How to Build a Table Saw Outfeed Table: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Using a table saw for larger projects without an outfeed table can be quite a challenge. While a roller stand offers some assistance, an outfeed support that can also serve as an assembly table is your best bet. I’ve seen many designs that are just overly complicated, loaded with bells and whistles that aren’t truly necessary.

Let me simplify things for you by guiding you on how to construct a straightforward outfeed table for your table saw.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Before starting any project, I recommend gathering everything you need so you don’t have to run out to the store multiple times. Here is the complete list of the items required to finish this project.

Tools Needed

Materials

12 Inches table saw

How to Make an Outfeed Table for Your Table Saw In 8 Simple Steps

Step #1: Measure the Size of Your Table Based on Your Table Saw

The first thing you need to do is to measure your table saw. Of course, you don’t want to build an outfeed table that’s shorter or longer than what you need. 

For this project, you get a work surface of 49-1/2” x 30”

If you need more room, especially if you’re always working with larger sheets, you can always modify the final length and width of the plywood. But generally speaking, this project could also be the same table you use for a work bench or an assembly table. 

Step #2: Cut the Frames

Your table needs a top frame and a bottom frame. These will be the skeleton of your table, so it’s important to get it right.

Cut the frames at the same time to get eight short supports (22 ½” long) and four long supports (45” long). So, for each frame, you will get two long sides, two short sides, and two inner supports. 

cutting

To make the process easier, use a stop block on your miter saw stand. This will make it more straightforward to cut the pieces since they have the same size. 

Next, I’d advise drilling two holes on the end of each short support. For my projects, I’ve often turned to pocket holes, and that’s what I did here. Also, it’s crucial not to overlook adding vertical pocket holes on the supports. These will come in handy when attaching the top frame, but I’ll delve into that a bit later.

Now that the top is done, you can now start building your bottom frame by attaching the boards together. Make sure you’re doing this on a flat surface because it will help create a flat table as well. Of course, you don’t want a surface that’s uneven. It’s also best to use a right angle clamp to help with the assembly of the frame, and make sure the inner supports are evenly spaced as well. 

Repeat the assembly for the top frame. For this part, the only difference is that the pieces have vertical pocket holes which will be used to connect them to the table surface later.

Step #3: Build the Table Legs

To proceed, it is important to construct the individual legs of your outfeed table. You will require four narrow legs and four wide legs for this particular step.

Measure the Size

Cut four pieces to 3.5” in size, and cut another four pieces to 2 ¾” in size. Then, use your miter saw to cut all leg pieces to the same length. For this project, the length I used for the leg is 28 ¾” but you can adjust according to the table height you want. Just note, though, that you want your outfeed table to be slightly lower than your saw table, as this facilitates a smoother transition from the saw to the other end. 

Also, cut four square pieces that are 3 ½” in size. These will serve as your wheel blocks on each leg, which I’ll get to in a bit. For now, set them aside. 

Next, drill pocket holes inside 2 ¾” pieces and affix them on top of the wider 3.5” pieces. You can also use a clamp to hold them on the edge of your work surface. Then, use pocket screws and glue to secure the pieces in place. The ends should be flush so they fit nicely with the top.

Finally, glue and screw the wheel block to the bottom of the leg. You now have a strong L-shaped table leg for your table saw outfeed table. Simply repeat the process to finish all the other legs.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to adjust the measurements to align with the height of your table saw. Do factor in the height of the casters you plan to use. Trust me, you don’t want a table that sits higher than your saw’s surface—it’ll only result in workpieces catching on the edge, creating a hassle you’d rather avoid.

building tabel leg

Before going into the assembly, I say that it’s best to pair up the legs and see if they do match. If you find that some pieces are slightly longer or shorter, you can make adjustments easily because the legs are still separate pieces at this point.

Step #4: Assemble the Frames and Legs

Now, it’s time to put together the frames and legs. I’d suggest tackling this in a spacious, level area to ensure everything aligns perfectly. Personally, I often opt for the floor, especially when I feel a workbench might elevate things too much, potentially obstructing a clear view of my assembly.

Let’s start with the top frame by flipping it upside down. Using the best wood glue and two screws per side, affix and secure each leg to the outside corners of the frame. You don’t need to use a clamp for this step, as the screw will pull the leg tight to the corners. The frame and leg should be flush to the table to keep the surface of the table even.

Flip over what you’ve assembled so far and place the lower frame between the legs above the caster blocks. The frame should slide in and rest easily in place. As usual, use screws to secure it in place.

Step #5: Refine the Table Top

Having assembled the frames and legs, I’m now ready to cut the top for our outfeed table.

refining table top

You can choose what material you’re going to use for the top, but for this project, I used MDF sheet. You can use something else, such as plywood.

Cut the lower shelf using a track saw. For this table, I used a 45” x 24” piece, but you can make adjustments as necessary.  Put the shelf over the bottom frame and secure it to the short supports with 1 ¼” screws.

