First Turned Piece: Walnut Table Saw Fence Lock Handle

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Project by MC Creations posted 1064 days ago 1940 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I can’t remember exactly how the cheap plastic handle on my table saw fence lock broke, but the exposed threads cut into my hands one to many times.

Found a scrap piece of square walnut stock, drilled a hole in the end pretty deep, used a metal tap to cut the threads, chamfered the corners and then locked it into my drill press with the tap all the way threaded in. It took a bit using a file and sanding block, but it ended up fitting my hand perfectly. The extra handle length make locking the fence super easy and comfortable. Long over due.

Finish is Tung Oil and satin poly.

Lessons learned:

1. Gotta make sure that hole is in the dead center of mass when doing the turn-on-the-cheap drill press method. I had no tool rest to force it into being perfectly centered, which caused a lot of vibration.

2. Put as much of the handle over the metal bar as possible. The thread on the fence lock is only about 3/4”. I didn’t think that was enough for repeated locking. So I tapped about 1” of material, which was about 1” past the opening of the handle. It fits REALLY tight and isn’t going anywhere.

3. Use a lathe if ya got one….....

Hope this inspires those without lathes, lol.

-- MC Creations,,

7 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11299 posts in 1733 days

#1 posted 1064 days ago

Pretty good for not using a lathe. Thanks for sharing…..............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View PurpLev's profile


8476 posts in 2276 days

#2 posted 1064 days ago

so much better than plastic, cheap or expensive!

nicely done. turning on a DP is a challenge in itself.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1267 days

#3 posted 1064 days ago

I like that. Looks custom.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View hasbeen's profile


88 posts in 1312 days

#4 posted 1064 days ago

Greetings from the socialist capital of America – California.
Why do you think they call it the ‘left’ coast?

Your turning is State – of – the – art neato

If your turning starts to split, you might consider drilling the hole large enough for a
‘coupling’ nut with the correct threads and then using epoxy to secure it to the wood.
Just 1 possibility to make it stronger.

Moreno Valley’s local has-been
Servant of the Living God.

-- I may not have a lot of good ideas, but some of them are just incredible.

View Dusty56's profile


11644 posts in 2315 days

#5 posted 1064 days ago

Nice job indeed….now I might have to replace my handle even though it isn’t broken : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View StumpyNubs's profile


6163 posts in 1428 days

#6 posted 1064 days ago

I just stuck a not dog on mine, but yours is nice too…

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at:

View KnotCurser's profile


1812 posts in 1696 days

#7 posted 1063 days ago

Very nice!

A few years ago I ordered a ShopFox brand fence – Fantastic fence, but the handle was broken in shipping. The company sent me a replacement at no cost, but in the meantime I made my own from a hunk of walnut I found in my scrap bin.

My handle is still on the fence – the new, shiny, plastic one is up on a shelf still in the plastic bag it shipped in. ;-)


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

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