Origin of North American Long Rip Fence.
Does anyone know the history of rip fence development in North America that led to the full-length fence common on virtually all table saws produced on this continent and in Asia? I suspect it started in the days when the fence had to be locked at both the front and the rear to prevent wandering, but I can’t find any citations.
Further, does anyone know why North American saws have continued to use the long rip fence, even though (thanks to Mr. Beisemeyer) the fence no longer requires anchoring at the rear? The long fence, while not the most dangerous aspect of table saw design, certainly can lead to kickback, and it has fostered all sorts of unsafe lore, such as “cock the rear of the fence (here insert your favorite number from 1/64″ to an inch) away from the blade”? And why are we always advised to put the rear out of parallel to the blade rather than the front, which is the same thing?