If you have wanted to build a folding outfeed table for your table saw, and you are looking for ideas. Then continue reading.
A folding outfeed table is something I have wanted to build for some time now.
And I finally got around to it. And here is what it looks like (Photo 1 & 2). Nothing fancy, but believe me, it is very functional.
Note–Photos 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, & 10 were taken before I decided to extend the table saw miter slots onto the folding outfeed table—see Photo 9 for an image of the outfeed table with the miter slots that I ended up adding to the outfeed table.
In the above photo (Photo 2), the folding table has been lowered, and the two legs are folded up under the tabletop of the table saw.
Lift the outfeed table slightly to rotate the legs up into the closed position.
The following photo (Photo 3) shows my original folding outfeed table (turned upside down) on top of my new outfeed table. As you can see, the new outfeed table is noticeably larger in both length and width, and that is a good thing.
Dimensions for my original folding outfeed table top were 19-3/4” x 20”, and the dimensions for my new folding outfeed table top are 30” x 34-1/2”.
What follows is a collection of notes and photos regarding this build.
- The table saw shown in this build is a Sears Craftsman Professional table saw
(Model No. 152.221240).
- Make your outfeed table height about 1/16” less than the tabletop of your table saw. You do not want to be sawing wood and have the wood hit the edge of your outfeed table because the top was proud of your table saw top—would not be good.
- The length of the outfeed table cannot exceed the height of the table saw since if the table length exceeds the height of the table saw then the outfeed table would hit the floor before the outfeed table is perpendicular to the floor.
- The dimensions for the top of this outfeed table are 30” x 34-1/2”.
The width of 30” that I used for the outfeed table was determined by the fact that I want to be able to pass between the outfeed table and my band saw, which are adjacent to one another.
Depending on your space constraints, you might be able to make your table wider.
- I clamped OSB (1/2” x 3-1/2” x 34-1/2”) to my existing metal folding outfeed table, which came with this Table Saw, as shown below in Photo 3.
The notch in the OSB is 2-5/16”-horizontally x 1-1/2”-vertically. And the notch is necessary in order to allow the outfeed table to swing down when not being used.
Spring clamps are shown holding the OSB in place. But after drilling two 1/8”-dia. holes through the OSB and the existing metal outfeed table, I installed drywall screws in the holes just drilled, and then I removed the two spring clamps.
The OSB referenced here in Note 5 and shown in Photo 4 is just being used to check that my planned dimensions will allow the folding outfeed table to swing down when not in use.
- For determining the two outfeed table leg lengths, I clamped a vertical strip of OSB to the horizontal strip of OSB (which represents the table frame, which I will build here shortly using 2x lumber) as shown in Photo 5
To enable the two legs to rotate up, as shown in Photo 2, I used 1/2”-dia. x 5”-length carriage bolts to fasten the legs to the frame of the folding outfeed table. A washer, lock washer, and nut were also used with each of the two carriage bolts.
The 1/2″-diameter hole on each leg for the 1/2″-diameter carriage bolt holes were drilled using a 1/2”-diameter Forstner bit installed on my drill press.
Next, using “C”-clamps, clamp the legs to the outfeed framing structure. And use the drilled hole through each 2x leg to guide a 1/2”-dia. twist drill bit through the side of the outfeed framing structure.
And finish up the leg installations by fastening the 2x legs to the outfeed framing structure with carriage bolts, washers, split washers, and nuts.
I had concerns that using the carriage bolt assembly referenced in the above paragraph might result in legs that swung to loosely or legs that were too tight to swing. But the carriage bolt assembly worked out perfectly regarding the swinging of the legs—not too loose nor too tight.
- Photo 6 shows the setup used for cutting the two table legs. The dimensions used for each of the two legs were 1-1/2” x 3-5/16” x 33-1/8”.
- Shown in Photo 7 is the outfeed table disconnected from the table saw and flipped on its back.
The frame is constructed out of 2 x 6 lumber. And the front 2 x 6 and the two side 2 x 6’s were fastened together with three #8 x 3-1/2” length deck screws at the two corners where the 2 x 6 members butt up against one another.
Now, as you can see, the framing member shown at the top of Photo 7 is not a 2 x 6. But instead, its dimensions are 1-3/8” horizontally x 1-1/2” vertically x 27-1/8” long. And this framing member was fastened to the two adjacent framing members with one #8 x 3-1/2” deck screw at each end.
The two interior 2 x 6s had to be oriented as shown in order for the outfeed table to be able to swing down against the back of the table saw when not in use. And the 1x members shown on each side of the two interior 2 x 6s extend 1” above the 2 x 6 members. (The 1x members are glued and brad nailed to the two 2 x 6 boards.)
I installed the 1x boards referenced in the above paragraph and shown in Photo 7 to add rigidity to the interior 2 x 6s that they are fastened to. They are probably not necessary, but I just felt more comfortable having them there.
The two interior 2 x 6s were fasten to the adjacent framing members with three
#8 x 3-1/2” deck screws at each end.
The photo above (Photo 8) shows where the above-referenced frame had to be notched to enable the outfeed table to clear the two bolt heads on the table saw, so the outfeed table can rotate as required.
The two black hinges (Photo 8) were disconnected from the removed metal folding outfeed table that came with the table saw. And the two black hinges were then used to join the table saw and new folding outfeed table together– reusing the two existing black hinges worked out well.
- For the outfeed table top, I used 1/2” OSB since I have more 1/2” OSB then I know what to do with.
To fasten the 1/2″ OSB to the 2 x 6 framing members, I used #8 x 1-5/8” deck screws as follows:
- three deck screws on each side,
- one deck screw centered on each front and back framing member,
- and one deck screw centered for fastening to each of the two 2 x 6 interior members.
- I debated whether or not to extend the table saw miter slots onto the outfeed table, and I really would have preferred to have had an outfeed table without miter slots if possible. The thing is, I use this outfeed table both as an outfeed table and also as a general purpose worktable surface.
But having to raise the outfeed table when ripping wood and having to lower the outfeed table then when the table saw miter slots were being used was a real pain. So I grabbed my router and a straight router bit, and I routed miter slots into the outfeed table. The miter slots are shown below in Photo 9.
Now, I wasn’t comfortable with routing closer than within about an inch of the outfeed table end adjacent to the table saw. For that last inch adjacent to the table saw, I used a flush cut handsaw and chisel to finish the cutting of miter slots into the outfeed table.
The two cut miter slots are 3/8”-deep x 1”-wide x 18-1/4”-long.
- What length wood can you cut before the wood starts to tip?
With this 34-1/2” length outfeed table, you can rip boards up to 73” in length. But with boards over 73” in length, you will find yourself in tipping territory.
Two boards are shown below in Photo 10. The board on the left is 48” long and the board on the right is 73” in length–no tipping was experienced for the two boards referenced in Photo 10.
Now, this folding outfeed table will not win any beauty contests. I know that, and you know that.
But it is sturdy, doesn’t wobble, and is quite functional.
I believe that this table and I are going to get along quite well together out in the shop.