Adding a New Table Saw Fence to an Old Table Saw
A table saw fence is an important part of any table saw configuration. It helps to ensure that your cuts end up perfectly square, clean and free of rough edges or other blemishes. If you have an old or outdated table saw, purchasing a new fence is a good way to enhance the quality of your cutting capabilities without spending the money to purchase a brand new saw itself. Of course, the best results will come from a high quality saw combined with a high quality fence, but some degree of flexibility is possible.
Gather Your Materials
Before beginning the installation process, collect the following tools and other materials:
- Table saw fence and instruction kit
- Clamps to secure fence to the table
Installing a Table Saw Fence
Although the exact installation procedure varies according to the type of saw and the model of fence that you have, most table saw fences are easy to install in just a few minutes. Those that have a wider range of flexibility and additional settings may require some additional steps. In all cases, it is best to follow the manufacturer's installation instructions exactly when setting up a new table saw fence. Generally, however, the installation process involves the following steps.
Step 1: Secure the Blade
First, set the saw blade in place by clamping the saw to the guide pole on the table. This will provide a steady and stable guideline for your fence installation.
Step 2: Position the Fence
Next, position the fence according to the instructions or to your preference, if there are a variety of possible settings for the fence. Most fences will have sets of wing nuts that screw in to the edges of the table. Secure the fence in place by hand and then screw in the wing nuts to firmly lock the fence in position. The fence will provide a boundary or barrier for you to use when positioning pieces of wood or boards for cutting.
Selecting a Table Saw Fence
There are several important considerations to keep in mind when selecting a new fence for your table saw. Of primary importance is the quality of the materials and construction. Solid, heavy fences will stay in place and not move, allowing for a straighter, cleaner cut. Look for fences with secure end fasteners that will prevent them from shifting during your work.
Consider the projects for which you will be using your table saw. Different fences suit different types of work, and one fence may be too small or too large for you, depending upon how you plan to use it. A hardware professional or carpenter can help you to identify an appropriately sized fence.
Ease of installation is another important factor to keep in mind while making your selection. If you are unfamiliar with table saw installation projects, consider purchasing a fence that is easy to replace.
A good table saw provides easy-to-read and accurate measurements. Some brands and makes have better reputations than others when it comes to accuracy. This is important to think about because it will impact the final appearance of your work.
Table saw fences are available at most hardware stores and through a variety of retailers online. Consult with a hardware specialist for further advice.