Rip Fence Capacity 30" or 50"?

I am contemplating a new rip fence for on the unisaw I have. The decision comes down to how much clearance I need. My common sense tells me that 30" should be more than enough - and that the added 20" of a 50" is just wasted acreage to move and store. I have a kitchen cabinet project in the not so distance future but even with that in mind I don't see the need for the extra . . . . . am I missing something here . . . . . Comments would be greatly appreciated
Thanks In Advance Wayne
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"Wayne Cattanach" wrote in message

If you have the room, go for the 50".... you'll most likely be glad you did. I bought the 50" a few years back with the idea of cutting it back if necessary and, despite a small shop, could never bring myself to do it.
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I checked your website - you do have things neatly compress into the shop don't you - I am just now gaining such luxury - but up to now I have mostly made small hexagonal shaped wands used on trout streams
Thanks Wayne

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I have a 52" on my Delta contractor's saw. I don't regret it at all. Although I seldom need the 52" it is nice to have WHEN I do need it. When I don't need it, it serves as a setup table and under it as a cabinet that holds many of my most commonly used tools.
After living with it for 2 years, I am glad I went with the longer fence.
-- Al Reid
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On Wed, 29 Sep 2004 03:15:15 -0400, "Wayne Cattanach"

No question in my mind...go the 50 inch route... I also have a smaller shop...and space is just plain tight...I offset the rails when I installed the fence so that I am now limited to only 41 inches ..not as good as 50 but better then 30...But I gained a little extrra space..
Over the years (saw as been this way for over ten years) I have used the fence out past the 30 inch mark a lot of times ...believe me I have....
Bob Griffiths
Bob Griffiths
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I only have 24" Wayne and it's fine by me. I've done a good amount of cabinet making with this saw and a lot of that was before I went to the fence I have now. Personally, I would not want 50". It's a behemoth and I would not want to deal with the space it consumes, and the very occasional benefit it might offer. When I had a much smaller setup I used to simply throw up a support and clamp on a guide to act as a fence. It worked fine as you might expect and the demand for such a thing was so infrequent that it was well worth the 10 minutes it took me to set something up.
Ask yourself - how many times will I ever possibly use this? Is it really worth it to me to have it available. The answers may well point you to the 50" solution, since it's totally subjective. Less subjective is the question of how much space you have to sacrifice. I have quite a bit of space, but like to use it for other things when I'm not hacking up a piece of wood.
The biggest concern I have for large tops like that though is the inarguable point against them. The bigger the flat surface, the longer it takes to clean everything off of it when you go to use it.
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No problem! That's why I keep a rake in the shop. I just open the drawers of the cabinet below (which is what I did with the "wasted" space) and rake off all that stuff on top <g>
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drawers of the cabinet below (which is what I did with the

Cabinet drawers????? You're obviously one of those neat freaks.
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You obviously never looked *INSIDE* those cabinet drawers<g>
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Valid point. I could never do with cabinet drawers myself. It'd take too much time to move everything out of the way to open them.
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-Mike-
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I have a 30". It has been good for 99.9% of what I've done. If I had the room, I'd have the 52" for sure. Only ever needed it for a few things, but it would have been nice to have. The extra real estate is handy for an assembly table at times too.
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Just 2 days ago I needed to rip a couple of inches off the 4' width of a 4x8 plywood sheet. Being able to run the sheet through on the right side of the blade sure was a blessing compared to having to fashion some kind of support on the left of the saw.
And although not used during everyday sawing operations, the extra table space is not merely wasted. I find that table/bench top space is always at a premium in the shop (unless you are a neat freak). The proximity of the fence extension table sure is convenient to hold all the jigs, pushers, miter guages, rules, and cut workpieces as you work.
Go with the 50".
/rick.

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Go with the 50". You wont be sorry. I also mounted another router on mine, that way I have room to run large pieces and use larger bits than I can on my "Router Workshop" table. I also made a cabinet under mine. I love the extra table workspace I now have.
"RickS" <rick --dot-- s --at-- comcast.net> wrote in message

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The 50 inch is going to take up an additional 20" of room. I use my 50 in capacity regularly and especially when building cabinets. Typically kitchen counter cabinets are about 36" tall. It is going to be difficult to cut a side panels from sheet goods with a 30" rip capacity. As far as loss of room, consider that you can store more under the table and you have more room on the table top to work on. You will find with the extra capacity that you can do a lot more things that you cannot do with 30" rip capacity.
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I appologize if this shows up twice. I responded earlier but it didn't show up on my reader.
I purchased the 52" Bies because I figure with the 52", you can cross cut any size panel from a 4X8 sheet. With the 30", you are unable to use the fence to cut a panel from 30" to 66" wide. Perhaps many will say you shouldn't cross cut sheetgoods using the fence anyway.
Gary
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If they do say that, I'd say nonsense.
Assuming sufficient space between the blade and the fence to support the sheet and adequate outfeed support, this is a safe, fast and accurate operation.
Note, however, that I refer to full sheets. As the width of the piece being cut is reduced from the original 4', the less secure the registration against the fence, the greater the chance of the piece skewing (which can be Bad -- note the capital B), and the more appropriate a crosscut sled or fenced miter guage.
/rick.
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