Portable table saw fences - what causes flex when locking down, and what can be done?

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Forum topic by paxorion posted 11-19-2013 03:51 PM 1427 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1107 posts in 2070 days

11-19-2013 03:51 PM

This topic is spawned from another forum topic I posted about the Kobalt Table Saw. I’ve noticed that almost all portable table fences flex and contort in some way when locking it down, causing the fence to not lock square. Even the Bosch 4100 and Ridgid R4510 has behaved like this on in-store models I have tested, albeit to a far lesser degree. The only exception I have seen are the Dewalt saws, which I attribute to the alignment pins.

My question is, what are some of the tell-tale causes to investigate as to what causes he fence to flex. My going theories are:
1 – the gauge aluminum used for the fence is too thin, causing it to flex
2 – the connection point for the fence and cam isn’t ridgid enough, resulting it the joint pivoting when pressure is applied

Also, would adding auxiliary faces to a thin fence reduce flex?

-- paxorion

4 replies so far

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2528 days

#1 posted 11-20-2013 03:00 AM


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View Rick's profile


9711 posts in 3057 days

#2 posted 11-20-2013 03:42 AM


In any event I have the Ridgid Portable Table saw Model R4516. When I lock The Fence Down there is NO Flex or Contort in any way.

However as an “Old School” Carpenter I always measure the Distance of The Back & Front Inside Raker Teeth of the Blade to The Fence. Also a Practice cut on a piece of Scrap Wood to check that the Exact measurement will be Cut.

-- LIFE is what happens when you're planning on doing Other Things!

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1026 posts in 2309 days

#3 posted 11-20-2013 07:40 PM

Mine never “flexed,” but it used to pull to one side when I locked it down. I added a few strips of tape to the fence where it meets the rail and that took care of it.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2070 days

#4 posted 11-20-2013 08:16 PM

supercubber – Do you have a photo to show where the tape was added?

-- paxorion

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