Paint and Poly on my Table Saw Fence

I don’t know how much background I shared about this, but John Heisz has some table saw fence plans. I made the fence, it’s great. Someone on his forums made the play on the name and called it the Heiszmeyer, so I went ahead and cut that in the top of it.

This is about how I colored and finished it.

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I started by masking off most of it. If I did it again, I would mask off even more, because it’s really a time saver.

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I sprayed the “2x rustoleum” stuff on it. I did two medium coats (not lite, but not pooling either). I chose fire engine red because I bought the table saw used from a firefighter off of craigslist. After I removed the tape, I tried to sand with some 100 grit sandpaper, but there was so much paint that it was just making the rest red. So I stopped sanding.

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I had this little window scraper (I didn’t want to get my bigger ones dirty, and they wouldn’t fit). I used that to scrape off 90% of the paint. That worked very well. Then I went onto sanding.

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This (^^^) is after I finished sanding. I would say the total process was about an hour at this point, but it was broken into several days for paint to dry and stuff. I would suggest that you have a vacumn or air compressor ready when you are doing this, so you can easily tell what is loose dust and what still needs to be cleaned. I also wonder if it would have been easier to do the poly first, which would probably make the sanding easier, but the paint might not stick as well.

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I added a few coats of water based poly (minwax polycrylic) and that looks great. It still moves pretty well, as long as it doesn’t bind up. I’m going to add some wax in some places to help it scoot when it’s not clamped down.

I hope this will give someone confidence enough to try this. All my cuts were straight down, not with a V-Bit, but if you had a flat enough starting piece of wood, I think it would end up just as sharp with a v-bit. When I do this again, I’m going to try doing the poly first, then spray, then scrape/sand, then poly again. I think that would work pretty well, but I’m not sure it’s worth the effort. It may not be obvious, but I ended up with poly on top of the paint. If you didn’t want that, like you wanted red and blue, then I think the only way is to paint everything and then hand paint the relief. I also should have done it before I assembled it. It would have been faster to hit it with my power sander, which didn’t fit into the gap. It really turned out nice.

On my list is building a nice big cabinet and increasing the utility of the table top of this saw. I have some designing to do, and I doubt I will use the Low Rider for the big components, but I’ll make sure I carve something in it. Maybe a fire truck or hieroglyphs explaining something funny.


That looks perfect! Nice project.

The fence is by far the most important part of a table saw. I am sure you will never regret the time you spent on that. You did just eh letters on the LowRider or some of the cuts as well? I gotta put this in the gallery.

The letters, and I made the handle/cam on the low rider. The plans call for the two circles, with offset centers, but based on the clamp youtube video, I thought I would make a better one on the CNC. That’s an interesting story too, because I couldn’t figure out a good way to do it in CAD software, so I wrote a python script to make the DXF. Enjoy:


import math
from ezdxf.r12writer import r12writer

IN2MM = 25.4

small_radius = (1.0) * IN2MM
delta_radius = 1.0 / 8.0 * IN2MM
num_segments = 512
upper_thickness = 3.0 / 8.0 * IN2MM
lower_thickness = 5.0 / 8.0 * IN2MM
bolt_size = 5.0 / 8.0 * IN2MM
handle_length = 5.75*IN2MM # from the center of the bolt.

def calculateArc(radius, thickness):
# (x + radius)/sqrt2 = x + thickness
# x/sqrt2 + radius/sqrt2 = x + thickness
# x/sqrt2 - x = thickness - radius/sqrt2
# x(1-sqrt2) = thicknesssqrt2 - radius
x = (thickness
return (x, (x+radius)/math.sqrt(2))

with r12writer(‘heiszmeyer_cam.dxf’) as dxf:

# add outer circle
prevPoint = None

# not adjustable.
min_angle = 0.25 * math.pi
max_angle = 1.75 * math.pi

for segment in range(num_segments+1):
    percent = float(segment) / num_segments
    radius = small_radius + delta_radius * percent
    angle = min_angle + percent * (max_angle - min_angle)
    point = (radius * math.cos(angle), radius * math.sin(angle))
    if prevPoint:
        dxf.add_line(prevPoint, point)
    prevPoint = point

# finish the arc
upper_radius, upper_coord = calculateArc(small_radius, upper_thickness)
dxf.add_arc((upper_coord, upper_coord), upper_radius, 225, 270)
lower_radius, lower_coord = calculateArc(small_radius + delta_radius, lower_thickness)
dxf.add_arc((lower_coord, -lower_coord), lower_radius, 90, 135)

# add hole for bolt
dxf.add_circle((0,0), 0.5 * bolt_size)

# add line handles
dxf.add_line((upper_coord,upper_thickness), (handle_length - upper_thickness,upper_thickness))
dxf.add_line((lower_coord,-lower_thickness), (handle_length - lower_thickness,-lower_thickness))

# arcs for the handles
dxf.add_arc((handle_length - upper_thickness,0), upper_thickness, 0,90)
dxf.add_arc((handle_length - lower_thickness,0), lower_thickness, 270,0)


Holy cow, that is one way to do it. Looks like you would love openscad.

Something about openscad just didn’t sit right with me. I write software at work, and I love writing python, so this was no big deal.

There are a few python libraries for CAD. IIRC, there’s a plugin for FreeCAD, and one that writes openscad code in python. I meant to give openscad another try for 2D, but I got about 20 minutes into it and didn’t like it. I’m sure I’ll try them all again in due time. I like to do something like that on business trips, because I’m away from my chores, todo lists, my machines, and I usually have a lot of time with Internet that is too slow for video, but fast enough for tutorials.