I agree, look at how it is attached, then look at ways to either add a sacrificial fence or either build a new one or buy a new one.
There are tons of ideas on the web for DIY table saw fences and depending on how often you are going to use it, along with what you will use it for, a DIY fence maybe the way to go. If you think you will be using it a LOT and for big projects, then I would be looking at buying a new Table Saw.
There are Table Fence Clamps that are designed for DIY fences, you simply drill two holes in the top of the fence and clamp them to your existing fence. This way the clamps don't get in the way when cutting wood. This way you can have any length you want.
These are the clamps
Miter Gauges & Clamps - Fence Clamp
A very good source for almost anything is Pinterest. Take a look here for some DIY Fence Ideas
Hope this helps
16mm or 5/8" melamine is very sturdy for this application
Lots of good comments here, Pete, but they all boil down to this:
How does the existing fence clamp to the table? What mechanism is there to adjust the fence to make (and keep) it parallel to the saw blade?
I started out with an old Craftsman contractor's saw. That fence clamped very securely to the table, so I was good there. If your saw's fence clamps securely so it won't move, then you're halfway there. If not, it gets harder with the simplest solution the "clamp a fence to the table" solution mentioned above, or otherwise cobble together a better clamping mechanism for the fence.
My problem on that old Craftsman was that the fence was not square to the table, and not square to the blade. I built a long box out of baltic birch plywood that fit over the original fence, rested directly on the table, pivoted at a point roughly in line with the front of the blade, and had a micro-adjust screw at the "nose" on the far end. Because the box was carefully constructed and rested directly on the table, it was always square to the table. After clamping the fence so as to be the proper distance from the blade, I could check the fence for parallel by measuring from the miter slots to the fence, and adjusting as necessary to ensure the fence is parallel. If your miter slots aren't parallel to the blade, then you really need to adjust that as well.
You almost described a fence I made for one of my table saws. Except I used s 2x2 piece of square tubing.
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