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Building a sliding table for the band saw

Nowadays, a band saw is an indispensable tool in many workshops. However, getting a clean 90 degree cut often proves to be a big challenge. To solve this problem, we will build ourselves a sliding table. With this gadget you will save yourself from lots of frustration and effort in the future, realising new projects more easily. :-)

That's how it works:

Material Tools
Plywood boards Band saw / circular saw
Some hardwood Abrasive paper
Glue Bench grinder
A few screws and nuts  
Countersunk bolts  
T-slot rail with sliding nuts  

Step 1: Slide rails

Before I start a project, I visualise my entire project in mind and then start building. Everything else will emerge during the production of the project.

To begin we construct 2 slide rails, which run perfectly in the grooves of the band saw table. To do this, measure the width and depth of the grooves with the vernier caliper and trim two slide rails according to those measures. They should run smoothly in the groove and have little space to move. In my case, this worked at the third attempt. :-)

Now we grind the rails until they slide perfectly smooth in the groove. I made the slides out of 6mm thick plywood. I set the length of the rails to 40 cm, slightly larger than the actual size of the sliding table. This will allow me later to drive back very far with the sliding table and still have an exact slide.

Step 2: Base plate

For the base plate, I decided to take a 6 mm thick plywood of the size 60 x 35 cm.

The base plate is now cut centrally with the table saw about 25 cm deep. This cut should be exactly 90 degrees to the long side of the base plate.

Now we put the guide rails in the grooves. On top of the rails I attached a double-sided tape. With a thickness/height of 6mm, the guide rails protrude slightly from the band saw table, which is perfect for mounting the baseplate on top.

Step 3: Mounting the slide rails and the base plate

Now we put the plate on our saw, the slide rails and the base plate should hereby finish perfectly at the bottom of the band saw table. Thanks to the double-sided adhesive tape, our construction will not slip once it is aligned.

Next, we mark the middle of the slide rails on the bottom surface of the base plate and drill and countersink 5 holes at the level of each slide rail and screw the whole construction with countersunk wood screws.

Step 4: Guide rail

Now we need a stop which is glued and screwed on the base plate at exactly 90 degrees to the saw blade. For this I take a 18 mm thick, multi-layered board and cut out a 60 x 4.5 cm piece. Of course, you can also use another material for the guide rail. We will place this piece of wood later at the end of the middle section. To do this, place the piece on the base plate and align it with the aid of an angle of 90 degrees to the saw blade. We push the slide back and forth a few times to see if the angle is exactly on the saw blade. If you are sure that this is the case, then mark the guide rail on the baseplate. Glueing will then be much easier later.

Next we put glue on the guide rail and then put it on our mark on the base plate and align the whole project again. Then we push the sliding table back and forth to see if the angle passes easily on the saw blade and thus the 90 degrees are fulfilled. In this case, the following applies: the more precise you are while building the sliding table, the more precise your sliding table will be.

When everything is aligned, you fix the rail with two glue clamps. Then the guide can be safely screwed from below and can´t slip. To do this, we again mark the middle of the guide rail on the lower surface, drill, countersink and screw everything.

Now our sliding table would be finished and ready to use.

However, I wanted more accuracy while cutting to length, if for instance several identical pieces have to be cut from one larger piece of wood. We can achieve this by adding relocatable stops to the guide rail.

Step 5: Addition: Relocatable stops

Therefore, I took a T-slot rail and attached it exactly to the guide rail. Then I cut two hardwood logs, which should run on this rail and stand over the 90-degree guide rail of the base plate. These blocks are 5 cm high, 5 cm wide and 4 cm deep. The cutout is approx. 3.5 x 1.7 cm. But the exact measure should be taken individually according to your device.

You can see here my T-slot rail inclusive nut and screw. These items you can get in any good hardware store or in the internet.

Now we need the actual stop. For this we take a 1 cm thick piece of hardwood and cut two parts (each 6 x 4 cm) out. These then need again a section of about 2 x 4.5 cm, but you should here as well determine the measures individually.

Afterwards we grind the stops. Thanks to the curves, we are able to fold up the stops.

Next we drill the main rail of the stops in the middle with a size 6 drill.

We still need a clamping screw. For that I bent two screws upwards. I cut the thread up to the very top and screwed on a 6er nut as a pressure point. Thus, the basic holder of the stop then braced on the device.

The actual stops are now drilled through with a suitable drill. Then you grind the rounding of the stop until you can fold it.

And ready is our self-made sliding table.

When sawing you should of course make sure that you only cut until the guide stop, otherwise you´ll saw up your device.

I hope I could inspire you a little bit again

Your EinhellHarry

AuthorHarry Früchtl
Reading time8 minutes

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