This is How to Make a DIY Bandsaw Fence. In this post, I’ll show you how to make a quick and easy bandsaw fence that you can use any time you need to cut a straight line on your bandsaw.
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DIY Bandsaw Fence
Unless you have a very specific reason for buying a fence for your bandsaw, I definitely recommend making it yourself. The project is not very difficult at all, then you probably have everything you need already in the shop.
Also, this kind of fence is very mobile, meaning you can use just about any scrap you have in the shop, and you’ll have a very quick bandsaw fence to make a few cuts.
I’ll show you everything you need to know in the post, and you’ll be able to put this into practice immediately in your own shop.
Ripping on the Bandsaw
The band saw is mainly meant for a curved cuts, though it can do really well when it comes to cutting material in a straight line as well. You do need to have a good blade, that is sharp, and you can make really straight cuts on your band saw.
The thickness of the material that you use will make a little bit of a difference, and in general thinner material will pass through a rip cut far easier than thicker material.
However, if you don’t have a table saw, you just need to make a very quick cut, you can definitely make rip cuts on your band saw as long as you have a method of keeping the piece straight throughout the cut. That’s where the fence comes in.
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Making a Quick Bandsaw Fence
The piece needs to be at least as tall as the wood that you are ripping into a straight line, but other than that there are really no requirements. Clamp the piece of wood down, and then get out your tape measure to see how far away from the blade it needs to be.
This is the only part that takes a little bit longer than a normal fence. On a store-bought fence, you simply slide it to a certain measurement that’s attached to the unit. With this method, you’ll have to measure the old-fashioned way.
Use a ruler or tape measure, and measure from the inside of the kerf that is closest to your fence, and the gap in between those two edges will be the final width of the piece that exits the saw.
Of course there will be a little bit more saw marks to remove than if you were to do this process on a table saw, however you can always leave a tiny bit extra and just run the piece through your jointer or sand by hand with a sanding block in the end.
The Best Clamps to Use
For the sheer convenience, the best clamps that you can possibly use for this kind of fence are quick release clamps with a hand pumping action. These will allow you to place and remove the clamps rapidly, and that’s really convenient.
If you don’t have a set of clamps like this, you can pick up a blister pack with several inside that doesn’t cost very much. They are really nice to have around the shop, and once you actually have them with you, you’ll find out quite a few different reasons to use them.
The only thing you need to check is that they open up large enough to hold your band saw table and your scrap wood fence. However, in most cases this is only going to be a few inches, and just about all of the clamps you find will open that wide.
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Keeping it Out of Your Way as You Saw
Something worth mentioning is about how you place your clamps when you use this type of ripping fence. It’s important to watch the geometry of the clamp and make sure that it’s not hanging over into the area where you’ll be making your cuts.
It’s actually pretty easy to forget this in practice, because you’ll naturally go for the easiest spot to place your clamp. Make sure that none of the clamps are in the way, and also check that the bars and the handles are not in the way.
It’s much easier to get all of these things figured out long before the saw is turned on and you’re halfway committed to a cut. At a point like this, it can be dangerous, so you definitely want to get these issues addressed before you make your first cut.
I even recommend doing a quick dry run without the saw turned on. This way, you can simulate putting the wood on the table top, and how you would need to align it and push it through. Check both sides of course, because the in feed might be good but the out feed might be blocked.
Bandsaw Fence Tips and Tricks
Here are a few tips and tricks to make your bandsaw fence even better:
- Definitely measure your gap a few times, and even send a scrap through first and then measure it in order to get a good understanding of how well your saw cuts.
- If you have an old blade, or a blade that has hit the guides at some point, the saw will want to turn left or right, and at that point you need a new blade.
- Don’t over feed the material, instead slowly feed it through only as fast as the saw blade creates the cut.
See Also: A Beginners Guide to Woodworking
Your Action Assignment
Now that you know how to make a really easy DIY bandsaw fence from scraps in your shop, it’s time to get out there and take action. This is a really easy project, and if you haven’t been ripping on your bandsaw you’re going to love it.
The bandsaw is one of the most versatile tools in your shop, and though it’s mainly designed for curved cuts, you’ll now be able to make straight cuts as well. This can save you quite a bit of money in the beginning as you’re waiting to purchase a table saw.
If you have any questions on bandsaw fences, please post a question and I’ll be glad to answer them. Happy building.
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