Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Fresh Faced Fence

The Biesemeyer fence on the tablesaw in the shop was in need of replacement. Five years ago I refaced it with a piece of baltic birch plywood, and for kicks I covered it in a thin layer of Lee Valleys UHMW Slippery Tape. The tape worked well for a week, and then wore off. The baltic birch got banged up, and was no longer true. It was time for a new one.

A year ago I had a job making two bathroom vanities. The interiors were made of Dragon Lam, a product I was so impressed with I made my outfeed table from it. It's wearing so well I decided to face my fence with the leftovers.

I began by removing the old face. If I remember correctly, the stock face is removed by peeling off the trim around the edge of the face, then pulling the face apart to gain access to the screw heads. I used a transfer punch to mark the new face for mounting holes.

These were then drilled and counterbored on the drill press.

I chopped off the top corners, and broke the edges. This laminate can hold an extremely sharp edge, and need to be handled with care. I won't disgrace my plane irons on plywood, so sandpaper and a dust mask did the work.

I then mounted the face, and used a straight edge to check for flatness.

I was very happy to see it was straight from the start. Next, I checked for square.

It was a little out, so I used masking tape as a shim.

To test, I used a squared cutoff and cut a tenon.

The shoulder was clean and straight all the way around.

Finally, I installed my favourite blade, made a partial cut, and measured the distance between the kerf and inside edge.

Then adjusted the (broken) cursor to match.

(hey Tyler, I vote for Redwings :)­ ↑)



  1. Redwings! But the Brahmas are made in Alberta.

    I can't believe the Brahmas are losing. There's no justice.

  2. To be fair, I was unaware Brahmas existed.

    I'll buy a pair once my Redwings wear out, if I'm still able to walk then. :)


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I'm a woodworker on the Canadian prairie.