DIY Network

How to Use a Rip Fence System

For projects that require faithful measurements, consider installing a precision rip fence system. Host David Thiel offers information on how to upgrade a table saw by adding a precision rip fence system.

More in Home Improvement

installing a precision rip fence system
  • Time

    Under Half Day

  • Price Range

    $250 - $500

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Mount the Rails

To mount the rails, first locate the existing holes on the saw and insert the mounting brackets into them.

Clamp the mounting brackets into the groove on the bottom of the rails.

secure rails on mounting brackets

Step 2: Set up the Cursor and Bridge

Next, set up the cursor and bridge. When the cursor is set to zero, the fence should be right next to the saw blade. When the bridge is in the right place, lock it down.

Note: To maintain precision each time the blade widths are changed, reset the bridge in this manner.

set up the cursor and bridge

Step 3: Find the Exact Measurements

Once the rip-fence system is in place, set the cursor to the measurement needed, but don't lock down the cursor just yet. Use the dial to achieve an exact measurement. As the dial is turned, adjust the measurement by .001 inch. Once the exact number is reached, lock down the cursor.

set cursor to measurement needed

Step 4: Lock the Cursor

When locking down the cursor, teeth inside the lock interlace with teeth on the rail (Image 1) to hold the proper position.

There's one more lock to consider. The final lock stabilizes the positions of the rails against the fence (Image 2).