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Gain 10" of Table Saw Rip Capacity Without Drilling

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Blog entry by knotscott posted 02-16-2013 02:54 PM 7464 reads 5 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Feeling a little restricted by your table saw’s small rip capacity, but don’t have the room for a 52” rip setup? If you’ve got a Biesemeyer or Biese clone style fence and a left tilt table saw, it’s very likely that you can gain in the range of 10” of rip capacity for next to no cost, and with minimal effort. There’s not many opportunities to rip on the left side of a left tilting saw, so if you’ve got a steel t-square style fence like a Biesemeyer or similar, you can rob capacity from the left side and add it to the right side by sliding the front rail tube over farther to the right. The same modification could work with a right tilting saw, but you’ll typically loose the ability to rip on the left side of the saw, which is a common practice for bevel cuts with a right tilt saw. The Biesemeyer Commercial, Biesemeyer Homeshop, General T-fence, Jet Xacta, Xacta II, PM Accufence, HTC, Shop Fox Classic, Steel City Industrial, Saw Stop Industrial, Delta T2, Jet ProShop, and several other similarly designed fences should work well. There are three steps involved, steps 1 & 2 are very simple, step 3 is a bit more involved but might not even be necessary depending on your setup….read all three steps before proceeding, and apply common sense as needed….every setup is just a bit different. I’ve successfully added rip capacity to my Biesemeyer Commercial fence, and my Shop Fox Classic fence for final rip capacities of 40” and 36” respectively.

If you pursue expanding the rip capacity by sliding the rail to the right, it might open another opportunity for creating a crosscut extension too.

Step 1: With these fences, the front rail tube is bolted to a steel angle bracket using several bolts. By unbolting the front rail (leave the front angle bracket untouched), you can easily slide the front tube farther to the right by the distance of one bolt hole (assuming the holes are evenly spaced). Then rebolt the tube to the bracket using one less bolt. You’ll basically be cantilevering the rail a bit further beyond the angle bracket. There are usually 4 or 5 bolts involved, so you’ll be reinstalling the tube using only 3 or 4 bolts, which still provides plenty of strength for most common operations. This step can be completed in just a few minutes.

Here’s what the left side of a stock setup should resemble on a Biese/Biese clone style fence. Note where the rail lines up relative to the angle bracket.:

Here’s what it looks like after the rail is slid farther to the right:

Step 2: You’ll need to either reposition or replace the measuring tape if there was previously one adhered to the rail tube. It’s as easy as setting the left face of your fence flush against the blade, marking the rail, then installing the tape so that the zero reference point on the tape lines up near the cursor. Most cursors have fine tuning adjustments so you can dial in the zero mark precisely after the tape is installed. My measuring tape had a max reading of 26”....you can buy a new tape that’s longer, or can get creative and add an extension.

Step 3: Since most of these fences ride along the main table, you’ll need to install an extension table in the newly expanded gap between the front and back angle brackets for the fence to ride on. The options for extension and router tables and methods for installing them are varied and plentiful….you can search Google, LJs, and other forums for ideas. Some of you may already have a stock or shop made extension or a router table installed, so you’re set. Some form of leg support may or may not be necessary depending on the specifics of your saw, but adding them is a safe conservative approach, and isn’t difficult to do.

One caveat is that some of these fences have a rear foot that rides along the rear angle bracket instead of the body of the fence riding on the main table….if that’s the case with your fence, the length of the rear angle bracket will limit how far you can slide the front rail. Work arounds could include removing the rear foot on the fence and adding a nylon pad to slide on the main table, adding a longer rear angle bracket, or moving the angle bracket farther to the right proportionately to the front rail.

Here are some examples of a router/extension tables:

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



11 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5762 posts in 1601 days


#1 posted 02-16-2013 03:13 PM

Thanks for sharing.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13347 posts in 2676 days


#2 posted 02-16-2013 04:11 PM

Thanks for sharing.

View Michael1's profile

Michael1

403 posts in 1663 days


#3 posted 02-16-2013 04:37 PM

Good Post. I did the same thing with my saw and also replaced the stock angle iron in the back of the saw with a new one. I went from a 30” rip capacity to 46”

-- Michael Mills, North Carolina, http://www.scicaskets.com

View swoper's profile

swoper

59 posts in 2228 days


#4 posted 02-16-2013 05:01 PM

Great idea just what I was thinking of, glad to see someone did it first to work out any kinks.

-- Harry, Jackson Mi

View JesseTutt's profile

JesseTutt

853 posts in 1114 days


#5 posted 02-16-2013 05:04 PM

You can also do this with the Incra fence rails.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

8357 posts in 3055 days


#6 posted 02-16-2013 06:42 PM

Lots of good ideas…

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View NormG's profile

NormG

4964 posts in 2007 days


#7 posted 02-16-2013 07:22 PM

Sounds great

-- Norman

View 559dustdesigns's profile

559dustdesigns

633 posts in 2171 days


#8 posted 02-16-2013 08:37 PM

Thanks for sharing. I did this one time, it worked well.

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8800 posts in 3103 days


#9 posted 04-07-2013 10:21 PM

knotscott – good to see you still sharing such high quality information!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2551 posts in 2234 days


#10 posted 09-19-2013 03:27 PM

Thanks for sharing, Scott. I am prepping to build some cabinets so this was top priority on my to do list.

On my Grizzly 1023RLW (w/router extension wing), I discovered the bolt holes in the rear rail don’t match. Two bolts are 16 inches apart, but the hole in the cast iron wing is 17 inches from the one nearest to it. So, instead of relocating the rear rail, I fabricated an extension out of hardwood. I bolted the extension to the table by using the two existing bolts holding the steel rail in place. I had to replace the bolts with longer ones, but that wasn’t a big deal.

I posted pictures and more details in my blog.

Thanks again for sharing the info. It certainly inspired me.
Mike

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View buck_cpa's profile

buck_cpa

132 posts in 891 days


#11 posted 01-23-2014 08:53 PM

has anyone successfully done this with a Ridgid tablesaw? if so, can you please provide a pic or some details.

Thanks for this post.

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