A few years ago I got a small benchtop tablesaw (DeWalt DW745, the older model than what's shown but it's nearly the same saw). I immediately wanted an outfeed support that would allow me to rip a full 4x8 sheet of plywood if necessary. This workstation allows me to do that, is easily movable but stable; has storage, folds up to take up minimal space along the wall, and has an auxiliary fence. It is easy to remove the saw if I need to take it somewhere, and if I get a different saw then the workstation is built to allow me to change the saw support component easily.
This project also uses materials efficiently: The only things you'll have left over are a small piece of fir ply and a long skinny piece of melamine-faced MDF.
Unfortunately I built this before I knew about instructables, so I did not take any photos during construction. I do, however, have a set of PDF plans, which are discussed more in a later step.
I am planning to add some more photos to update this instructable. Thanks for looking & feel free to ask any questions in the comments below.
UPDATE (January 8): I've added more photos at the end of the construction details!
Step 1: Materials
- 2 sheets of 3/4" fir plywood. I used fir as it is straighter and stronger than spruce ply. Both are commonly available where I am and it was inexpensive.
- 1 sheet of 3/4" melamine faced MDF. This could also be Plastic laminate faced G1S fir plywood, it would be more durable.
- 3 Casters, these need to be able to support the weight of all the plywood & MDF (250 lbs total), the saw (50 lbs), misc. 2x4 and hardware (20 lbs) and the weight of whatever you are cutting (I allowed 100 lbs). Some casters could take as much as half the load so I got ones capable of supporting 600 lbs each. - 2x4; as straight as possible, one 6' piece & 2 pieces about 2'-8"
- Piano hinges, you need one about 5'6" and one 3'6")
- 6 medium size T-style gate hinges, I believe I used Stanley #908, 6" with bearings
- For the auxiliary fence, add in two wing knobs (Lee Valley 2" 00M52001), 2 - 1/4" x 4' T-slot tracks (Lee Valley 12K79.28) and a bag of T-slot bolts (Lee Valley 12K79.73). There are better designs for an auxiliary fence than what I have built here so look around before building this one.
- I did not really resolve how to connect the legs of the largest piece to the folding top; if you want to use my method then you'll need about 6" of 1/2" dowel
- 4 - 2.5" long machine bolts (fairly heavy duty, maybe 1/4" dia.), 8 washers and 8 nuts.
- Pin nails & wood glue
- If you have the same saw, 4 - 4" long #10 woodscrews to secure it to the stand.
- I changed the sawhorse to use 2 of these sawhorse brackets as it allowed me to easily disassemble the sawhorse and store it inside the workstation: http://www.homedepot.ca/product/professional-sawhorse-brackets/849547
Step 2: Cutting the Parts
Being as I did this some time ago, I did not take any photos of the assembly. However, I have a set of 'Plans' that I created detailing the cuts and sizes of each piece: This is the PDF above called "Tablesaw Workstation Plans.pdf"
Download the PDF and I'll try to explain it here:
Page 1: This is a plan view of the whole thing, including the table saw itself, and the sawhorse. (I have since changed the way the sawhorse legs work so they actually stay upright and store inside the workstation when not in use. In this plan I'm also showing the auxiliary fence in 2 different positions.
Page 2: from top to bottom, the 'back' (ie outfeed comes towards you in this view); then the 'Front' (you feed wood into the tablesaw from this end), and the right side (your right when standing at the table saw). Note that LHSB means Long Hinge Support Backer, and ignore my note about the legs.
Page 3: Use this plan to cut the 3/4" melamine faced MDF. The dotted line part is scrap. Some dimensions are on this plan but also see page 9 for full dimensions and notes.
Page 4 & 5: This is the cutting plan for both sheets of 3/4" fir ply. There are no dimensions on this plan; see pages 6 -8 for each labeled part and its dimensions. Ignore pieces W1-W2 as these were for the sawhorse legs; pieces V1-V4, I am now using these as guides attached to the 2X4 to tell me where to put the sawhorse brackets:They are much smaller than as shown on this plan; see the photos for more information.
