How to Make a Table Saw Fence

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How to Make a Table Saw Fence

​Whenever you make cuts with a table saw, a table saw fence helps guide your wood through the cut. The fence ensures your cut is straight and smooth, while also potentially helping to reduce the risk of kickback or movement of the wood.

Many table saws come with a fence. However, if you don't have a table saw fence, it isn't difficult to make your own. Learn how to make a table saw fence by following these 7 simple steps.

Before we dive into making a saw fence, lets spend a few minutes answering some common questions.

​In essence, a fence is a guide that your wood will follow as you make cuts. The more general version is most often referred to as a rip fence, and name derives from its use to guide wood as you "rip" it. You can use a rip fence with most any circular-bladed saw, such as a .

When used specifically with a table saw, the guide is most commonly referred to as the table saw fence.

How to Make a Table Saw Fence

Ripping wood is the most common , and is a that severs or divides a piece of wood parallel to the grain. Think cutting the wood lengthwise.

Since these are very long cuts, you need a hefty guide to ensure that the wood is cut straight accurately. Enter a table saw fence.

​Do I Need a Rip Fence for my Saw?

​Yes, for several reasons. For starters, it is practically impossible to rip wood straight without some sort of guide. So, for accuracy purposes alone, you need to have a rip fence for making rip cuts.

You also need a saw fence for safety. A saw fence does a lot of the guiding work that you would otherwise rely on your hands for. If you used your hands instead of the fence guide, you would be dramatically increasing your risk of hurting yourself.

How to Make a Table Saw Fence

Additionally, the saw fence prevents the wood from racking. Racking can cause serious injury, and using a fence helps to prevent this from happening.

Many of these saws come with a rip fence, but a lot of .

​How to Make a Table Saw Fence

​Often known as a rip fence, a table saw fence allows you to safely and accurately cut and rip wood using your table saw. We'll use the terms "table saw fence" and "rip fence" interchangeably in this article.

Purchase the Supplies to Make your Table Saw Fence

How to Make a Table Saw Fence

You will only need a few simple supplies to make your table saw fence. Making sure you have everything you need before you start will ensure the building of your table saw fence goes off without a hitch. You will need the following materials to build your table saw fence:

- ​ screw-threaded rod with accompanying nut

Measure the Dimensions of your Table Saw

To ensure you have the correct dimensions for your table saw fence, you will need to determine the depth of your table saw. Simply measure from the front of the table saw to the back with your tape measure.

If you're looking for more clarity, the depth of your saw is the measurement than runs parallel to the . Your saw fence needs to be accurately cut to fit the length of your specific table.

How to Make a Table Saw Fence

You will be cutting the 2x4 to be slightly longer than your table saw fence.

Most table saws are between 24"-36" in length, although some can be a little more compact. Thus, make sure your 2x4 is at least this long!​

​Cut your End Caps from the 2x4

​You want to start your cutting process by making the end caps for your table saw fence. You will need two of these - one for each end of the fence. These caps will sit on the ends of the fence, allowing it to "lock" on to the table of the saw and stay steady as you cut.

​Each end cap needs to be 3" in length. Simply take your 2x4 and cut 3" pieces off of the end. Use your jigsaw to quickly make the cuts.

How to Make a Table Saw Fence

​Cut your 2x4 ​to the Table's Length

​Now it is time to cut your 2x4 for the the fence. Before you start cutting, read on because you need to account for the adjustable screw that you will insert.

Your 2x4 needs to be the length of your table saw plus the depth of the nut that attaches to your screw. By and large, the screw/nut you purchase will probably be roughly 1". As such, your 2x4 measurement for cutting will probably be roughly 1" longer than the saw length.

Again, use a jigsaw to make your cut. Ensure it is accurate by measuring and marking the length on the 2x4, and use a square to mark the cut.

​Similar to building , your cut has to be exactly square, meaning that there is no angle on the ends . If you end up with an angled cut, even a small amount, the table saw fence will ​not be exactly parallel to the blade of the saw.

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