Well, it looks like the new top is going to behave itself, so the project can proceed. Quality pays.
I had originally planned on equipping the table with a retractable caster system but, upon pricing components, got to thinking. This is an outfeed table, intimately associated with the tablesaw in the middle of my shop. Even though my saw has a mobile base, I haven’t really moved it since it got here. Was it really worth the considerable dollars to add mobility to something I’ll probably never need to move? I decided to skip the casters and save the money.
The next step was the construction of the legs. Each leg was to be constructed of 5″ wide strips of plywood glued and pocket screwed together in an “L” shape. The question was, how long? Take the distance from the saw top to the floor, subtract the thickness of the top, and throw in a little for clearance. Simple, right?
Not so simple. I had adjusted my saw to be perfectly level when I installed it, and so it was. However, the auxiliary table end was over 1/2″ closer to the ground than the left hand end of the saw. This was caused, I presume, from an unlevel floor, and left me with a quandary. Should I adjust the perfectly level saw to be parallel to the floor, or cut the outfeed table legs to match the slope of the saw? After all the time I spent getting that saw level, there’s no way I was doing that again. I started measuring for my cuts.
The leg pieces were glued and pocket-screwed together, then attached to the top with glue and drywall screws. This was followed with 4″ plywood stretchers to stiffen things up. At this point, I decided on a test fit. Hmm, pretty good. The only problem is that the front middle leg lines up exactly with the leg of the saw, and holds the table back a little further than I wanted. Oh well, it’ll still work.
I had wanted a little more clearance so I could add a replaceable hardboard surface, but I’m so happy with this fit that I’m not going to try to shorten the legs that little bit. Besides, I really like the look of that light maple surface – shops get dark enough as it is. I guess that if the top gets really torn up, I can just replace the whole thing. The pocket screws should make that just as easy as putting on a new piece of hardboard.
And here you see the nearly completed table in its final location. The miter slot grooves have been routed, and the bulk of the finish has been applied. I used a simple boiled linseed oil for the base, and two coats of shellac rubbed out with steel wool and paste wax to make things slide easily. Not an exciting finish, but simple and functional. I’ll probably end up putting some storage underneath, but that’s another project for another day.