Roller Extension Table For Handling Sheet Goods

Comments (0)
Roller Extension Table for Handling Sheet Goods

I was tired of wrestling big sheets of ply wood across the top of my table saw. I already had an outfeed table on the back of the saw, but what I really needed was a side extension table to support the heavy panels going into the saw.

I didn't want to give up too much valuable floor space to an accessory that I wouldn't be using most of the time. The extension table drops into its stored position in seconds and takes up no floor space.  Adjustable roller assemblies can be raised so that the table also works with a sliding cross cut box.

 My solution was a fold-away extension table that uses rows of roller balls to support the workpiece. I chose roller balls instead of long, tube rollers because the balls won't pull stock off-line as it is fed through the saw. Normally, the roller balls are even with the saw's tabletop, but they also can be raised to support long panels that overhang the end of my crosscut box. This straight forward shop fixture is easy to build and use. It sets up and drops back out of the way in a matter of seconds, and it makes cutting plywood on the table saw safer and more manageable. 

Roller Extension Table for Handling Sheet Goods

Utility and economy in a shop tool I'd rather make furniture than shop tools, so I designed the extension table to be as simple as possible. The top frame and the leg assemblies are inexpensive and easy to assemble with a biscuit joiner. Yet they're light and strong. The length of the top-frame assembly and the leg assembly is determined by the distance between the floor and the top of the saw. 

The top frame needs to be sized to just clear the floor in the folded position. The legs must be long enough to make the roller balls level with the saw top when the frame is in the raised position. The extension table also supports long stock in my sliding crosscut box because the rollers are adjustable by the thickness of the crosscut box’s bottom. Mounting the rollers on T-shaped assemblies, which adjust easily after loosening a few knobs, was a simple and reliable solution. 

Roller Extension Table for Handling Sheet Goods

A roller-ball extension table makes cutting large panels safer and easier. Unlike long tube rollers, roller balls won't pull stock out of line as it goes through the saw.

This article is excerpted out of Ingenious Jigs & Shop Accessories from Fine Woodworking. 

To fold the unit for storage, I hinged the legs to the top frame and also hinged the top frame to the table saw top. When folded down, the table doesn't take up much room in my shop. By adding adjustable levelers to the leg assemblies, I made it easy to fine-tune the height. 

Finally, I added a piece of lightweight chain to limit the leg travel and a screen door hook to keep the leg assembly folded for storage. I've been so pleased with the roller extension table that I've built another and attached it to the side of my outfeed table. 

This article is excerpted out of Ingenious Jigs & Shop Accessories published by Fox Chapel

Workshop Accessories

View All Workshop Accessories


Write Comment

Write Comment

You must be logged in to write a comment. Log In

Top of Page