Table Saw Infeed Support Arms

When we think of material support for the table saw I’m almost positive that everyone instantly thinks of an outfeed table and very rarely thinks of the infeed side. When using larger sleds or large sheet goods having a few support arms in the front of the saw can be very beneficial in making the process easier and safer. When I’m cutting larger sheet goods I always start the saw before wrestling the material to the saw surface. It would be much easier if the material was positioned and fully supported before even starting the saw blade.

The material for the arm needs to be the same thickness as the distance from the top of the saw surface to the top of the front rail. In my case it is 7/8”. That also happens to be the exact thickness of the mattress slats I just salvaged. Two arms, two legs, and four smaller blocks need to be cut. The measurement of the leg needs to be the exact height of the front rail from the ground. The arm needs to be about six inches longer than the leg so that the leg can fold up into the arm for storage.

table saw infeed support arms (1)

For storage the easiest thing to do is drill a hole on the end where the leg will be hinged and hang it on a nail in the wall. That’s the easiest solution for me anyway. If they are easily accessible and right next to the saw it will greatly increase the chances of these being used. If it’s not easy it wont be used.

table saw infeed support arms (2)

I used a pair of $1.99 hinges to allow the leg to fold up for storage. It doesn’t matter if the drilled hole is covered up in this step as when the leg is folded up it will expose the hole. At least it did in my case.

table saw infeed support arms (3)

With the leg and arm hinged I pre-drilled and used two screws into each block. I also made sure that both blocks were tight against the rail when I secured them. No glue was used in this project. Just screws will be fine. It’s a good idea to make sure your blocks can slide freely in the area between the rail and the saw. That way you can place the completed support arms at any location along the rail as needed.

table saw infeed support arms (4)

And of course I made two. Here you can see how far they extend. I believe the length of my arm pieces were 40” or 41”.

table saw infeed support arms (5)

While these will be incredibly handy when working with larger heavy sheet goods they will spend the vast majority of their life hanging on the wall within a few feet of the saw.

table saw infeed support arms (6)

I made a test cut with these and boy are they handy. I was able to completely position the material against the fence and ready to be pushed through before I even turned the saw on. Not only is this safer than blindly setting the plywood on the saw surface with the blade spinning but it is also much easier to line up the material and slide it forward. These should pretty much eliminate any struggle against gravity when cutting down heavy stock such as MDF.

table saw infeed support arms (7)


 

5 COMMENTS

  1. This is a very good suggestion. I have always used a adjustable stand to rest the piece on but this would give constant contact and be much safer and help maintain continuous contact with the surface of the saw. I like it and will make these supports. John Cocking Pensacola, Fl,

    • Great project – makes handling sheet goods that much easier and safer. I’ll be adding this to my to do list in the shop. Thanks again for sharing!

  2. I’m heading to my work room right now to make them. I have a project in the works and I’ll need to rip several sheets of plywood with precision. Thanks for all your videos, I’ve used several of them for guidance. Keep posting! Thanks again!!!

  3. Has anyone done anything like this on a Rigid R4512? I’ve thought about it but haven’t been able to come up with a good way to mount anything to the front fence rail.

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