Many woodworkers own a Biesemeyer fence, but even more wish they owned one. The Beisemeyer fence is an elegent design that’s been around since the 1970’s. Even though the company was bought by Delta, this popular product is still known as a Biesemeyer fence.
Back in January 2012, one of my YouTube subscribers (and now a good friend) generously sent me an assortment of scrap metal, aluminum and steel. He sent it to me because he knows how much I love that stuff. Plus, I build tools and machines for my own shop. One of the things he sent was an aluminum extrusion. The minute I pulled it out of the box I thought, “table saw fence!” I’ve had a Biesemeyer fence on my General 350 table saw for years and it has served me well, but it doesn’t have all the features I would like in a table saw fence. When I saw the aluminum extrusion I realized it had everything I ever dreamed of in a table saw fence.
Why the aluminum extrusion fence is superior to the Biesemeyer fence:
1. DURABLE: Aluminum is amazingly stout and durable. You would be hard pressed to damage this heavy walled aluminum extrusion. You’d have to put it in an industrial press or use fire to do any substantial damage it.
2. STRAIGHT: Aluminum extrusions of this weight will not warp or bend. The extrusion process yields incredibly flat and straight and square components. Especially in the 40x80mm dimension. I think this is the flattest, straightest and squarest material available that has not been machined, thereby making it very affordable.
3. VERSATILE: This style of aluminum extrusion has multiple t-channels; at least one slot on all four sides. This means that you can easily attach slot clamps, jigs, stops and various fixtures with ease. The biggest problem with my Biesemeyer fence is that I can’t easily attach anything to the fence without using bulky clamps, which inevitably get in the way of my operation.
Of course the challenge was, how was I going to attach the aluminum extrusion as a fence? I had a Biesemeyer fence and guide rail system, but the t-square was permanently attached to the fence. That’s when I decided to make a detachable t-square. With a removable t-square I would be able to attach a variety of aluminum extrusions in different lengths and sizes. And since aluminum extrusions have t-channels that accept locking t-nut and bolts, it became a natural way to make the connection between the fence and t-square.
The videos below show my thought process and methodology for how I came up with the original Universal T-Square Table Saw Fence System that will easily accept wide variety of aluminum extrusions or for that matter, ANY another other straight material that you want to bolt on as a fence. This system works with any 2×3 Biesemeyer style guide rail system. I don’t know what I would have done without my Biesemeyer fence all these years, I still use it, but not very often. Having multiple aluminum extrusions for use as a table saw fence has changed how I work in my shop. I’m more productive and I have way more fun.
NOTE: I had no idea when I first posted this series that it would lead me to the creation of a new tool company. We launched VerySuperCool Tools this summer and we are excited to be offering this t-square table saw fence system for purchase from our online store. We also have many other innovative tools in the works.