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Replace a Worn Rip-Fence Scale

After years of use, your tablesaw’s rip-fence scale can wear to the point you can’t even see some of the markings. And because it’s happened gradually, you’ve probably learned to live with it that way. Well, replacing that scale is no big deal. You can get a replacement tape from your tablesaw’s manufacturer or a universal one. Follow these steps to see how simple it is to install.

  • Verify the zero setting


    Before removing the old scale, make sure the fence bezel’s cursor aligns with the zero mark when the fence rests against the blade.



  • Set up masking guides

    Firmly apply masking tape above and below the scale, cutting the ends at the zero mark. Then peel off the old scale using a razor blade scraper, taking care not to cut into the masking tape.

  • Undo the glue

    With a synthetic abrasive pad and solvent—we used lacquer thinner on this tough stuff—remove the adhesive from the fence rail. The masking tape prevents the solvent from discoloring the paint on the rest of the rail.

  • Apply the new self-adhesive scale

    After the solvent evaporates, remove the top strip of masking tape. Adhere the new scale beginning with the zero mark at the end of the tape. Align it with the masking tape the full length of the rail.

  • Roll out the rule

    Lift off the remaining masking tape. Firmly secure the scale to the rail and remove any air bubbles with a handheld roller. Don’t have one? You can also use the butt of a hard-handled chisel or hammer.

  • Give it a raise

    If your fence’s bezel rubbed the markings off the old scale, as ours did, insert a pair of thin brass washers to raise it slightly above the scale.

  • Line it up

    Finally, position the fence against the blade and lock it in place as in Step 1. Align the cursor with the zero mark on the new scale and tighten the screws. Now let ’er rip!

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