Last time I moved I downsized my shop from 720sf to 450sf so I had to get more efficient in how I stored things. That meant I needed an outfeed table with built in drawers. The problem is that I hate making drawers with all the fitting, assembly, and hardware cost. So I decided to make one using four Ikea nightstands for the drawers. This gives me an out table with eight drawers .
The Ikea Malm series has a two drawer chest that is; 15-3/4" wide,18-7/8" deep, and 21-5/8" tall.
They cost less than $50 but you are going to need four. They are always available used on Craig's list and I have never paid more than $20 for any of them. If you live near a college, at the end of the semester you will sometimes find them sitting next to a dumpster. I have helped college kids use my pickup to move and they give my a chest they intended to throw out. The biggest problem is finding four that are the same color, if that is important to you.
This outfeed table is 5ft wide and 4ft long and works well with my fence's long bars. It is just long enough to cut 8ft plywood sheets with no help from others. Table size depends on the particulars of each shop and the type of work its owner does. So I expect you will change dimensions to suit your needs.
Now I made this before I heard about Instructables.com and I didn't document the project to well. However this is too good of a project to not share so I will recreate the steps.
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Step 1: Hackea
Once you get four of these chests there are some modifications that need to be made before assembly can start. For each chest;
- Remove the drawers, the plastic feet on the bottom, and the front piece toe kick (You will have to saw it out.)
- Place the chest upside down on your table saw and using the fence, cut off the slight overhang on each side. The top needs to be flush with the sides.
- Set the fence to 20" and cut out the bottom part of the chest.
- Cut a 1x3 , 14-1/2" long and mount it the at the bottom front for strength. Set it back 3/4" back from the face and screw it in from the sides.
Step 2: Cut and Assemble Frames
Support structure needs to be built. All the material for this is made from 2x6s. They are ripped in half cut and milled to be 1-1/4" thick and 2-1/2" wide. Four legs are needed. Measure the height of you table saw and cut them 2" less than that. (This gives room for the top and levelers.)
The first diagram gives the dimension for the frames that the chest will be mounted on. The other diagram shows the frame on that is attached to the top of the legs where the top will be attached.
Glue and screw them together with 3-1/2" screws.
Step 3: Join Chest Pairs Side by Side
Place two chests side by side, on a flat surface and clamp them so their faces are flush. On both sides of the common wall, install 12, 3/4” screws on each side. It is now a unit of four drawers. Repeat for the other two and you are ready to assemble.
Step 4: Attach Legs and Chest Assemblies to the Bottom Frame
From the photos you can see that the bottom frame is on the floor and the legs are attached the outside corners. Glue and screw them with 2-1/2" screws. Four screws per joint. The chest assemblies are places between the legs so front of their tops are flush with the outside of the legs. Screw the sides to the legs and the bottom piece to the frame. This can be done with 1-1/4" screws.
Step 5: Attach Top Frame and Table Tops
From the photos you can see that the top frame is attached between the leg. Glue and screw each joint with 2-1/2" screws.
The sub top is a piece of plywood 3/4" thick. 42" wide , and 54" long. Center it on the frame. Glue and screw it into place with 2-1/2" screws.
Drill clearance holes in this sub top to attach the top. I skimped on this using only 15 ( 3 by 5) of them. If I was going to it again I would have put screws every 8".
The top is phenolic coated plywood 3/4" thick, 48" wide, and 60" long. This was my spurge as it was $120 a sheet. I figure the 5ft piece cost me $75 and the rest was used for other fixtures. (I make all permanent fixtures with phenolic plywood). This plywood is great. Its hard and nothing sticks to it. Just clean it up with some lacquer thinner. There is a lower grade of this plywood that is used for cement forms. I have never used any of it but goes for about $50 a sheet.
Center the top on the sub top and screw it in from below with no glue. This leaves the top unmarred and allows it to easily be replaced if damaged.
Step 6: Add Levelers
Attach a leveler on the bottom of each leg. These ones are home made using angle bracket and coupling nuts.
Step 7: Top Details
Cut off the corners of the table or you will be banging you hips all the time. Also bevel the edges with a 45 degree laminate trimmer bit.
Route some groves, 1/2" deep, to allow you cutting sled or miter gauge room to work.
Reinstall the drawers, set the correct height with the levelers and you are ready to go.
Step 8: Features
There is a shelf on top of the chests that is an excellent place to store the cutting sleds. It is also a good place to store the miter gauge. All of the extra table saw paraphernalia can be stored in one or more of the drawers.
Step 9: Variations
If you do not want one so deep or long, Ikea makes a smaller chest called Kullen.
The Ikea Kullen two drawer chest is; 13-3/4" wide,15-3/4" deep, and 19-1/4" tall. They sell for $29 new but rarely do you find any used.
Also instead of placing chest side by side, just use a single chest.
If you want a really deep table then assemble three chests side by side.
Ikeas sell many widths, lengths, and depths of chest. A little ingenuity shoe allow you to make them into outfeed tables.
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