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Thread: table saw outfeed table

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    table saw outfeed table

    I have been living with outfeed roller stands for years and just tired of dealing with them for every-day use. I am finally going to just build a folding outfeed table and undecided on the top surface:

    Choice 1: melamine covered particle board available at the lumber yard
    Choice 2: Laminate (formica) glued down to MDF or plywood. My thought is MDF due to it's know flatness.

    I am leaning towards choice 2, even though cost is more. If you have used either of these surfaces for your outfeed table, please give me your pros and cons. I am not set on these two, so any suggestions for additional surfaces, and why would be appreciated.
    Distraction could lead to dismemberment!

  2. #2
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    I favor Choice 2 (Laminate over MDF). That's what I did. I felt plywood might warp/twist a bit over time. And I think melamine, while nice and slippery, gets chips and nicks too easily since it is paper-thin. You can literally pick the melamine off at an edge with your fingernail.

    I sandwiched 2 pieces of 3/4" MDF and covered it on all sides/edges with laminate. It's very heavy, and if I had it to do over again I might consider using a single piece of 3/4" MDF. It's a tradeoff between rigidity and weight. If your outfeed table is perhaps 2 feet deep, a double layer of MDF is OK. But if it's 3 or 4 feet deep, it gets really heavy.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Engelschall View Post
    I favor Choice 2 (Laminate over MDF). That's what I did. I felt plywood might warp/twist a bit over time. And I think melamine, while nice and slippery, gets chips and nicks too easily since it is paper-thin. You can literally pick the melamine off at an edge with your fingernail.

    I sandwiched 2 pieces of 3/4" MDF and covered it on all sides/edges with laminate. It's very heavy, and if I had it to do over again I might consider using a single piece of 3/4" MDF. It's a tradeoff between rigidity and weight. If your outfeed table is perhaps 2 feet deep, a double layer of MDF is OK. But if it's 3 or 4 feet deep, it gets really heavy.
    Steve - thanks for the feedback. I was thinking a single layer to help reduce weight since I plan to put a 1.5" hardwood border all the way around, it will help keep the mdf more rigid.
    Distraction could lead to dismemberment!

  4. #4
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    Back when I had a cabinet saw and made a folding outfeed table setup for it (even offered plans way back then for it), I chose to cover it with plastic laminate. The stuff is slick, looks nice and quite durable. And since surfaces like that quite often get used for things like assembly from time to time, the plastic laminate releases dried glue pretty easily, too. While you could choose melamine, it's not as durable as plastic laminate for sure.
    --

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

  5. #5
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    I've had both melamine and laminate covered out feed tables. Both worked great. I'm not convinced you need a dead flat out feed table (for that matter I don't think you need a torsion box for an assembly table). Now it's just mdf over a plywood frame, but it's never used for assembly.
    ~mike

    happy in my mud hut

  6. #6
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    Oct 2014
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    I used tempered hardboard glued over a double layer of MDF. Only did that because it was cheaper than buying a piece of laminate. Works great. I wax it occasionally and it stays slick. If I had the laminate laying around, I would have used that.

  7. #7
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    I’ve had laminate, melamine and 1/4 masonite..
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by jack duren; 03-04-2024 at 10:27 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    North Dana, Masachusetts
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    I use 5/4 eastern white pine for an outfeed table.

    The friction coefficient of wood on wood is low enough that I am able to slide wood over wood. When the surface gets too beat up, I unscrew the wood and run it through the beater planer for a fresh look. Making the outfeed table a little lower then the saw table works.

    Being wood, not plastic, I can reuse the top, and eventually it will be turned into heat in the house.

  9. #9
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    Lewiston, Idaho
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    My outfeed table top is double 3/4" plywood glued and screwed with plastic laminate on top. Love it! Glue drips clean easily. It's white so periodically I may sketch something out on it.
    Ken

    So much to learn, so little time.....

  10. #10
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    I used regular indoor 3/4" plywood sanded one side for my out feed table. I added some ribs underneath to help keep it flat. I finished the top with several coats of oil based polyurethane. It is more than 15 years old and shows little signs of wear.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA '71
    Go Navy!

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  11. #11
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    I w hold go to google images or Pinterest and look at tye 100’s of options…

  12. #12
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    Dec 2006
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    Toronto Ontario
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    When I owned a cabinet saw I used a plywood ladder frame with 5/8 white melamine, I see that saw every year or two and the outfeed table is still fine.

    Now that I have a format saw I use either a 400mm clip on extension or an 800mm clip on extension with leg when required.

    IMG_2583.jpg

    Regards, Rod

  13. #13
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    Jun 2012
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    If your on a budget, pick up a used section of countertop from Habitat for Humanity's Restore. One from a kitchen island works best since there's no backsplash to remove. My outfeed/assembly table top is an old kitchen island countertop which we pulled out when we renovated our kitchen.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    .........3/4" plywood sanded one side ........ ribs underneath to help keep it flat.......oil based polyurethane..
    Yes to #1
    Yes to #2
    Nah to fancy finish. Wax it - first time, maybe twice if it is absorbed. I am hopeful that you routinely wax the primary saw table, so simply don't stop at the edge of the cast iron, and you'll be fine.
    When I started woodworking, I didn't know squat. I have progressed in 30 years - now I do know squat.

  15. #15
    two sheets of ply glued and screwed.

    Doesnt matter what it is, what matters is you have one,. There are many you tubes of wood starting to falling off the saw and guy reaching to grab it before it falls on the floor.

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