Folding Cabinet Saw Side-Table Extension Updated 1-19-2007 (copywrite 1-6-2007 & 1-19-20 M.A. DeCou)

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Forum topic by Mark A. DeCou posted 01-07-2007 03:53 AM 4705 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4640 days

01-07-2007 03:53 AM

I have been wishing for a bigger surface around my table saw so that I could cut big sheets of plywood, long pieces of hardwood, and have extra room to work on when my workbench is covered up.

I have a small shop, 22’x32’, and it is cram packed with stuff. Anything I add to my shop has to be mobile, foldable, or storable. I use my old barn for storage of things not currently in use, but for my table saw, I needed to be able to easily add extension room to the table quickly and easily..

I have been using those pesky rollers-on-a-stand for several years now, but just when I am in a bind and need the stand to do it’s job, it falls over, or rolls my material at a slight angle pulling it away, or into, the saw fence.

If I am cutting thin plywood material that is flimsy, it is sort of like a Circus Act to get it to hit the top of the roller stand, while keeping the sheet against the rip fence. I usually have to have three different roller-stands set up to accomodate the flexible material, and since I’m not too flexible, or fast, I normally have trouble, and at least one roller stand will fall over at just the wrong time. So, after a lot problems, I don’t trust those pesky, look like they ought to work, roller-stands.

The photos below show the design I came up with. I couldn’t tell you whether it was an original idea, or not. I do so much reading, that I may have seen something like it before. But, if I did, I am not conscious of it.

I didn’t really have any set dimensions, just adapted the table to what I had in material scraps, and hardware laying around the shop. I didn’t have to buy anything to make it, and it used up some stuff that I have been unable to throw away for sure. I have some “pack-rat” in my ancestry somewhere.

I used 3/16” thick peg board, as it was left over from a short little project I did for the church. More on that in another blog entry.

Here is a photo of the cabinet saw with the left side outrigger extension table folded down completely.

Here is the same folded down table from a different view.

Here is a photo of the table outrigger in it’s half-folded position. I have a swinging gusset under the table that swings out into position to hold this half-table up level with the saw top. I can use this setting of the table when I am working with pieces of wood that don’t require a bigger table. This only takes about 5.8 seconds to set up, give, or take a few tenths of a second.


Here is another view of the Half-Folded table. The two halves are held together with an old piano hinge left over from a project I did in 1997 (whew, glad I finally used it).:


Here is a view of the full un-folded table, with the legs down to the floor. I used adjustable bolts on the end of the legs to account for my crooked floor, and the floor mats that I have on the floor for a cushioned standing position.

The legs swing up into the table frame like a small card-table would do, and so they are out of the way when the two sides of the table top are folded together.

_ _

Here is another view showing how the table legs fold up into the frame. I used a carriage bolt to hold the legs in place, and tightened the nut enough to make the hinging of the legs a little stiff. This helps with keeping them were they are to be while I am folding, or unfolding the table.

If I had ordered hareware material for this project, I could have purchased a set of those card-table folding leg hardware kits available in several different catalogs. Or, if I had an old card-table laying around in storage, I could have torn it apart and used it’s legs. (But, then, I would just have to figure what to do with the cardtable top, as it would be too good to throw away for sure).

Because the whole rig is mounted securely to the table saw, it is very stable, surprisingly so.

The two halves are held together with an old piano hinge left over from a project I did in 1997 (whew, glad I finally used it).:

Here is a detail view of the hinge mechanism. If I had gone to the hardware store to buy new hardware, I probably would have done something different. But, I dug through all of my salvage boxes of hardware and put this concept into action. It works pretty well actually.

I figure over time, I may see another, better way to do it, and will redo it, but for now, this is the way it works. I used some little hooks to hold the folded halves together when they are hanging down not being used.


I didn’t really have a working plan, or sketch of what I was going to build, just some scrap pieces, and a concept. As I started putting the concept into action, I had to adapt as I dug through all of my salvaged hardware and hinges, and bolts and such, and finally came upon an idea to make it work.

The Half-Folding setup was just an accident, as I noticed when I was getting the legs adjusted, that if I would just add a swing out gusset under the table, I could make it work in that position. It was fun, to figure it out by accident that way.

I was pretty excited today when I had the whole rig up and running, and I adjusted everything so that the table is flat with the top of the saw. I started on it late last night and worked until about 2:30 am when I realized that I was so tired I wasn’t doing anything, and headed to bed. I started again this morning about 10:00 am, and finished it a little while after lunch.

