Hot New Tools: Carter F.A.S.T.(Fence Alignment System Tool)

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This article is from Issue 78 of Woodcraft Magazine.

Carter FAST

Carter Products pulls a F.A.S.T. one on bandsaw users

Carter F.A.S.T. (Fence Alignment System Tool)

It’s not often that a manufacturer invents a slick solution to a long-standing woodworking problem. So hats off to Carter Products for alleviating some serious resawing aggravation! The challenge with resawing has always been setting your fence dead parallel to the cutting path of the blade. This can be tricky because the blade itself may not be perfectly parallel to the edge of the saw table due to the crown of the wheels or table misalignment. And any deviation of fence parallelism from the cutting path can cause blade wander, miscuts, and perhaps a bit of profanity.

Finally, we have a fix: Fence Alignment System Tool (F.A.S.T.) bars. These 6"-long aluminum bars magnetically attach to the side of your blade, providing a 6"-long representation of the cutting path. This means that all you have to do is carefully fix your fence in place against the attached F.A.S.T. bar, remove the bar, and you’re ready to resaw! (Important: Use a sharp blade, as a dull one may wander regardless of good fence alignment.)

The set includes 5 precisely machined bars in thicknesses of 1/8", 3/16", 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2", with a slot in each bar to accommodate the tooth set. Setting your fence against the bar alone will yield a slice of wood that’s the thickness of the bar minus the tooth offset. Keeping in mind that you almost always want to clean up the sawn face afterward, you’ll normally want to cut a bit fat. Toward that end, I use double-faced tape to attach plastic laminate shims to the ends of whichever bar matches my desired final thickness.

Bottom line: If you struggle with your resawing setup, invest in these li’l babies. Yeah, they’re a bit pricey, but what’s your sanity worth? Plus, you can use these as set-up blocks for precisely gauging router bit projection and table saw blade height.

Tester: Paul Anthony

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