When I bought my Makita table saw, the MLT100 model, I was beside some cons, actually very satisfied.
It is a very affordable power tool with a lot of positive features, but unfortunately also a negative feature.
One of the Makita mlt100 table saw problems was the weak table saw fence, a part that is crucial when you want to do some fine woodworking.
You can complain about this weak Makita saw guide, but in the end, we are makers, so this is a problem that can be easily solved.
That is exactly what you will discover in this article.
I’ll show you how to upgrade the original guide, and to help you build it, I’ve got free plans available for you.
I’m still working with this Makita MLT100 and want to keep you informed.
Come back regularly to see what Makita MLT100 table saw problems I experience.
If you have the same Makita MLT100 problems, maybe you can fix them thanks to the video or blog post I will link below.
- Make better cuts, upgrade your table saw fence
- What do you need to make a table saw fence?
- Watch the video here & learn how to make this table saw fence
- How to make a table saw fence?
- DIY Table saw fence upgrade
Make better cuts, upgrade your table saw fence
In this blog, I will show you step by step how to make a Makita table saw fence upgrade for the MLT100 model.
But the guide upgrade idea I make in this blog can not only be used on the Makita table saw.
This design can also be used for all types of brands.
I hope to inspire you to make your own saw guide, which brand it is.
To help you, I have downloadable table saw fence plans in this blog down below.
If you do not have a power tool saw yet, and you are considering buying one, be sure to check out this article.
You can discover a lot of tips to find the perfect one that fits your needs.
Of course, this power tool is nothing without a good saw blade.
That is why I wrote this article that helps you find the saw blade you need for your projects.
If you want to take this saw to the next level and get the most out of this power tool, you can make lots of jigs for all kinds of cuts.
I have a lot of Articles on this website that can inspire you, some of them even have free plans to help you build them.
Go check out the blog section on top of this page after reading this article.
To improve my own guide, I did this in 2 steps.
After my first update, and after some months of working with this new guide, there were a few things I wanted to see differently.
For example, in the second update, I installed a T-track rail on which I can mount my push stick organizer, but also other jigs.
Also, I made an update on the clamping system.
You can all see this in the video you can watch below.
After watching, you can go on reading this article to see all details you need to build this guide yourself.
What do you need to make a table saw fence?
To prepare you for building this table saw guide, I have made a few handy lists.
In addition to a few personal protective equipments that I use*, I also list the materials as well as the (power) tools you will need to build this table saw guide.
* Safety is always your own responsibility!
Safety first! Protect yourself!
Materials I used for this table saw fence upgrade
(power)Tools I used for this table saw guide
Watch the video here & learn how to make this table saw fence
Here you can watch the video and see how to make the table saw guide.
After watching the video, you can continue reading the step-by-step guide to making this table saw guide yourself.
How to make a table saw fence?
Now that we have gone through the list of what we all need for this project, I will explain step by step how to make a Makita saw guide upgrade.
Step 1 | Preparation
Start cutting all the pieces to the correct width.
Set the guide to the correct widths as indicated on the free table saw fence plans that you can download on this page.
Now cut the parts to the correct length.
Since all parts must be the same length, you can attach them together with painter’s tape and cut to the correct length with the miter saw.
By sawing the different parts at the same time, they are all perfectly the same length.
Step 2 | Making the top of the DIY table saw fence
The top of the guide is also the part that ensures that the new guide can be attached to the original one.
To let the new guide fit on the original one, measure the distance from the side to the center of the slot in the original guide.
You can transfer this distance to the new part.
You can now drill a hole at the marked location.
First, drill a hole with the same depth of a washer and a nut with a speed drill or Forstner bit.
In this way, the washer and nut will be countersunk during mounting.
After drilling the larger hole, drill a hole completely through the wood.
Use a drill with the same diameter as the bolt.
Because I did not want screws in the DIY table saw fence on the side that faces the saw blade, I used pocket holes.
I made these pocket holes at the bottom of this part.
That way the pocket holes will be invisible in the end result and dust cannot collect in the pocket holes.
If you consider buying a pocket hole system, I can recommend this Pocket hole R3 Jr starter package from Kreg.
It is not a big investment, and you can do a lot of projects with this system.
I’m happy to have this in my workshop.
Step 3 | Assembling the inside of the fence
To assemble the side, start by attaching the top part in the right place.
Place the bolts in the groove of the original Makita table saw guide and slide the part with the drilled holes over the bolts.
Place the washer and nut and tighten.
Attach the side to the top part by temporarily clamping it.
Now detach the parts from the original guide and screw the two parts together via the pocket holes at the bottom.
To make this connection even stronger, you can use wood glue.
