You wrote: "Specifically, because of a handicap I have, I find "ripping" sheet goods to be difficult, except with a portable circular saw on a cutting table, and that is difficult to do cleanly and with accuracy. It occurred to me that if I mounted a fence the length of my proposed long table on the RAS, made the table wide enough to support a good part of the width of a 4x8 board lengthwise, constructed a pair of outriggers adjustable to the height of the RAS table to support the remaining edge of the board that hangs over, and mounted a fence well back toward the column of the arm, I could use the tool specifically for "ripping" sheet stock. If I put the fence well back toward the column, I can set the blade at a distance greater than 24" from the saw's blade, so I could rip to most useful widths. Having the fence well back on the table would also make some of the other uses I have outlined for the table more convenient."
Good idea if you have the 16 feet of space
Ripping with a RAS? I have posted on this previously, that a RAS "with the blade above the work" is always trying to LIFT to work off the table...unlike a TS which PULLS the work down toward the table MUCH SAFER!
So when ripping with a RAS you must rotate the guard to kiss the work piece and prevent it from lifting up.
Another issue is ripping the narrower strips you mention, It can be done with push sticks and possibly a hold down roller on the nose of the guard, a feather board, or just a right angle cleat adjusted to the thickness of your stock mounted to the fence, Probably all of the above because of the other problem above. If you are normally ripping 3/4" stock, then make your back fence 3/4 off the table and just screw a cleat to it, slip the stock under it, a 1/2 or so should hold it down. That is, the cleat will hang over toward the blade from the rear towards the front capturing that thickness of stock on the right side. It's hard to explain.....doin my best...CAN'T BE TOO SAFE.
I used the same set up when building additions. Cross cut all day long, easy. Rip with a 2x12x16' as the long table with a 1x2 screwed to the back edge as a fence. Full length support for 4x8 ply. Just my opinion, bill