My little Inca bandsaw, which I love, came without a fence. For many uses this is okay, but the functionality and precision really are limited without a fence, so I set out to build one.
I picked up a piece of 2″x4″ rectangular extruded aluminum tubing from the local metal supply store to act as the fence itself, and for the rest I used other scraps of angle iron and trailer hitch tube I had saved from previous projects.
There are basically three parts to the fence assembly (and three corresponding blog posts):
- the rail
- the carriage
- the fence
The carriage and the fence are connected to each other and slide along the rail to set the distance between the blade and the fence. The carriage must be able to lock itself in place at any point along the rail.
My typical approach to any project is to just start building and figure things out as I go (for typical results, see my cyclone separator). I tend to rely on relative measurements (“about this big…”, or “the same size as that…”) rather than actually measuring with a ruler or tape measure. Since this project required a greater level of precision than my typical project, I did nothing different (I’m not entirely certain where my ruler and tape measure are anyways).
I determined the length for the rail by marking a piece of scrap hardboard while holding it against the bottom of the saw’s table.
After cutting the rail (a piece of 1″ angle iron) to length I used the same process to determine the proper location for the mounting holes. I drilled the holes a little large, so that there was some slack for adjustments.
Short segments of angle iron are pretty straight but they have some scaling and bubbling from the forging process which I filed off and sanded a bit to ensure that the surface was flat (enough).
I happened to have a couple of metric bolts and lock washers that fit the threaded holes in the table, and installed the rail.
Next step: the carriage…