Though adjusting your table saw fence may be fast and easy, you must make sure that you do it properly. If done improperly, you may run the possibility of the material you are working with kicking back toward you, possibly causing serious injury. Fortunately, with a little knowledge, you will be able to properly adjust your table saw fence so that it works properly.
Tip #1: Knowing Why the Problem is Caused and How Your Table Saw Fence Works
Since the table saw can be attached to both the right and left sides of your work table, misalignment is usually caused by either the fence guide of the actual blade. The machine is meant to be moved in small incremental amounts so that you are able to cut your material to the exact length and width you need. The width you will get when cutting with your table saw fence is the exact amount of width between the side of the fence and the blade itself. If either of those things become misaligned in any way, you will get errors in your work.
Tip #2: Unlock the Fence Guide to Move it Easily
Though instructions may vary depending on the manufacturer of your table saw fence, the locking mechanism is usually closest to where you would be operating it. This could be a lever or a knob, and you should consult your user's manual to know exactly how it should be lifted or turned to get your desired results.
Tip #3: Follow the Measuring Guide to Get the Correct Distance
If you need to adjust your fence so that your blade will cut a specific width, you will need to move your fence wither direction. There should be a measuring guide at the edge of your table between the blade and the fence. Simply move the fence to the appropriate distance, double check that it is the correct distance with a tape measure and lock it into place securely.
Tip #4: Moving the Fence
In some instances, you may need to have the fence on the opposite side of the blade. In this case, unlock your fence and remove it from the side of the table. As long as the fence has been fully unlocked, this should be a simple step. Then, move the fence to the opposite side, measure to the distance you need and lock it into place.
Tip #5: Always Double Check Measurements
Once your fence has been locked in place, it is a good idea to double check your measurements again. If possible, take measurements at the table edge and behind the saw. This way, you can make sure that the fence is not even slightly crooked and you will get a correct cut. This can also be easily done with a T-square or a Tri-square.
When you use your saw blade, if possible, use some sort of machinery to push the cut material through. This will not only protect yourself from injury but will erase the possibility of human error, as it will give a consistent push through the machinery.
With these simple steps, you will be able to properly align you table saw fence and get the exact measurements you need.