How to Make a Homemade Tablesaw Rip Fence

Written by chris baylor
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How to Make a Homemade Tablesaw Rip Fence
A table saw is designed for ripping long strips of wood. (Sarah M. Golonka/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Every table saw needs a solid rip fence, against which stock is held while it is pushed through the blade. The ideal rip fence will be able to be moved to any position along the table, to the left of right of the blade, can be adjusted to be perfectly parallel to the blade, and must not move once locked into position. If your table saw doesn't have a fence, you can make a homemade tablesaw rip fence with some plywood strips and a pipe clamp.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Table saw
  • 4-foot section of threaded 3/4-inch pipe
  • 3/4-inch pipe clamp kit
  • 14-inch by 48-inch piece of 3/4-inch plywood
  • Power drill with bits
  • 1-1/2 inch deck screws

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the distance from the front of the saw table to the back of the table.

  2. 2

    Cut two strips of plywood at 4-inches in width, and another two sections at 2-1/2 inches in width. Trim the lengths of the four sections of plywood to match the tablesaw depth.

  3. 3

    Cut two 2-1/2 inch wide squares of plywood from the remaining pieces of plywood.

  4. 4

    Drill a hole directly in the centre of each of the two small plywood squares.

  5. 5

    Align the four long strips of plywood into a 4-inch square tube. The 2-1/2 inch wide strips should be positioned in-between the 4-inch strips. Attach the four strips together with five or six screws on each joint.

  6. 6

    Insert one of the small plywood squares into each end of the tube. Position each square flush with the end of the tube, and attach with a screw through each side of the tube.

  7. 7

    Thread the crank end of a pipe clamp kit onto the threaded end of the pipe. Insert the open end of the pipe into one end of the tube and through the other end. Attach the back end of the pipe clamp kit onto the open end of the pipe.

  8. 8

    Position the completed fence onto the saw table, with the crank end of the pipe clamp kit on the front of the saw. Point both the front and rear jaw downward, and slide the rear clamp toward the front of the saw so that both the front and rear jaws are touching the front and back of the saw table.

  9. 9

    Tighten the crank on the front of the fence to lock the fence in position.

Tips and warnings

  • To adjust the fence, loosen the crank on the front of the fence, and move the fence left or right as needed. To make sure that the fence is parallel to the blade, check the distance from the fence to the edge of the saw's mitre slot at both the front and back of the table. If the distances are equal, the fence is parallel to the blade.
  • When using power tools, always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris.

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