Fold-Down Outfeed Table

  • Advertise with us
Project by Lenny posted 12-29-2009 06:01 AM 16187 views 83 times favorited 51 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a relatively small shop. It measures 18 feet long but only 8 feet wide so space is at a premium. When I moved my table saw into the shop, I moved my radial arm saw out. Still, I really cannot fit a free-standing or “permanent” outfeed table in the shop. I have performed a few cuts on the TS when an outfeed table was warranted. It can be difficult at best and even with a blade guard in place, unsafe at worst. In the February 2009 edition of Woodworker’s Journal, I saw a fold-down outfeed table that I thought would be great for my shop and I resolved to make it. I decided to make mine the width of the cast iron portion of my saw (42”). The length or depth of the table is dictated by the location of the dust port on the saw. Reason being, when in the fold down position, you don’t want the table to interfere with your use of dust collection. The creator of the project was able to get about 30” out of his table. For my saw, the end result is an outfeed table that extends about 26” beyond the cast iron. The design of this TS accessory allows me to quickly set up the table when needed and keep it in the down or folded position when not in use, conserving valuable space.

Let me pause here to say that I often marvel at and feel jealousy toward those woodworkers who stumble upon, trip over or otherwise have free lumber thrust at them from out of the blue. It seems this type of thing always happens to someone else…not me. One Thursday night about 2 months ago, while driving home from work, I saw a butcher block kitchen table out at the curb of my neighbor. He had put it out for trash collection. Without knowing what I would do with it, I parked my car in my driveway, got a small hand truck and brought the table home. For several days I thought about how I might use it when it struck me that I could use the bulk of it as my outfeed table.

The plans in the magazine called for a glue up of two pieces of 3/4” MDF for the core, plastic laminate underneath and on top and hardwood edging to make up the table. The butcher block saved me some work in that it was already about 1 ¾ inches thick, did not require edging and with poly and wax would be plenty smooth enough.
I had to re-calculate the dimensions shown in the plans to take into account no edging and also to accommodate my specific TS. The leg and leg extension are made from poplar I bought for the project (cheaper than maple or oak). The ledge attached to the TS is from oak I had lying around. It is a real hodgepodge of wood species but my need for the fold-down table is temporary. Translated, this means the die has been cast and a considerable shop expansion is pending. Regarding this ledge, the plans call for drilling three holes in your TS cabinet to securely mount the ledge that holds all the weight. Three small carriage bolts do the job. It was painful to drill directly into my TS cabinet but I think I have gotten over it (sob, sob, weep, weep).

Here is a picture of the TS Cabinet before I drilled the holes and attached the ledge.

And here it is after the ledge has been bolted to the cabinet.

The table pivots on two 5” long lag screws that are screwed into a 5 ¾” wide mounting plate that in turn is mounted on the rear rail of the saw. This too required drilling. I drilled 5 holes in the rear rail for lag screws. I laminated two lengths of butcher block to build up the mounting plate to the height of the TS. The leg assembly swings on brackets mounted in the underside of the table.

Here is a shot of the leg assembly in the closed position. I swung it up on top so you can see it. That piece of poplar is not diseased. I struggled to get the hardware placed just right and those are holes I filled after re-locating the hardware to the opposite side. You can also see that I used pocket screws to inset the brackets to the underside of the table.

The extension slides in what amounts to a long dovetail and then is held in place via a heavy duty deadbolt. It took quite a bit of finessing to get the table level while in the locked position. There is a bit of play in the deadbolt and placement is critical to assure a level table. The leg collapses and a second dead bolt holds it in place when the table is folded down.

Here it is in the table up position. You can see the mounting plate with the five bolts holding it to the rear rail. As mentioned above, that is a 5” long lag bolt connecting the table to the mounting plate.

And here in the folded down position. Note that the table is just barely above the DC hose.

The pictures in the zoom area show the slots I routed through the mounting plate and into the table. I first routed them at 3/4” but my miter gauge has a wheel at the bottom leading edge that fits into a slot at the bottom of the miter gauge slots. The wheel is 7/8” wide so I had to widen my routed slots to that dimension. All that’s left is to put on a few coats of poly and wax.

