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Thread: Need Advice: Size of Rip Fence

  1. #1
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    Need Advice: Size of Rip Fence

    I have owned my Jet contractor saw (JWTS-10CW2-PFX) since about 1999 (It replaced a Craftsman contractor saw). It is a 10" 1 1/2 HP table saw with cast iron wings and a Xacta fence with a 52" rip capacity. There is an 36" long table that gives you this capacity. It has been a very good saw for me, but if I knew how committed I would become to woodworking I would have spent the money on a true cabinet saw. When I build my new shop I will replace it with a cabinet saw.

    My question is, why should I not replace the 52" rip capacity on my current saw by getting a new 30" fence system (or modify what I have down to the 30")?

    Why am I contemplating this? Well, I never use the 52" rip capacity and I could use the added room in the shop. I could save 20" x 27" of space. I never had much success ripping whole sheets on my table saw. Unfortunately when I am standing at the far end of the sheet corner (ready to start cutting) I can not see the fence that well . The result is that I get off track right from the start. That straight cut looks like a banana. I early learned to cut the sheets down to size first with a circular saw and life has been much better.

    Am I missing a future need here? I am now wondering why I even thought I needed a 52" rip capacity. Did I just buy into thinking bigger was better?

    So to sum up, should I get rid of that additional 22" of rip capacity and buy more shop space?

  2. #2
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    Bill if you are going to modify the fence make it so you can cut at lest 36" that way it will be a wide enough cut to make cabinet ends if you ever need to.
    I never understood why they made them to 30" when 36" will cut a sheet to a good usable size. I made cabinets and stuff for 17 years in my woodworking business and never once did I use the 52" cut.
    Jay

  3. #3
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    I'd agree with Jay, don't go less than 36".
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  4. #4
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    I wonder what the shipping cost would be to W Tx for that long rail? If it was reasonable, and you could get a new short rail, I might be interested in buying your long rail, (if it was reasonable too).

  5. #5
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    I'm getting the longer rail for my new SawStop, with the extension table. This will pretty well dominate the center of my workshop. I'm planning on putting my router table into the right side of my SawStop, and I'll use the fence on the router table, well, I'll most likely end up making some kind of auxiliary fence that attaches to the tablesaw fence. I could be making a mistake, but if I am making a mistake, it is easier to cut down a too long rail, than make a short one longer.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Hitt View Post
    I wonder what the shipping cost would be to W Tx for that long rail? If it was reasonable, and you could get a new short rail, I might be interested in buying your long rail, (if it was reasonable too).
    I am not at home right now, so I can't check, but I wonder if the rail is a standard (USA) tube steel size. Maybe it just needs to be close and you can adjust the fence to accommodate. If it was, then you would be better off just purchasing the angle iron and tube steel locally and painting it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    I'm getting the longer rail for my new SawStop, with the extension table. This will pretty well dominate the center of my workshop. I'm planning on putting my router table into the right side of my SawStop, and I'll use the fence on the router table, well, I'll most likely end up making some kind of auxiliary fence that attaches to the tablesaw fence. I could be making a mistake, but if I am making a mistake, it is easier to cut down a too long rail, than make a short one longer.

    Cheers!
    Larry Merlau also mentioned putting the router table on the right hand side in a PM. I think this is a good idea. I then save the space of the current router table. I had heard in the past that it was better to have a separate table for the router, because you can move it around and not tie up the table saw, but my experience is the table saw position is the best place in the shop and I am a one man operation and don't need both machines at any one time.

    Thanks everyone, I am glad I posted this. You led me to a better decision.

  8. #8
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    Bill one thing to think about if you get a new fence system they only want to sell you it in 30" and 52". My General Contractor saw had the 30" and what I did is move the tube over enough to get the 36" that I wanted. It will require drilling some new holes but it works just fine.

    Selling you a 30" system is how they get you to spend more money for the larger system they know that you will need 35" to build cabinet ends.
    Jay

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Caughron View Post
    Selling you a 30" system is how they get you to spend more money for the larger system they know that you will need 35" to build cabinet ends.
    Jay
    I have a Festool circular saw with rails and could do the occasional cabinet ends. I am not really into making cabinets (even though I have a current cabinet project) and expect most of my table saw use will be ripping and cross cutting solid wood, but I think moving the router to the end is the best solution. I save space and still have the full 52" capacity.

    I am going to check out the tube steel size to see if it is available here. If it is, then I will feel better about just whacking away at it, if I was inclined to.

  10. #10
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    I'd agree with Jay, don't go less than 36".

    Bill why don't you just scoot it to the left & re-drill it & thread it.That is what I did with my fence. My old Unisaw is right tilt & I wanted to cut bevels on the left side of the blade. I have 40" to the right & 24" to the left.

    This would keep you from cutting the tube if you ever decided you wanted the 52" capacity back again. PM me & I'll tell you how I did it.

    You could put your router table on either side this way if your planning to use the table-saw fence in combination with an add on fence for the router table.

    I have done this in the past on my contractors saw. BUT...

    I don't like using the table-saw fence this way because you can still do a limited amount of cutting or ripping with the table-saw fence if you have a stand alone router fence.
    Last edited by Bart Leetch; 01-06-2009 at 07:42 PM.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

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