Table saw fence straigtness

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Forum topic by BalsaWood posted 04-01-2019 10:14 PM 332 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View BalsaWood's profile


157 posts in 1665 days

04-01-2019 10:14 PM

How straight should a table saw fence be? I have an older Delta T2 fence and when I put a straight edge next to it, I notice an extremely tiny bow on it. It is very hard to see the gaps on the ends of the fence but they are there.

7 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


2480 posts in 2305 days

#1 posted 04-01-2019 11:14 PM

For me I like a very flat fence on all my machines. How sure are you about your straight edge.

-- Aj

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5350 posts in 2816 days

#2 posted 04-01-2019 11:29 PM

I always put a auxiliary wooden fence on my table saw to save the orginal in case of a mishap. You shim it straight if need be.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View BalsaWood's profile


157 posts in 1665 days

#3 posted 04-01-2019 11:30 PM

It is a 32” machinest straight edge. The only way I can see the really tiny gaps on the edge of the table saw fence is if I put the straight edge along the length of the fence and then put pressure on one end of the straight edge.

View cjfarmer's profile


80 posts in 220 days

#4 posted 04-01-2019 11:51 PM

Yea verily the only good fence is an arrow straight one. Check it with your best reference. I put a dial indicator on a .750 piece of steel drilled and tapped to accept the base for the indicator. Picky? Yes. But a good straight edge is also a quick way to check. Most framing sqares are straight when new. They get bent and beat up on jobsites so i dont trust them. But an accessory fence shimmed dead straight is your best bet. I make a double sided fence to drop down on top of my saw fence and use it for rabbetting and mortising until its chewed up and just replace it.

-- Who is we and where is here? - bullwinkle

View clin's profile


1067 posts in 1503 days

#5 posted 04-02-2019 12:07 AM

You say you have “really tiny gaps”. Get out a set of measuring shims and measure the gap(s). Sounds like it bows out in the middle. So lay the straight flush to the front and see how far out it is at the where it would line up with the back of the blade. I think to a reasonable degree that would give you the best estimate of the largest error you might get. Obviously a lot depends to the length of the board you’re running through.

There are of course issues beyond errors in a cut like binding, burning or blade marks. But unless you actually have a problem or suspect you are, I wouldn’t worry too much about solving the “problem”. Unless of course it just bugs the hell out of you knowing it’s there.

I also like things perfect, but there can be a point where you can get carried away. Heck, that same fence might be dead straight if the temperature in your shop changes 5 degrees.

-- Clin

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


499 posts in 286 days

#6 posted 04-02-2019 12:16 AM

I don’t know how big “tiny” is to you. I would not chase tiny as it would in my use of the term generally exceed the tolerance of the projects the tool is used for. Many folks leave the tail of their fence out by 1/64 intentionally. Between calibrations sessions (possibly twice a year) temperature changes and general use puts mine out more than that. Now having the tail of your fence “in” towards the blade in any way shape or form will hurt you, so take the slight out of flatness into consideration and at least put the back portion equally or equally plus 1/64th further with the front rail adjustment.

View Woodknack's profile


12904 posts in 2887 days

#7 posted 04-02-2019 04:41 AM

Probably not a problem at all. My Unifence has a low spot near the blade and it doesn’t seem to affect me at all.

-- Rick M,

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