Table Saw Stock Guides

  • Advertise with us
Project by Don Johnson posted 11-17-2018 05:36 PM 4159 views 6 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The artist for whom I make picture frames asked if she could have a different style from those I usually made – – which were to house shallower canvases, but with a wider frame section. This meant that instead of glueing two lengths together to make an ‘L’ section, I could cut a rebate into a single length, to produce a section like a standard picture frame, but which would be used with the canvas sitting in the rebate, flush with the outer surface of the frame.

The frame section is 69×34 mm (approx 2.3/4×1.5/16 inches) which I can buy ready planed to size. I have to cut a 22×22 mm (approx 7/8 inch) rebate, and I do this with my table saw on the full 2.4 metre (nearly 8 ft) length. I can use a featherboard to hold the section against the fence, but with the long length involved, it is tricky to get downward pressure as well – especially on the narrower side, and if I have to cut through the occasional knot.

Remembering seeing a video about the JessEm Stock Guides – – I thought that these would be the ideal solution, and I investigated whether these were available in the UK. They are, but at a price around £300! Too much for me. However, with Black Friday coming up, I was searching to see if there were any ‘unspeakable bargains’ going for these guides, when I came across another video on this subject – Making Table Saw Stock Guides This shop-made system employs scooter wheels, and components used with cameras, and when I priced UK versions the cost came down to around £55, so thought I would give the project a try.

Luckily, my table saw fence has T track grooves in the top, so I was able to make simple mounting blocks to position the wheels. The most difficult part of the – relatively easy – project was working out how to cut the groove in the top of the mounting block to hold the rod retainer at a 5 degree angle to the fence face. (It is fixed by a bolt, but the groove stops any possibility of it twisting from the 5 degree angle) This was more a problem of visualisation of the cut – which I did using the taper jig which can be seen lurking at the top of the main picture – than actual difficulty.

As I will mainly be using this setup to cut the frames mentioned above, I fixed my wheels nearest to the fence rather than on the other side of the mount, so that they will track on the narrower side of the frame section. I followed the shop-made video method of NOT having the wheels ‘trailing’, which – as there is no spring pressure in this setup – is done (I think) to tend to drag the wheels downward and increase pressure rather than the reverse.

The wheels I obtained are not a ‘soft’ as I would have wished, but I picked the ones I saw with included bearings. However, on the first trials I’ve made with a ‘guesstimate’ of the lowering of the wheels just below the thickness of the stock to be cut, the system seems to work well. However, the real test will come when I start to make a number of frames.

Details of local components are given with the video, but for UK builders, this is where I obtained mine:
Wheels – Set of 4 – 100mm / 4 ” – Clear Polyurethane Castor Wheels with Yellow Centre – rgstechnical – (4 for £18.49)
Top Clamp – 15mm Rod Clamp Holder “1/4” Thread DSLR Camera Rig Rail Support System Arm – 26foxtrader ( 2 at £4.99 each)
Rods – SMALLRIG Aluminum Alloy 15mm Rod – 30cm / 12 Inch (2pcs) – 1053 (£8.99 for two)
Long Clamp – 2 x SMALLRIG 15mm Dula Rod Clamp for 15mm Rail Support System – 942 (two at 8.09 each

Thinking about possible improvements to the system – apart from the wheels – I wondered if spring pressure could be included by using longer bolts to fix the wheel bearing block to the long clamp, with compression springs fitted between the bearing block and the clamp. If A Canadian Woodworker gets to read this, perhaps he will respond with his thoughts on the subject. Certainly he is due many thanks for his original video.

Later . . . .
I’ve just remembered that I intended to include something about the fact that this system does not have JessEm’s anti-kickback feature. As can be seen in the pictures, I have a riving knife on my saw – a cut down version of the plate upon which was mounted the blade guard/dust extractor – and have not so far experienced any problems with kickback. If desired, it should be possible to add anti-kickback by removing one of the two bearings in both wheels, and replacing them with Sprag Clutch Bearings similar to – They would need to be keyed to the wheel mounting bolts and also keyed (or glued) to the wheels themselves to be effective

Much Later again . . . .
See my comment (No 7) for the results of ‘possible improvements’ with springs.

