Rip fence for the homemade table saw
The fence design for my previous table saw worked well, but with two annoyances.
When I tighten the bar-knob to lock it, sometimes it protrudes above the table, requiring me to slightly tighten or loosen it to get it horizontal and out of the way. The other annoyance is that when sliding the fence side-to-side, the fence often binds a bit instead of sliding smoothly.
I cut it out with the jigsaw, then checked it against the templates.
The fence itself is next. At right, the end profile in the plans. I'm cutting it out of some construction lumber. Make sure the piece of wood you are using is straight and square! A rabbet needs to be cut out of the bottom of this rail. I cut this as two cuts on my homemade table saw.
The particle board I'm using for the table top has a wide edge on the front, but this wide edge would not be strong enough to clamp a fence to. So I'm gluing a strip of hardwood right behind it. The hardwood is from a drawer front from the garbage.
Gluing the triangular fence brace to the front bracket. Because I'm using wood that was varnished, I need to sand it where I'm gluing. However, any wood that's been lying around for a long time should get a light sanding before gluing to ensure good glue adhesion.
To get the final assembly square, I clamp a square to the edge of the table, then align the long fence rail to that, and push the fence bracket against the edge of the table. I then tightly clamp the fence bracket to the fence.
This way, even if the triangle isn't glued dead square on the bracket, I can still make sure the fence is square with the front edge of the table.
This joint is only screwed, in case I need to make changes later.
The insides were trickier to trim. A table saw sled would be best, but I haven't built one for this saw yet, nor does the saw have miter slots. Clamping the workpiece to a larger block of wood did the trick. Make sure your clamp never touches the saw blade if it were ever to come loose spontaneously.
A hole goes through the operator side of this block. I marked and drilled part-way from both sides to make sure my hole ended up being square. Drilling it with a drill press would be much better, but I won't assume that you already have one.
Clamp in place. The clamp fits between blocks of wood on either side, which constrain the clamp from moving sideways. A piece of coat hanger wire through the clamp, and through oversized holes in the two blocks holds it in place when it isn't clamped.
To place the two blocks correctly, place a bolt in the clamp and clamp it to the edge (I used an extra bar clamp to hold the fence against the table while it was upside-down). Then put a piece of coat hanger wire through the hole in the fence and place the block on either side of the fence clamp so that the wire is centered in the holes, then screw the blocks in place in this position.
To make a knob for the fence clamp, I started with a 2" carriage bolt, drilled a hole in a strip of hardwood just smaller than the square part of the carriage bolt, then cut it to 44 mm length, put the bolt in and used a nut to pull the bolt into the hole and lock it in place.
The knob is short enough that it doesn't stick up above the table.
That way, I can be sure the hook always fully engages the ledge on the bottom of the table.
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