How to: Table saw extension question

I saw in a magazine that someone built a table saw extension for the back of their saw to increase their table top area to hold large piece of wood for cuts. The person used a 3' x 4' piece of melaine with hardwood edges attached. He has cut slots to match his current miter gauge slots so he can push wood past the blade.
Question I have is: How were the slots created? I have seen alot of the extensions being made in magazines but they don't saw how the slots are made. I know I could use a straight bit for a router that is the same width as the miter slot for my table saw but the miter gauge has a washer on the bottom of the bar to keep is 'locked' in the channel. How would this slot be made for the T-style miter gauge slot? I could use a T-slot bit for the router but I would imagine that this would leave 'slop' for the miter gauge to 'move' in and perhaps throw the cut off.
Or would this be a mute point if I took the washer off of the bottom the miter gauge bar and just use the straight bit?
Thanks, Karl
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I think it is a moot point. You would want to keep your miter gauge and tablesaw slots just the way they are. And I don't think the slots in the extension are there for any reason other than to let the miter gauge move freely the whole depth of the table saw. Hopefully the gauge is fitting well enough and supported well enough for you to cut almost anything on the saw without the extension. The extension is just there so you won't need SWMBO to help you support the larger pieces of wood as you move them through the saw.
Be advised that a table saw is dangerous equipment. Always be prepared for kickbacks. DAMHIKT!
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Han
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The slots in the extension table are typically made wider that the slots in the table. They are there just for clearance, not to guide the gage. Think about it. What good would it do you to run the miter gage behind the blade?

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Exactly. Just make them long enough to clear the rail as it is pushed. Wide enough that there is plenty of clearance so the rail does not hit, or if the table is not secured it will be out of the path. Two passes with a router and 1/2" bit will do.
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I used a dovetail bit to make the slots for my extension table. Works well.
Max
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Mute is silent. Moot is the word you wanted.
And yes - it is a moot point. The slots only serve to allow the mitre to move all the way forward, and your table saw table is going to keep it properly positioned right through the cut. You could have slots an inch wide in the extension table and it would not affect a thing. Think about it this way - without that extension what is happening to the mitre bar as you move past the blade? It's just moving forward into free air.
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Karl (in snipped-for-privacy@ddress.com) said:
| Question I have is: How were the slots created?
With either a router or the table saw. If the slots go all the way across the extension, they were probably made with the table saw; otherwise they were probably routed.
| How would this slot be made for the T-style miter gauge slot?
Make the slots slightly wider than the washer on the miter gauge bar.
| Or would this be a mute point if I took the washer off of the | bottom the miter gauge bar and just use the straight bit?
The washer is to keep the miter gauge from tipping off the saw table onto your foot or the floor. Keep the washer in place - it's functional.
Something to think about: If you anticipate making sliding fixtures/jigs/sleds, be sure to make the slots long enough to accommodate their runners.
Tip: Apply a bit of paste wax to the inside surfaces of the slots - it'll help keep your sliding stuff sliding freely.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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The easiest thing to do is make the extension table slots somewhat wider and deeper than the saw table slots. It eliminates the problems of the T slot and having to align and match the extension table slots exactly to the saw.
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Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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The slots don't need to be the exact size of the existing slots. Oversize is fine as the miter guage will be well past the blade by the time it needs any support. The slots only allow full passage past the edge of the saw. either a dado or a router can be used.

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I would download the plans from Biesemeyer and build their version. It is simple and cheap. It is very effective.
http://www.biesemeyer.com/print/comm_fence/Commercial%20%20Fence%20Manual.pdf
When building the outfeed portion, you need to add a piece of solid wood in the area of miter slots. Use a router and a straight edge to produce the slots.
The slots can be basically any size larger than the miter slots on the saw.
Karl wrote:

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