How to build a table saw rip fence

Written by charles poole
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How to build a table saw rip fence
Using a table saw without a rip fence can be dangerous. (wood image by Amjad Shihab from Fotolia.com)

Eyeballing the accuracy of a cut on a table saw can be tricky business. Add the threat of finding your hand on the less than desirable side of the saw and you might be rethinking using power tools altogether. Because of the accuracy of a straight cut and the safety concerns that come with using a table saw, many people use a rip fence to avoid uneven cuts and the potential for danger. Some table saws do not come with a rip fence so you will need to make your own.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Plywood
  • 1 board 2 inches by 4 inches by 30 inches
  • T-square
  • Vice grip
  • Clamp
  • Plastic clamp fasteners
  • Drill

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Get a piece of plywood and use a tape measure to mark out a right triangle 15 inches by 20 inches by 25 inches.

  2. 2

    Turn on your table saw and cut the plywood according to the measurements and the marks.

  3. 3

    Get a 2 inch by 4 inch board at least 100-inches in length. Measure off a length of 30-inches and then mark the 30-inch length on the wood. Use your table saw to cut off the 30-inch length.

  4. 4

    Lay down your triangle with the 20 inch side on the left. Apply some wood glue to the leftmost 2 inches of the side facing up.

  5. 5

    Stick one of the 2 inch sides of the 30-inch 2x4 where you just placed your glue.

  6. 6

    Use a t-square to make sure the two boards come together to form a 90-degree angle. You especially want everything to be even and smooth on the leftmost side where the boards you will be cutting will slide.

  7. 7

    Apply a clamp or a vice grip to hold the two pieces together. Clean up any excess glue and let dry overnight.

  8. 8

    Take your table saw clamp and place the bolts on the 15-inch side of the wood. Mark where you need to drill holes for the bolts to pass through the wood.

  9. 9

    Drill holes where you marked the wood and then feed the bolts through the wood.

  10. 10

    Apply the plastic fasteners to the bolts and then secure the clamp to the table.

  11. 11

    Get your rip fence the right length from the saw blade and then tighten the clamp to keep the rip fence secure.

  12. 12

    Turn on your table saw and place the wood against the rip fence and push the wood into the table saw blade. You will now have a safe and accurate cut.

Tips and warnings

  • Never work with power tools that are turned on unless you are using them.

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