Outfeed and assembly table

  • Advertise with us
Project by RobDurhamNC posted 08-10-2018 10:32 AM 2194 views 9 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi folks,

This my first post to the forum and I want to thank everyone for posting projects that provided inspiration for my assembly table/outfeed table/workbench.

The base of the table is douglas fir with 4×4 legs and large tenons at the top of each leg. The tenons slip into mortises framed into the torsion box top which makes the top removable should I ever damage it beyond repair or want to change it to a solid wood top (although I don’t see that happening).

Most torsion box tops are assembled on leveled saw horses (Wood Whisperer style), but I didn’t have the extra space to do that and the top needed some extra consideration in its final dimensions which made it much more practical to build the top in place on the base. So, I decided to mount a jointed and planed frame of 2×4 to the douglas fir base and then build the torsion assembly in place. The 2×4 frame is flush with the shoulders of the tenons and perfectly level with the assistance of the leveling casters mounted on each leg. Once the 2×4 frame was ready I cut out the space for the tenons in the first sheet of MDF (1/2”) and then build the torsion web on top of it with 3/4 plywood – gluing and screwing from below. Once the base sheet and webbing were secured I laid the top 3/4 MDF and glued it in place with some brad nails added for extra strength. Finally a 1” thick maple edge was applied.

The top took some special consideration because my saw is a contractor saw with the motor on the back. I wanted the table to back up to the saw so I framed an area to allow for the full movement of the motor. One of the pictures shows the underside of the top where you can see the “mortises” as well as the space for the motor. The top isn’t secured to the base except for its weight. But once it is level it doesn’t budge. I used the torsion web framing to leave only a 1/16th gap around each side of each tenon.

There are 6 cabinets with maple drawer fronts. The entire project was finished with arm-r-seal and then some paste wax on the top.

The last part is to add a vise to the front left side of the work surface. I filled the torsion web spaces on that side of the work surface with solid scraps pieces of douglas fir so that I can bolt the vise into solid wood and later add a row of dog holes.

Hopefully this style of assembly for the torsion top will come in handy for someone else. Thank you all for the inspiration!

-- Rob, Durham NC --"The person who is incapable of making a mistake, is incapable of anything" Abraham Lincoln

12 comments so far

View EarlS's profile


3586 posts in 3023 days

#1 posted 08-10-2018 11:24 AM

Welcome to LJ. That is a fine looking work bench with plenty of storage space. It looks solid as well. Clever approach to accommodate your saw as well. I’ve seen several torsion box tops. I’m wondering what the advantage is over a traditional solid, thick top?

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View artsyfartsy's profile


1348 posts in 1833 days

#2 posted 08-10-2018 01:01 PM

Nice Job and welcome to LJ! I have to say that I am very impressed with how you assembled and the photos showing the progress. They help a lot. BTW, what are the dimensions of the table? I’ve been mulling around making one myself and like your design.

-- DWelch. Michigan, The only dumb question is the one not asked!

View CampD's profile


1815 posts in 4161 days

#3 posted 08-10-2018 01:17 PM

Very Nice!

-- Doug...

View pottz's profile


8334 posts in 1659 days

#4 posted 08-10-2018 01:20 PM

nice work thats a great looking table,gonna make wood working a whole lot easier and more fun.welcome to lumber jocks.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View RobDurhamNC's profile


3 posts in 600 days

#5 posted 08-10-2018 02:04 PM

Thanks! This is a great community and I am glad to be a part of it now.

As to why I chose the torsion top: Well, I debated it for quite a while and it came down to being cheaper and easier to make perfectly flat, especially given the size of work surface I wanted. Part of the reason I made the top easily removable is that I may want to change it in the future. Honestly, though, after multiple coats of arm-r-seal and then wax the MDF top looks really nice and should hold up for a long time as long as I don’t do anything stupid :)

The overall dimensions of the work top is 68” (same as table saw total length) x 40 inches. There is a 10” overhand on the left side of the bench, and 4” on the other 3 sides. Enough to clamp when needed and add a vise on the left side. Top is flush to the table saw top minus ~1/16th.

I will add one row of dog holes after the vise is installed but am debating also adding two intersecting rows of T-Track on the work surface, one 4-5 inches back from the front, and another on the right side for additional clamping and other t-track accessory usage. Can anyone think of any downside to doing that? I don’t think it would weaken the torsion assembly to rout the channel for the t-track since it would only have to be 3/8” deep and the top is 3/4”


-- Rob, Durham NC --"The person who is incapable of making a mistake, is incapable of anything" Abraham Lincoln

View BurlyBob's profile


7195 posts in 2940 days

#6 posted 08-10-2018 03:50 PM

That’s darn nice.

View fivecodys's profile


1603 posts in 2311 days

#7 posted 08-10-2018 05:00 PM

That is one fine out-feed table sir.

-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

View therealSteveN's profile (online now)


5142 posts in 1249 days

#8 posted 08-10-2018 09:01 PM

” made it much more practical to build the top in place on the base.”

Can’t tell you the number of remarkable woodworking benches I have seen where this is the case.

You have created a massive off cut table, and it appears to have quite a bit of storage, and all the while looks nice enough to use as bedroom furniture. First post, and got a 3. Man that is a lot of winner winner WOW. Congratulations.

Even with some finish on it, keep that MDF dry, and it probably will last a long time. The biggest problem, beside swelling if it gets wet is lack of support, and on a torsion box it has support ++++ You can even finish on it, just remember a few layers of plastic before the wet stuff comes out, and it will be good.

Thanks for posting.

-- Think safe, be safe

View KimAccurso's profile


511 posts in 815 days

#9 posted 08-10-2018 10:03 PM

That’s really awesome, would love to have something like that in my shop. Welcome to LJs, very inspiring place!

-- Kim - imperfection is the pursuit of perfection

View drewpy's profile


993 posts in 2032 days

#10 posted 08-10-2018 11:34 PM


-- Drew -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View dannmarks's profile


1017 posts in 1256 days

#11 posted 08-11-2018 01:35 AM

My Assembly table rolls like yours. Mine is not as nice as your, but serves me well. I roll it to where it sits in the shop normally, or over in from of the Table saw and very often out into the drive way. You will get tons of work done on this unit. It is really well done.

View geekwoodworker's profile


378 posts in 2135 days

#12 posted 08-11-2018 10:01 PM

Wish mine was this nice. Keep up the great work and I hope to see more projects from you.

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