DIY Tablesaw Fence

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Project by Patrick posted 02-28-2012 04:18 AM 45972 views 8 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is my cheapskate tablesaw fence! I cannot claim the design on this one, though. Thanks John! The 1/4” aluminum U-channel cost me $30 at a metal shop. I cut a short section off to use as the fence and locking plate. The rest is covered with 3/4” melamine to use as a fence. The front rail is about $15 from the electrical section of your local hardware store and can be cut to whatever length you want. I salvaged the rear locking mechanism off the stock tablesaw fence to eliminate deflection. All in all, it works very well. It’s not perfect, but it is perfectly useable and it only cost around $40.

10 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4543 days

#1 posted 02-28-2012 04:46 AM

View DanceParty's profile


59 posts in 3488 days

#2 posted 02-28-2012 05:22 AM

pretty cool. i have to figure out how to fix my powermatic 66 fence.. since they punched out the bolt holes to mount the uhmw surface, it isn’t flat, especially at the end where it locks which causes my boards to have a slight bow in them when ripping. this will certainly give me some ideas on how to fix it! Very nice!

View rikgn's profile


28 posts in 3897 days

#3 posted 02-28-2012 06:00 AM

You have to admire the genius of the LJ members. Great Job pmcustiom!

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 3272 days

#4 posted 02-28-2012 11:30 AM

Very cool.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 4542 days

#5 posted 02-28-2012 02:59 PM

Nice job !

View Radu's profile


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#6 posted 02-28-2012 03:01 PM

Good job. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

View Patrick's profile


39 posts in 3766 days

#7 posted 02-28-2012 03:24 PM

Here’s a challenge for the LJ community: How can I actuate the front and rear lock with one handle? Remember, the front has to lock first so the fence gets square, then the back.

View Paul Stoops's profile

Paul Stoops

358 posts in 3527 days

#8 posted 02-29-2012 01:36 AM

Very creative! That looks like a really sturdy fence setup.

One possibility for locking the rear of the fence would be to run shaft vertically thru the fence with another toggle latch in a mount on top of the fence. The shaft would have some sort of hook (or maybe use the existing one) to engage the angle on the back edge of the table. However, you might have to make the hook somewhat more substantial than the existing one and the angle might have to be a steel one to withstand the higher loads of the toggle locking mechanism.

To operate, you would position the fence in the desired location and operate the front mounted toggle latch. Then reach to the back of the fence and operate the second top mounted toggle latch to lock down the rear end of the fence.

Some of the older model saws had an internal rod that ran the length of the fence and operated a pivoted arm to lock the back of the fence against the rear support angle. Most of them were locked by either a threaded knob on the front of the fence to pull the rod toward the front of the saw or a pivoted lever that pulled the rod toward the front of the saw and locked down against the front face of the fence. I think a top mounted toggle latch would be simpler.

Let us know what you come up with.

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

View Patrick's profile


39 posts in 3766 days

#9 posted 02-29-2012 02:15 AM

Paul, I probably wasn’t very clear in my description, as I didn’t take much time posting this. This fence does lock front and rear, but there are two separate handles. The upper handle, which locks the rear, isn’t shown in the pics (I took it off so I could disassemble the fence for the pics). A 1/4” threaded rod runs from the rear locking mechanism (which clamps down on the aluminum angle) to the front cam lever. Unfortunately, I can’t think of a simple way to actuate both mechanisms with one handle.

View Paul Stoops's profile

Paul Stoops

358 posts in 3527 days

#10 posted 02-29-2012 03:23 PM

Sorry, I guess I misunderstood your post.

Without some complex mechanism, I can’t think of a simple way to lock both ends of the fence with one handle.
Is it that big of a problem? My Delta Unifence only locks in the front. If I am doing something large which might deflect the fence, I just clamp the rear end of the fence to the rear rail.

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

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