It’s been almost two weeks now that I’ve been running with the new fence and table on the bandsaw, and while I won’t say that it has changed my life, it certainly has changed my work flow in the shop. Since I’ve made the modifications I haven’t done any work with sheet goods. As a result, my table saw is now serving as a stand for my thickness planer because I’ve been doing all my ripping and resawing on the bandsaw and then cleaning up the saw marks with my planer.
The main reason I decided to make this change in workflow was because I wanted to do some work with smaller stock and honestly, I find for stock under 1 ½” wide that the table saw is just too spooky, even with jigs and push sticks. The other thing is, my table saw is REALLY REALLY LOUD. Even with ear defenders on, the combined noise of the saw and the dust collector can get to be like nails on a chalk board. This may be a leftover effect of when I was making parts for Muskoka chairs and had the saw1 going for 8 hours a day.
The results of the experiment have been largely positive. As I said before, I took the advice of Alex Snodgrass on how to dial in the blade guides and tracking. I’m using a ¼” 6 tpi blade and so far, I’ve had good results. I haven’t noticed any drift. Basically I square up the fence, set my width, and away we go.
I am, however considering a new design. Having two clamp down points on the fence means that adjusting for width is a little bit more fussy than it needs to be. I end up having to find a speed square and a ruler before I set up my cut. I think the next iteration of the table and fence system will involve a t-square setup of some kind. That will likely have to wait for next spring, however because we’re heading into cold weather and I really want to have the car live inside over the winter. When I do that project though, I’ll document it for sure because I haven’t seen anyone take this particular approach to making a fence.
I wasn’t using this table saw in that endeavour. I was using a Rockwell-Beaver 9” contractors saw with a custom t-square style fence that I welded up. I still have that saw but havent moved it back home yet. Also, because of that gig, I can’t stand the smell of cedar anymore. ↩