Which side do you use on your TS

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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 11-03-2012 04:39 AM 1486 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3104 posts in 2458 days

11-03-2012 04:39 AM

For most boards that can be cut on either side of the blade on a TS which side of the fence do you work on?


I prefer to keep the fence on the left of the blade and work to the right of the blade. I see most of the other woodworkers do the opposite.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

31 replies so far

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Monte Pittman

29953 posts in 2509 days

#1 posted 11-03-2012 04:47 AM

I am not sure, I think normal protocol is on the right.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2458 days

#2 posted 11-03-2012 04:48 AM

Most of the video’s I see people are working on the left of the blade with the fence on the right.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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21485 posts in 2855 days

#3 posted 11-03-2012 05:07 AM

I stay on the left side of the blade, usually. Fence will USUALLY stay to the right of the blade. I say USUALLY, because some cuts take a set up the other way, about 1 in 20 for me.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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1021 posts in 2457 days

#4 posted 11-03-2012 06:15 AM

Fence to the right generally works well for me with a left tilt saw.

-- John, BC, Canada

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Mark Smith

509 posts in 2211 days

#5 posted 11-03-2012 06:41 AM

Never considered putting the fence to the left, but I guess it doesn’t really matter except with larger pieces. My table saw extension is on the right side so I have to use that side if I want to move the fence over for wider cuts.

View Richard's profile


400 posts in 2863 days

#6 posted 11-03-2012 07:14 AM

I think it has more to do with handedness. Since most people are right handed they prefer stand to the left of the blade with the fence on the right with their dominant hand controlling the action.

Or at least that’s what I do.

It would make sense (to me) that a lefty would do the opposite because it feels more comfortable.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

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808 posts in 2673 days

#7 posted 11-03-2012 08:32 AM

I have a Triton workcentre so, although I could have the fence either side, the distance calibrations work best with the fence on the left of the blade. I rather like this since it means that I can push with my right hand while standing to the outside of the fence (out of the path of a possible kickback) and also not be working over the blade as I do on a table that has the fence on the right.

John makes a good point about considering the tilt of the blade, but I cannot tilt my blade on the Triton workcentre so it is not a concern for me.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

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8137 posts in 3547 days

#8 posted 11-03-2012 09:45 AM

Left side of the fence.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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933 posts in 2864 days

#9 posted 11-03-2012 11:23 AM

I agree with RussellAP and Tootles the majority of the time the fence is to the left of the blade. I found over the years of using table saws that my proper hight for my table saw is 32” and when doing most work it is more comfortable and seemingly more safe for my body to be to the right of the blade. I feel uncomfortable, like backwards, working the other way which to me equals a safety issue. I believe there is no right or wrong here just what is comfortable and ultimately the safest way of doing things.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

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jim C

1472 posts in 3270 days

#10 posted 11-03-2012 11:45 AM

+1 to Richard
I’m left handed so my fence is on the right side of the blade. I stand right of the blade out of harms way, using my left hand to guide and push the wood. My right hand is useless except to hold a golf club. HA!

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775 posts in 2539 days

#11 posted 11-03-2012 12:17 PM

fence on da right side…


View Rob's profile


317 posts in 3158 days

#12 posted 11-03-2012 12:18 PM

My fence is to the the right of my left tilt blade and cut wood this way unless I’m using a sled, then I use the left miter slot and the finish cut is to the right side of the blade and don’t use the fence at all

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2828 posts in 3456 days

#13 posted 11-03-2012 01:18 PM

For most cabinet saws, the extension table is right of the blade and fence rails run to the right of the blade. I’m sure you could put extension rails running left of the blade and get a tape that reads right to left and mount it. If it’s a small saw, then I guess the rip fence wouldn’t matter.

Comfort and safety is the most important. If you’re not comfortable pushing wood from one side or the other, then it can create a real safety problem.

I’ve always been “bad” about how I stand behing my saw. 99 percent of the time my fence will be right of the blade. I usually stand a little to the left of the blade, so when I’m pushing the wood I have more of a tendency to push the wood towards the fence. I can see my wood, my hands, the blade and the face of the fence at all times so I feel more comfortable with the cut. I have a tendency not to pay as much attention to where I’m standing as far as a kick back is concerned. In 27 years of full time woodworking, I can only think of kick back twice. The first time the board hit me in the belt line ( it left a mark!). The second time the board took the my hand back across the blade ( that left a mark and a lot of stiches).

I don’t think it matters at all which side we work from as long as we feel comfortable doing it and pay attention to what we’re doing. Just be safe.
BTW: I can still count to ten and don’t have to borrow anyone’s finger to do so.

-- John @

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2146 posts in 2800 days

#14 posted 11-03-2012 01:27 PM

fence to the right of the blade with the finished workpiece riding between the blade and the fence., with the offcut falling away to the left of the blade. employed the same technique using both right and left tilt saws.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

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2828 posts in 3456 days

#15 posted 11-03-2012 01:28 PM

After I read my own post, I might of confused some. My main point was, I think a lot of woodworkers focus more on where they stand behind their saw,(for fear of kick back) then how they actually feel while pushing a board along a rip fence. Both of my kick backs where “oopserator” mistakes. (getting “too” combortable behind the saw and not paying attention for a split second).
I’ve always been more fearful of getting cut with the table saw then getting hit with a board with kick back, especially since I’ve experienced both.

-- John @

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