If you want to know more about wood glue, I can recommend you to read another article I wrote on this website.
In that article, you will find all the information on how to find the best wood glue for your project.
Step 4 | Assembling the outside of the fence
Start by removing the knobs on the original Makita table saw fence and replace them with regular nuts.
The knobs are too large and can get in the way if you want to use attachable parts in the future.
Reinstall the already built parts on the original Makita table saw fence.
Mark the position of the bolts and transfer this to the new side to be made.
Also, measure the height of the bolts and mark the center point in this way.
With a Forstner bit, you can now drill the holes.
You will always be able to loosen or tighten the nuts through these holes.
To determine the size of the holes, it is best to look at the size of the tools you will use to tighten the nuts.
Attach this side by simply screwing it on.
First, mark the correct height with a pencil and pre-drill with a drill bit just smaller than the diameter of the screw.
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Step 5 | Reinforcement and clamping system
To make your new DIY table saw fence upgrade firmer, you can now screw a reinforcement block between the two sides at the bottom.
This way, the side cannot tilt when you apply pressure to it.
I attached the block invisibly by using pocket holes and screws.
I’m not going to discuss the clamping system I made in the first video here.
The first system that I used for this had the disadvantage that the block always got in the way when I placed this sawing machine against my out-feed table.
The second version I made is a lot better, and I will discuss it in more detail in the Makita Table saw fence upgrade, upgrade 1 clamping system, section down below.
I attached the block invisibly by using pocket holes and screws.
DIY Table saw fence upgrade
After working with my new guide for some months I noticed that there was room for improvement.
The upgrades I will discuss down below are also the upgrades you could see in the second video.
Upgrade 1 | Clamping system
The clamping system I made in the first video could be better.
The block I used was too big and always got in the way when I wanted to place the saw against the out-feed table.
That is why I replaced the wooden block with an L-shaped piece of metal.
The metal I used for this is about 20 cm (7.87”) long.
To attach this metal part to the DIY table saw guide, drill two holes at the same width as the sides of the guide.
The holes can be much larger than the screws, so you can adjust the clamp.
In that way, the new guide fits optimally on the tabletop.
Now attach this metal clamp to the bottom of the DIY table saw fence with screws and washers.
Do not tighten yet so that you can later adjust the clamping system.
Place the new guide on the table-top, but do not clamp it yet.
Now go to the metal clamp and push it against the tabletop.
Now screw it tightly.
When you tighten the guide, this metal clamp will press against the tabletop.
Like that, the DIY table saw fence can no longer move.
You have now converted the weak table saw guide into a sturdy and reliable one.
Upgrade 2 | Installing a T-track
To clamp some jigs and my push stick organizer to the DIY table saw fence upgrade, I attached a T-track rail on the outside.
In order to make a slot in your guide, detach this side from the guide, so you could make a slot in it where the T-track fits in.
To make this slot easily you can use my homemade Kerfmaker idea.
First, you measure the thickness of the saw blade, and then you set the thickness of the slot you want to make.
In this case, the width of the T-track.
By setting the Kerfmaker along with the guide, you can make perfect slots.
Afterward, you can update the slot with a chisel and mount the T-track with screws.
Once the T-track is installed, you can assemble the new guide onto the original Makita table saw fence.
Upgrade 3 | Making a push stick organizer
Because I would always have my push stick at hand when making cuts with this saw, I made this push stick holder.
I can attach this to the table saw guide via the T-track.
For this, you need to make a box of plywood in which your push stick fits.
At the back, you need to place two hexagon wood bolts at the same height as the T-track of the table saw guide.
Like that, you can easily attach the push stick holder and move or detach it if necessary.
In the same way, I have adapted other jigs, such as my feather board, so that they are very easy to mount on this DIY table saw guide.
You can do the same with your jigs.
This new fence has been able to solve this particular problem, however, table saws can face many more problems, regardless of brand. That’s why I suggest you look at my article, Most Common Table Saw Problems & How to Fix Them Quickly, even if you don’t currently have table saw problems. This comprehensive list can help you with table saw problem solutions when they arise.
How to build your workshop on a budget?
Building a workshop can be daunting, filled with trial and error. Believe me, I’ve been in those shoes.
But it was “The Ultimate Small Workshop” course, a gem I discovered and now endorse on Christofix.com, that provided insights unparalleled to any other. This expertise empowered me to invest wisely and save substantially.
I really suggest it to all of my fellow DIYers and creators!
I hope this information on how to make a table saw fence was helpful, and that this blog and video inspires you.
Let me know in a comment below.
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It will be much appreciated.
I’m looking forward to seeing you soon in another blog or video.
Christophe, founder of Christofix.com
Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration
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