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Magnetic Table Saw Fence

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Project by X541 posted 07-23-2011 06:28 AM 13697 views 53 times favorited 46 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s my most recent shop project. It’s a magnetic switch table saw fence. My table saw’s old fence was never consistent, and I hated the front to back clamp system. I’d love a Biesemeyer fence and the front alignment, but they’re definitely too pricey/fancy for my used Craftsman contractor saw. I was bent on building a custom fence that locked onto a front rail. When thinking of what to use as the front rail, I realized the milled front edge of a table saw top is as accurate as any rail I can attach to it. That’s how I ended up with the magnetic table saw fence idea. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it on the site or anywhere else.

The fence is designed with two switchable magnets that secure it to the front edge of the table saw. The two magnets allow this fence to always stay in alignment no matter where the fence is along the front edge of the table. The fence can be tweaked by loosening and re-tightening a couple bolts. I picked up the switchable magnets from Harbor Freight Tools for about 12 bucks a piece. (I would have used Magswitch magnets but remember, this thing wasn’t suppose to be fancy.) The faces of the fence are cut from leftover maple engineered wood flooring. I also custom cut a pistol grip handle to aid with alignment.

The fence works well. The fence has minimal flex when pressure is applied. The magnets are rated at 45 lbs a piece which adds up to 90 lbs of force holding this fence to the table! I was pretty satisfied with the results, and it sure beats shelling out $400 bucks for a new fence. Enjoy.





46 comments so far

View X541's profile

X541

26 posts in 1340 days


#1 posted 07-23-2011 06:33 AM

I do plan on adding an adhesive scale for alignment purposes. Most likely on the surface near the front edge, unless I think of something else.

View DaddyT's profile

DaddyT

267 posts in 2198 days


#2 posted 07-23-2011 06:36 AM

Thats AWESOME!! I been looking for something( Im cheap too) like this for my saw, cause if I bought a Biesmeyer Id feel really stupid being as the fence would have cost more than my saw did lol. Thanks for sharing this and I will be using this idea

-- Jimi _ Measure twice, cut once.......@#%#$@!!!......measure twice, cut....

View spunwood's profile

spunwood

1194 posts in 1524 days


#3 posted 07-23-2011 06:44 AM

Well executed and great idea

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View X541's profile

X541

26 posts in 1340 days


#4 posted 07-23-2011 07:14 AM

-bentlyj… I have so many ideas that I’d love to patent. I just wish it didn’t cost upwards $5000-$10,000.
-DaddyT… I feel the same way (fancy fence and used contractor saw.) This is about as simple and accurate as you can get.

View Viktor's profile

Viktor

448 posts in 2107 days


#5 posted 07-23-2011 07:42 AM

Brilliant. A rare case of actual innovation. Simple and eliminates redundant parts (rail). Go get a patent before Delta and alike steals it. No, seriously. The fence can’t move beyond the table, as is the case with extended rails. This is the only drawback.

OK, you have extension wings. Less of a drawback then.

View llwynog's profile

llwynog

283 posts in 1267 days


#6 posted 07-23-2011 10:21 AM

Very good idea.
And even if you had problems with flexing, you could simply add a 3rd magnet at the end of the fence (which would contact the surface of the table itself, as opposed to its side). This way, you could still use the fence as it is with 2 magnets and engage the 3rd one when extra accuracy is needed.

-- Fabrice - "On est bien bête mais on sent bien quand on se fait mal" - my grandfather

View billculpepper's profile

billculpepper

66 posts in 1652 days


#7 posted 07-23-2011 02:05 PM

That….is….too….cool….
Very nice job.

-- Bill Culpepper, Indiana

View woodklutz's profile

woodklutz

221 posts in 1456 days


#8 posted 07-23-2011 02:39 PM

THAT IS A GREAT. PLEASE PROTECT YOUR IDEA, IT IS TOO GOOD TO NOT BE ABLE TO CAPITALIZE ON.+
YOU CAN ALWAYS LOOK FOR A VENTURE PARTNER TO HELP WITH THE EXPENSE. GET AN ATTORNEY.

-- honing my craft one mistake at a time.

View IdeaBill's profile

IdeaBill

9 posts in 1295 days


#9 posted 07-23-2011 02:42 PM

very good Idea

View mtenterprises's profile

mtenterprises

830 posts in 1381 days


#10 posted 07-23-2011 02:55 PM

This IS a VERY COOL IDEA!!!! There are several ways to go with it like the magnets on the front or a 3rd on the table top or 2 on the table top also. Or a fence with just magnets on the table top so you could cut coves. GREAT IDEA!!!!!! My hat is off to you!!!!
MIKE

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

View MasterSergeant's profile

MasterSergeant

1296 posts in 1376 days


#11 posted 07-23-2011 03:29 PM

Dittos to all the above statements, well done
I have the exact same saw, and yes it is most difficult to align and keep straight!

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View cranesgonewild's profile

cranesgonewild

344 posts in 1596 days


#12 posted 07-23-2011 03:44 PM

Ingenious!
I love it, and I too can’t justify paying for a fence that would be worth more then my saw.
I’ve thought about making my own fence before with 2 MagSwitches that would mount on the right side of the fence on the table.
Great job with yours.

-- I'm a Fungi --

View Alster's profile

Alster

89 posts in 1902 days


#13 posted 07-23-2011 03:48 PM

Really super slick. Way to think outside the box!

View Wolffarmer's profile

Wolffarmer

393 posts in 1926 days


#14 posted 07-23-2011 03:54 PM

Way to use the ole noggin ( brain for those not use to our slang ) to make a solution for a common problem. What a great idea and one that might lead to many others.

Randy

-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

View beginner1's profile

beginner1

71 posts in 1246 days


#15 posted 07-23-2011 05:14 PM

very good thinking

-- Gerald, Illinois

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