We know pretty damn well what a table saw is. But, what about a table saw fence?
It is just another part or feature of the table saw. It is sometimes referred to as the rip fence. The fence acts as a guide when you are making a cut. Moreover, a table saw fence also ensures that you are getting a straight and smooth cut.
Additionally, the rip fence prevents kickbacks if used precisely. But, if it is not measured well when making then the fence could actually be a reason for kickback. The material you are cutting might get stuck between the blade and the fence. And so could cause a kickback.
The table saw fence is vastly used mainly for making rip cuts. Rip cuts are a type of cut which cuts through the parallel to the grain. With a fence, rip cuts are a lot easier to make.
Many table saws are gonna have a fence anyway. On the other hand, some might not have it. You will need to make one yourself. Also, you might want to make a new one for your own comfort. So, how to make table saw fence? Let’s find out!
Why you need table saw fence?
The best answer to this question is that the fence makes it so easy to make rip cuts. Since table saws are known to be rip cutting expert, using a fence becomes that much important.
Another usefulness of the fence is that it reduces that chance of kickbacks. One issue with the table saw is that kickbacks can happen anytime. That is why you need to add ways to reduce the chances of kickbacks. Your table saw fence can do just that.
I just wanna mention one more reason why you should make a table saw fence. The fence ensures you to have straighter cuts. In addition, the outcome of your work is a lot smoother when using the fence.
Make your own table saw fence
How to make table saw fence is actually a question posed by many. But, the solution has not been as useful to many. That is why I will try to give you the simplest of steps so that you can make one without getting into any trouble.
Before we actually get into the steps, there are some things you need to possess. Here is a list of the things you will need:
- Wood screws, deck screws, threaded screws.
- Tape measure
- An addition saw for making cuts (ex-jigsaw).
The first step is to take the accurate measurement of your table saw. So, bring out the tape measure and start measuring your saw. This is because not all table saws have the same size. And you need to make a fence that will fit right on your saw.
The important length to measure is the depth of your saw. The line or measurement that is parallel to the table saw blade is the depth of your table saw.
Now, cut a 2*4 piece. Make sure that the piece is smooth and straight with little to no roughness at all. The one thing you need to remember when getting this 2*4 piece is that it should not be shorter than the fence.
Cut the 2*4 piece slightly longer than the fence.
The fence needs to stay steady on the table when you are making a cut. For this, you need to do something.
Take out a common saw like the jigsaw. Use the jigsaw to cut the ends from the 2*4. You will need two of what is called ‘end caps’. These caps ensure that the fence stays steady by sitting at the ends of the fence.
Don’t make the caps too long nor too short either. Two 2.5-3” end caps should be enough depending on the table and the fence size.
Now, take your 2*4 and cut for the fence. It should be cut at the same length as your table saw. Additionally, the depth of the screw nut should also be taken into consideration.
Take the right measurements and then cut with exact precision.
Avoid racking! What is racking?
When the fence is not exactly parallel to the saw blade and is at a slight angle then it is called racking. Racking will cause trouble no doubt. So, if you cut your fence at anything less than straight and squared then get ready for some kickbacks!
There is no way you can make a mistake. You must get the perfect measurement and make a pitch-perfect straight cut. It cannot be even slightly angled.
For step 6, you will need the following:
- 2*4 that you cut in step 4
- The end caps
- Deck screws
Take four deck screws and attach the end caps to the 2*4. On each end of the 2*4, connect two of the deck screws.
For connecting the screws, you will, of course, need to drill. Therefore, drill pilot holes into the 2*4. Then it is going to be pretty easy to screw.
Your table saw fence is ready. All you need to do now is connect it to the table.
But, before that check and see if the fence sits well on top of your table saw. See if the length is not too nor too short. Also, check to see that cut is in a perfect parallel to the saw blade so that there can be no racking.
If you measured right and made precise cuts then the fence should have no problem.
After that, you need to install threaded screw to the end caps. On one side of the fence, there should be a tiny little gap. This little gap is for the threaded screws.
To make this simple for you, just follow these steps:
- Get a threaded rod
- Put the fence on the table and take the measurement.
- Make a simple pilot hole all the way through into an end cap. The pilot hole should be such that the rod can go through the end cap.
- Now, you can screw it against the base to secure it so that it doesn’t move.
There you go! You now know how to make table saw fence.
Is homemade fence enough?
Many people can actually make a fence themselves. But, they are not sure if it’s gonna last long. It is true that you can find some best fences on the power tool shops or online shops. And I too agree that these are better than any homemade one.
With that being said, there are still tons of benefits with a homemade one. Is it gonna last? If you use good material then I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t last. Is a homemade one gonna give proper service? Again, if you measure right and get the precisions with your cuts then you will get exact same service than any other really. Besides, you are saving some money which is gonna make your wife happy lol!
The issue is that there more often than not remain tiny flaws while making this kind of jigs. That is why it might be a problem for some people.
A lot of people make this task more complicated than it actually is. That is why I have tried to provide you the simplest way about how to make table saw fence. Hopefully, you are going to find it helpful and start making a fence yourself.