-- Don, Somerset UK,

7 comments so far

View Andybb's profile


2498 posts in 1239 days

#1 posted 11-17-2018 07:42 PM

That’s awesome. I am lazy and bought the Jessums after a kickback scare a few years ago but the design is great and makes your saw much safer IMHO. Nice job.

One thing you might consider doing…the Jessums can flip up and slide out of the way when not in use without having to unmount them. Very handy.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Abloome1989's profile


1 post in 460 days

#2 posted 11-18-2018 07:20 AM

This sort of the event is so one of a kind and bundles of the learning open entryways for the youths gatekeepers should take this event so certifiable with essaypro com reviews and send their children in this event. The organization is so incredible and dealing with it so well.

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

717 posts in 3416 days

#3 posted 11-18-2018 10:07 AM

One thing you might consider doing…the Jessums can flip up and slide out of the way when not in use without having to unmount them. Very handy.

- Andybb

I’ve added an extra picture showing that the wheels CAN be flipped up out of the way. If they still make things awkward, it is a matter of a few seconds to loosen the top knobs and slide the assemblies off completely – they replace just as quickly. (Please don’t tell me my push stick is on the wrong side of the blade – it was just a posed shot LOL)

-- Don, Somerset UK,

View kocgolf's profile


404 posts in 2814 days

#4 posted 11-18-2018 03:34 PM

I absolutely love seeing diy solutions to expensive products! I have long considered these guides but they are far outside my budget. This is an approachable solutions! The only reason I think I might not be happy with a solution like this over the feathboards I use now is that I do a lot of smaller parts. I try to keep things away from the fence so I can fit my push sticks through. My diy overarm dust collector is very narrow so even when cutting 1 inch wide strips I can fit a narrow push stick between the guard and fence. I imagine with this setup there is a point where if you are cutting something under 2-3 inches wide you lose your space to use a push stick and have to abandon them.

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

717 posts in 3416 days

#5 posted 11-18-2018 04:59 PM

I imagine with this setup there is a point where if you are cutting something under 2-3 inches wide you lose your space to use a push stick and have to abandon them.
- kocgolf

I understand your point, and it has been in my mind also. Maybe the solution would be to use a ‘pusher’ rather than a standard push stick.
A standard push stick has to have a means of applying top down pressure as well as forward push, but in this system the wheels are doing all of the sideways and downwards pressure work.
Therefore, a ‘pusher’ could be a plain stick – of section less than that of the workpiece – that just moves the workpiece forwards, under the wheels.
I just tried this, and it was not brilliant. On shorter pieces, a second stick would probably be needed to press down on the workpiece in the space between the two wheels – which would be over the saw blade!
I guess that using a push stick on the ‘outside’ of the blade would leave the part on the inside rubbing against the blade on the completion of the cut – a potential kickback projectile unless I install the anti-kickback bearings..
I therefore agree that cutting narrow strips might require some ingenuity.
Luckily the first cut for my rebate does not go all the way through the workpiece so I CAN push on the outside, and I should have room for a proper push stick on the second cut.

-- Don, Somerset UK,

View swirt's profile


4746 posts in 3607 days

#6 posted 11-19-2018 02:54 AM

Clever. I saw that video and was tempted to make a pair. Now I am even more tempted :)

-- Galootish log blog,

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

717 posts in 3416 days

#7 posted 11-22-2018 03:18 PM

Well, I tried putting compression springs between the wheel bearing block and the long clamp, after counterboring the block to allow longer springs to be used. As I feared, the fact that the block was no longer fixed solidly to the clamp – and because the wheel is off to the side of the block – the wheel assembly tilted sideways as pressure was applied. Although the system still appeared to be working, it looked ‘unreliable’ to me.

I tried using smaller wheels, mounted between plates fixed to each side of the block so that they were ‘in line’, but again the block and wheel assembly twisted as the workpiece was pushed through.

Having given up on my ‘improvements’, I tried cutting the required rebate in a 2.4m (8 ft) length of timber, and it came out very well – nice clean cut and no burn marks. It took me a while to develop a method of setting up, which resolved into lowering a wheel onto the workpiece and slightly tightening the long clamp, then removing the workpiece before tapping the clamp down a ‘tinge’ and fully tightening the clamp. The ‘give’ in the system may not be as efficient, but does appear to do the work of springs quite satisfactorily.

-- Don, Somerset UK,

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics