Table Saw Additon: Flip-Up Out-Feed Table

on Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I finished up my out-feed table the other day! (I added multiple pictures below to illustrate what I'm about to describe)
I wanted it to be as big as possible (when flipped up), as compact as possible (when flipped down), and as lightweight as possible to reduce the strain on the table saw stand and for ease of mobility.  With that in mind, the braces/mounts attached to the table saw are standard 2x4's and a 2x6 at the pivot point, the table frame is cedar 2x3's and the top is 1/2" MDF.  I am strictly using it as an out-feed (won't be hammering, etc. on it) and therefore went with the aforementioned structure. It is as wide as the factor table-top (40") and is 30" long.

The other key thing I wanted to include was adjustability.  At the joints of the "hinge-leg" and at the contact point of the hinge-leg when it's in the up position, I added screws (matched up head-to-head) that could be adjusted to increase/decrease the spacing/gap to be able to adjust accordingly after it was completely assembled.  I attached the top of the hinged-leg in such a way that it could be adjusted by increasing/decreasing the shim to raise or lower the back edge.  I also purposefully built the table to be a consistent 1/8" lower than the table saw top so that I could shim it up for a perfectly flat surface in relation to the table saw top.  I used piano hinges for the main hinge and the hinge-leg and I used 6 bolts to attach the 2x4's to the table saw (4 in the legs and 2 in the corners of the upper structure).

If you have any questions, please let me know!  I looked at several similar tables when building this one.  I am very happy with it but I do have a few things I would do differently if I built another one...  First, I would probably mount it differently to the actual saw. I would probably use the bolts that attach the steel extension tables to the cast-iron top to attach the out-feed table by adding a thin piece of metal/wood between the top and the extensions.  There are also holes on the outer edges of the steel extension tables that I didn't utilize but probably could have.  Between these two mounting possibilities, I probably wouldn't have had to drill holes into the legs.  Regardless, this wouldn't change the final product much and I'm not that upset not doing.  Another thing I would change is to incorporate the "handle" into the hinged-leg better.  It was more of an afterthought that I realized I needed after it was assembled.  Lastly, I would consider doing something different for the hinge-leg. I would consider getting a collapsable shelf bracket (sold by Rockler) or another type of bracket to replace my constructed leg (I think latter braces would work perfectly...).  Regardless, I am very happy with it!  Let me know if you have any questions or advice.  I am contemplating sealing/painting the entire structure and top... haven't decided yet.

Side View.  You Can See the Handle to Help Operate the Hinge-Leg
Added Miter Slots
View From the Back
Fully Collapsed.
Partially Collapsed to Show How the Hinge-Leg Works
Piano Hinge and Adjustment Screws
This is Where the Hinge-Leg 'Attaches' to the Saw When in the Up Position
Spacers to Adjust the Rear of the Table Vertically
Main Hinge
You Can See Here How I Attached it to the Saw
Fully Collapsed.  Gap is for the Rear of the Factory Fence
My Half of the Garage :)

Next up, a couple of table saw sleds!

Table Saw Upgrade

on Saturday, December 10, 2011

Alright! I finally bit the bullet, saved up some cash, and pulled the trigger on buying a new table saw.  Its nothing fancy by any means, but it's an enormous upgrade from my old table saw.  The plan is for this one to last several years...  I have a few upgrades/jigs in mind now that I've upgraded.  Including a couple of nice blades (40, 80 and a 6" dado set), a pop-up out-feed table, a taper jig, a miter gauge, fence rails, a couple of custom inserts (dado and zero clearance), a tenoning jig, and a cross-cut sled --all of which will be home-made except for the blades.  If you come across anything you think I'd be interested in or if you have any suggestions, please let me know.  Below you can see pictures of the old Ryobi (BTS16) and the new Ridgid (R4512).

Tree Thingy

on Friday, December 9, 2011

Randy put a picture of this up on her Facebook/Twitter but I thought I would include it here for all others who didn't see it there.  It contains several miscellaneous hooks so it is meant to be used as a coat/bag/etc. rack.  We built it with some miscellaneous wood we had come across over the past month or so (we had been planning on making it for a little while).  I still have a lot of leftover wood so if you need any for a similar project, hit me up.

And here's a random picture of Tom in the baby room.

