Monday, January 28, 2013

Custom Fence

I'm currently in the process of modifying my table saw again. The new Excalibur #40-070 cast iron surface wing with an insert for a router plate, and a new Jessem Mast-R-Lift II to install with it have arrived. This past weekend I built a few custom "bench beams" (below) to act as a third hand support system during dis-assembly and installation. That work will be documented here once I get on with it. But over the last couple of nights I've been working on the design of a custom fence system to compliment the setup.

Router fences are completely different than table saw fences in both use and function; they're actually much more like sacrificial dado fences, so for everything to work properly in the new setup I need to come up with something custom for my equipment. Nothing "off the shelf" is going to work unless I completely replace the table saw fence. And that I'm not going to do even as much as I might like a new Biesemeyer table saw fence system! At least not now.

The video above shows the design I came up with for my system. It's a compilation of ideas found on the internet, custom systems for sale, and the basic router table fence built by Norm Abrams of the New Yankee Workshop many years ago. The drawing work was prepared using Trimble SketchUp 8 and the video captured with Techsmith's SnagIt 11.

A couple items I inadvertently omitted in my narration of the video include the fact that the main anchoring section (the dark brown piece) gets clamped to the cast iron surface to keep the system locked in place. Most router table surfaces have slots cut perpendicular to the feed direction to allow in/out fence adjustment. Unfortunately the Excalibur surface does not have these slots, so my design makes provision for that using the dark brown base design shown here. Also, T-bolts, washers and wing nuts will be used to connect sacrificial and other facing pieces onto the main assembly. If it turns out that unfinished Baltic birch isn't smooth enough for efficient use I'll replace them with pieces fabricated using melamine.

As noted in the video, comments and suggestions are always welcome. If you see something that looks like it could be improved I'm wide open to hear your ideas.

Bench Beams 4"x4"x36" - 1/2" Baltic birch

1 comment:

  1. Your right Dave, this is better and I guess all that's left is "Gitter done!"