Bandsaw fence.

My father-in-law procured a new shop addition this past weekend, namely a Ryobi 9″ benchtop band saw!!!  Jim, you rock!  This little gem has already earned it’s keep by enabling me to make some tricky angled cuts on Keaton’s Rocket Bookcase (more on that in another post).

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Once I get the hang of things and play with it a while, I’ll post a review of it, but for now, there are a few house keeping things that need attending. Namely, a fence and a push stick (safety first!).

I’ll go into details of the unboxing and tuning in the review, so we’ll pick it up when I cut a few scraps and made some more fuel for the fire pit. At that point I realized, if I’m going to get serious, I need a rip fence! I perused the internet for a little bit and hit on the idea of having the fence adjustable for drift. That meant it had to be something similar to the drill press fence, with a pivot point at one end and a clamping point at the other.

Speaking of the drill press, I decided to salvage yet more of the aborted drill-lathe, specifically, the part that held the tailstock. It already had a t-nut in it and a carriage bolt adapted to a handle (oak dowel).

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But how to connect this to the nice poplar 1×2 I had left over from another project. That’s when it dawned on me: drill a hole in the end of the fence, run the bolt through and leaven the maple block with the t-nut underneath to ride along the side of the table. Incan adjust the angle of the fence, tighten if down and clamp the other end! Awesome!

Problem. As soon as I clamped it for a test drive, the end with the block and bolt popped right up off the table. Hmmmmm. So. I need to secure this thing somehow. All kinds of options floated through my head. Another clamp. A pizza. Magnets. Beer. Another piece of wood under it, designed to hook on the underside of the table….more beer….

Eventually I put thoughts of beer to rest (sadly) and settled on an idea to create a a hook shaped block (or piece of metal). After I spent an hour fiddling with an L bracket to bend it into shape, I realized there was no easy way to attach that to the fence assembly without redesigning the whole thing.

Then it hit me: use wood. I had a strip of 3/4″ maple that would fit the bill if I couple nibble out a notch on the band saw just big enough to hook over the lip of the table. It was the right thickness to fit flush on the fence assembly. It had to work.

I began by cutting the slot for the table in two identical pieces of maple. that took all of 10 seconds. Then I glued those to the block under the fence.

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Then I had a block that vaguely looked like those flying bricks from Tron (lol).

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Put it all together and it worked perfectly!!! The hooks have enough strength to hold the fence securely with no wobble (they are pretty snug…may have to apply some wax) and the fence is now very easily adjust and won’t pop up!

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So then I had to test it:

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And then noticed a piece of scrap from when I made the trim on my daughter’s bookcase. I lined everything up, left it adjusted for drift from the first test piece and ripped me some quarter round moulding!

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I cannot begin to express how excited I am over this project and this tool. The band saw is going to open up all kinds of possibilities for me, I think!

Thanks again, Jim!!!!

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One Response to Bandsaw fence.

  1. Big D says:

    Nice gift and valuable tool! Gotta watch out moving and lifting that sucker around your workbench though! I.e. from one that knows… experience is the best (and sometimes harshest) teacher. EOM

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