With reluctance, I’ll have to admit to being one of those woodworkers whose table saw guard gathers dust on a shelf most of the time. To provide for a guard on my off-feed table for my Jet SuperSaw that meant either having a gap between the rear edge of the saw table and near edge of the off-feed table of about 5-1/4” – or cutting a large gap in the off-feed top itself. I’ve realized that omitting guard provisions wasn’t the brightest idea I ever had, so it’s likely that I’ll soon grit my teeth and cut the gap.
One of the things I wanted was to have a ‘continuation’ of the saw’s miter gauge slot to help with the alignment and stability of my miter gauge and slot-guided jigs, so I made the slot ‘extension’ by cutting a dado in a piece of UHMW plastic. To maintain that alignment, I anchored the table to the lower leg of the rear fence guide with two ¼” bolts into dowel-nuts.
In addition to the slot alignment issue, there were several other complications. One was that I need to keep access to the access door and dust collection on the rear of the saw. This is the reason for the open construction which leaves little opportunity for storage. There is, however, room for a couple of thin ‘drawers’ directly beneath the top for a dado set and a few blades, and I’ll be adding that soon.
Even without providing for a guard, I still had to leave about a 3-1/2” gap between the saw and the off-feed table to allow use of my saw fence. Without thinking how little use it would be, I decided to make a ‘filler’ for the gap as shown in several of the photos. I expect this filler will also gather dust on a shelf most of the time, but since it aligns itself as it drops into place, it will be simple to use if the occasion arises.
The final limiting factor was that I had to leave room for the sliding table on my saw. This left the overall dimension of the table about 32” wide x 24” deep. This is deep enough to keep anything under about five feet from tending to tip, and that’s enough for most of my work.
The top is plastic laminate on ¾” MDF; trim is Oak, and the legs are 1” steel pipe (with floor flanges at the top and crutch tips at the floor). 3/4” pipe legs would have been adequate, but the store had none of that size at the time).
This first photo shows the overall table with the gap filler in place.
This one shows the filler removed and the support extending to the saw.
These final two photos show how the extension of the miter gauge slot helps with alignment of my gauge and taper jig.
Please post any questions or comments.
-- Dave O.