Fence Position for Right-Tilt Saw

Article - August 3, 2009

This question comes from Michael who asks:

I know this has got to be the dumbest question. I have a right tilt table saw. Where do you put the fence when you make a 45 cut? Please don’t laugh too loud.

And my response:

right tiltWell, I did laugh out loud Michael. But only because you told me not to. :) The truth is its not a dumb question at all. In fact, its a very good question that more folks should be asking themselves when they own a right tilt saw. The reality is that most people will cut their bevels with the fence on the right side of the blade. The problem with this is the fact that the workpiece is then trapped under the blade and has a higher chance of kicking back. It also means that you have less room for error, because if the piece lifts up at all, you will remove some extra material and likely have some burning to deal with.

So one alternative is to cut with the fence on the left side of the blade, but obviously you are limited in the amount of room you have to work with. So I would say if you are comfortable using the saw in this manner and your saw is capable of a left-side rip, go ahead and do it for the smaller pieces that will fit. When cutting larger pieces, you just won’t have much of a choice if you want to use the tablesaw for the angled cut. Its just the nature of the beast.

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