Folding extension tables for benchtop planer
One of the things I read before purchasing my new benchtop thickness planer was that the infeed and outfeed tables were fairly short and probably not worth the extra money. So I designed an inexpensive planer stand with adjustable infeed and outfeed tables, and built-in drawers for extra storage. The infeed and outfeed tables fold out of the way when not in use. The tables are slick melamine shelving material with oak edging. The planer fits tightly between the cabinet sides, with the top of the planer bed resting slightly above the sides. The plywood table supports are shorter than the width of the side so that they don’t stick out when folded back, and the tables are a few inches shorter than the sides so that they don’t touch the floor when folded down.
The height is adjusted at the infeed and outfeed ends of the table with a screwdriver and wrench—two machine screws with locknuts adjust the inboard end and one bolt with a locknut adjusts the outboard end. A hardwood crossbrace on the outboard end adds extra support, and a shallow mortise drilled in the center provides a sure registration point for the carriage-bolt adjuster.
To set the table height, unplug the planer and raise the cutting head to give access to the bed. Being careful of the blades, set a long straightedge across the bed and table. Loosen the screws in the support cleat and turn the vertical adjusters on the infeed and outfeed ends to flush the edge of the table with the planer bed. Then tighten the locknuts, bolts, and screws in the cleat.
Jeff Bratt, San Diego, CA