After that’s done, this is also a good time to attach the casters to the bottom of the legs.

Next, it’s time to cut the piece for the top shelf. The size I used for this was 48” x 28”. Once it’s cut, place it on the floor upside down. Since your frame is also still upside down at this point, just slide the frame onto the top shelf and secure both parts with pocket screws. 

table assembly

This is a trick that will make it easier for you to attach the top to the frame. Instead of you crawling under to attach the piece from below, sliding the frame onto the underside of the top lets you work easily from above.

Step #6: Attach the Trims

Choose a solid wood for the trim, as it would be best to reinforce the MDF surface.

Begin with the short sides first. One edge should be set flush with the top’s edge, and on the other end, you should make a mark about an inch long. Then, use the miter saw to cut the trim to the right size. Attach the trim to the edge of the MDF with glue and brad nails. 

If you used another type of wood for the table top, such as plywood, you could use pocket screws instead. Screws don’t work well when attached with MDF, though, hence it’s better to use wood glue.

After the short parts are done, go ahead and install the long trim on the same side. If there are pieces that stick out, you can cut them off with a pull saw to make things even.

Attach the Trims

Next, use some wood putty to fill the nail holes. Then, sand the trim and the edges to make everything smooth. As a final touch, use a foam brush to cover the outfeed table with polyurethane or a sealer of your choice.

Step #7: Cut Grooves on the Frame (Optional)

This is not a required step, but if you want, you can take things a step further by incorporating miter gauge grooves to your table saw outfeed table. 

Start by taking the proper measurements and transfer them to the top of the table. It’s best to make it a little wider (about ¼” extra width would do) so it’s easier to align it with the grooves on the table saw. 

Because it’s just a little wider, you won’t have any problems even if the outfeed table or the table saw slightly moves out of alignment. Plus, it would also provide more room for the guide washer.

Use some straight scrap wood pieces to guide you in routing the grooves for the miter slots. They have to be parallel to each other and square to the back edge. For this project, two passes with the router [1] achieved a good depth already. Finally, apply polyurethane to the grooves to finish.

refinishing a table

If you don’t want to cut miter slots on your table, another option you can do is to add a T-track. A T-track will make it easier to attach stops, hold-downs, and featherboards. They’re not required, but they can add extra functionality to your outfeed table.

Start by measuring the T-track you intend to install. For me, I worked with a mini T-track that had a ¾” width, so naturally, I opted for a ¾” router bit.

The cuts for the track can be positioned as follows: one on the center, and one on each side which are about 4” from the edges. You can use a straight edge clamp along with a good plunge router so the process of cutting is easier.

Since I’m using MDF for this outfeed table, it’s a great idea to cut some small strips of plywood and have them attached to the space under the T-track. These strips would make it easier to screw the T-track on, as I’ve mentioned before that MDF doesn’t hold screws too well. Having some plywood underneath provides an extra hold.

Use glue to attach the plywood strips and let them dry.

use glue to join parts

Finally, place the t-track in the slots that you made on the outfeed table. If you find that the track is longer than the table, you can just cut it off and make sure to avoid the screw hole.

Step #8: Attach to the Table Saw and Adjust If Needed

Now that your outfeed table is finished, you can just align it with your saw table and make adjustments as needed. You can use a long straightedge to ensure that the outfeed table is flush and very slightly lower than the saw table.

Do some final checks on the different areas of the outfeed table to make sure nothing is out of place, no screws are drilled improperly, and no snags on the surface. 

Read more: 

Why Make a Table Saw Outfeed Table?

Outfeed tables for table saws are versatile and helpful pieces that you need in your workshop. Especially if you’re working with large projects or sheet goods, having an outfeed table attached to your saw table would provide the support you need. 

There are also a bunch of ways you can create this; you can opt for a longer table length, a mobile base, a storage cabinet, one with a pair of drawers, or a folding outfeed table if you want an extension wing. Just note that you may add different tools and materials, such as a reliable drill press or some countersunk screws.

refining table top

FAQ

How big should an outfeed table be?

An outfeed table should be big enough for the table saw model you have. Typically, the height of an outfeed table is 34 inches as this matches the height of most table saws. It’s also ideal to make it ⅛  inch lower than your saw table.

How much lower should my outfeed table be?

Your outfeed table should be lower by ⅛” than your saw table. This allows your workpiece to move from the saw to the outfeed table smoothly and without catching on the edge.

Conclusion

A lot of fellow woodworkers lean towards incorporating a cabinet or storage space beneath. However, I’ve seen some prefer an open space below for bulkier items. Whichever you choose, an outfeed table is undeniably a valuable addition to any table saw setup. Trust in the insights I’ve shared here; they should steer you confidently through crafting your own outfeed table from the ground up.

robert headshot

Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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