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Use front or rear rail as long rip fence

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  • Use front or rear rail as long rip fence

    Has anyone tried using a BT3000/3100 front or rear rail as an attachment to the rip fence to get a longer rip fence? I briefly tried it and it seems that it may work for some applications except the height of the combinations I tried all seem to present limitations on workpiece thickness - either you cant rip thin pieces and possibly you cant rip thicker pieces.

    I would attach them with the Ryobi connectors used for the wide table extension, T-nuts and a bolt and washer.

    This same concept may work for making a long miter fence either out of a long front or rear rail or more logically perhaps by using the rail from an existing rip fence that may have broke front or rear parts.

    It just a SWAG to try this out as I do have an extra pair of rails that would give a long rip fence.

  • #2
    I thought about it many years ago and decided I didn't really need it as I have never ripped anything longer than 10 feet. I also have an extra set of rails from my BT3100 (that's almost completely unused), but again haven't had the need. I thought about making a longer version of the high fence I made years ago, but it didn't seem worth the effort. Not saying it won't work and someone might like it. As for the miter fence, I made one that attaches to the factory fence for longer crosscut work pieces, but have seldom needed it. I also made a micro adjustable miter table fence that attaches to the end of the SMT for doing wider (24 - 27 inch) crosscuts. I've used that one far more than the extension one.
    Jim Frye
    The Nut in the Cellar.


    • #3
      I normally keep a 30-inch piece clamped to cut side of my fence and that seems long enough for anything I would ever want to do. The fence, as is, is only 23 inches and adding just that 7-inches too it seems enough. I tried a 48-inch extension, but that simply got in the way of moving my BT back into it's storage position. I've ripped 12 ft pieces on my BT and that short 30-inch extension on the side of my fence seems to be enough.

      I don't rip large sheets of ply on the BT, considering both the saw and myself to be simply too light weight to handle a large heavy sheet. For that, I use a "factory edge" and my circular saw to cut it down to size.

      The other way I look at it is, that the cutting is taking place at the blade position and the fence, only at that area, is all that matters. I just make sure the contact on the fence is fore and aft through the cut. If the fence was any longer, I'm not so sure I'd be able to see the farther area anyway! For me, it's a matter of practicality and would an extensively longer fence really makes anything easier or more accurate than what I am already using.

      Last edited by cwsmith; 06-28-2018, 07:47 PM.
      Think it Through Before You Do!


      • #4
        I have the nuts and bolts that fit the rip fence to attach stuff to it but I find these inexpensive fence clamps better - reviewed here

        With that when I need a really long rip fences I have a jig with two wood strips like 1x2 making a long L-beam. That gives it good stiffness with a low side towards the blade Put a couple of holes in the L-beam top edge for the fence clamps and off we go.
        Need a super straight edge I could use a 48 inch level and clamp that to the fence using the fence clamps, I think.
        Loring in Katy, TX USA
        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
        BT3 FAQ -