Outfeed Table Slots

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by TheWoodenOyster posted 05-10-2013 11:20 PM 1688 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 2137 days

05-10-2013 11:20 PM

Howdy guys,

I am going to be building an outfeed table this weekend and I need some advice. I am using an old plastic laminate heavy duty door as the table top. It is 1 3/4” thick and is banded with plywood, with mdf in the middle. I plan on routing out miter slots to continue the slots from the table saw. My question is should I oversize the outfeed table slots a little bit to give myself some leeway when I follow through with the crosscut or miter sled? I don’t really expect to be able to get this outfeed table to sit within .001 of where it needs to be, because it is free-floating on casters with leg levelers and won’t actually be attached to the saw. I am thinking it would be nice for it to be EXACTLY the same size as my slot on my table saw and line up perfectly, but that is a pipe dream and attempting it would probably cause more problems than it would solve. If I do leave a little leeway, how much are you guys thinking (1/16”, 1/8”), and would you do it in the bottom of the slots as well as the sides?

As always, thanks in advance for the wisdom

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

15 replies so far

View pauldye's profile


68 posts in 2286 days

#1 posted 05-10-2013 11:33 PM

great question. When I made my outfeed table, I tried to get a perfect fit. It didn’t happen, but nobody can notice the mistakes but me.

I have found the width to be a little tight. When mounting the outfeed table, I need to put it exactly correct or the mitre gauge doesn’t slide well. I wonder if the tight width is worth the trouble??

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)


5091 posts in 2553 days

#2 posted 05-10-2013 11:33 PM

I would oversize them unless you intend to attach it to the back of your saw. You’ll have a devil of a time re-aligning them every time you bump your outfeed table.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 2137 days

#3 posted 05-10-2013 11:37 PM

See, I am thinking that as long as I keep downward pressure on the sled over the table saw slots, I won’t really need the tight fit in the outfeed table. I figure I can probably get up to 2/3 of the sled off of the actual table saw top before I start having wobble issues (as long as my sled is perfect)

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2488 days

#4 posted 05-11-2013 12:08 AM

Yes. I’d make the slots ~1” wide. I just made my outfeed table 3/8” lower than my table saw to avoid the whole issue.

-- John, BC, Canada

View shipwright's profile (online now)


8166 posts in 3000 days

#5 posted 05-11-2013 12:13 AM

I can’t for the life of me figure out why people add these slots in the first place.
I’ve always just kept my outfeed table far enough away from the saw table to allow the miter gauge to travel past the blade, it’s only a few inches. I add a sloped piece of hardwood at the front to steer “droopers” back up and have never had a problem

I use my outfeed table for all kinds of other work as well and I would be forever cleaning out the recesses if I had them.

Am I missing something ???

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2892 days

#6 posted 05-11-2013 01:36 AM

My big workbench doubles as my outfeed table and I didn’t want slots in it so I just raised the tablesaw to where it is 1/2” above the bench top.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3511 days

#7 posted 05-11-2013 01:49 AM

I also use my outfeed table as a workbench and it is on worktable casters that raise up for mobility. I don’t need miter slots in the table since I keep the worktable 6 or 8” away from the saw. These casters work great since my worktable is 3×8 ft and I move it occasionally for some projects.

View AlanBienlein's profile


159 posts in 2877 days

#8 posted 05-11-2013 02:22 AM

I never had them in my out feed tables. Never saw a reason for them. Out of all the shops I have worked at only two of them had the slots cut in the out feed table and all they did was collect saw dust and other junk that can cause a potential kick back.

View WoodRasp's profile


11 posts in 2230 days

#9 posted 05-11-2013 03:06 AM

In my opinion it’s just a matter of choice,The only time mine get used is when i use my oversized panel sled. I would go without, and add them later if needed. Good luck.

-- The WoodRasp - "Let your inspirations inspire me, and mine inspire yours”

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2779 days

#10 posted 05-11-2013 03:18 AM

+1 for having the outfeed table 3/8” lower. No need for slots.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 2137 days

#11 posted 05-11-2013 03:47 AM

Awesome input guys. As usual, all of the input has really made me reconsider. I think I’ll probably leave the slots out for now and see how I like it. It’s much easier to cut them out later than fill them back in later. And now that I think about it, I could definitely see how they would just be another spot for dust to collect.

Nothing beats this site for a plethora of ideas in a short amount of time. Thanks again fellow LJs

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2488 days

#12 posted 05-11-2013 11:43 AM

My “outfeed table” (my workbench” is actually 3/4 lower than my table saw. Why? Because I ALWAYS have 1x stock or 3/4” plywood strips and if I need some extra support I lay them on top of my workbench and have a surface that’s real close to being level with the table saw. Need 6 feet of outfeed table? Use longer pieces. My shop is not large so this saves space when I don’t need a big outfeed area.

View MrRon's profile (online now)


5194 posts in 3446 days

#13 posted 05-11-2013 06:35 PM

Don’t even think about making the slots to fit the miter gage bar exactly. It’s not going to happen. Make the slot wide enough so the bar doesn’t hit the sides. 1/8” will work. Some say no slot and put table 3/4” lower. Thats fine. I personally prefer the table the same height as the saw top.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2151 days

#14 posted 05-11-2013 07:14 PM

mine is attached to the TS. It sits even with the TS top, and is 4×7. I have slots that are 1/2” wider each way than the miter gauge slot. They are also clear through to keep the dust buildup from happening.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2312 days

#15 posted 05-11-2013 08:52 PM

My outfeed miter slots are wide, about 1 1/2” wide… Getting them perfect is pointless.

Your saw’s slots will guide the sled / jig / tool, just allow room on the table to clear the rails. Extra room allows things to be out of alignment and still allow a happy woodworker.

+1 on the outfeed being nearly saw height. Mine is ~ 1/8” lower, and chamfered on the leading edge.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

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