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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!

Gallery

Comments

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Great addition to a great saw! Nice work.
 

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Lenny, I read your blog on the router cabinet and found your outfeed table. Nice build on all your projects. Looking at the pictues of your table saw I noticed the ground connector wire. Another photo the ground is connected to the hose. Is the hose dedicated to the table saw or do you have a connection for the ground wire you remove for multi tool use? I have one hose that I use from tool to tool and no ground connection.

Having grown up in Connecticut I am a Giants fan. I'm not ready to jump on the Bears band wagnon just yet. My back up team New England looks pretty good this year. :)

Thanks
 

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Hi Dan,

Thanks for the comments. Everyone in my family was a Giants fan until the Pats came along and one of my brothers stayed with them. I was a bit young but I remember Y.A. Tittle, Tucker Frederickson, etc.

Regarding the ground wire, let me say that I have pvc ductwork around the entire shop. Within the ductwork is a copper wire that starts at a screw on the dust collector itself. Then, at each drop, the copper wire is connected to an alligator clip. I have three 10' hoses that I move from machine to machine as necessary. I pretty much leave the one on the TS as it gets the most use. The hose is essentially metal spiral wrapped in plastic. There are quick disconnect fittings at both ends of the hose. I attach the quick disconnect to the drop (friction fit) and attach the alligator clip to the exposed metal spiral. The other end of the hose gets attached to the dust port of the tool, so I find a metal screw near the dust port and attach a short piece of copper wire and alligator clip to it. Clip this to that end of the hose and this completes the grounding circuit from tool to DC.
 

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Lenny, thank you. The alligator is a great idea and I will be using it. I started watching the Giants back in just before the Simms years. The Lean Years as I refer to them. I do like that Woodhead guy on the Pats. Pretty exciting. Thanks again.
 

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I was just checking through some of the most favored posting when I came around another outfeed table just like this one. I provided a link to the article the magainze if anyone would like to view it.

Angela
 

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Lenny that table extension is so nice; if you don't mind I want to build mine that way. I have a Ryobi/Craftsman toy saw and the table is about the size of an unabridged dictionary cover. I'm building a cabinet for it right now that will capture the saw table tightly and my sled guides, rip fence rail, and the folding extensions will all attach to my cabinet.
I'm going to build the rip fence and rail like the one at this link: "http://lumberjocks.com/projects/34305"
That mpounder built; it is really cool too.
 

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I'm going to be featured in Woodworkers Journal soon so I just the lady who interviewed me today [the editor] and ask her to send me a copy of the article for this extension. My saw is little that my sled tips and that's even too dangerous for me so always build a table because rollers are so cumbersome and precarious. Cabinet shops always encircle their saws with full tables.
 

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Hi Metrotek. Thanks for the comments. By all means, have at it. As of this date, this extension table is now in the hands/shop of another LJ. I have undergone a shop renovation/expansion and no longer need a fold-down feature. I will look for you in WWJ.
 

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you sound a lot like me. i need to move things around when i need to do some thing too. thats why i need a out feed table too. you have a very nice one
 
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