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Outfeed Table Slots

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Forum topic by TheWoodenOyster posted 469 days ago 960 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TheWoodenOyster

717 posts in 562 days


469 days ago

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

pauldye

61 posts in 711 days


#1 posted 469 days ago

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

bondogaposis

2480 posts in 978 days


#2 posted 469 days ago

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

TheWoodenOyster

717 posts in 562 days


#3 posted 469 days ago

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

nwbusa

1016 posts in 913 days


#4 posted 469 days ago

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

shipwright

4901 posts in 1425 days


#5 posted 469 days ago

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 ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10724 posts in 1317 days


#6 posted 469 days ago

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 Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

4996 posts in 1936 days


#7 posted 469 days ago

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.

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View AlanBienlein's profile

AlanBienlein

141 posts in 1301 days


#8 posted 469 days ago

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

WoodRasp

11 posts in 655 days


#9 posted 469 days ago

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.

https://picasaweb.google.com/112481960743426170569/KregAssemblyTable

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

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2709 posts in 1204 days


#10 posted 469 days ago

+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

TheWoodenOyster

717 posts in 562 days


#11 posted 469 days ago

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

Charlie

1008 posts in 913 days


#12 posted 469 days ago

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

MrRon

2790 posts in 1870 days


#13 posted 468 days ago

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

1253 posts in 576 days


#14 posted 468 days ago

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 CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

886 posts in 737 days


#15 posted 468 days ago

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.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

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