Page 6-8, as noted above but note that the shaded heavy lines are 3/4" wide x 1/4" deep dados. I did these with a router and a 3/4" bit. Note that B = E (mirrored), C = D (with dadoes opposite to each other.)
Step 3: Assembly
I assembled the whole thing with wood glue and pin nails; and so far it has held up very well:
1) First assemble the main 6' long x 7.5" wide portion. Think of it as a shelf unit lying on its side where part A is the back, part F is the left side, parts G - H - I are the right side, and parts B - C - D - E are the shelves. On the back of part A I routered a 3/8" deep groove to accept the interlock (Part V). This helps align the two components during assembly later.
2) Attach the 9" X 6' piece of MDF (with the two cutouts) to the top; except cut a continuous block from scrap Fir plywood to support it off of plywood part H. The block needs to be continuous along the edge in order to support the piano hinge.
3) Attach the 6' piano hinge to the side of the main unit.
4) Attach pieces R and S to the 2'6" X 6' MDF, see page 9 for this. The one at the hinge side provides additional backing for the piano hinge, while the one at the outer edge provides structural support and a spot for the legs to attach to. My legs have 3/4" deep holes, slightly more than 1/2" diameter, drilled through the plywood. I then set one 3" dowel in (so only 3/4" was exposed) to the top of a 2x4 and this is all I use for the two legs.
5) Assemble the saw base; see page 7./ The saw base is basically a stand with a top, base, and middle divider. The middle divider gives the saw support strength and prevents it from shearing or racking. Router another 3/8" deep groove here only attach a piece of 3/4" plywood into the groove with glue & screws.
6) bolt through from the saw base into the main cabinet with the four bolts; place them basically 3" away from all edges. Pieces Q1 and Q2 are basically nailers; used to provide a replaceable backer to attach the saw to the top. Assemble the cabinet with P,N,O, L and M with glue and pin nails; then attach Q1 / Q2 to the top with screws only.
7) At this point the workstation is getting heavy; so I rotated it onto one side and screwed the three casters in place: one at each end of the long & skinny part: Use the actual centre of the base as the frame is heavier on the left side (the side with the table saw attached to it); and one in the centre of the table saw support; as close to the edge as possible. The further out this caster is; the more triangular the base is and the more stable the workstation will be.
8) Rotate the station so it's upright again and sitting on the 3 casters. Attach the large right side fold out table top (with the long piano hinge)
9) Attach the small outfeed support (3'3" x 2') using the other piano hinge. You need to use another piece of blocking (not dimensioned in these plans) about 3' long to space out the top appropriately and allow for the folding arms (J,K) to fold beneath the top. Attach the folding arms to the side of the main plywood piece 'A' using two gate hinges each; space the arms out so that they support right near the edge of the outfeed tabletop; this allows them to close without interfering with each other. Cut two blocks for support rests underneath the top; these will bring the table up to flush with the adjacent surface.
10) Install the metal channel guide for the Auxiliary fence. The fence is just made of two pieces of plywood attached together with four holes drilled in it for adjusting the position of the stop relative to starting or finishing the cut. If you have a spare piece of plastic laminate; laminate it to the vertical 'gliding' edge of the fence (the part that contacts the workpiece.)
11) Attach the sawhorse top to the 2x4 'beam', from the top by recessing screws or pin nails and glue. See the photos of the sawhorse setup I switched to after having stability problems with this sawhorse.
12) Set the saw on top and check for level. I added a composite shim to raise it a bit; you could remove pieces Q1 and Q2 and replace them with a thicker material or even plane them to exactly the correct thickness. Screw the saw down with four long screws.
Update (January 9): The last 4 photos are of the revised sawhorse design, which works much better and fits inside the main cabinet for storage.
Step 4: Use!
That's basically it! My dad and I built this in his shop in basically a day and a half; and it's been one of my most frequently used pieces of shop furniture.
Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below. Thanks!