Last Updated on August 28, 2022 by Barry Gray
You’d agree that a table saw fence is one of the most vital accessories of a table saw.
But unfortunately, the stock saw fences that come with the table saws are usually below par.
So, you’re likely compelled to buy a sturdier and more high-quality aftermarket table saw fence—which may be an extra cost to your existing purchase.
But it doesn’t have to be like that.
You mustn’t have a big budget to enjoy the quality function of a table saw fence.
Of course. You can create a DIY table saw fence from your home or workshop—with the right skill and tenacity. That way, you can cut your losses to the barest minimum and still get a top-notch table saw fence.
So, in this article, I’ll be teaching you how to make a table saw fence—with few easy steps.
You’ll also see seven DIY ideas that can help you create the perfect table saw fence, a few safety tips, and answers to some FAQs.
If you’re ready, let’s begin!
What is A Table Saw Fence?
The table saw fence is a safety tool that guides you when cutting your workpiece on a table saw. The fence has a length that starts from the front of the table to the back. Plus, it’s parallel to the blade’s cutting plane.
Usually, manufacturers mount the fence on the right side of the blade. With this design, you can configure the fence to work on either side of the blade. However, some table saws only allow the use of the fence on one side (right or left).
Note: sliding tables don’t allow you to use this apparatus on the left side of the fence.
The standard type of table fence is the rip fence. You can adjust the rip fence in horizontal and vertical directions. If you want to get precise cuts with the rip fence, then keep it stable and rigid. These fences can also protect you during operation.
But that’s not all.
Table saws aren’t restricted to rip fence only; another common type is the T-square fence. This type of fence provides a three-point locking system that allows you to get an accurate 1/64th inch cut—while keeping the fence parallel to the blade.
Additionally, you can easily adjust and operate the rip fence because of the design. Made from steel, rip fences are responsible for producing accurate rip cuts.
How to Make a Table Saw Fence
As I mentioned earlier, table saw fences help you secure your workpiece to the table—while making cuts—and keeps you safe during operation.
So, in this section, I’ll show you how to make a table saw fence.
Materials You Need:
- One rectangular aluminum bar
- Several 50 mm wood screws
- 2×7 cm wooden planks
- Carriage bolt
- Several pieces of square wood (0.7×0.9 inches)
- Plywood blades
Tools You Need:
- Drill & drill bit
Steps to Make a Table Saw Fence
Step 1: Perfect the Aluminum Bar
Use a groove (9 mm in size) to make two passes at the aluminum bars. Meanwhile, ensure the two passes are perfect for the slide bolt. Also, drill five holes into the aluminum bars for the screws.
Step 2: Install the Rails
Next, flush the rails with the tabletop by using two wooden planks. Then, mark and drill intense holes and use your 50mm screws to secure the rails tightly.
Step 3: Create a Sliding Mechanism
After installing the rails, get a square piece of wood and add it to the structure.
Then, create a mark on the center of the grooves. Afterward, create three holes with your drill and align the square piece of wood with the places you marked with the drill bit.
Next, completely drill the hole at the center and partially drill the hole at the side (half depth).
Step 4: Assemble
Once you’ve created your sliding mechanism, drive two T-nuts into the side holes with a hammer and use some millimeters of wood to offset the base of the T-nut. Now you can clamp, glue, and screw the two halves into one single unit
Step 5: Select the Carriage Bolts
Carriage bolts are the perfect option for sliders. You can use three for this project. So, the two side bolts act as sliders, while the middle bolt fastens the mechanism.
Also, you’d have to grind the two sides of the fence to fit the rail—because of its round bolt head.
Step 6: Roundup the Fence
You need a piece of plywood, wooden glue, and a 0.7 by 2.7 inches wooden board to get a super sturdy saw fence.
Hence, check the squareness of the blade to the rail edge and see if it looks good. Then, confirm if the fence aligns properly. Afterward, double-check the squareness again, then use the 50mm wood screws to properly clamp and screw the fence.
Once again, fasten the fence and check for squareness. If it’s fine, you can remove the wood screws and apply wooden glue before screwing everything back.
Step 7: Testing
Testing is the next thing to do after the wood glue is dry. So, check if the saw fence locks move and unlock easily on your table saw. If it does, try using it and re-test.
7 DIY Table Saw Fences You Can Try at Home
Now that you know how to make a table saw fence, let’s looks at seven DIY ideas to help you create the perfect table saw fence:
1. Easy DIY Table Saw Fence
The wooden table saw fence is a simple-to-do project that doesn’t take a lot of time.
It’s so easy that you can create it in three simple steps.
Plus, there’s nothing complicated about the design, and it’s one of the most affordable ways to get a quality table saw fence.
Here’s how to pull it off:
Step 1: Square Your Table
Firstly, ensure the table’s edges (old or new) are perpendicular to the blade. You can do this—using a level against the blade (don’t push it against the blade) and a T-square. Afterward, you can add one more level to confirm that the edges are square to the blade.
By doing so, you’ll ensure that your edges are of the same length. Then, square all the edges, and proceed to measure the length of your table.
Step 2: Cut the Pieces
The next step is to get your main piece of wood (2×4) and make it longer than the table (at least ½-inch). Afterward, get another 2×4 and cut a 5-inch length in two halves widthwise, which leaves you with two 2×2-inch pieces. Next, screw these two pieces to the end of the fence.
Then, you can use the 3-inch deck crews with countersunk heads—and ensure they are sturdy enough—to handle the stress every time you tighten your fence.
Next, screw the back piece to the structure, mark the space where you want to drill a hole, and screw the front piece against the table.
