The past few days have been a little bit of fun and a lotta bit of drudgery. After our recent experiments with cutting wider panels for the end grain cutting boards we’ll be making, we decided that we needed to have an out feed table to support longer work pieces as they are pushed through the saw. Without this support, longer workplaces would tilt, possibly catching the blade and damaging the workpiece — or worse, one of us.
Initially, we’d thought we would make a simple little table to support work pieces as they were pushed through the saw blade. Then we thought we’d upgrade to a face frame cabinet like you’d find in most kitchens. What we ended up with, however, was a set of stacked, modified torsion boxes.
Torsion boxes are essential a box frame with a series of cross beams sandwiched between two layers of a relatively thin skin. The purpose of the design is provide a rigid light weight plane that resists twisting and racking. For our purposes, this design is more rigid and resilient that face frame cabinet construction. It is also easy to disassemble if we ever need to move it out of the basement.
One of the tricky bits of this build is that the grooves in the outfield table need to match up exactly with those on the saw. They also need to be exactly aligned along all three axes, and be at the same depth as well. If the grooves or the slots are misaligned in any way, the table ceases to be useful as it doesn’t allow larger sleds that we use for cross cutting to run freely. Suffice to say, we are quite proud of ourselves for getting all of this right and for being able to rely on the set up of our saw to help us.
We are very happy with the final product. It even has handy storage so we don’t keep tripping over things. We hope you enjoy being brought into some of the details of getting our shop production ready.