As I was getting to the stage in my door project that required a lot of resawing, I started looking for information on how to do that. On the web and also in the classroom of my local Woodcraft store I saw tall shop-made fences used for resawing. So I decided to build one.
I selected 3/4” melamine for the fence. The melamine faces provide a relatively hard, slick surface for the fence face, and the particle board substrate does not have a propensity to warp. Unfortuantely, the stuff isn’t very stiff. So I decided to use a torsion-box design to provide stiffness. I decided to use pocket hole screws to hold it together.
My bandsaw has a 12” resaw capacity. I have on it a Kreg fence that is 3” tall. I thought it would be a good idea to split the difference and make one side of the fence 9” tall and the other side of the fence 6” tall. That would give me plenty of flexibility to match the height of the fence to the stock to be resawn.
Here is a picture showing the construction of the fence while it is still possible to see the internals.
The width of the spacers between the two fence match the width of the part of the Kreg fence that rides in the fence rail, so the final fence assembly will fit snugly over it as you can see in the next picture below.
Here is the final, assembled fence. I edge-banded the melamine to protect my hands from the sharp edges of the material and to protect the particle board from any moisture. Houston is hot much of the year and pretty much everything runs the risk of getting hit with a good-sized puddle of sweat. The edge banding is cheap, easy to install, and makes the final product look so much better also. I also used a flush trim bit in my router table and a hardboard template to put a 1/2” or so radius on all of the exposed corners.
This picture shows the outfeed end of the fence. I use a clamp to eliminate any wiggle on this end. The length of the bottom spacer was selected so the end of this part would land at the edge of the table.
One of the videos on resawing I found on the web demonstrated the use of a secondary fence to hold the work against the resaw fence. This secondary fence is an alternative to using finger boards, for example, but it requires that the work is planed to uniform thickness. It looked good to me so I made one. I made mine in two parts. One part consists of the fence, two sides, and a base, which bolts to a separate sub-base. This allows me to shim the sub-base as needed to make the fence exactly parallel to the resaw fence. I used dowells to reinforce the joints between the fence and the sides. The plywood sides have a slight bevel.
Originally this secondary fence was a bit taller and also had edge banding on the top of the melamine. When I first used it I discovered that I wanted the edge of the fence to be as close as possible to the front of the bandsaw blade so that it would keep the work up tight against the fence right up to the very last bit of the cut. To get it there it must clear the upper guide. Well, it wouldn’t so I sliced a bit off (changing the position of the upper guide would have required re-tuning the guide bearings because the upper guide does not track the sawblade).
This picture shows the final setup of the fences right before making a cut. The paper you see on the table to the left of the fence was used to shim the fence parallel to the blade. I thought I had everything square – the table square to the blade, and the fence sitting square also, but the fence and blade still weren’t quite parallel.
-- Greg D. -- the price of freedom is tolerance