Tab,e Saw fence usage

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Forum topic by Splinters posted 09-25-2010 04:34 PM 1471 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Splinters's profile


190 posts in 4794 days

09-25-2010 04:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw fence use

What is everyone’s view on which side of the blade the fence should be for left and right handed workers. I was asked the question the other day and hadn’t really thought about it until then. My use is usually dictated by how big the piece I am cutting is and how much table space is needed to safely hold board.

What are your thoughts? Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to this.

-- Splinters - Living and Loving life in the Rockies - -

6 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4830 days

#1 posted 09-25-2010 05:04 PM

I started a similar topic a while back. you might want to check it out.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View knotscott's profile


8364 posts in 3987 days

#2 posted 09-25-2010 07:03 PM

There’s usually more rip capacity on the right side of most saws, and fence to right of the blade is how I’ve seen most setups.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Gary's profile


1443 posts in 4935 days

#3 posted 09-25-2010 08:33 PM

The fence for my Uni can be swapped to either side of the blade.
Typically, it’s on the right side.
But, I’ve got a right-tilt saw, so when ripping angled stuff, the fence goes to the left to avoid trapping.

-- Gary, Florida

View Splinters's profile


190 posts in 4794 days

#4 posted 09-26-2010 02:11 AM

Thanks for the feedback.
Charlie – I actually did a search for this topic before I made the post and nothing came up, that’s why I went ahead and posted it. Guess I didn’t use the right search terms…..
Thanks …I will read your posting and see what I find out….

-- Splinters - Living and Loving life in the Rockies - -

View ChuckV's profile


3264 posts in 4138 days

#5 posted 09-26-2010 02:36 AM

I know that we have been through this before on Charlie’s thread. But A few days ago, I started thinking about position at the table saw again. I normally will stand to the left of the blade with the fence on the right. In this case, I was ripping with the blade tilted at about 30 degrees. I have a left-tilt saw, so the fence was on the right as usual and I was standing in my usual position. I felt like I was right in the line of fire. Because of the tilt of the blade, I was seeing it edge on.

Do people who position themselves as I do change position based on the tilt of the blade?

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View Tom Coster's profile

Tom Coster

120 posts in 3450 days

#6 posted 09-26-2010 02:04 PM

Splinters, thanks for starting this thread. If you hadn’t I wouldn’t have found Charlie’s thread.
When I recently got back into wood butchering I noticed where people were standing. I thought I had been doing it wrong for decades. When I was a kid back in the early ’80 I bought a contractor’s TS and learned on the job. I never used the miter gauge because everyone knew cross cuts were done on a miter saw. I always keep the fence to the left of the blade and stood to the left of the fence. Also was taught the when you ripped the larger side was always positioned between blade and fence. I had lots of kick backs and never once was hit.
Well, when I got my unisaw with 50” extension a few months ago I thought I should teach myself to operate a TS like everyone else, with the fence on the right of the blade. My first mistake was being too embarrassed to bring up the subject of where to stand with anybody that knew better. I just ASSumed that if I stood a little left of the blade I would be out of the blow back zone. I had never use riving knives or guards. They were just butt covering for the manufacturer liability, Right? So I needed to rip 8” 5/4 X 6” PVC plank. Never messed with PVC plank before, kinda neat stuff. What happen was the PVC heated up and the kerf closed behind the blade just as I was finishing the cut. The piece that was on the right side of the blade smashed a bolt bin about 12’ behind me. The piece on the left side of the blade caught me right between the legs. Dropped me like a sack of potatoes. Luckily Delta had the forethought to mount the off switch to the left as I bounced into it on the way down. It took about a week to regain use of the effected appendage. Lesson learned. The fence is still on the right side but I stand to the right of the fence and I now push with my left hand.

-- Tom, MI, SC

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