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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5 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.

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