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My Wooden Table Saw Fence

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Project by CameronL posted 09-26-2016 01:40 PM 2699 views 9 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As a hobbyist on a very tight budget, I have to look for bargains in used tools. So when I got the opportunity to pick up a vintage Craftsman saw for $35 to replace my el cheapo jobsite saw, I jumped. Of course the downside of most of these old saws is the frustrating fence (if it’s even still with the old saw). Plus my saw didn’t have extension wings, so it had a short rail. After scoring a pair of wings (that I topped with oak flooring to meet the saw top), I could finally address the fence.

I found these plans from John Heisz's IBuildIt site that fit the bill.

The fence and rail are made from 1/2” birch plywood. I’m still tweaking the installation, but it works smooth and locks down pretty secure. Definitely great for the roughly $50 I spent on material vs. several hundred dollars for a commercial fence system. Overall, I’m thrilled with it.

-- -Cameron





15 comments so far

View ChrisK's profile

ChrisK

1809 posts in 2546 days


#1 posted 09-26-2016 02:36 PM

Looks like that will work just fine. Nice job.

-- Chris K

View Grumpymike's profile

Grumpymike

1917 posts in 1780 days


#2 posted 09-26-2016 07:51 PM

Great job on the fence and wings … Now lets see you put them to use on a poject …
I admire your creativity.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View slapdash's profile

slapdash

91 posts in 1689 days


#3 posted 09-26-2016 08:45 PM

Wow! I love it!

-- I'm not creative, I'm just bad at copying

View SLT's profile

SLT

10 posts in 1324 days


#4 posted 09-26-2016 11:36 PM

It looks wonderful

View 01ntrain's profile

01ntrain

146 posts in 535 days


#5 posted 09-27-2016 12:54 AM

Love it! Is that a VW motor case in the background?

View CameronL's profile

CameronL

7 posts in 201 days


#6 posted 09-27-2016 10:13 AM



Love it! Is that a VW motor case in the background?

- 01ntrain

It is! I’m rebuilding (very slowly) a 1962 ragtop bug.

-- -Cameron

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

2384 posts in 742 days


#7 posted 09-27-2016 12:31 PM

Nice. I think the plan for this fence first appeared in Wood Magazine. Although John Heisz’s may have made some improvements … I don’t know. When I get home this evening I’ll see if I still have the old issue and post some pictures. Back when I bought new Craftsman 113 in the 80s (belt drive, with cast iron top) every hobbyist had one and you would see many adaptions and jigs for them. I had always wanted to make such a fence system for my Craftsman 113, except I have never had an issue with the fence. So I have not bothered. Am I the only one?

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

9146 posts in 2332 days


#8 posted 09-27-2016 05:14 PM

Very nice and efficient.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View 3ForFred's profile

3ForFred

11 posts in 2158 days


#9 posted 09-27-2016 09:20 PM

I’ve been thinking about making one of these myself as I have the same Craftsman table saw and the same maddening fence. John Heisz always makes things look really easy. Did you have any problems making this?

View 3ForFred's profile

3ForFred

11 posts in 2158 days


#10 posted 09-27-2016 09:22 PM



Nice. I think the plan for this fence first appeared in Wood Magazine. Although John Heisz s may have made some improvements … I don t know. When I get home this evening I ll see if I still have the old issue and post some pictures. Back when I bought new Craftsman 113 in the 80s (belt drive, with cast iron top) every hobbyist had one and you would see many adaptions and jigs for them. I had always wanted to make such a fence system for my Craftsman 113, except I have never had an issue with the fence. So I have not bothered. Am I the only one?

- Combo Prof

You might be the only one, Don. I am constantly having to adjust mine to make sure it isn’t pinching at the back of the blade. My brother had the same problem with his until he upgraded the fence as well.

View CameronL's profile

CameronL

7 posts in 201 days


#11 posted 09-27-2016 09:37 PM


I ve been thinking about making one of these myself as I have the same Craftsman table saw and the same maddening fence. John Heisz always makes things look really easy. Did you have any problems making this?

- 3ForFred


It’s pretty straight forward. Just a bunch of straight cuts, all 1/2” plywood. Just make sure everything is square, and mirrored pieces are identical. Take extreme care the fence’s sides are square to the table top. I’m a rank amateur and pulled it off, but there was a little more shimming than should have been necessary.

Attaching the rail to the table is the most nerve racking part. The part of the rail the fence clamps to is adjustable to make the fence square to the blade.

-- -Cameron

View 3ForFred's profile

3ForFred

11 posts in 2158 days


#12 posted 09-27-2016 11:43 PM

Nothing amateur about the outcome. Well done. I’m now inspired.

Thanks!

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7922 posts in 1845 days


#13 posted 09-28-2016 04:47 AM


Nice. I think the plan for this fence first appeared in Wood Magazine. ... I ll see if I still have the old issue and post some pictures.

- Combo Prof

Popular Mechanics featured John Heisz’ wood fence on their website, could you be thinking of that? Or did you find the issue?

I own John Heisz’ belt grinder plan and it is highly detailed and thorough. I believe he spends a considerable amount of time developing, perfecting, and creating plans for these things.

Cameron, that is a good looking saw and fence. Well done!

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

5730 posts in 2832 days


#14 posted 09-28-2016 03:38 PM

I aree, great looking fence, now you should be able to make some nice projects!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View RexS's profile

RexS

15 posts in 54 days


#15 posted 10-14-2016 12:56 PM

I found these same plans a couple weeks ago and I am looking to make one of these myself very soon.
Nice work!!

-- RexS, Willaimsburg, Va

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