Introduction: Table Saw Extension
This is a fairly simple to build extension for a table saw to help when cutting large sheets of wood, or to add a little extra surface area for small projects. I made mine out of aluminum to cut down on weight, and because I wanted to challenge myself to try something I've never really worked with before.
The store didn't have any extension tables or rollers on hand, and I didn't feel like going through the trouble of ordering one and waiting for it arrive; So I just bought some aluminum and went to work. No plans, no written measurements, just a rough mental image and a few basic tools.
If anyone builds this I'd love to see your version!
Step 1: Supplies
For my saw I got: two 1" square tubes, one 3/4" tube, and two 3/4" angled pieces. All 3' lengths. If I ever upgrade this project I'd go with 3/4" tube instead of the angles; they're sturdy enough to get the job done, but they might buckle under heavier loads. You'll also need a few bolts about an inch and a half long.
For tools you'll need: a ruler/tape measure, a ratchet, a wrench, a drill and/or drill press, some drill bits, a hole saw, a hacksaw, a file, and a micrometer/caliper is handy.
Step 2: Mark, Cut, and Drill
First decide how you want the finished product to look, and work from there. On my angles, I decided to have the open edge facing out to ease in attaching it to my table saw. These we marked on the center of the inside width, which happened to be just the right spacing for me to fit the ratchet socket into to tighten the bolt.
On the 1" pieces, I drilled a 3/4" hole with my hole saw and used the pilot bit in the saw to drill the hole in the bottom of the stock; the 3/4" hole allows me to fit a ratchet in to tighten the bolts.
The 3/4" stock was cut in half, it was used as a spacer as the thickness of my table saw from bolting point to surface was 1 3/4".
Be sure to take your file and smooth down all of the edges and get the burrs off from drilling, you don't want to cut yourself on a sharp edge!
Step 3: Assembly
The bolts I had laying around were far too short, but luckily I had some 1/4" ready rod and some nuts to fit it. So I hacked it into 1 1/2" lengths, filed it clean, and welded some nuts to one end of each. Some scrap leather in the vice keeps the threads nice and safe while providing a very strong grip on the piece while cutting.
That done, assembly is quick and straight forward, just insert a bolt into the holes of the pieces.
Step 4: Affix to Table Saw
If only it was that easy for me. My particular brand of table saw uses some strange thread count I didn't have a bolt or thread tap/die, so I tapped it out to accept the shorter 1/4" bolts I had on hand. Though when I put one it, it hit bottom faster than I though and sheered off like a piece of butter with hardly any pressure, and I spent the better part of two hours taking the table saw apart and drilling out/removing the sheered bolt. Then I cut some much mush shorter bolts and and only tightened them to a little more than finger tight, and they work great!
Step 5: Finished
Enjoy having a helping hand when making short cuts in wide boards, having extra spots to clamp things to, and a place to rest your accessories!
This same setup can be made to work with all sides of the saw if you need some extra support.
Step 6: Extras
Ensure you do this project outside in near freezing conditions to ensure extra motivation to get it done quickly! And have a cozy fire going when the cold really starts to get to you.