Having a table saw has significantly improved the speed and quality of my woodworking projects. Don’t get me wrong – when you are first starting out and don’t have many tools, a circular saw works great! I used mine with a straight edge to build many projects, but it has its limits. A table saw, on the other hand, is capable of so many things. So when Jess found this great one (a Porter Cable PC220TS) at a garage sale a few months ago for $125, I couldn’t let her pass it up. It belonged to an elderly gentleman who took incredibly good care of it. It cuts straight, runs smooth, and folds up for storage. But it has the same flaw that many portable table saws have – a small table surface. I end up ripping quite a bit of 8 foot long material, so I knew I would need some kind of outfeed table.
I also do not have a ton of space to spare in my garage, so I wanted to make a portable outfeed table that was easily collapsible and could be stored out of the way when not in use. So I came up with a design that is 4’ x 4’ when unfolded, but collapses to just 2’ x 4’ and can be stood in the corner or hung from the wall on a sturdy hook.
For the main table material, I chose 23” melamine shelving. The melamine creates a nice slippery surface to allow plywood or boards to easily slide across. I cut the shelving into two pieces 22-1/2” wide by 46-1/2” long and added pocket holes along the edges to attach select pine edging.
Pocket hole screws and glue held the edging in place.
I found some sturdy hinges that were just the right size to mount on the edging. To provide room for the hinge to pivot, I routed a radius on the corner of the edging. Then I attached all four hinges with the included screws.
Once all of the hinges were installed on one side of the table, I set the second half of the table in place and tightly clamped each of them together to attach the hinge to the other side. Keeping everything tight when attaching the hinges was important – it helped to prevent the surface of the table from “bowing” when supported on the ends. It still does a little bit, but less than it would have thanks to clamping.
The table saw that I have has a nice feature – an extension that increases the table capacity (depth) for larger pieces. It doesn’t extend far enough for really big material, but it did make a great place to attach the outfeed table. I drilled two holes in the edging on one of the long sides of the outfeed table approximately 22” apart.
Then I drilled a matching pair of holes in the table extension and attached the outfeed table to the extension with 5/16” hardware. This way, the outfeed table is rigidly attached to the table saw and I won’t have to worry about the two trying to separate in the middle of a cut.
Saw horses provide the rest of the support for the outfeed table. Two are placed at the end and another in the middle with some boards installed as spacers to keep everything level enough. In the future, I may try to add legs to the outfeed table to make it truly stand-alone, but for now the saw horses work just fine.
Overall, I’m really happy with the way this turned out. It has definitely increased the capacity of my table saw for one-person operations. I can easily rip a piece of 8 foot material without someone to catch the outfeed. Since Jess was usually that person, it makes her a lot happier too! 🙂