Fence on the left.

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Forum topic by Farrout posted 11-23-2014 11:50 AM 1172 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Farrout's profile


185 posts in 3177 days

11-23-2014 11:50 AM

The overwhelming number of pictures and videos of table saw users have the standard fence on the right side of the blade setup.
I set mine up on the left. Maybe it’s my UK heritage, but I think I have more practical reasons.
The biggest issue is that I cannot align the blade properly. There is about 1/32 inch offset from front to back. So, when ripping, the wood tends to jam toward the rear of the blade. This is especially true if tilting the blade at 45 degrees. It’s a right hand tilting setup. That is why I actually started doing it. I saw a video that said you should never cut with the blade tilted toward the fence because the stock tends to jam up.

Second is that since I’m right handed, using the fence on the left allows me to use my right hand to guide the work through the cut, which I think gives me better control.

Third, the right side of the table is much longer than the left side. I’ve installed a router table between the wings on the right side. This allows longer pieces to be supported while cutting.
So, anyway, that’s how I do it.

-- If we learn from our mistakes, I should be a genius!

7 replies so far

View cutmantom's profile


405 posts in 3057 days

#1 posted 11-23-2014 01:16 PM

I have seen people do it your way in videos and wondered why they did it that way, it doesn’t matter as long as you are totally comfortable doing it that way, it would be awkward for me,

View macatlin1's profile


78 posts in 2965 days

#2 posted 11-23-2014 01:24 PM

I would say that whatever will work safely for you is OK. I have an Incra Miter V120 on my 60+ year old table saw and the left hand miter slot is too close to allow the V120 to pass by the blade. Rather than cut an inch off the miter gage I run the miter gage in the right hand slot. Works fine and if the blade is tilted over it moves away from the miter gage AND my hand. I must say that it felt a little strange at first but now it seems quite natural.

View Farrout's profile


185 posts in 3177 days

#3 posted 11-23-2014 01:40 PM

I agree about the miter gauge. I’ve added an extension to mine and typically run it on the right hand slot.

-- If we learn from our mistakes, I should be a genius!

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1296 posts in 1753 days

#4 posted 11-23-2014 01:45 PM

If you are comfortable doing it that way, go for it, but I would get that blade aligned. 1/32” from front to back of what? The blade, or the saw top? Aligning is pretty easy, and if done right, will last at least 20-30 years without issues if you keep all the moving parts lubed.
I’m one for trying different things, but cutting on the left side never set well with me. Sometimes, I’ll make raised panel doors on the saw. Even with the blade totally covered by my upright jig I use for that operation, I feel like I’m going to get hurt, and I have 40 years experience. Fortunately, I cut the raises without problems, but still don’t like the left side at all. ............ Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View tyvekboy's profile


1761 posts in 3036 days

#5 posted 11-23-2014 02:16 PM

I agree with you on having the fence on the LEFT side of a RIGHT tilting TS blade for angle rip cuts. I think the chances of a kick back are higher if the work is between the right tilting blade and the fence on the right side.

As far as your saw blade being 1/32 out of alignment … I’d correct that problem before doing any more cuts on the table saw. Being that far off is to far.

As far as the last point … fence to the left of blade … long pieces supported by the longer right side table … that sounds like an accident waiting to happen. I never crosscut pieces that are long without a miter gauge. I can see if the fence was not involved and a miter gauge is being used to crosscut long pieces … that right side of the table would be helpful in supporting the work.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Farrout's profile


185 posts in 3177 days

#6 posted 11-23-2014 02:32 PM

I’ve tried to align the blade, but there is one bolt I can’t get to. I’ll have to get some help lifting the table and setting it upside down on the floor and perhaps then I can get to the last bold. Not that I haven’t tried.
I typically don’t use the fence when cross cutting.

-- If we learn from our mistakes, I should be a genius!

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2905 days

#7 posted 11-23-2014 07:38 PM

Being right handed, I find it easier to have my fence on the right as it means I use my right hand to use the push stick. I wonder if this was why the convention of fence on the right developed?

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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