Table Saw Outrigger

I face a problem each time I have to make a final crosscut on a long board, typical of a bed rail being over 80″ long.  I don’t feel it is accurate enough (nor safe) to focus pressure downward as I push the material through the blade with a miter gauge.  There is still a chance of the board lifting or twisting leading to an inaccurate cut.  My first thought was to make a fence extension for the miter gauge.  This just ended up making the cut more difficult as I had to clamp the board to the fence making the piece even heavier at the end.  I decided support was needed somewhere toward the far end of the board.  I didn’t want to make another catch-all table surface so I made an outrigger.  I could have purchased a roller stand and set it parallel to the table but they are not long enough and I wanted to save some money and use up scrap material.  Thus started the 1 day build (really 2 parts of 2 days but it can easily be done in one afternoon).

The first step was to cut all the parts.  Below you will find a spreadsheet with the names and dimensions of all the parts needed to make the outrigger.  I made the parts list of the items I used but you can use what every you want if you would like to make yours look better.

screen-shot-2017-02-11-at-9-40-55-pm

Now for a step by step process on assembly of the outrigger.  I assume that if you are making this you have some experience with the table saw, router, drill press, and their accessories.

  1. Start with the bases by cutting an angle on the sides 2 inches up from the bottom and leaving 2″ of flat edge on the top middle.
  2. Predrill and countersink holes on a center line of the bases to attach the legs.
  3. Attach the legs using 1-1/4″ long #8 screws.
  4. Set the stretcher in place on top of the base pieces and predrill and countersink from the outside of the legs into the stretcher.  Use 1-1/4″ long #8 screws to attach the stretcher to the legs.
  5. Route a 3/8″ slot through the center of the adjustable uprights leaving about 2″ of material at each end.  Do this incrementally at the router table.  I started by drilling the start and stop holes at the drill press as a guide.
  6. Attach the adjustable uprights to the legs with the 5/16″ bolts, washers, and knobs.  I would use star knobs over the 3-point knobs I used in the video.  You can get more clamping force with star knobs but it really isn’t necessary unless you plan to use this as a work holding saw horse (if you make 2).
  7. Add some glue to the sides of the legs and place the plywood channel guides flush with the insides of the legs and against the plywood bases.  5/8″ brad nails are all that is needed to fix them in place.
  8. Attach the gussets to the adjustable uprights by predrilling and countersinking 3/4″ long #8 screws.
  9. Attach the rail supports at the top of the uprights between the gussets and using a screw on each gusset, again predrilled and countersunk.
  10. Predrill and countersink 2 holes from the underside of the rail supports to attach the rail.  I used 2″ long self-tapping screws here because I had thicker material to screw through.
  11. After attaching the rail to the supports, remove the rail and rip a bevel on the top side of the rail.  Set the table saw blade to about 5 degrees, rip one face, flip the board end-for-end (keeping the reference side against the fence), and rip the other face.  If you have a bead in the middle remaining just raise the blade a bit more and repeat this step.
  12. Reattach the rail, sand the surface (optional), apply a finish (I used shellac because it dries fast), and rub on some wax.
  13. Set the height so the work piece is flat on the table saw and in contact with the outrigger throughout the cutting movement.
  14. Done.

Here are some shots from my model.

screen-shot-2017-02-11-at-9-11-24-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-11-at-9-08-50-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-11-at-9-08-35-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-11-at-9-08-23-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-11-at-9-08-01-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-11-at-9-08-59-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-11-at-9-11-03-pm

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