Using A Table Saw: Fence Guide

A table saw fence guide is sometimes called a rip fence guide. This tool can be handy when using a table saw on more projects than just making fences. A fence guide can help you cut large amounts of materials that need to a uniform length or width.

Adjusting the Guide

Adjusting the fence guide is a simple process, but it must be done correctly in order to avoid damage to your tools or materials or potential energy.

The guide can be placed either to the right or left side of the saw blade. Make adjustments in small incremental amounts so that materials can be cut into very specific dimensions.

Step 1 - Unlock the fence guide. The locking mechanism is usually located at the end of the guide close to where the person operating the saw would stand. It should look like a lever that is pulled up or down or a knob that is turned left or right. If you are unable to locate the locking mechanism, consult the operating manual.

Step 2 - There is usually a measuring guide on the front edge of the saw table. Move the piece along the measuring guide until it is the desired height and distance from the blade. Lock it back into place.

Step 3 - Use a tape measure to double check the measurement to ensure that it is correct before you begin cutting into your material. Then remove the guide fence from the table.

Step 4 - Make certain the guide is perfectly aligned with the saw blade. You can use a carpenter square to double check the alignment and plumb of the guide. Do this even after you lock the guide into place since occasionally guides will slip a bit even after being locked.

This step is extremely important. Misalignment may result in the material or tools being destroyed. It can also cause dangerous accidents where the material being cut is kicked back up into the face or body of the person operating the table saw.

Step 5 - Set your material firmly against the fence guide and run it through the saw. Use a block to safely push the material through the blade—not your hand, as this can cause accidents and injuries.