Step 3: Put In the Threaded Rod
Use screw-in nuts for this last process. You can get them from old furniture or buy them at any hardware store. Also, get a threaded rod, steel dowel, and a flat knob.
Then, drill a ½-inch hole into the front 2×2 piece and insert the screw-in nut with a large hex key. Afterward, insert the set-up threaded rod into the nut and secure it to the front 2×2 piece—using two deck screws, and that’s it.
2. The Wooden Table Saw Fence
As the name implies, you can create this project entirely from ½-inch plywood.
Here, the table saw fence comes with a wooden lever that helps you secure the fence in any position you desire.
The process of making this saw involves you measuring the length of some parts. And you can easily solve this by making some calculations before you start.
However, if you’re convinced that this is the fence for you, here are some of the materials you’d need:
- Lots of clamps
- Wood glue
No doubt, this project requires some effort, so be prepared to do some detailed woodwork for approximately two days (majorly because you need the glue to dry).
3. Aluminum Table Saw Fence
Unlike its wooden counterpart, aluminum is the primary material of this fence’s design. If you want this fence, it means you agree that a saw fence is more valuable than a saw blade. Why? Because this design uses a sturdy material to build a sturdy fence.
Fortunately, this fence has all the features you need to make your table saw function correctly.
You can call this fence a heavy-duty fence system because it doesn’t give in to the pressure of cutting foreign objects with your table saw.
4. DIY Metal T-Square Table Saw Fence
If you have a European table saw or a sliding table saw, this project is for you. You can easily create a metal table saw fence that’s like an aluminum fence—but way stronger and durable. Plus, it’ll give you a professional look.
The best part is, the process for making this saw fence is super easy.
Creating this metal T-Square table saw fence includes a railing and clamping system—made entirely from metal. There are also some wooden demo fences you’d need—to attach to the metal table fence.
5. T-square DIY Table Saw Fence
This fence design has a lot of similarities to the Biedermeier T-square fence. In short, some woodwork experts say the design was inspired by it. However, there are some striking differences between both fences.
You can make this table saw fence with metal, aluminum, and wood. So, do well to get these materials down—before you start. Also, you’ll need the required tools for drilling holes into all three materials, as well as the mechanism for driving in screws.
If your table saw fence is bigger or smaller than an 8-inch saw, you can adjust the dimensions of your fence to fit the table saw’s size. Plus, the plan for making this fence is relatively simple to understand.
6. Easy Homemade Table Saw Fence
As the name implies, this table saw fence is one of the easiest to build on your own.
Plus, it’s a pocket-friendly project that won’t bore a hole in your wallet.
To build this table saw fence, you’d need a few simple tools and materials like glue, plywood, and screws.
The locking mechanism of this table saw fence makes it stand out. There’s no need for materials like metal or aluminum. The plywood is enough to get the job done. You’ll even make the locking feature from plywood.
The process is so simple that you can make the plywood lock from a hook, rubber band, and a plywood tightening knob.
7. Sliding T-square Table Saw Fence
This table saw fence has a design that solves the problem of keeping the rip fence aligned with the blade. Unfortunately, most people find this process annoying and time-consuming.
To create a sliding T-square, you’ll need a metal ruler, scrap timber, few bolts, wood screws, melamine board, and T-nuts. Also, this saw fence isn’t so expensive to make. Plus, it has excellent durability and can stand the test of time.
What Side Of The Table Saw Should The Fence Be On?
The fence should always be on the right side of the blade. A majority of projects require you to tilt the blade. Though most modern saws tilt the blade to the left, positioning the fence on the left side of the blade may simply cause a jam.
Must the Table Saw Fence be Square?
The fence may face many issues if it’s not perpendicular to the table in most cases. However, you might not be as precise as you truly desire.
So, if you face a bottleneck, here’s a quick fix:
First, make a new table saw fence. You can choose any idea from this article. Second, make sure you cut the workpiece at an angle that aligns with the fence’s inclined angle. Third, install some kind of additional fence that combines the table fence with the top edge. By so doing, you’ll provide support for any shock when working.
How To Fix a Damaged Table Saw Fence?
Most damages usually occur at the side of the saw fence, especially when you’re working with a wooden board. This damage can be some kind of depression that happens because of the workpiece and its shape.
For instance, if you have an aluminum fence, you can fix this damage by applying some artificial mayonnaise (G/5)—a fast five-minute adhesive thickened by 403 Microfiber.
Once you apply the mayonnaise to the “cuts” on the fence, smoothen it out with some wooden slats, let it dry, and watch your fence return to normal.
How Do I Upgrade My Table Saw Fence?
You can easily upgrade a low-budget table saw fence by increasing the width of the fence. That way, the stability and precision of your woodworking process will get upgraded. Also, you can add a three-point front and rear locking mechanism to improve your working accuracy.
How Do You Square A Table Saw Fence?
First, ensure your saw blade and miter slots are parallel to each other. Next, use your finger as a detector to run through the miter gap in the fence. Finally, if there are any adjustments, loosen one of the screws and make the adjustments. And remember to re-screw.
Knowing how to make a table saw fence isn’t rocket science. All you need is patience and passion. Why? There are many necessary adjustments you may have to make to get the perfect table saw fence.
Also, if you notice your fence becoming rigid without locking it in place, apply some wax to the fence to free it up and make it move.
So, tell me;
Have you made a table saw fence before?
If not, I hope this article gives you an idea of what table saw fence is perfect for you.
Nonetheless, let us know what DIY table saw plan is your favorite and how it worked out for you.
Also, feel free to hit us up at the comments section—where you get to air your thoughts.