Since the beginning of recorded time, or so it seems to me, my table saw fence has been the repository of assorted things. Pencils, chalk, Allen wrenches and other paraphernalia have collected there along with wood chips and dust that could not be swept away for fear of losing some small thing that might have later importance. So what should I do about it? Live with it I could no longer abide. I needed a different solution.
Somewhere I saw an idea that caught my attention: a small box attached to the off side of the table saw fence that could hold those things I need to keep nearby. As I thought about it, my gaze fell upon a partly completed walnut box that didn’t make the cut as a gift box, but would make a great storage box. It needed only a bottom to make it complete. I grabbed a scrap of thin walnut, cut it to size, rabbeted the bottom so it would fit the box and glued it into place. Reaching into my waste box, I found a chunk of walnut to use for a hook and handle. I cut a notch in the chunk to fit the lip of the table saw fence, then shaped it on the band saw and sanded it smooth on the belt sander. Because it was white wood from a larger walnut piece, I stained it dark to more closely match the box. Then I glued it to the box so the hook would engage the table saw fence lip.
The resulting box is more functional than it is beautiful, but it does its job perfectly. And, it had the added benefit of using up things that had no other purpose! Now that is recycling at its best.