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Fitting a DRO to a table saw fence


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Established Member
26 Jul 2005
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Romsey, Hampshire
My Xcalibur saw has a clone of the Biesemeyer fence - see http://home.comcast.net/~jaswensen/mach ... fence.html for the basic details of these fences.

This write up shows the step I went through to add the 'stretched' DRO scale from here http://thewoodhaven.co.uk/phpBB3/viewto ... =19&t=2128 to my table saw.

Your fences may well be different in detail but hopefully this will provide some inspiration.

My design requirements were to a) protect the scale as much as possible from mechanical damage and avoid the build up of dust and b) to be able to remove the fence quickly as also use the saw with jigs and other tools where the fence gets in the way.

So you may be able to visualise what I'm trying to achieve here is a fast forward to the end result

Here is the fence and guide bar removed from the saw table seen from the left (confusingly still with the saw table in view !!)

and from the right

The fence and guides are built from standard steel angle and box sections.

Here is the underside view showing where the scale will be fitted.

The scale is mounted inside a 1200mm length of 2" x 2" x 1/8" aluminium channel from the local metal store - about £15

Four mounting brackets are screwed to the channel and will later be shown fixed to the underside of the fence rail

The read head is inside the channel and fitted with a small tapped aluminium block shown here.

As well as providing protection to the scale, the edge of the channel is used as a rail along which a plastic guide runs.

Guide block with 1/8" groove cut in

And mounted onto the read head

Other surfaces of the guide block run closely to the fence rail. The idea being the if the guide block get hit in use, the shock will be transferred to the fence rail or the aluminium channel and NOT to the read head.

I needed a quick release clamp to attach the guide block to the fence itself. This had to be rigid and any free play would add error to the scale reading. After much deliberation I came up with this hinged clamp.

Note the rectangular pocket on the right to hole the clamp bolt from rotating.

Here is the clamp assembled with Bristol lever.

I drilled and tapped four holes in the underside of the fence rail angle piece and fitted the completed scale assembly

Here is the completed unit fitted back onto the table edge (as above)

A quick turn on the Bristol lever and the fence is readily removed.

I'm still waiting for the extension lead to be delivered ( on order via ebay from Hong Kong for 99p!) so for now the display is very close to the fence but eventually will be up on the wall at eye level.

Having set the zero with the blade touching the fence, I did a test cut.

OOPs! 0.02mm error between cut and reading - well that is good enough for me!

Thanks for reading


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