saw table design challenge

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by lovinmrv posted 04-05-2010 02:23 PM 1249 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View lovinmrv's profile


101 posts in 3089 days

04-05-2010 02:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question humor table saw

I posted this in my blog (twice actually), but thought that it might be more apropos in here…......

I never cease to amaze myself.
First, I now understand why most of you build these marvelous work shop cabinets (I think). Building these items for the shop lets you (me, most assuredly) practice on your skills, be they joint making, finishing, etc. using less exotic stock and without experimenting on a customer’s project.

OK, I get that. First lesson learned: A bunch of “close enoughs” eventually add up to drawer boxes that are too wide. Next step: try to fix them or break down and buy a couple more boards and start over.
Second lesson learned: Tool setup is the biggest consumer of time. Whether you use the table saw or router, that precise 1/2” dado 1/4” deep takes a while to get right (or was it 1/4” by 1/2”?)

My mother told me that, if you need to describe an activity as a learning experience, something has gone seriously wrong.

Well, I just encountered a learning experience.

As you may or not recall, I am building this:

in preparation for building my kitchen cabinets. Frankly, I’ve been doing OK. I have figured out how to wrestle 4X8 sheets of 3/4 mdf onto the saw and make accurate cuts (out-feed table, coming right up!). I have built the cabinet boxes, sourced drawer slides ( ), glued, screwed and tatooed most everything. I have even restored one of my dad’s old Stanley planes (number 9, I believe) and planed the drawer box boards to thickness.

So, today I decided that it was time to test mount the table saw. I assembled the appropriate pieces and attached the saw base. Then I cut the hole for the dust collector….ooops, too far to the right…cut a piece to fill in one side, extend the hole 2” to the left. Then I removed the saw from the its stand (only 4 bolts, really?) and set it on its place of honor, ready to adjust the height to make sure the saw table was flush with the new extension table.

While raising the saw with assorted pieces of scrap, I noticed something peculiar about the cabinet and the 27” X 51” top that extends the work table. I looked once, twice, measured once, twice…three times. Sure enough, THE TABLE AND CABINET ARE 2-3” WIDER THAN THE SAW TABLE!!! The rip fence guide tubes are abruptly stopped by the cabinet, or table top, depending on how high you raise the saw.

This gives me 2 choices (well, 3 actually, if you count pounding on my ankle with my hammer). I can rip the cabinet apart and trim it down to fit, or I can re-work the rip fence guide rails to fit the new, wider cabinet. This would involve, at a minimum, getting a new, longer rip fence and re-positioning the guide rails. The fence that is on the saw (a delta 10”, low buck saw) rides on two 1 1/8” OD steel tubes.

I think plan B is the way to go, so I ask you jocks for some sage advice (BTW, getting a new saw or selling all my tools before I hurt myself are not acceptable options).

1. Can I extend the length of my rip fence?
2. Are there plans in here (or anywhere) that any of you have experience with to make your own guide rail/rip fence system?

I eagerly await your response.

Oh, another lesson learned: Measure thrice, buy once.

-- Life is a sales job.

4 replies so far

View Tim_456's profile


170 posts in 3625 days

#1 posted 04-05-2010 04:32 PM

I think I understand the problem, but let me make sure. Your table saw fence system has a front and back guide rail system and since the cabinet is 2-3” deeper (as you look at the saw) than the saw you can’t align both the front and the back rails. If that’s the problem you could go with the Bessy fence that’s in the picture. I have that on my saw and while it has a rear rail to align things the actual fence doesn’t need it; it only needs the front rail. So, you could align the front of the cabinet with the front of the saw and then somehow shim the back of the saw or the back of the cabinet to mount the rear rail.

A picture of the problem might help as well because I may be confusing what the problem is.

View lovinmrv's profile


101 posts in 3089 days

#2 posted 04-05-2010 04:52 PM


you have stated the problem accurately…pics are here:

-- Life is a sales job.

View Tim_456's profile


170 posts in 3625 days

#3 posted 04-05-2010 07:29 PM

Nice pix and cabinet! :D bummer about the extra inches though. I’ll continue my arm-chair mr. fixit. Since the back of your tablesaw looks flat and in the same plane as the table top. You could build a box that extends the back of the saw out the extra 4-5 in it looks like it’ll take to line up the saw with your cabinet. You’d have to cut out for the blade gaurd post hannging off the back and the miter gauge, but that could work and could let you use the guide rails on the back with your existing fence.

Or you could use a Beisemeyer style fence that really only needs the front to line up. I think a new Beisemeyer fence system is pretty pricey ($500?) but there might be alternatives that are cheaper or you could get one used. From the picture of the model you have, you can see that fence system doesn’t have any rear rail requirements for the fence to work. I have one on my saw and I love it.

Oh, as for making a fence system yourself, my two cents is to avoid that. I’m sure there are metal workers and such that could recreate one of these but given that your rip accuracy is dependanct on that and that if it’s off it could be hazardous (kick-back), at least for me, having a commercially available one is kind of a deal maker/breaker. Just my $0.02.

I hope it works out and you post pictures of how you solve the problem. Hopefully I’ve added some value.

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

453 posts in 3034 days

#4 posted 04-05-2010 08:22 PM

Tim sounds like he has it right, just the front of the saw needs to be aligned and attached using the front Biesmeyer bar. The back end of the fence just rides on the table. The back rail included with the fence is so you can build your own table in between and hold it up using the front and back rail on a freestanding saw. (and a leg on the end of course.) Unless it bothers you I wouldn’t take anything apart to fix that.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics