Laminate-cutting auxiliary fence
A hassle-free fixture for your tablesaw
One of the easiest ways to cut plastic laminate sheets is using the tablesaw. But the thin sheets can slip under the rip fence on many saws and pose a hazard, not to mention ruin the cut. What’s the fix? Clamp the auxiliary fence shown in the photo right and drawing below to your saw’s rip fence and make dead-on cuts every time.
The fence consists of 3/4" plywood with a length of 1/4" aluminum U-channel (outside dimensions 3/8"x1/2") epoxied into a rabbet along the bottom edge. You'll find the channel available in hardware stores.
To make the fence, start by cutting the plywood to the dimensions shown. Then drill a 1/2" hanging hole near one end.
Rabbet one edge of the plywood, where dimensioned, to accept the U-channel. Cut the channel to length using a hacksaw, and file or sand any burrs that might scratch the laminate. Then epoxy the channel to the plywood.
To use the auxiliary fence, clamp it to your rip fence with the channel against the saw’s table. Measure from the blade to the fence face to set your cutting width. Position the laminate to be cut by sliding it completely into the channel. This will leave the cut material slightly wider than your measured dimension, allowing a bit of leeway when gluing the laminate to the substrate. After gluing the laminate in place, just rout the edges flush.