|Project by tedth66||posted 02-06-2011 05:11 PM||34771 views||199 times favorited||19 comments|
I’ve needed an outfeed table on my table saw cabinet for quite some time. For well over a year of using my saw I’ve settled with one of those adjustable roller stands. Every time I used the saw I had to set up the stand and fine tune the height to the uneven garage floor. Since I use my garage for both a shop and a place to park both of my cars (when I’m not working on projects) I needed an outfeed table that folds down out of the way. I’ve seen many great fold-down tables on this site and intended to make one exactly like theirs (Woodworker’s Journal).
When I finally invested time to this project my intention was to build the design that most followed in the Woodworker’s Journal. The design in the Woodworker’s Journal is awesome but I wanted to make one change. The W’sJ has a fold-down leg that you pull out and lock into position and then you wedge it against a ledge mounted to the saw. I wanted something a bit simpler. I didn’t know how I was going to do it but I wanted the leg to auto lock into position when you raise the table.
After many sketches and lots of head scratching I came up with a solution that I thought had a chance of working. This was somewhat complicated because I was working with 4 hinge points and I wasn’t 100% sure where things would end up when the table is folding and unfolding. I thought about mocking it up with cardboard and duct tape (acting as hinges) but decided to just go for it.
With napkin sketches in hand I set out to create and design on the fly (typical of me) an Outfeed Table with an auto locking leg.
The fixed portion of the table is ~12” deep and is attached to the tablesaw and tablesaw cabinet; made out of hardwood maple. On the inside of the frame I added angle iron to prevent potential drooping. Once the frame was done I made the outfeed top out of 4 pieces of 1/2” ply and laminated the top 3 pieces. This allowed me to create the miter channels without using a router; I didn’t want to risk chipping the laminate.
The Fold-Down portion of the table is about 18” deep and I used 1/2” bolts for the hinges. Just like the fixed portion of the table, I used hardwood maple for the frame. The table is 3/4” ply that I laminated ~ now for the tricky part of the project; the auto locking leg.
For the auto locking leg I used 3/8ths” bolts as hinges (qty4; 2 at eachend of the folding leg) and built the hinge arms out of scrap hardwood maple. I mounted one hinge arm to the cabinet and a 30” wide arm to the 51” wide fold down table. The cabinet has a narrow hinge arm so the leg will clear the motor hanging out the back. The leg itself is made out of four pieces of hardwood maple (for the bolts/hinge points) and two pieces of ply that is connected with a piano hinge. I test fit the upper leg in the fold down position so I could cut away the portion that would run into the motor. Once I had all of the pieces built I then mounted the the upper portion of the leg to the table (3/8th” bolts hinge). I then attached the cabinet hinge arm to the leg and then determined where the cabinet hinge arm would be mounted when the table is in the upright level position. Using carpet tape I then attached and mounted the hinge arm to the cabinet and then secured it with wood screws.
When I first designed this auto-locking leg I thought there was a slight chance that I’d have to add a locking mechanism to prevent it from dropping on it’s own. But due to the position of the hinges on the leg (north of the piano hinge) this was not necessary. Gravity and the directional force applied to the leg hinge points don’t allow it to ‘auto’ fold down.
For setup, all I do is lift the table and it ‘auto locks’ into the level position. To fold down the table down, I lift the table ever so slightly and apply an upward force to the upper portion of the leg and it folds down to the 90degree position.
Here’s a link to my updated Tablesaw Router Cabinet with my New Folding Outfeed Table.