Another DIY table saw fence question.

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Forum topic by Derrick posted 10-24-2016 08:14 PM 1574 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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84 posts in 1280 days

10-24-2016 08:14 PM


I’ve been looking through different options for fence systems for my Craftsman 113.xxxx. I believe it was built in 1981.
I’ve been looking at different options for upgrading my fence system. There are lots of options/opinions here to choose from.

The first one that I came across was from Hutch:
This one looks awesome, and has been proven to work well. The “issue” I’m seeing is when it’s all said and done, pricewise, it’s not much less than a Delta T2. I was even able to price out the 8020 extrusions locally, and it didn’t help matters at all.

I also found the one from Ibuildit.
The fence system seems pretty well designed, I’m just not sure how I feel about the durability over a long period of time. I’m fairly certain I saw a member here recently who made one, and the end product looked nice. I would guess that the price is better than any of the other options. I’m not totally ruling it out, but I think I’d rather have a fence built out of steel or aluminum.

One I found recently is from Joe Emenaker:
I did like I always do, and searched it over here. A couple threads came up, but they were just questions(I guess similar to my thread).
The idea seems cool. The prices listed on the webpage, don’t reflect what I’d pay locally for steel, but they’re not so far off. All in all, It would be in the $100/$150 range for all of the steel(unless I was able to find scrap).
Does anyone see an issue with this DIY fence? It doesn’t seem that far off from the one at VSC Tools:, except that everything is done from scratch, and the use of aluminum extrusion for the fence. The pricing between the two is quite a bit different, but VSC is already built, so that makes sense.

I found this on another forum:

It seems similar, but simpler than the then the one from Joe Emenaker. What I worry about is the locking mechanism for the fence. It seems like after time, it would start to dent the tubing. I could be completely wrong about that though. This poster mentioned over 30 years of use, and other than the paint being worn away, it doesn’t look too bad.

I guess I just can’t see putting $3-$400 dollars into an awesome fence on a $50 table saw. I keep my eyes open on Craigslist and Offerup, but if something doesn’t turn up, I’d like to have a backup plan.

Does anyone have any opinions on any of these options?

Thank you.


8 replies so far

View ErichK's profile


80 posts in 805 days

#1 posted 10-24-2016 09:53 PM

For $100—150, a new T3 is only slightly more. I’d say keep an eye on craigslist. I’ve got a used T3 I’ve been trying to get rid of forever, and doubt I’ll get those prices for it.

View Derrick's profile


84 posts in 1280 days

#2 posted 10-25-2016 01:20 AM

For $100—150, a new T3 is only slightly more. I d say keep an eye on craigslist. I ve got a used T3 I ve been trying to get rid of forever, and doubt I ll get those prices for it.

- ErichK

CL is 9 times in 10 my first choice. I will definitely keep an eye out. I looked at the price for a T3, and the fence alone is fairly cheap. I’m not totally opposed to just doing a fence, but I was thinking of doing the fence and the rails all in one shot.

I’ll definitely keep that in mind though.

Thank you for the tip!!

View Woodknack's profile


12369 posts in 2521 days

#3 posted 10-25-2016 06:25 PM

I doubt you will build a steel fence system cheaper than you can buy one, especially not if you include your time building, testing, fiddling, tweaking, etc. The wood fence from Heisz is cheap and simple enough for occasional use, otherwise I would just buy one. The fence is the most important part of a saw. A crappy saw with a great fence will outperform a great saw with a crappy fence.

-- Rick M,

View 01ntrain's profile


257 posts in 1212 days

#4 posted 10-25-2016 06:40 PM

Rick is right. Just buy the T2 or T3. I think you’re over-thinking it.

I had that saw years ago with a real Biesemeyer fence, and like yourself, agonized over putting an expensive fence on a cheaper saw….but you know what? It’s what I could afford at the time, and in the long-run it worked out for me. It will for you, too.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3789 days

#5 posted 10-25-2016 07:22 PM

View HokieKen's profile


6246 posts in 1280 days

#6 posted 10-25-2016 07:59 PM

Rick hit the nail on the head. Unless you buy in large quantity or “have a guy” the materials for a decent fence are not going to be much less than a manufactured fence. I’m all for DIY and shop-built tools and jigs but, it’s just not feasible to make a good, solid fence at low cost and with the tools most of us have in our shops. This isn’t the place to be thrifty.

YMMV of course, and I’d love to be proven wrong!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View CameronL's profile


15 posts in 878 days

#7 posted 10-25-2016 08:17 PM

I made the I Build It fence.
I’m only a casual woodworker, so I can’t vouch for durability, but I’m thrilled with it. Cost is dirt cheap, just less than half a sheet of 1/2” ply, a big bolt for the cam lever, and small piece of 1” x 1/8” steel (about 4” long). Add is some scrap hardwood for a pointer, glues and screws, and a stick-on ruler. I bought everything outright, and I don’t think I spent $75 (plus $15 for the plans).

You could try it out, then save up for a heavier duty fence.

-- -Cameron

View 01ntrain's profile


257 posts in 1212 days

#8 posted 10-25-2016 09:35 PM

Personally, I don’t care how many people chime in with I built this, or you can build this, etc. etc.

A smooth, positively-locking, and accurate heavy-duty fence is the heart of the saw. I wouldn’t bet my PERSONAL SAFETY on ANY of these DIY-fences. I don’t care how many Youtube videos you watch.

I don’t know what you do for a living, but for 20+ years I worked in Industrial Maintenance, so I kinda know my way around a machine or two….I wouldn’t even attempt it. There just is no substitute for a fence that is manufactured by companies that have doing it for years.

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