|Project by Lenny||posted 12-29-2009 06:01 AM||13892 views||82 times favorited||49 comments|
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