Outfeed Table – Part 2

As the first chapter closed, I was preparing to rip one plywood sheet into 4″ and 5″ wide strips to make the framework and legs of the outfeed table.  Following that, I cut the pieces for the support frame, and assembled it with pocket screws.

For the record, pocket screws are boring.  Of course, that’s because they’re so drop-dead easy to use!  The tedium arose from the fact that I didn’t buy one of Kreg’s ViseGrip-type clamps to hold the little Jr. jig in place, and so had to clamp with an F-clamp instead.  Before my next project, I WILL get one of their clamps.  That aside, once the holes were bored, installation went quicker than I imagined.  Pocket screw joints themselves aren’t that secure.  They are, after all, butt joints.  But,  when attached to a supporting surface such as a face-frame to a cabinet, or a set of stiffening rails to a tabletop, they are more than adequate, and certainly the equal of biscuits.  In this case, they made attachment of the frame to the top a simple matter of a few minutes work driving screws.  Don’t forget – the top is plywood, not solid wood.

Outfeed Table Part 2 1As you can see above, the frame has an unusual shape.  As I mentioned in the first part, the frame needed to clear the motor mounts for my saw, and the recess allows the motor to clear in its highest position.  I could have made the gap narrower, but I wanted to be sure that my miter gauge grooves wouldn’t intersect any of the screws.  I didn’t think a router bit hitting metal was a good idea.  The holes to attach the frame to the top are clearly visible.  Once this was done, I attached the top and trimmed it to size.  This was a good point to call it a night, and attack the legs next.

Outfeed Table Part 2 2Two days later, when I returned I had a problem – the top had warped.  I had used a BC exterior plywood, since I planned to cover it with hardboard, and didn’t want to pay for a sheet of cabinet-grade birch.  Big mistake.  In other applications, this bowing wouldn’t be a problem, as you’re attaching it to a truly solid structure.  However, with a frame made of plywood strips, the forces of nature win every time.  As you can see, the deflection is almost 3/4″ in the middle – far more than acceptable in an application such as this.  The only thing to do is remove the frame before it takes a permanent set and go get a sheet of the good stuff.

(sigh) Off to the lumberyard.


2 responses to “Outfeed Table – Part 2

  1. Well, at least you can reuse all the pocket screws!

  2. ahhh man, that sucks about the plywood warping on you. Looking forward to seeing it completed.
    May the farce be with you!

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