Crunch Time

on Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Life is about to drastically change. Randy is still very pregnant and is officially due two weeks from today.  There's no telling when she'll go into labor but I'm sure it'll be the one day in the next 3 weeks when there's two inches of ice on the road. So, pray for our sanity and pray for the health of both Randy and Owen. I think we're as prepared as we'll ever be...

Credit Card Behavior

on Tuesday, November 22, 2011

First, let me say that you can choose to do whatever the heck you want to do.  This is my personal take on credit cards and I am not judging anyone.

My employer recently offered to help facilitate Financial Peace University for those interested.  Because I was one of the few who had already gone through the class, I was part of a Q&A session held for all of the skeptical accountants to figure out why in the world they would need to go through a class about personal finances.  Most of us make above-average wages and are nerdy enough to take care of this on our own.  The main thing that kept coming up was something to the effect of "Why on earth would I want to get rid of my credit card when I get rewards and pay it off every month?".

I would love to sit her and tell you that there's a mathematical reason for not maintaining a credit card, but there really isn't.  The bottom-line for me personally is that there are two reasons why I am against credit cards.

First, I don't want to ever be in a situation where I "need" to use a credit card and won't have the ability to pay it off.  I would rather have a large enough emergency fund to cover any unexpected and necessary expenditures.  Once you start the credit card debt train, its hard to get off.

Second, I don't want to be a part of a society where credit cards are "normal".  I don't want my children to think that its normal to finance a hamburger.  As soon as this practice becomes normal, you've started a habit that will be hard to break.  Humans are proving to be easily influenced.  I don't want to influence anyone (my friends, family and especially my children) to use a credit card who might not have the discipline to use it properly.  Just because I have the discipline to pay it off, doesn't mean my best friend does. I don't want to play with fire and I especially don't want my children/friends/family playing with fire either.

So I sat there, doing my best to tell educated people why using a credit card was stupid.  I know for a fact that most of them laughed and went about their normal lives.  I'm sure some of them will never see the dark side of credit cards and for that I am thankful.  But, for others, this gateway will be accessed one day and the airline miles to Jamaica won't be such a reward when you're paying 30% interest for a $2,000 car repair.

It's not a mathematics issue, it's a BEHAVIOR issue.

One-Stop Spot

on Saturday, November 19, 2011

I have recently worked on this task myself and decided to share.  Every household should have a one-stop spot (Drawer, Box, File, Safe) where you can keep a summary of your finances.  Including, but not limited to, all types of insurance, will, mutual fund accounts, mortgage information, tax returns, etc.  I wouldn't recommend adding every single document/statement because that is overkill for what you're trying to accomplish.  This simply needs to be a reference in order to locate the applicable statements and documents.  You will simply need to examine it every six months or so to ensure it is still up-to-date.  This will be crucial should there be an unexpected death in the family.  Your spouse should know where it is and one other family member or close friend should know where it is.  You're family will thank you one day.

I could easily dive in to more specifics but I came across a good article that pretty much sums it all up. If you want more information, check it out here. Let me know if you have any specific questions.

Credit Score

on Thursday, November 17, 2011

Don't get sucked into "Free Credit".

If you want to "check" your credit you can do it for free at  However, you can only check it once a year for each of the three agencies (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian).  If you stagger your visits every four months, you can monitor your credit report year-round for free.  This will not show you a score, but you will be able to see all the information you need in order to review for negative "dings" or identity theft issues.

If you want to get an actual score, you can sign up at where you can get an Experion score year-round for free.  I don't necessarily endorse the other aspects of Credit Sesame (even though I do think it is a safe and trust-worthy site), but if you want a way to get a free score, there ya go.

If you want to "freeze" your credit, you can do this for a minimal fee (I think $10) by visiting the TransUnion, Equifax, or Experian websites. By doing this you can avoid some of the credit risk/identity theft that possibilities.  Companies don't always check your credit before opening a card/account, but if they do, it'll be frozen and the it won't be opened. I know a couple of people that will beg you to do this because of the pain they've gone through because of identity theft issues.  Keep in mind that you'll have to pay the same minimal fee to "unfreeze" your report if you're being hired for a job, etc. and they are trying to run your credit.

If you have any other thoughts/advice in regards to the above, post it in the comments.  Any information is welcome. I don't claim to be an expert by any means.

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