” deep full size mortise.

I grabbed and marked up a picture, maybe it will help :)

-- Learn Relentlessly

View jciccare's profile


30 posts in 2067 days

#10 posted 11-21-2015 03:23 PM

Ah, the rail is the tenon!

-- Accomplish the great task by a series of small acts. (Tao Te Ching / Lao Tzu)

View David Taylor's profile

David Taylor

326 posts in 1887 days

#11 posted 11-23-2015 04:37 AM

Exactly! May not be the ‘proper’ way, but the job’s done and it’s rock solid!

Note that the end of the rail going into the yellow mortise in my latest picture only butts against the side of the through rail going through the red mortise, so there is no interlocking going on inside there. I actually thought about doing that, but getting it together won out over the time it would have taken to do all eight joints like that :)

-- Learn Relentlessly

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3604 days

#12 posted 04-12-2016 11:39 AM

Nice outfeed table. I like how you did the adjustable ball feet. There isn’t a floor in the world that is level..

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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