Making a Smaller Zero Clearance Miter Saw Fence Homemade Machines & Jigs
Almost immediately after I made the bigger zero clearance fence for my miter saw station, I started getting comments asking how it could be done on a smaller saw that is not mounted on a stand. I gave it some thought and came up with a fairly simple solution.
First step was to cut two strips of 1/2″ plywood for the fence. I made these 36″ long.
I learned my lesson on the last one where I accidentally cut into one of the screws, and glued and clamped this one together first. The screws can be put in after all of the cuts are made:
The first cut is at 90 degrees dead centre of the fence. I’ve clamped it in place to make the cut. I cut the base strip wide enough so that there would be enough wood to hold the fence together after the cut was made.
After some careful layout, I drill the hole for the locking pin through the wood fence and through the aluminum one on the saw:
I located the hole in an area where there are no obstructions. I’m careful to keep the drill level and steady as I make the hole.
Next, I reset the saw to 45 degrees on the left side, moved the fence and clamped it in place. I could then drill the second hole through the aluminum fence for the locking pin:
Again, making sure there is nothing in the way in this location.
That cut was made:
I’m locating these cuts based on two factors: first, there has to be an adequate amount of material left between the cuts at the back of the fence so that it won’t easily break out. I’ve got about 2″ and that should hold up well. Second, the locking pin needs to be in part of the aluminum fence where there are no obstructions, like ribs or mounting tabs. Every saw is different, so you’ll need to carefully plan this out before you get started.
The saw was swung over to 45 degrees on the right side, the fence clamped on again and the third locking pin hole is drilled. Note that there are three holes in the aluminum fence, but only one in the wooden fence:
That angled cut could then be made.
By now you might be wondering about that other angle cut closer to the end on the right side. This was a bit of a mistake, as at first I didn’t want to locate a locking pin hole in this swing down part of the fence:
I changed my mind after making the cut, when I realized that it was too far away from centre.
The locking pin is just the shank of an old 1/4″ drill bit cut to about 3/4″ long:
The pin is glued into the wooden fence with 5 minute epoxy:
Trying it out to cut a filler to repair the cut that I made:
I won’t worry about the cut on the bottom.
It works great. Easy to install, easy to us and not too bulky. As I’ll use this saw for all of the trim work in my house, I’m sure this new fence will come in very handy.
I made a short video showing the fence in action: