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Tablesaw Tips and Tricks

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End fence-alignment hassle with rear measuring tape

End fence-alignment hassle with rear measuring tape

Having trouble lining up your fence parallel to the blade or miter-gauge slot on your tablesaw? For those of you who have a fence with a square or flat rear rail, here's a quick and easy solution.

First, buy a suitable length of an adhesive-backed tape measure. Secure the tape measure to the rear fence rail so that it reads the exact same measurement at the right-hand miter slot as the measurement scale on the front of the fence. Then, set your saw blade parallel to the miter slot by following the instructions in your tablesaw owner's manual. Whenever you position the fence, just make sure that the face of the fence bar aligns with the same measurements on the front and back rails before locking.

-- Scott Geurin, San Clemente, Calif.

Buy self-adhesive left-to-tight reading tape

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Comments (21)
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sgeurin65468 wrote:

I submitted this tip years ago when I was just starting out in woodworking. I had a hand-me-down table saw and the imperfect fence that came with it. The extra tape helped me align the fence to the blade. My cuts were accurate and I learned to shade the back of the fence away from the blade to prevent kick-back. I have since bought a better saw and a better fence but for those just starting out or with an older saw, I think it's a good idea. It worked for me.

9/26/2013 05:29:28 PM Report Abuse
tthomason2 wrote:

Hey, I'm a newbie to woodworking and appreciate the helpful tips and advice. Don't the need all the bickering and BS. Stay on topic children. As for getting a new fence...the cost would be in the area of at least twice what I paid for my low level entry TS from Lowes. Hence, dual tapes present a viable solution. Thanks.

5/26/2013 12:53:45 PM Report Abuse
Supherb wrote:

This problem is the exact reason why I have a Dewalt DW744 table saw with the rack and pinion fence. I put up with weak fences on portable table saws for years until I got my Dewalt. If I make a bad cut now it is my fault not the saws.

3/18/2012 09:19:30 PM Report Abuse
spilperson wrote:

A wise friend of mine once said "I can't respect a man who can only spell a word one way." Lighten up spelling police.

7/14/2011 07:19:44 PM Report Abuse
rtl71 wrote:

When you talk down to people, you actually show you own stupidity. I have a PHD but even I hit a wrong key and mispell words from time to time

7/14/2011 02:34:03 PM Report Abuse
dadzor wrote:

I had to respond to catharina_scott. I am the "dadzor" who commented below. I am a teacher and a woodworker. I taught English for thirty years, and did correct spelling errors, but ONLY those of my students. Teachers do not go around criticizing how other people write, as implied by Ms Scott. This forum is for woodworkers, not writers; perhaps we should focus on only that, instead of their grammar or professions. My apologies for hijacking the discussion.

7/14/2011 01:01:14 PM Report Abuse
catharina_scott wrote:

i agree, if you do not like spelling mistakes don't read the answers that are given, go back to school and become a teacher. leave the rest of us alone to do what we like doing (woodworking).

4/11/2011 01:10:11 PM Report Abuse
rupps3 wrote:

Sounds like a bandaid for the real problem of a crappy & unsafe fence.

1/6/2011 01:24:02 PM Report Abuse
wdchip wrote:

I know. I didn't put the right-hand parenthesis at the end. I'm blaming it on this teeny weeny comment box. Can't scroll very well to see the entire comment at one time.

10/23/2010 02:48:17 PM Report Abuse
wdchip wrote:

Here is a tip for all forum contributors. If you're unsure about how to spell a word. Open "WORD" type your spelling, then use spell check. This won't help if you've spelled the wrong word correctly... great (fantastic) vs. grate (what holds your hot dogs over the coals on your BBQ.

10/23/2010 02:43:34 PM Report Abuse
wdchip wrote:

gslimitedllc, If the manufacturer can't put out a product with the fence already parallel to the miter slot (or some method of making the correct adjustment) you're confident they can attach the two tapes accurately? By the way it's entire not intire. Typo? I think not. The i and the e are too far apart on a qwerty keyboard.

10/23/2010 02:34:30 PM Report Abuse
samspade58 wrote:

i have a Bosch 4100. far from a cheap contractor saw and the fence is awful. i think this is great.

10/14/2010 09:04:43 PM Report Abuse
dadzor wrote:

To the critics: As my Mom used to say, "If you can't say anything good, don't say anything at all."

10/14/2010 01:02:21 PM Report Abuse
billrd01 wrote:

I think some folks here have to understand that some folks have less expensive saws and the fence is the biggest problem. Until I could afford my Ridgid I had to fight the fence. Even economically challenged woodworkers are entitled to any help they can get. Not nice to look down on those less fortunate than you. Fortunes change - Karma !!!

7/22/2010 11:46:04 AM Report Abuse
chuckbfriend wrote:

Some of you guys sound like a bunch of kids, some people are just getting started and still learning. Any idea that is useful to someone is not a bad idea. If you don't like the suggestions why not just pass it up and go to the next one.

7/5/2010 08:02:22 AM Report Abuse
jlatimer71574 wrote:

Too right, if you can't use an idea change the channel.

6/6/2010 08:55:04 AM Report Abuse
flewis1841148 wrote:

All the "smart" comments are NOT needed! Some of us cannot afford all the 'newest' equipment though we still enjoy the craft!

5/13/2010 07:15:59 PM Report Abuse
dusty561 wrote:

This is just plain silly.If you can't make adjustments to your fence so that it locks down parallel , then you need a new fence...

5/8/2010 01:02:44 PM Report Abuse
2slk wrote:

Man with two watches never knows what time it is. On my saw, if the fence is adjusted properly, the tail is always where it's supposed to be.

5/7/2010 11:04:09 AM Report Abuse
dand2265887 wrote:

Too much work to always check the back fence measurement. Once aligned and set with the miter slot your fence should always be parallel. If it isn't "set it and forget it", you need a new fence.

5/7/2010 10:11:50 AM Report Abuse
gslimitedllc1827633 wrote:

The two tapes would have to be identical their intire length. I would feel more confident if the saw came with the two tapes attached. I like the concept.

5/6/2010 04:14:45 PM Report Abuse

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