Special DIY T-bolt for BT3000 Miter Fence, Rip Fence and Rails

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  • Special DIY T-bolt for BT3000 Miter Fence, Rip Fence and Rails

    After a bit more thinking, some universal T-bolts for the rip miter fence make more sense than fixture blocks.
    The two big slots in the rip fence and the miter fence and the front and rear rails are sized to take 1.00 inches wide x 1/8th and 1-1/8" wide x 1/8th.

    So I took some 1/8th flat Aluminum 1.00 inches wide and cut 1-1/8" long to make a 1: x 1-1/8" rectangular plates; I used a short rip fence Block to space the length but not cause a kickback with the cutoff trapped between the fence and blade. I use a short block exactly 1.00 inches thick so that the rip fence scale is off by exactly 1 inch. e.g. set it to 2-1/8" to get a 1-1/8" cutoff.

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    and drilled a centered hole for a 1/4-20 tap size (#7 drill or 0.201" dia.)

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    And then threaded and tapped for 1/4-20 (hints: use the drill press with the belt removed for a perfectly perpendicular straight tap, Clamp the work piece level, lower the quill with one hand to keep light pressure, while turning the pulley by hand to thread it will pull the tap in with out having to drive the quill down, use a drop of cutting oil on the tap). Taps are tapered so make sure your drive it in far enough so there's no more resistance to turning,
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    Put a 1/4-20 x 1-1/2" stud (or in my case, a 1/4-20 x 1-1/2" set screw was an easier and cheaper buy) and I have these. Thread in enough so that the screw does not protrude from the bottom but has all possible threads engaged. Used a drop of super glue although Maybe just some red or blue Loctite will work. Other threads such as 10-32 and 8-32 will work; 1/4-20 only has about 2 threads engagement in 1/8th inch but its OK and I have a lot of knobs and thumb nuts in 1/4-20. If you can't find studs the right size, You can also buy a piece of 1/4-20 all thread and cut it into 1.5" lengths and deburr them, but that is more work. Hint, if you do this thread a nut onto the all thread , cut it, then unscrew the nut to straighten out the burrs and then deburr it.
    If you use a set screw, that has a pointed end, you may want to grind it flat.

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    You can use the T-bolts in the wide slots on the rip fence (top and right side), miter fence (top and rear) and the inside and bottoms of the front and rear rails. (may have to rotate 90 degrees as some BT slots are 1" and some are 1-1/8", this will fit one or the other when rotated since the base is 1" x 1-1/8")

    Use two of them and you can attach a block to the top of say, the rip fence and use a 1/4-20 wing nut or a threaded knob to tighten it against the fence. And attach a fence or other fence accessories to the side of the block.

    A block with a width of 1.572 inches is good for the rip fence, with a row of holes centered 0.675 inches from the left side will work well and be flush with both sides of the rip fence.

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    Fence profiles

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    ​P.S. Nov 14, 2023
    I have found an additional use of these T-nuts.
    The back (right side) of the rip fence is getting marked and scuffed a bit by my Rockler Fence clamps

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ID:	856967​and as convenient as the clamps are the back (right side) of the rip fence has ribs from the extrusion making the landing spot for the clamp foot small
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ID:	856969​So I used two T-nuts on the back (right) side of the rip fence with two small knobs (or wing nuts work) to have a quick drop on smooth backing
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ID:	856971​thank makes a smooth landing for the fence clamps and come on and off in seconds.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by LCHIEN; 11-15-2023, 12:18 AM.

    • leehljp
      #1
      leehljp commented
      Editing a comment
      Excellent write up on "T-Bolts" for BT3000 and BT3100. Thanks Loring! Great Article. One note to those that are new to woodworking, or to those who are not aware, but with safety precautions in mind, it is OK to use wood saw blades and router bits to cut or trim aluminum. If unaware of how, just google "cutting aluminum with a table saw" or "using a router to route aluminum". Several articles to guide.

    • LCHIEN
      #2
      LCHIEN commented
      Editing a comment
      Since Hank mentioned it. Yes, you can cut aluminum extrusions with a wood cutting blade on a table saw or miter saw as shown above.
      Google it as Hank said.
      I will add some here, I have done this on my miter saw usually for extrusions. Which usually works well. In this case with a 1.125" cutoff I had problems with the blade opening of my miter saw, it was relatively wide and did not support the cutoff which dipped into the hole and went flying. I switched to the table saw and used a zero clearance insert which supported the cutoff fully and was much safer. I will also suggest a more raised blade so that the cut force is downwards and the table supports the cut. If the blade is just raised a little, the cut tends to be more of a forward cut and there is no support for the workpiece which tends to push the cutoff toward the user and it is not supported by the miter fence at that point..

      I do have a 10" carbide blade that is designed for non-ferrous (not steel, not iron) like aluminum and brass but for this short piece I just left my Forrest WWII 40T blade on.
      If you are really squeamish about cutting aluminum with your woodworking power tools, you can always do it with a hacksaw. and clean up the edge with a disk sander.

    • LCHIEN
      #3
      LCHIEN commented
      Editing a comment
      For the BT3000, BT3100, and the Sears clones,
      The rip fence and miter fence have 1-1/8" T slots on top and bottom and a 1" slot on one face.
      The Front rail has 1" slots rear(inside) and bottom
      The rear rail has 1" slot on the front (inside) and 1-1/8 slot on the bottom
    Posting comments is disabled.

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