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T-square rip fence design

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Forum topic by jaydubya posted 01-12-2012 06:29 AM 6915 views 1 time favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jaydubya

183 posts in 2276 days


01-12-2012 06:29 AM

Im about to pick up the metal for a shop-built T-square rip fence. Ill either be using 2×2 square or 2×3 rectangle tubing for the front rail. How thick does the metal need to be for the rail. i was thinking 3/16 but I dont know if thats overkill. Obviously thicker metal adds weight and expense and id like to keep both of those down as much as possible. The other options I see are 14ga and 11ga which is basically 1/8. The way i have this designed, the metal fence will ride 1/4 inch above the table and I will use a wood face to extend down to within a few 32nds. Does that seem right?


18 replies so far

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bbjjj

29 posts in 1795 days


#1 posted 01-12-2012 08:15 AM

I just measured my Biesmeyer fence. The front tube is 2” X 3” and it appears to be .095” thick. The fence tube is the same material. The rail that supports the front tube is 2” X 3” X 1/4” angle and the rail in the back is a 2” X 2 1/2” X 3/16” angle.

You are correct in having your fence tube above the table, but 1/4” might be a little high for the steel tube. The Biesmeyer fence uses small pieces of UHMW polyethylene under the fence tube so it glides on the table smoothly.

I had a chance to checkout one of the Sawstop saws and they use little wheels at the back of their fences and they are the smoothest fences I have ever used.

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jaydubya

183 posts in 2276 days


#2 posted 01-12-2012 03:39 PM

Wow, .095. wouldnt have thought it to be that thin. Are there holes tapped into that to attatch it to the angle, or is it done another way?

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bbjjj

29 posts in 1795 days


#3 posted 01-12-2012 06:31 PM

There are 7 holes that are tapped for 1/4” – 20 hex bolts. The holes in the angle iron support are 9/32” i.d., that way there is a little room for alignment.

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jaydubya

183 posts in 2276 days


#4 posted 01-12-2012 06:37 PM

Good to know, thanks. I wouldnt think .095 would hold a thread. maybe ill try the 1/8 with some fine thread bolts… Or even a bunch of sheet metal screws the length of the 6 foot rail might work

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jaydubya

183 posts in 2276 days


#5 posted 01-13-2012 06:00 PM

What are the thoughts on 2×3 vs 2×2 front rail. Are there advantages or disadvantages to either size?

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bbjjj

29 posts in 1795 days


#6 posted 01-13-2012 10:52 PM

I think it would be best if you use the 2” X 3”. You need quite a bit of room for the fence to ride and you will want to get an adhesive backed tape measure. The top picture shows the underside of the fence, the angle iron piece is 2” X 2” X 1/4”. The lower picture shows what you see with the fence in place and ready to use.

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Paul Stoops

339 posts in 2025 days


#7 posted 01-14-2012 03:54 AM

I would think using the Biesmeyer design as a starting point would be a wise move. That said, the front rail angle needs to support the weight of the fence and be rigid enough to withstand lateral forces applied to the far end of the fence. I would over design instead of under design. I used 1/8” x 2” x 2” steel angle to support the aluminum Unifence rail on my saw and I wished now I had used 3/16” or 1/4”. As you are discovering, having the extra thickness for tapped threads is definitely a plus. I don’t think I would have more than 1/8” between the fence body and the table top—and some means to allow the fence faces to actually touch the table top.

That is going to be a really nice fence setup. Good job!

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

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jaydubya

183 posts in 2276 days


#8 posted 01-14-2012 06:48 AM

Thoughts on using brass on all the contact points (top and front of the T and end of the fence riding on the table) instead of a plastic? The link I posted in my first post uses brass for the adjustment points on the front of the fence

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Paul Stoops

339 posts in 2025 days


#9 posted 01-15-2012 02:26 AM

Maybe this is just a personal preference, but I am not in favor of unlubricated metal-to-metal-contact, even if it is brass or bronze against steel. Yes, you could wax the table and the fence rail faithfully and minimize the problem.

However, today, with the availability of UHMW (Ultra High Molecular Weight) plastic sheet and other forms, I think I it is a better option. UHMW is so tough that it is used for guides in metal conveyers—and I can’t think of a much worse environment. My Delta Unifence has large diameter nylon(?) or other plastic buttons that contact the face of the rail and smaller ones on the bottom of the fence casting that ride on the top of the fence rail. In addition, there is a nylon “foot” that supports the back end of the fence casting and rides on the table top. I used a Unifence for almost 20 years on my old General 350 cabinet saw and I never had to readjust the plastic parts —and it’s still going strong today in my old shop. UHMW is so slippery that it makes sliding surfaces move quite easily.

Your steel fence is going to be heavy! As I noted before, using the Biesemeyer fence design as a model is probably a good thing—and I believe they use some sort of plastics for their contact surfaces (aka Glide Pads).

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

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jaydubya

183 posts in 2276 days


#10 posted 01-15-2012 06:36 AM

I guess this is a moot point now since I just won this ebay auction for a 52 inch sawstop Tsquare fence with extension table. Now Ill have to adapt it over to my craftsman saw
http://www.ebay.com/itm/SawStop-52-Pro-T-Glide-Fence-System-/330668702483?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cfd63fb13

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Paul Stoops

339 posts in 2025 days


#11 posted 01-15-2012 08:03 PM

Congratulations! You really got a good deal on that fence! And it will save you a lot of work over making your own…..... :-) Looking forward to some pics of your improved tablesaw! And maybe even a Review??

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

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jaydubya

183 posts in 2276 days


#12 posted 01-15-2012 08:41 PM

Yeah, by the time I pay for fuel to go pick it up Ill have 175 in it. I made about 65 bucks selling the fence that came on my saw so Ill have about 110 in this one. I dont think I could have built one for that. i just hope sawstop makes a good fence

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bbjjj

29 posts in 1795 days


#13 posted 01-15-2012 09:54 PM

I live in Portland, OR not to far from Wilsonville, OR where the SAWSTOP saw was originally developed and I met Steve Gass about 9 years ago when I was looking to buy one of there saws.
All I can say is a lot of thought and exceptional engineering went into developing there saws and it was not just there safety features that set them apart from the other saws.
I recently helped a local nonprofit set up a new SAWSTOP saw in there wood studio. The whole saw is great but the fence is the smoothest operating out there. One of the local suppliers has sold quite a few of the shorter fences when a customer wants to upgrade to a longer model. You got a great deal on your purchase (I always factor in the sale of an item I am replacing), hope it works well for you.

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jaydubya

183 posts in 2276 days


#14 posted 01-15-2012 10:03 PM

Im almost dissapointed that I wont be making my own, But I couldnt pass up the deal

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JimDaddyO

442 posts in 2543 days


#15 posted 01-16-2012 03:36 PM

I used a piece of aluminum extrusion 44mm x 88mm. The built in channels capture a nut(s) that is really handy for adding sacrificial faces etc to the fence.

-- my blog: http://watertoneworkshop.blogspot.ca/ my You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA5AretE3xPoVDV61AxUdUA?view_as=subscriber

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