First Turned Piece: Walnut Table Saw Fence Lock Handle

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Project by MC Creations posted 09-24-2011 03:21 AM 3380 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I can’t remember exactly how the cheap plastic handle on my table saw fence lock broke, but the exposed threads cut into my hands one to many times.

Found a scrap piece of square walnut stock, drilled a hole in the end pretty deep, used a metal tap to cut the threads, chamfered the corners and then locked it into my drill press with the tap all the way threaded in. It took a bit using a file and sanding block, but it ended up fitting my hand perfectly. The extra handle length make locking the fence super easy and comfortable. Long over due.

Finish is Tung Oil and satin poly.

Lessons learned:

1. Gotta make sure that hole is in the dead center of mass when doing the turn-on-the-cheap drill press method. I had no tool rest to force it into being perfectly centered, which caused a lot of vibration.

2. Put as much of the handle over the metal bar as possible. The thread on the fence lock is only about 3/4”. I didn’t think that was enough for repeated locking. So I tapped about 1” of material, which was about 1” past the opening of the handle. It fits REALLY tight and isn’t going anywhere.

3. Use a lathe if ya got one….....

Hope this inspires those without lathes, lol.

-- MC Creations,,

7 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23776 posts in 3716 days

#1 posted 09-24-2011 03:27 AM

Pretty good for not using a lathe. Thanks for sharing…..............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View PurpLev's profile


8554 posts in 4259 days

#2 posted 09-24-2011 03:28 AM

so much better than plastic, cheap or expensive!

nicely done. turning on a DP is a challenge in itself.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 3250 days

#3 posted 09-24-2011 03:39 AM

I like that. Looks custom.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View hasbeen's profile


91 posts in 3296 days

#4 posted 09-24-2011 04:01 AM

Greetings from the socialist capital of America – California.
Why do you think they call it the ‘left’ coast?

Your turning is State – of – the – art neato

If your turning starts to split, you might consider drilling the hole large enough for a
‘coupling’ nut with the correct threads and then using epoxy to secure it to the wood.
Just 1 possibility to make it stronger.

[email protected]
Moreno Valley’s local has-been
Servant of the Living God.

-- I may not have a lot of good ideas, but some of them are just incredible.

View Dusty56's profile


11856 posts in 4299 days

#5 posted 09-24-2011 05:53 AM

Nice job indeed….now I might have to replace my handle even though it isn’t broken : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View StumpyNubs's profile


7799 posts in 3411 days

#6 posted 09-24-2011 02:27 PM

I just stuck a not dog on mine, but yours is nice too…

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View KnotCurser's profile


2033 posts in 3679 days

#7 posted 09-24-2011 06:06 PM

Very nice!

A few years ago I ordered a ShopFox brand fence – Fantastic fence, but the handle was broken in shipping. The company sent me a replacement at no cost, but in the meantime I made my own from a hunk of walnut I found in my scrap bin.

My handle is still on the fence – the new, shiny, plastic one is up on a shelf still in the plastic bag it shipped in. ;-)


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

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