Folding Outfeed Table for My Bandsaw

I don’t enjoy working with powered machines nearly as much as I enjoy working with hand tools, but I do rely a lot on my bandsaw for cutting down big pieces of wood into smaller pieces.  My main bandsaw is a 14″ Steel City saw, which has the capacity to cut material that’s almost a foot thick.

I use this bandsaw especially for sawing sections of logs into boards, which is very difficult to do if I don’t have adequate outfeed support for the workpiece.  (I’ve tried balancing a long board on the bandsaw’s table alone.  I didn’t get good results.)  If you do a lot of long rips, and especially resawing, consider putting a similar outfeed table on your bandsaw.

Here’s the outfeed table I came up with:

Bandsaw Folding Outfeed Table 2019

I had looked around online for designs for a bandsaw outfeed table and found very little (maybe I was looking in the wrong places).  The outfeed table I envisioned needed to meet two main requirements:

  1. It needed to attach to the saw itself, mainly for stability.  You can buy free-standing devices for outfeed support, but I doubted their ability to adequately support the kinds of workpieces I’ll be putting through this saw.  And besides, they cost money, and I was pretty sure I could build something with stock I had on hand.
  2. It needed to fold up flat against the saw.  Space is at a premium here, and I have a couple tools all crowded into the same space.  So a folding table is a must.

I eventually settled on a design in which legs are attached to the sides of a solid table with long wood screws so the legs can pivot.  The legs stand on a little riser to keep the table co-planar with the band saw’s table.  (That’s the one little compromise I had to make with this design.  If the legs were long enough on their own, they would be too long to fold up alongside the table.)

The outfeed table itself is just glued up out of 2X stock I had lying around.

Bandsaw Folding Outfeed Table 2019

After the glue was dry, I leveled it off with a jack plane.  I didn’t need a perfect surface, just something that workpieces won’t catch on.  And at least I got to use a hand tool on this project.

The table is (about) the same width as the bandsaw table, and it’s as long as the distance from the underside of the table to the floor, or really a hair under.

The only mildly challenging part was attaching the table to the rails on the bandsaw table, which required drilling through the rails, inserting a wooden spacer, and attaching hinges with bolts and stop nuts.  (Depending on how your bandsaw table is constructed, you might have to modify the hinge placement/attachment process.)  Bandsaws produce a lot of vibration, which can shake nuts loose quickly.  I think the stop nuts will hold, though.

Bandsaw Folding Outfeed Table 2019

The wooden spacer had to be just thick enough to put the top of the outfeed table at the same level as the top of the bandsaw table.  It took me a couple tries to get it exactly right.

Bandsaw Folding Outfeed Table 2019

The table folds down perfectly.  With the table down, I can wheel the saw back up against the wall if I need extra space.

Bandsaw Folding Outfeed Table 2019

I had to position the cross-member on the legs so that it cleared the housing for the belt and pulley.

I haven’t yet stress-tested it with really heavy material, but it works just fine so far on light-duty cuts.  If the legs turn out to be too spindly (they’re only 3/4″ thick) I’ll replace them with some thicker ones.

In the meantime, I have some sections of pecan logs that need to be sawn up into proper boards.

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16 Responses to Folding Outfeed Table for My Bandsaw

  1. Nice sensible approach to an out feed table. I need one as well.

  2. mdhills says:

    How do you manage the first (squaring) cuts on the logs? I didn’t see a slot for a sled — does that mean you are free-handing it?

    • Essentially, yes. But I seldom cut logs in the round. My usual approach is to split the log in at least half, and often in quarters. If the grain runs true, I can sometimes run the workpiece right through. Sometimes I will square it up a bit more with a hewing hatchet or drawknife. A single-point rip fence works well to maintain consistent thickness, though I have been known to follow a chalkline freehand. This method naturally produces quarter-sawn stock. I need to do a whole blog post on this eventually.

  3. Sylvain says:

    Good idea.
    “The wooden spacer had to be just thick enough to put the top of the outfeed table at the same level as the top of the bandsaw table. It took me a couple tries to get it exactly right.”
    In addition, a small bevel on the entry side might prevent any catching risk would the table swell.
    30″ with a plane (à la Paul Sellers). You don’t even need to disassemble it.

  4. Rowan Holleman says:

    Thank you for sharing this! This is an absolutely amazing solution for getting a proper amount of table space for the bandsaw, but it not taking in space in my workplace. This is actually such a simple solution but, like you mentioned in your blog, I couldn’t find any proper designs that suited my needs. The only thing I’d still like to resolve is the issue with the legs being too long without the use of a riser, but I think that would probably involve having to make compromises in the stability of the table. Still, I think I might just spend some more time to figure out how to get the legs the proper length.
    I am wondering, however whether or not the stop nuts indeed provide enough grip to hold everything in place while you were using your bandsaw, or do you recommend trying something else instead? Also, do you think the legs turned out to be too lanky or did they prove to be strong and stable enough for when you were using the table?

    • So far the legs are sturdy enough, and I’ve been sawing up 6-8″ sections of logs on it. The stop nuts seem to hold on just fine, though I will check them periodically. If you wanted to build something like this but didn’t want to use the risers for the legs, you could make the table fold up against the saw instead of down. It would be relatively easy to rig up some kind of catch to keep the table from falling back down. The only downside is that you couldn’t really use the saw with the table folded up. (That’s the nice thing about the fold-down design–I can use the saw for little jobs with the table folded up.) I opted for the fold-down design because I am working under a very low ceiling.

      Another option instead of risers is extendable legs–perhaps leg extensions with slots and attached to the regular legs with a bolt and wingnut. I’m sure there are other options, too.

      • Rowan Holleman says:

        That’s a good point. I didn’t quite think about the downsides of a table that’d fold up, but you’re completely right about it being a nuisance when you’re working on smaller pieces. I might try something with extendable legs then.

        Thank you for your quick reply!

  5. Klaas sinter says:

    Thanks for sharing this. It is a great solution for a small workshop with limited space. Instead of putting a big saw there you use a bandsaw and a outfeed table. It is an simple solution and is not expensive at all. How the table is attached to the saw table looks really solid. However the legs looks like if you bump it they will break. You also mentioned that they are only ¾ thick. Mabey next time you should make a cross in the middle?! Its an suggestion. You also could use a trestle to put underneath the work table. You can level a trestle as high as you want and its stable.

  6. kelly van den broek says:

    Hi, Thanks for shearing this whit us. I think you did a great job. I think you saved yourself money to do it by yourself. In staid of buying something that maybe isn’t what you want or maybe it doesn’t fit. Most of the time if you find something on the internet it isn’t exactly where you looking for. But if you do it by yourself, you can make what you want and how you want. Also I think that it is great that you do most of the things you make whit your hands. Most of the people I know use machines to do everything.

  7. Floris Plazier says:

    Nice to see how you made a longer part for your band saw. I can imagine it is difficult to saw bigger pieces. I think I am going to do the same for my band saw. It will be nice and easy to fold and put against the wall. But I think I’m going to do it a little bit different. I think I use a plate of multiplex fore the foldable part. It will be a little bit smaller. Not that big and heavy.
    thanks for sharing. I am going to use the idea.

  8. Great solution, well done, I think I am going to do something simulair but the for my thicknesser, it also has a very short outfeed table, maybe a project for the future. This is a very nice example of how it van be done. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Monica Heijnsdijk says:

    First of all let me say that I also enjoy working with hand tools a more than
    working with powered machines. But it depends on the kind of machine and the handwork that needs to be done. I would have expected that you needed a flat and smooth surface as we say because the wood needs to glide smoothly alongside the outfeed table. Guess this works too?

  10. Rinke van Eeden says:

    this is an excellent usage of limited workspace all though I am a bit concerned about the stability of the table legs, because it looks a bit unstable and I would suggest the use of a trestle which will make it a bit stronger. its a good use of spare parts too and I have a limited work space as well. and this gave me a few ideas on how to solve some problems I am having with my work space. thank you for sharing this and I hope I gave some useful insight

  11. Tim Wennekes says:

    Thanks for sharing!

    What a smart solution for such a problem and I also think u saved a lot of money by making it yourself.

    I understand that if you have to saw wood into long pieces, it is nice to have a outfeed table for good stability and for draining the wooden planks

    Also very smart and handy is that you can fold it to save space in the workplace, so that it never gets in the way.

    I think it’s good to connect it with stop nuts! The Band saw can indeed cause vibrations, so that the table indead could come loose and you don’t want that ofcourse
    Anyway I think you’ve done a nice job!

  12. melvin flach says:

    Thank you for writhing this blog. Your story is easy to read and the pictures look great. I have not seen a band saw with a folding table, but it look great and very handy. If someone does not have much space in their work space then this is a perfect solution. Even without finding much good examples the folding still looks great, but I think that there are not much pictures of it because there are not much bandsaw machines with a folding table. But after I read this I think that there should be made more of those folding tables for bandsaws because the look very handy.

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