Extra-Large Band Saw Fence

band saw table

Fig. A: You can upgrade your band saw with an old table saw fence. A larger wooden table can be made to fit around all four sides of the original table, leaving a slot on the right side for blade changing.

by Jack Phillips

I never throw anything away. Some day, I tell myself, the stuff in that neglected pile of junk will come in handy. I was right! I resurrected my old Craftsman table saw fence and turned it into a first-rate band saw fence.I needed a larger band saw table and a better fence for resawing. Because the old fence locked on a back rail I made the new band saw table the same size as my old Craftsman table saw. The trick was devising the means to anchor and level the new table.

I came up with a simple system to mount the new table, using pairs of wood blocks. One-half of the pair is bolted to the edge of the old band saw table. The other has a slotted hole so I can move the new table up and down to get it perfectly level. The slotted blocks are glued and screwed to a set
of five table supports that hold up the new wooden band saw table.

Drilling holes in the soft cast iron edge of my band saw table was easy. I built the table supports first so I knew where the holes had to go.

band saw table

Fig. B: Pairs of simple wooden blocks fasten the new table to the old. One block is bolted directly to the edge of the iron band saw table. The other block is part of a glued and screwed table support. This block is slotted to allow the wooden table to be leveled.

Now I have a large, sturdy table for my band saw. With more table fore and aft of the blade, it’s easier to balance long work and with a longer miter slot, I can cut wider pieces than I could before.

 

band saw table

Fig. C: Overhead view of the supports for the new wooden table. Cut and glue-up five sets, then drill holes in the left and right edges of the iron table. Bolt all of the table supports to the band saw table. Then, mount the new wooden table on top of the supports and screw the table down from above. Finally, level the table.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker April 1999, issue #72.