I had my neighbor, the one who had put the table out for trash, come over one day and I showed him the project in progress. I asked if he knew what he was looking at. He thought I meant what species of wood and said “maple butcher-block”. When I told him it was the kitchen table he had put out for trash, he was happy to learn it was being “recycled”. He added that he figured someone would come along and take it. He just didn’t expect it to be his neighbor. It’s ironic that lumber that might otherwise be taking up space at the landfill is in use and helping me conserve space in my shop!

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

51 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117781 posts in 4135 days

#1 posted 12-29-2009 06:09 AM

Great job

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4443 days

#2 posted 12-29-2009 06:10 AM


-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View PurpLev's profile


8553 posts in 4206 days

#3 posted 12-29-2009 06:22 AM

Nice Lenny, this one is impressive, and all grade A materials!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View dmorgantx's profile


70 posts in 3640 days

#4 posted 12-29-2009 06:24 AM

Wow- nicely done… and thanks for “sharing your feelings” about drilling into your table saw! LOL. I have been eyeballing this kind of project for a year and the one thing that bothers me more than anything is drilling into my saw!

View Hallmark's profile


432 posts in 3664 days

#5 posted 12-29-2009 06:34 AM

Excellent work. It looks very sturdy.

-- Style is simple, but not my execution of it.

View savannah505's profile


1834 posts in 4144 days

#6 posted 12-29-2009 07:03 AM

Very well done Lenny, I may have to put this together for my powermatic saw.

-- Dan Wiggins

View woodworm's profile


14476 posts in 4148 days

#7 posted 12-29-2009 07:06 AM

Great project.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View blackcherry's profile


3343 posts in 4381 days

#8 posted 12-29-2009 07:53 AM

Great score, table and story Lenny. I can feel your pain on space allocation it really makes one think about the next’s move. Take care my friend and work safe…Blkcherry

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3866 days

#9 posted 12-29-2009 08:19 AM

Looks great and functional… You did an excellent job.
I also am looking for that free wood that others seem to get. Still looking and looking and looking…..

View FlWoodRat's profile


732 posts in 4467 days

#10 posted 12-29-2009 01:15 PM

Lenny, You did an outstanding job. By the way, great SCORE on the Laminate top. I do have one question. From the pics you posted of the pivot point on the end of the table, I have to wonder are you concerned with the stresses on the endgrain? If space permits, could you put some sort of long grain sheathing or think ply on the ends and the inside of the pivot point to help take some of that load off of the endgrain?

Good luck with it.


-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4379 days

#11 posted 12-29-2009 01:44 PM

Lenny, this is a nice addition to your saw. I can empathize with you about drilling into the saw. That was painful I am sure. This table looks solid and was a great “steal”.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Lenny's profile


1640 posts in 4085 days

#12 posted 12-29-2009 03:00 PM

Thanks guys. I appreciate the comments. dmorgantx and Scott, once the holes are covered by the ledge, the weeping and wailing subside. About a week later I was able to cancel my therapy sessions! By the way, I noticed this morning that my “before” picture above does show the drilled out holes. As I posted the pics last night I did not see them. Hmm, denial stage? I’d better hang onto that therapist’s phone number. Greg if a free wood score can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. Keep the faith! Rat, I never gave any thought to the endgrain stress issue you raise. The table is quite heavy so I can see it being an issue. If made per the plans (MDF wrapped in hardwood) the end of the lag screw would be resting on long grain. I can’t say I know much about such things but doesn’t the fact that the screw enters the mounting plate 5” transfer some of that stress along the length of the screw? As for the table, the plans called for making double brackets and attaching them to the edging with glue and screws at each end. Since I had solid lumber, I cut my “brackets” right out of the solid material, the same thickness (1 1/2”) as double brackets would be. Thanks for bringing this up. Anyone else have thoughts on this?

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4857 days

#13 posted 12-29-2009 03:56 PM

A great rescue from the landfill, Lenny.

Also a well built extension.

This should be a great asset to your whole shop.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4776 days

#14 posted 12-29-2009 03:57 PM


-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Woodwrecker's profile


4236 posts in 4133 days

#15 posted 12-29-2009 04:14 PM

Nice job Lenny !
That beats the hell out of my out feed table !

showing 1 through 15 of 51 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics