Micro Adjustable Fence = Always square!

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Project by dakremer posted 02-07-2012 05:26 AM 10075 views 60 times favorited 37 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A recent project (here on lumberjocks) inspired me to make a new cross cut sled….I liked the idea of a fence that you could adjust to square with the blade. I thought the idea used in the linked project was great, but it doesnt seem to allow for very precise changes in the angle of the fence. So this is my idea I came up with for an adjustable fence…..

First I aligned my table saw blade about as close to parallel with my miter slots as possible – I used PALS (see them here) to accomplish this. If you have never seen these little devices before – check them out. They allow you to micro adjust your blade to align with your miter slots. By the end of the fine tuning, it was only about 2-3/1000 off from front to back. I thought that was good enough!

I used a store bought miter slot rail for the base of the sled – these are really easy to use and are very accurate. Good thing about them is that being made of metal they dont expand and contract like wood. In the pictures you can see two little holes drilled into the MDF on the left hand side. This is to allow me to get an allen wrench onto the miter rail and micro-adjust them to get the perfect fit!!

The whole idea of this sled was to always be able to square the fence up with the blade. The fence is made of walnut and maple. The walnut part (towards the back) is secured to the sled with about 10 screws from the bottom. The maple is held in place by two bolts on either end that attach it to the walnut. The idea is that you can adjust the front fence in and out from the back fence to adjust it to square. This allows you to micro adjust the front fence by placing paper or playing cards between the two fences to get it exactly square (or as close to exactly square as you can get). Then you can tighten the bolt and you’re good to go.

Also if the maple (front fence) warps or gets too beat up, you can always replace it with another….so this sled should last for a long time! (hopefully)

By stroke of luck, my two fences are pretty square to the blade without any adjusting with paper. I cut a 14” wide board on it and it was only about 1/64th off square at the end of the 14 inches. I thought that was pretty good – might try and adjust it later….

I WILL be adding some more bulk to the back (where the blade comes out) so I dont accidentally cut my finger off – probably a handle somewhere that is far enough away from the blade that I dont have to be worried. At some point I’ll add some accessories to the sled as well. But for now, I’ll call this one good! Cuts square, and thats the main point!

Let me know what you think of this. Can you think of any problems that might arise from this set up??? Or anything I haven’t thought of?

Thanks for looking!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

37 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118321 posts in 5039 days

#1 posted 02-07-2012 05:38 AM

They are handy tools I have 5 or 6 nice work.


View 1yeldud1's profile


301 posts in 4504 days

#2 posted 02-07-2012 05:50 AM

Just be careful where the blade will exit your sled – PLEASE dont let your “thumb” get into the saw blade !!!!!

View peteg's profile


4438 posts in 4285 days

#3 posted 02-07-2012 05:52 AM

great little jig for fine tuning, well done (even I can understand how this one works) : )

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2080 posts in 4101 days

#4 posted 02-07-2012 05:57 AM

Very nice mod. But you do know you’re never supposed to say always, right ? ;=)

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

View dakremer's profile


2771 posts in 4553 days

#5 posted 02-07-2012 05:57 AM

1yeldud1 – Thanks for the concern! I will be adding more bulk to the back later, and will add a taller handle to keep my fingers away from the blade. Will be adding some accessories as well!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View dakremer's profile


2771 posts in 4553 days

#6 posted 02-07-2012 05:57 AM

yeah I know David…I’m probably asking for it…..

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View jeff's profile (online now)


1458 posts in 4927 days

#7 posted 02-07-2012 06:16 AM

very good idea…thx for posting.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View Gabe C.'s profile

Gabe C.

288 posts in 3803 days

#8 posted 02-07-2012 06:45 AM

Going to have to remember this one. Great job!

-- If I could just get this whole "Time/Money" problem figured out...

View 308Gap's profile


337 posts in 4465 days

#9 posted 02-07-2012 09:17 AM

Cool idea. That pals kit saved my sanity, I used it after the delta repair guy came out and said ” close nuff ” and left. Now the hybrid really is close nuff.

-- Thank You Veterans!

View dubsaloon's profile


623 posts in 4255 days

#10 posted 02-07-2012 09:27 AM

Nice job you have one upped the others with your innovation. Thanks for the Ideas.

-- The works of evil people are not the problem. It is the "Good" people standing by and watching not speaking up. Dubsaloon

View Tyrone D's profile

Tyrone D

314 posts in 3794 days

#11 posted 02-07-2012 11:13 AM

Thanks for posting this!
A crosscut sled is on my list of things to build and I’ll surely build one with a similar design.

-- --Tyrone - BC, Canada "Nothing is ever perfect, we just run out of time."

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 4137 days

#12 posted 02-07-2012 01:49 PM

The thing I like about your design IS the micro adjusting via a shim! This accounts for two variables that I can not control; 1) wood expansion due to humidity 2) MY inability to cut anything 100% square!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4796 days

#13 posted 02-07-2012 05:25 PM

Good one!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Viking's profile


882 posts in 4657 days

#14 posted 02-07-2012 05:52 PM

Great idea Doug! Thanks for sharing with us, we look forward to seeing the final jig with the safety mods.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View NiteWalker's profile


2743 posts in 4038 days

#15 posted 02-07-2012 07:29 PM

Looks great and that’s definitely easier to adjust than the one I made. :)

And thanks for the reminder on the pals. I need to grab a set.
My saw is about .004 out of parallel, and it doesn’t bother me too much, but I know I can do better.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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