New Table Saw Fence – Part 5 – New Wings

Published on by Mike

Original Posted on November 3rd, 2010

new_wingsAfter a couple months of usage, the new fence is worked out great! One issue I noticed immediately was that the old stamped steel wings were no longer stable after removing some of the bolts to make the new fence fit. Plus with the longer rails, I felt like I was missing out on additional work area. So to the solve that problem I made two new wings. The left wing is roughly the same size as the old wing, while the right wing takes full advantage of the new rails.

wing_bottomConstruction was very straight forward. Looking at the bottom, while fuzzy, should give an idea of how it is constructed. The bulk of each wing is two pieces of 3/4″ mdf laminated together to make a surface that was 1 1/2″ thick. Notice all the screws on the bottom. Before any glue touched the MDF, I predrilled and prescrewed each screw to make the pieces lined up properly, and to make sure that the top piece didn’t lift away from the bottom during glue-up. After glue-up came the edge banding. The edge banding serves two purposes here. First it makes a clean looking edge. Second, and much more importantly, it provides the structure to bolt the wings to the saw and rails. I intentionally made the edge banding wider than 1.5″ and initially attached them proud of the top surface. I only attached two bands at a time using glue and nails. Once each of the bands were attached and the glue was dry, I flushed them up with the router using a flush trim bit. After completing the edge banding, I covered the top of each wing with a sheet of Formica, using contact glue and a j-roller.

Finally came time for installation, and this was actually the most time consuming part of the project. After getting a wing lined up as close as possible, I would mark the two outer bolt holes. I then drilled the through hole. If you look in the picture around the edge you will see large holes in the bottom. These were drilled using a forstner bit, and then using a chisel and hammer, made a flat surface for the nut & washer to bite into. After cutting each of these (8 in all) a lot of time was spent with lining up with wings. This included widening the through holes with a rasp, tightening and loosening bolts, and finally some brute force with the rubber mallet. After finally getting everything even, I did a final check to make sure all the bolts were good and tight.

Update 3/6/2013 – I have been using the setup for not quite 2.5 years now.  The wings have worked out fairly well, and do occasionally need readjustment.  The fence has been great!  I do try to keep the guides as clean as possible and well waxed.  The fence still glides as smooth as the day I installed it.  There was a point about a year ago that I thought I was going to have to replace the saw.  Luckily the issue was repairable, and the saw is still useable.  However, if I had to replace the saw, most likely that fence would have been put on the replacement saw.

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