|Project by Ken Reed||posted 10-31-2010 07:13 PM||9701 views||30 times favorited||14 comments|
I sold my old cast iron radial arm saw a few years ago and replaced it with a big Makita miter saw. The miter saw doesn’t have quite the same capacity for cross cutting, but is a much more useful tool and I don’t have to open the window it use it.
I never liked the old fence as it stood up above the bench, effectively reducing the bench’s usefulness by more than half for other projects. I ripped that fence off and built this one that is inlet into the top of the bench and uses aluminum t-track. The setup is quite simple, but quite useful. I used a couple of scraps of walnut to make the stop. I mounted a ball bearing hinge to it so that I could swing the stop out of the way, allowing me to trim one end with the stop up, then flip the stop down for the cut to length action. It’s very accurate because of the embedded tape that reads both metric and Imperial. I glued the tape down very close to where I needed it and then fine tuned the whole thing by moving the saw a bit to get it square and the proper distance, which is read directly off of the tape…you don’t have to mark the board you’re cutting at all. For short cuts I use another piece of scrap that is cut to exactly 20” long and is saved in the cabinet when not in use.
I used a ball bearing hinge, partly because I already happened to have one, but mostly because there is no play in it so that makes it accurate every time.
Best of both worlds: a bench that’s actually useful when you need a big flat space, and an accurate fence for the miter box.