Homemade tablesaw fence

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Forum topic by willy3486 posted 01-12-2011 09:27 PM 11282 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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77 posts in 3397 days

01-12-2011 09:27 PM

This is a question pertaining to homemade tablesaw fences. I am wanting to make a homemade tablesaw fence for mine. I have a 70s? model I think of the powermatic 66 tablesaw. Its a great saw except for the fence on it. It has the old round tubes for rails that the fence slides on. I can tighten it down and many times the fence moves as I am sawing. Anyway I have been looking at Rockler and they have some aluminum multitrack pieces for jigs. I was wondering if anyone had made one using this. Or if you have one you made I would love to see it. I am a hobbyist type woodworker and paying 200-1000 for a fence is way over budget. Anyway I am doing more woodworking lately and was wondering is anyone new a simple homemade fence setup that worked?

19 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3648 days

#1 posted 01-12-2011 09:35 PM

I have seen some folks making homemade fences using 8020 aluminum extrusions and linear bearings. honestly, for materials and time to build it I am not sure it’ll cost you any less than the $200 you mentioned.

you can look into getting the Delta T2 fence or the Shopfox fence which are both a lighter-duty version of the Biesmier fence they are sub 200 as far as I remember.

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

View Loren's profile


10401 posts in 3647 days

#2 posted 01-12-2011 09:38 PM

Compared to paying list, making your own fence might make sense
if the project interests you. I’ve seen used fences for sale from
time to time for under $150 – look on Ebay and check the different

Furthermore, I’ve seen a lot of used contractors saws sold for under
$200 with nice Biesemeyer-style fences on them. People sell them
cheap because they take up a lot of space. I’d buy one of those saws,
switch the fences, and resell it.

I saw a design for a wood Biesemeyer copy and it looked solid. I think
it was in Fine Woodworking. Also there are numerous designs around
that require welding, which you may not want to get into.

Some guys are building stuff with 80-20 extrusions, which look good
but don’t save you much money on such projects.

View Viktor's profile


464 posts in 3418 days

#3 posted 01-12-2011 10:07 PM

Here is an example
ebay is a great source for 8020 components

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2983 days

#4 posted 01-12-2011 10:13 PM

This what your looking for?

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View willy3486's profile


77 posts in 3397 days

#5 posted 01-14-2011 05:15 AM

I will study those. I would like to make it as simple but accurite as I can. Do you remember which issue in fine woodworking it was in Loren? If not ,no big problem. I don’t mind welding some but to mill and stuff I don’t have that capabillity. I was thinking of a design that may use “L” shaped angle iron for the rails. I saw one that a guy made from a book . One of the woodworking magazines made a small book they sold that had it in it. I think it was sold in the 90s . Anyway it was one of the fences but it was made out of all wood. It looked really nice and used the “L” angle iron for the rails. I would love to see plans similar to that. I have the ability to do that. I can weld up some but I am limited to a 220 Lincoln arc welder and a CH 110 arc welder. No milling or precise tools to cut parts out of metal. I do have a small bench metalworking lathe but its for aluminum and soft metals. I am setting up my shop to do woodworking more and in no hurry at the present. I hope to redo the tablesaw and redo the cart I have it on. I hope to extend the table out and make it wider. Thanks for hte ideas out there.

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3722 days

#6 posted 01-14-2011 05:22 AM

There are designs and step by step instructions for a wooden Biesemeyer in a book titled “Shop Tested Woodworking Tools You Can Make.” Made mine a few years ago and have had no complaints with it since I built it.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View willy3486's profile


77 posts in 3397 days

#7 posted 01-14-2011 05:51 AM

Hey brianinpa. I looked at your profile and I think your tablesaw is the one set up I saw years ago. It was on a personal site and had a lot of good stuff on it. I was wondering if that was your site and do you still have it online? IT was a good site I had bookmarked but I lost it. It had a lot of good ideas on it. Thanks.

View Lochlainn1066's profile


138 posts in 2777 days

#8 posted 01-14-2011 09:46 AM

I built my own table saw fence. My saw (bought at auction) came with 2 fences, neither of which fit it.

There are plans for Biesemeyer style fences out there. If you are handy with a welder and can get steel stock, they can be cheap to put together.

I don’t particularly like mine, not because it doesn’t work (it works perfectly well) but because of some design shortcuts I made to use steel I already had. If I get the free time (and money) I’m going to do it over.

If you have a 27” table, I still have the Shop Fox Classic fence that came with my saw, minus rails, which are still available through Grizzly. I’d sell it.

-- Nate,

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3722 days

#9 posted 01-14-2011 02:34 PM

Wasn’t my site, but I know which one you are writing about.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View cutmantom's profile


405 posts in 3034 days

#10 posted 01-14-2011 03:30 PM

could the existing fence be worked on the fix the problem

View mpounders's profile


875 posts in 2895 days

#11 posted 01-14-2011 05:25 PM

Here is a link to mine . I used angle iron and squared block for the front rail and turned the angle iron upside down for the rear rail. The fence itself is just a large T-square that uses a cross dowel and threaded screw to push a lever that clamps it to the front rail. The back rail has a toggle clamp to lock it down after the front is locked. I built in some adjusting screws in the T-square so that I could make it perfectly parallel to the blade, but I haven’t had to change it in 20 years. I added a T track to the top of the fence and use some anti-kickback wheels. Oh , I stuck a ruled tape on the front also. It is very accurate, always square, and adjusts smoothly with one finger.

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3286 days

#12 posted 01-14-2011 06:03 PM

Before you spend money and time you might try to adjust the fence you have. There should be a screw on the outfeed side that can be tightened for more tension. I have used that fence in production for years, although I do have a Biesmeyer now. It should lock down tight unless something is broken. I will have to look at my old fence to see. I’m not where the saw is right now.

I agree it’s not the best fence in the world, but I’m not sure you can build anything better as cheap as you want.


View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3662 days

#13 posted 01-14-2011 06:59 PM

I would sure second Kent’s advice on this … there are a lot of those saws with that same fence still in use in production operations all over the world. Adjusting or repairing what you have could be a lot less of a hassle than building your own.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Loren's profile


10401 posts in 3647 days

#14 posted 01-14-2011 07:06 PM

willy3486”Do you remember which issue in fine woodworking it was in Loren? If not ,no big problem.”

_ Of course not, but I think it may be in one of the Fine Woodworking
compiliations on jigs or machine modifications. I’ll have a look. It did
use an angle-iron for the rail I think. The author made the point that
while the wooden fence may not be up to production-shop standards,
for his use it was reliable and accurate enough.

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3106 days

#15 posted 01-14-2011 07:40 PM

For a bout $150 you can get a Delta T-2 fence. Cheaper and faster than trying to make one. I love mine. Check out Amazon.

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

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