[I think there should be a separate forum for Jigs, Customizations, and Accessories made by Lumberjocks… one in which there is enough information presented to make one like it. Until I figure out how to suggest it, I’ll start a blog series for my own.]
The Problem, and Developing a Solution
In revamping my table saw, I needed a shelf under the right-side extension table which is almost as big as the table itself, about 44×26”. I offer this axiom: your extension table and fence system are always too short to build a table or shelf of the same size as the extension table. Indeed, with the rails shifted 8” to the right of the standard installation, my Incra TS-LS is capable of only 40” wide cross-cuts.
My extra-deep cross-cut sled goes up to 24.5”, sigh. Scratching my head, one solution was to remove the Incra fence carrier and clamp down a strip of 3/4” plywood a couple of inches thick. I spotted a piece of green-laminated table top material that was cut off when I fit the table to the space – but did not discard, because it seemed too nice, even if it was a bit scratched up.
Next thought: I’ll need to make long cross-cuts from time to time, so a erusable jig is in order. How about taking advantage of the slots on top of the rails for the Incra fence? Just need a couple of t-bolts and knobs… and a shim the thickness that is the same as the space between the top of the table and the top of the rail (about 5/8”).
Then: 99.99% of the time I use it, I’ll want a cross-cut at 90 degrees. So for one shim, I could make it long to work as a carpenter’s square and have it self-squaring. That will speed up the setup considerably.
I resawed a 3/4” MDF strip to 5/8” thick, and trimmed the sides of the old table top material (it has a nice maple edge, but it’s old, so it needed freshening up). Got out the jig hardware, some screws, and some glue.
I clamped the long shim with my carpenter’s square on top, making sure they were aligned with the fence rail. Then I clamped the fence over the shims, aligning it with the carpenter’s square, as close to 90 degrees as I could get it. I drilled 4 holes, unclamped long enough to apply glue on two surfaces, and re-aligned for final assembly, screwed in the screws.
You’ll notice that I didn’t REALLY expand the cutting length of the Incra fence. Instead, I used the excellent rails with my own fence. Where the maximum cross-cut with the standard installation of TS-LS is 42 inches with this jig. I have shifted the rails 8 inches right from standard, allowing up to 40 inches with their fence, and with this fence I can cut up to 50 inches. I don’t have the famous Incra accuracy, but it is amazingly square, according to my carpenter’s square, for the piece of plywood I wanted to cross-cut (see first photo below).
Here’s the result, in use:
The jig, by itself:
Detail of the rear side of the jig (from above). Note that “rear side” means the side that attaches to the rail at the rear of the table saw.
Detail of the rear side of the jig (from below):
Detail of the front side of the jig:
-- Mark, hack amateur woodworker, Medford (greater Boston) MA