Chris Schwarz's Blog

My Favorite Planing Stop. Price? $1,200

Time to drop my drawers and lose all my Neander-cred.

My favorite planing stop for drawers and casework is the rip fence on my $1,200 Unisaw. The rip fence is completely adjustable, at the right height for me (34″) and 100-percent stable. Also, the benchtop (cast iron and melamine) never needs flattening.

I’ve used the fence this way since I owned a Craftsman table saw in Lexington. If you haven’t tried it, Uncle Chris says it’s OK.

– Christopher Schwarz

12 thoughts on “My Favorite Planing Stop. Price? $1,200

  1. Joe Wiener

    Chris F, Thanks! I guessed that but then I lost confidence wondering about the drawer’s side to side fit and shaving the sides of the drawer to fit too seemed frought with inaccuracy. Joe

  2. Tim

    and all this time I thought my planing stop had a built it saw blade, so thats what the power switch is for!

  3. Chris F

    I notice nobody answered Joe’s question about why the drawer is being shaved.

    Joe, the drawer is built to exactly the height of the opening. This results in a drawer that is too high for proper operation, so it is then is shaved down until it operates smoothly.

    If the drawer is being fitted in low humidity conditions, a few extra shavings might be removed to allow for expansion of the drawer sides during high humidity.

  4. Christopher Schwarz

    It is an HTC fence on a Biesemeyer rail. I use both of the fences and barely pay attention to which is on there. Sorry for the error.

    Chris

  5. Stuart Hough

    You say it’s a Biesemeyer, but I could swear that’s one of the HTC models in the picture…or maybe Fine Woodworking figured a way to hack a different picture in there to try to discredit you! Yeah! That must be it!

  6. Lee Laird

    Chris,

    Way to go! I’ve been using my SawStop as my expensive workbench for a couple of years now. I’ve even gone so far as to attach a thick wood chock to the end of my saw, using the extra mounting holes where additional cast iron wings would attach. I bought three veneer press clamps which I’ve modified to control an outside wooden face as my humble dovetail clamping station. One of the veneer press screws are mounted at each end of the chock and one about 2/3 the way from the right end. This allows me to choose maximum rigidity in the outside face, when I’m dovetailing pieces less than 6" wide, 6" – 12" wide, and then up to just over 19" wide.

    I still plan to make a real bench in the future, just don’t yet have the room available.

    Regards,

    Lee

  7. Christopher Schwarz

    You don’t need any clamps. Weight, friction and force keep the drawer put.

    And I have no worries about the fence locking mechanism. The Biesemeyer is bulletproof, and this put very little pressure against it in any case.

    Chris

  8. Turner

    Neander-Cred? Hmmm, I too must obtain some of this currency. I will call my broker!

    However, it does seem a little tough on saw fence locking mechanisms.

  9. Ron Boe

    I do the same. Darn saw is my workbench half the time.

    Next time you do a workbench book I think a chapter or footnote on cast iron versions in in order. :^)

  10. Joe Wiener

    Uncle Chris,
    a) why are you shaving the drawer?
    b) how are you keeping the drawer from rotating towards your left as you skate that plane down the edge? Is there a clamp at the table edge by your right elbow snuggling the drawer up to the fence? Thanks, Joe

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