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Thread: Saggy table blues

  1. #1

    Saggy table blues

    Hi - I have a long 8' by 4' outfeed table on risers and wheels. When lowered it is the same height as my tablesaw and acts as an outfeed and worktable. When it is raised on wheels it rolls and covers my table saw for storage and to park cars in the garage. Thus, it is U-shaped and does not have any apron on the long side that rolls over and encloses the table table saw. It's made of many 1.5" x 8' KD pine boards I ripped from 2x4's. So each board runs the entire length of the 8' table top.
    Here's my question for y'all...I know you're wiser than I and hope you can help with the remedy. My tabletop is starting to sag a bit in the middle AND I just got a new tablesaw so I need to make it almost 2 feet longer. How do I proceed?
    I'm thinking about dismantling the top, flipping it over, add 2' in length and attach bed frame angle iron in several places running the length of the newly-elongated-table-top . Seems like it would work, but here's the tricky part. Seems like I should make sure that each angle iron is attached to only one board in several places to allow for wood expansion. Repeat this 4 or 5 times for more angle irons, each iron on only one board. Then I will rely on the stronger-reinforced boards to support their adjacent boards. If I join the angle iron to more than one single board, I'm afraid the top might warp or cup because I've not allowed for expansion.
    Does this make sense?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Jacksonville, FL
    A picture would really help us out.
    A Stickley fan boy.

  3. #3
    Could you add an apron on one side and another on the opposite side with a hinge so it can swing up to clear the TS?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Angle iron can definitely help with the issue, but over a longer span, even angle iron will have some deflection. Laminating the top with a second layer of whatever sheet goods you used might also stiffen things up. Given they way you must keep the underside open so you can cover the saw for space reasons when not working, the combination of the angle iron and never putting anything of any concentrated weight on the open edge is probably the best you can do.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Modesto, CA, USA
    For cross grain breadboard ends the normal way is a single screw hole in center with slots everywhere else to allow the wood to move. I would have metal running both ways and weld it together.
    Bill D.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    To Jim's point; if you have minimal clearance when "stored" you could laminate 1/8" hardboard to each side to add some rigidity. You want to roll the glue over the entire surface prior to applying the hardboard to get the tension benefit.
    "What kind of chump do you take me for?"
    "First class."

  7. #7
    If you have the space underneath, you might consider a torsion box type design. May mean a redesign though.

    Otherwise steel i-beams. Or even laminated structural lumber on edge. But I dont see a way that doesnt add considerable thickness and rob your space underneath.

    In general, beam deflection goes with distance from the bending centerline (moment of inertia). So relatively thin designs dont have a chance.

    If you are storing a cabinet underneath, could you make it integral so the cabinet provide the support and the top didnt cover such a long span...

  8. #8
    Thanks, Brothers! I should have provided a photo or two and will do so over the weekend. I guess I was waiting to see if there would be a response as this was the first time I’ve ever posed a question. I appreciate the time you took to reply and am digesting your responses.
    Last edited by Walter Holloman; 04-05-2019 at 1:26 AM.

  9. #9
    oops, learning how to post a photo
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Walter Holloman; 04-10-2019 at 2:37 AM.

  10. #10
    Ok here a a couple photos (dont mind the mess). One shot is the open side, which will roll over the table saw and basically occupy the same footprint. The other side is closed so i use it to hang tools, blades, etc.

    I’ve been pondering your thoughts. Didn’t realize how much clutter had accumulated on the table top. that’s the first thing to fix - no clutter weighing down on it.

    the underside of the table top is flat and that is where I was thinking to install some angle iron.
    Last edited by Walter Holloman; 04-10-2019 at 2:38 AM.

  11. #11
    I'm not sure if there's enough space, but what about a torsion box?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Lau View Post
    I'm not sure if there's enough space, but what about a torsion box?
    Thank you, Matt. Do you mean replace the table top with a torsion box? Or adhere a torsion box to the underside? I know of torsion boxes through reading, but have never worked with one.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    South Carolina
    When you slide the saw under the table, slip some shims in to support the table when stored. The sag is not likely from when using the table.

  14. #14
    That top looks like the top of my workbench - there is always some clutter on it. Which just means that is reality, and you need to be able to support it. Essentially a workbench top.

    It just looks too thin for the span to be satisfying over the long run.

    If you can give up the space on even one edge, I would start with two pieces of 3/4" plywood on edge. Maybe 3-4 inches wide. Attach it along the back edge so the table still slides over your tablesaw up until it hits that support rail. (or even better, just box in the back). Or angle iron, but over that span even angle iron is going to need some height to it. Just saying it 'might' not have to be down the center and might make a big gain even if just the back edge.

  15. #15
    Torsion box ++

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