Tall Bandsaw Resaw Fence - Made at Techshop

Introduction: Tall Bandsaw Resaw Fence - Made at Techshop

About: I'm a long time tinkerer and lover of Instructables, but recently I joined Techshop in San Francisco, and decided to really get creative. Right now I'm spending most of my time making sawdust in the wood-sho...

Resawing -  ripping a board to thickness - is a great technique that can save a lot of money and materials in the woodshop. The bandsaw is the most common tool for the job, but the stock fences that come with most bandsaws don't provide enough support for resawing wide lumber. In this instructable, I'm going to show how I made a tall auxiliary resaw fence for the Techshop, San Francisco bandsaw.

It's a really simple design, but it is stout and square, and has already helped me get some good re-saw cuts for a couple different projects. This fence doesn't need to be adjusted to the drift of the bandsaw fence, because it is registered against the stock rip fence, which is already adjusted for this saw. I made it with plywood left over from another project, and it took me ~1 hour to build and document it.

As always, I'm still a relative newcomer to woodworking - if anyone has any corrections or additional information, please share it in the comments. Just keep the criticism constructive.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Tools and materials

  • Tools used
  • Table saw
  • Bandsaw
  • Drill
  • Countersink #8 pilot bit
  • Drill driver
  • Block plane

Materials used

  • Square cut plywood
  • (12) #8 assembly screws
When making tool jigs, it's often a good idea to use engineered wood, like plywood and MDF. Both are strong and resistant to warping from environmental factors. But whatever material you choose to use, make sure that it's straight, flat and square. This is important because any defects in the wood will likely be reflected in future cuts.

This piece of plywood was left over from another project, and I already knew the sides to be square and straight. If you are unsure, joint the edges before making the jig.

Step 2: Cut the Parts

There are 4 parts in total, all cut from the same piece of plywood

  • The fence
  • The base
  • Two braces

The cuts

  1. I started by ripping the plywood into two pieces, measuring ~8" for the fence, and ~5" for the base
  2. After that, I used the corners of the base to make braces for the back of the fence. I used the miter guide to cut triangular braces, making sure that one side was about half as tall as the fence. When cutting, I left a little bit of material on the front corners of the base for two reasons.
    • I wanted a spot on the edge of the base where I could sink a screw through the fence and into the base
    • The base will need to be clamped down to the bandsaw table while in use, so I wanted a little tab where the clamps could go. Alternatively, just make the base longer so it overhangs the table a bit, with plently of space for clamps.
  3. Before assembling the pieces, I dry fit them together to make sure they fit as planned.

Step 3: Assemble the Parts

When assembling the fence, it's essential for the parts to be flush and square, because any inconsistencies will be reflected in the parts cut with the fence.

  1. To ensure my fence and base were square, I clamped the base to the side of my workbench and carefully positioned the fence over the base, lining up the edges by hand.
  2. I drilled pilot holes through both the fence and base at the same time. I made sure to countersink the holes -  countersinking means creating a space for the screw head to sit down in. This is important because the surface of the fence must be flat, with no screw heads sticking out.  I have a drill bit that makes a pilot hole and countersink at the same time.
  3. After drilling the pilot holes, I put in four #8 screws along the front
  4. I unclamped the base from the table, then checked that the braces still fit and the fence was square to the base. Everything fit fine.
  5. I drilled 4 pilot holes and put 4 screw in each brace. Two of the screws went through the fence side, and two went through the base side.
  6. Once everything was assembled, I took a block plane and gave a few swipes over the bottom edge of the fence, to make absolutely sure it was flush with the base.

Step 4: Make a Cutout for the Guides

At this point, the fence will work fine, but you may notice a problem. In order to use the fence as-is, the guide-assembly must be extended above the fence.

That's fine when cutting large pieces, but if you want to cut something narrower than the fence height, the blade won't track well through the cut because the guides are too high.

To fix this, I cut out a square just in the middle so that the guide assembly can be lowered down to the height of the normal fence. If you're cutting very narrow stock, just use the stock bandsaw fence.

  1. I started by placing the fence in position, like I was going to make a resaw cut. Then I drew a box around the guide assembly, marking the area where I would cut away from the fence.
  2. The cutout doesn't have to be precise, as long as it makes room for the guide assembly. For me, this fence is strictly functional, so I just cut out a rough box - but you could make it look nicer by cutting out a smooth organic shape, perhaps with rounded corners.
  3. I used the bandsaw to cut away the material, nibbling away until everything inside the box was cut away.

Step 5: Using the Fence

Here's a quick example of how I used my fence for a recent project

Here I'm cutting a piece of "Peruvian walnut," which will be used on an upcoming instructable I'm currently writing - making a keepsake box. I'm resawing the wood so I can "book match" the sides of the box, making it look like all sides of the box are one continuous grain pattern.

To use the fence

  1. Put the resaw fence between the blade and the stock rip fence.
  2. It's best to use the resaw fence together with the stock rip fence, because every bandsaw has something called "drift angle" - a tendency to cut right or left, not straight ahead. The stock fence should already be calibrated to the particular saw's drift angle - so you can just copy it by pressing the resaw fence against it.
  3. Moving both fences together, set the distance from the blade and lock down the stock fence
  4. Keep the resaw fence pressed to the stock fence and clamp it to the table using C-clamps or F-clamps (3rd  picture, bottom corner)
  5. Resaw your wood
I'm not going into detail about resawing right now. In the future I'm going to do a more detailed instructable comparing several methods of resawing on the bandsaw and resawing on the table saw.

The results?

So far so good. The fence cut this piece of peruvian walnut and another (not pictured) piece of cherry with no trouble. There was no tapering of the wood, so the blade tracked well. There were a few wavy spots where I paused or sped up my cut, but I measured the thickness with calipers, and overall it varies by ~1/32" inch.  After a quick clean up on the planer, the wood was perfect. I was able to cut a 0.9" into two ~0.4" boards, and plane them down to 3/8" for my project.

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