|If you're familiar with the projects
we design and build here at Woodsmith, ShopNotes, and Workbench
magazines, then you know we're big fans of full-extension drawer slides. When
you use these slides to mount a drawer in a cabinet, you're able to pull the drawer
all the way out so you get easy access to the stuff in the back.
I thought you would enjoy seeing an unusual use for these same drawer slides --
to make a retractable outfeed support for your table saw (but as you'll see in
a minute, you could attach one of these to any power tool that needs occasional
The outfeed support consists
of two parts: a pair of full-extension drawer slides and a wood rail with ball
bearing rollers attached to the top (see photo). The drawers slides and rollers
are available through woodworking stores and catalogs.
In a reversal of sorts, the drawer slides are bolted to the outside of the saw
cabinet rather than the inside. Then with the slides fully extended, cut a wood
rail to fit between them (we glued up two 2x4's to make the rail in the photo
thicker). Now mount the rollers on the top surface of the rail, and then screw
the rail between the ends of the slides.
To support the workpiece as it comes off the saw table, position the rail so the
rollers are about 1/8" below the surface of the saw table top.
By the way, the C-clamp in the photo isn't holding the slide to the cabinet, that's
our "high-tech" way of locking the extension slides at the desired distance
from the saw table.