To add a bit, I can easily square up glued up panels with the extra
capacity. Almost every time I cut up a sheet of plywood I go beyond 30".
When I only had 30" capacity I can easily recall almost every furniture
project requiring me to make a "less than desirable cut" because of the
If room is a concern, remember it only adds 20", less than 2 feet, to the
length of your saw.
No kidding .... especially for cabinets and furniture casework.
Almost all built-in cabinets are over 30" tall/wide, and much of the
casework on sideboards, tall chests, and even tables can exceed 50".
Actually, wish I had 96" fence capacity ... 52" is too often not enough.
Maybe twice in 7 years. And that's just a guess since I don't
specifically recall ever using it except to get the fence out of the
way of a crosscut. Don't even do that anymore since I got a good SCMS
workstation to handle the crosscutting. Would I rather have the extra
length than not have it? Yes, even when my shop was much smaller than
it is now.
Depending on the brand of fence you may be able to cheat a little.
With the 30" Bies you can move the fence over one set of bolt holes
and add about 8" or 9" to it's cutting capacity right of the blade. Of
course this does cut down on cutting capacity to the left of the
blade. You also need to replace the scale which is easily done.
Oh, and to answer your question...the first time you need to cut
anything that's 1" longer than the rails you have (no matter which
rails you have) you'll wish you had longer ones. :-)
In my own present workshop never, due to having i) having a 30 inch fence
and ii) not having any room to the right due to location of other tools.
For items < about 16 inch depth I can cut on my radial arm saw. Above this
depth I either have to move several tools, make temporary supports, or elect
to move outside and arrange temporary supports and use my circular saw with
a 4ft or 8ft straight edge. This works well, but takes far too long to
I do the latter a few times a year. So far I am able to hold off on such
tasks to be outside winter conditions.
If space were not a constraint, I would much prefer to have a 50inch fence
even though my use is not frequent. I value speed of setup and cutting with
the table saw.
I cannot use one just yet since I would have to get rid of some other tools
which are used frequently, e.g. bandsaw, with my present constraints which
are due to other non-tool objects which need to share the same "workshop"
I gave up on cars being in my workshop a long time ago, but I do not have
alternate locations for my John Deere tractor, attachments, wood storage,
Can't since I have a 30" and not enough room for the larger one.
In the 6 or so years I've had it, maybe a half dozen times I really wished I
had the 50 but I'm able to work around any other time.
I don't work with a lot of sheet goods though. If I did, the 50" would be a
If cost is the only factor it is well worth getting the longer rails.
I have been using my set up with a sled to cut 42 rails for a hutch
base and 48 inch boards for the upper section. Even if you only use
yours 5 % of the time you will appreciate the ease with which you can
make those wider cuts.
OK.. I'm game..
so 1.5" angle for the front and back rails.. need to drill a few holes for
attaching to table and extension table. These don't seem to need to be
critically staight, but fairly straight across the top would be best. Is
1.5" angle iron 1.5" high and 1.5" wide? Hmm.. just eyeballing that, I
think the commercial fences are more like 2" or at least thicker stock than
standard angle iron -- 3/16" thick or better.
Now the 2x3 tube needs to be pretty flat and straight on the fence bearing
side. I need to drill holes in the bottom of the angle iron and tap some
holes into the tube. That's manageable I suppose.
I just when down to the shop and measured:
Back "L" rail - 1.5" x 1.5" x 3/8" thick
Front "L" rail - 2.5" x 2.5" x 3/8" thick
Front rectangular tubing - 2"h x 3"w x just under 1/8" thick
Tap the tubing, drill the holes on the "L" stock oversized to allow for
When I ordered my saw I ordered the Jet Deluxe Commercial fence.
A long story but in the end I ended up with Jet's "HomeShop",
"Commercial" and "Deluxe Commercial" fences. They all use the same rails.
The "HomeShop" fence was used to upgrade a friend's old Craftsman saw.
Jet's tech support told me that the rails are standard steel stock.
(They don't machine it any straighter/flatter than it comes from their
Go for it!
Might be cheaper for me to get a 20' stock of 2.5" x 2.5" angle.
Any reason you can see why the back rail cannot be 2.5"?
I assume they just do it that way to save $s, but it may cost be about the
same to get one chunk unless I can come across some scrap.
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