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