I walked into the house to share my new joy with my loving wife, and begged her to come out to the shop and see my new engineering feat. However, I should have known better, because before I had the whole thing demonstrated, she got mad, and said, ”you tell those lumberjocks I have one for the ‘You might be married…’ list that if your husband spends hours piddling around in the shop engineering tables like this and you can’t get him to finish up the kitchen remodeling that he started 5.5 years ago, might be married to a lumberjock.”

Then, she stomped back to the house. I assured her in a loving, kind voice, as she was walking away that I would definitely add that “one” to the “list.”

Those old unfinished projects are not good for marriage relations. I really need to get that Kitchen finished!

Have a great night,
Mark DeCou

Update 1-19-2007:
To show the real use of this table addition, here is a photo showing a piece of 1/2” MDF laying on the table ready for cross cutting on the saw. Right after this photo was taken, I also did a 3/4” sheet of MDF, and the table held it up great. Before I had this type of table extension, I had to have my wife help me hold it, or I had to use roller stands, both of which weren’t very good (I mean that it a good way you know).

It was hard for my wife and I to push the sheet through the saw, without one of us getting ahead, or behind the other (maybe this has a deeper meaning in life).

As for the roller stands, as I mentioned above, one of them always fell down. I have used the table extension for a couple of weeks now, and wonder how I managed before without it.

Because my shop is so small, I have to fold up the table to enter, or exit the walk-in door to the shop. If I had a bigger shop, I would just build a permanent table, but for a small shop, this folding capability has been very handy.

This photo may show the best use of the table though. My two children like to visit me in the shop a lot, and we are always fighting for the same table/bench space. Here, my son demonstrates that he can pull up the table, swing out the support arm, and sit down making a nice place for his snack cup, drink, and toy tractor.

Thanks for your comments, and if you have questions, please let me know,
Mark DeCou

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

8 replies so far

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4561 days

#1 posted 01-07-2007 07:09 AM

Very clever. Thanks for sharing how it evolved. I love it when you find a “happy accident,” or something works better than planned. (or as “planned” as thing were at the time). Oh, and using up those spare odd bits is just a bonus.

This gives me some new (and perhaps better) ideas for the folding outfeed table I never quite got around to finishing (ok starting) once I mounted my portable benchtop table saw on a rolling stand with a compartment for dust collection.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4533 days

#2 posted 01-07-2007 01:46 PM

Nice project, & presentation Mark.
You’re my kind of guy, I enjoy Jerry-rigging things with stuff in my junk collection. You know that stuff, (“I might be able to use this someday”)
It ends up giving you some satisfaction.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4390 days

#3 posted 01-22-2007 04:09 AM

Some day…has to arrive soon….. as I have no more room for all this stuff…... :)


-- Dusty

View Karson's profile


35152 posts in 4634 days

#4 posted 01-23-2007 02:18 AM

I told some people at the Woodworkers Club that I had about 600 Bd ft of misc scrap lumber that they could use for making the clubs Christmas toys. Then I started looking at it. It was some imported wood, cherry crotch, walnut crotch and other woods that I can’t part with. I hope that they forget that I told them.

Some day I’ll use it or I’ll deliver it to the club.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 4471 days

#5 posted 01-23-2007 02:55 AM

Dusty? What stuff?

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4395 days

#6 posted 01-23-2007 12:58 PM

I see Obi’s eyes light up… you know you’re a lumbjock when…

Thanks for the write-up and photos. It always helps to hear and see how the mind worked to overcome a problem and build a solution.

I’ve looked at those rollie things because I am really bad at holding the wood (good at sweeping, bad at holding). They won’t be on our wishlist now.

Now, the kitchen. I’m sure your wife REALLY appreciated you telling her that you’d add the “you know you’re a lumberjock wife when…” to the list. Yup. I’m sure that’s exactly what she wanted to hear. hahaha
So, what’s the hold up?? (puts on Life Guide hat)... seems like there’s a barrier.
(takes hat back off)

Great picture of your son. A picture says a thousand words and this definitely tells a story about a son and his father. A treasured moment.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4548 days

#7 posted 02-04-2007 12:57 AM

Mark I just added a photo of my workshop that has a my saw in it. I had more room than you so I just built a 16” wide table that slides around.

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4411 days

#8 posted 02-04-2007 05:45 AM

You guys know what the Bible says about envy – so I just skim-read this stuff and say, ”No, Don, you promised your wife we wouldn’t be moving again and that you wouldn’t purchase any more tools”. LOL!

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

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