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Thread: Gain 10" of Table Saw Rip Capacity Without Drilling

  1. #1
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    Gain 10" of Table Saw Rip Capacity Without Drilling

    If you’re feeling a little restricted by your table saw’s small rip capacity, but don’t have the room for a 52” rip setup, it’s very likely that you can gain in the range of 10” of rip capacity for next to no cost, and with minimal effort if you’ve got a Biesemeyer or Biese clone style fence and a left tilt table saw. I’m sure there are other fences this trick will work with. There aren’t many opportunities to rip on the left side of a left tilting saw, so if you’ve got a steel t-square style fence like a Biesemeyer or similar, you can rob capacity from the left side and add it to the right side by sliding the front rail tube over farther to the right. The same modification could work with a right tilting saw, but you’ll typically loose the ability to rip on the left side of the saw, which is a common practice for bevel cuts with a right tilt saw. The Biesemeyer Commercial, Biesemeyer Homeshop, General T-fence, Jet Xacta, Xacta II, PM Accufence, HTC, Shop Fox Classic, Steel City Industrial, Saw Stop Industrial, Delta T2, Jet ProShop, and several other similarly designed fences should work well. There are three steps involved, steps 1 & 2 are very simple, step 3 is a bit more involved but might not even be necessary depending on your setup….read all three steps before proceeding, and apply common sense as needed….every setup is just a bit different. I’ve successfully added rip capacity to my Biesemeyer Commercial fence, and my Shop Fox Classic fence for final rip capacities of 40” and 36” respectively.

    Step 1: With these fences, the front rail tube is bolted to a steel angle bracket using several bolts. By unbolting the front rail (leave the front angle bracket untouched), you can easily slide the front tube farther to the right by the distance of one bolt hole (assuming the holes are evenly spaced). Then rebolt the tube to the bracket using one less bolt. You’ll basically be cantilevering the rail a bit further beyond the angle bracket. There are usually 4 or 5 bolts involved, so you’ll be reinstalling the tube using only 3 or 4 bolts, which still provides plenty of strength for most common operations. This step can be completed in just a few minutes.
    Here’s what the left side of a stock setup should resemble on a Biese/Biese clone style fence. Note where the rail lines up relative to the angle bracket.:




    Here’s what it looks like after the rail is slid farther to the right:



    Step 2: You’ll need to either reposition or replace the measuring tape if there was previously one adhered to the rail tube. It’s as easy as setting the left face of your fence flush against the blade, marking the rail, then installing the tape so that the zero reference point on the tape lines up near the cursor. Most cursors have fine tuning adjustments so you can dial in the zero mark precisely after the tape is installed. My measuring tape had a max reading of 26”....you can buy a new tape that’s longer, or can get creative and add an extension.





    Step 3: Since most of these fences ride along the main table, you’ll need to install an extension table in the newly expanded gap between the front and back angle brackets for the fence to ride on. The options for extension and router tables and methods for installing them are varied and plentiful….you can Google for your inspiration. Some of you may already have a stock or shop made extension or a router table installed, so you’re set. Some form of leg support may or may not be necessary depending on the specifics of your saw, but adding them is a safe conservative approach, and isn’t difficult to do.

    One caveat is that some of these fences have a rear foot that rides along the rear angle bracket instead of the body of the fence riding on the main table….if that’s the case with your fence, the length of the rear angle bracket will limit how far you can slide the front rail. Work arounds could include removing the rear foot on the fence and adding a nylon pad to slide on the main table, adding a longer rear angle bracket, or moving the angle bracket farther to the right proportionately to the front rail.
    Here are some examples of a router/extension tables:
    Got Wood?

  2. #2
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    I did that "trick" with my Shop Fox cabinet saw about ten years ago, and have never changed it back.

    BTW, a little velcro on than newly exposed 'shelf' makes it a good place to put the remote control for the dust collector.
    Last edited by Jim DeLaney; 11-04-2012 at 05:03 PM.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for re-visiting this Scott. I did this (IIRC) following in your footsteps several years ago. The 30" rip capacity was very often too little; the 40" rip capacity has proven to be just right with a very few exceptions. Getting the DRO was the trigger for me I think. I didn't want to cut the reader-rails down .

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This pic is from back in 2009 and I had shifted the rails before that. It still looks very much like this today.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #4
    Did the same thing back in March of 2009 on my Ridgid TS3650. Went from 36" rip capacity to just over 49". Never looked back after that!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Thanks for re-visiting this Scott. I did this (IIRC) following in your footsteps several years ago. The 30" rip capacity was very often too little; the 40" rip capacity has proven to be just right with a very few exceptions. Getting the DRO was the trigger for me I think. I didn't want to cut the reader-rails down .

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This pic is from back in 2009 and I had shifted the rails before that. It still looks very much like this today.
    Glenn and I set up my TS and Router table almost the same way. I wonder why. Hey you see something that works, try it. I am very happy. However, I sure had fear and treptation when sawing off the rails.

    Enjoy,

    JimB
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  6. #6
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    I moved the angle iron and rail on my 52" Griz saw factory unit, made a bigger extension table, and have about 64" to the right of the blade. On a right tilt, couldn't you move it to the left and achieve the same effect? I've never used the fence to the left of the blade on either of my table saws. Just couldn't see not moving the angle iron as well to make sure the far end of the rail was properly supported. Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	71476 I do have the proper length tape rule now on the rail. Jim.
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  7. #7
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    64" rip is huge!
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott spencer View Post
    64" rip is huge!
    I've got 184" on my panelsaw..... lol sorta
    "Do, or do not. There is no try."
    -Yoda



  9. #9
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    I installed the Shopfox fence on my old right tilt Unisaw I installed it to the left so that I could rip just over 24" to the left of the blade for beveled cuts leaving around 40" to the right of the blade. Plenty for ripping lower cabinet sides.
    "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

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl Brogger View Post
    I've got 184" on my panelsaw..... lol sorta
    I don't think I have 184" of shop capacity!
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