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Thread: Fence for portable table saw

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    Fence for portable table saw

    Hello...as the title says, I hope I'm in the right place for this question. I have a contractors portable table saw (which is all I can afford at this time) and I don't like the fence on it. It's only about an inch wide and accuracy is not it's strong point!! I was wondering if I made it wider with a layer of 5/8" ply on both sides and glue on a layer of 1/4" luan over top of the ply, would that get me more stability or am I just going to mess up my existing fence and be SOL?

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    While not a woodworker, I have been around a couple of table saw's. Metal is more my thing. But when I went trying to get a good table saw I noticed that the big thing in table saw's was a Biesemeyer fence. The old Grizzly saw I found on Craigslist had such a fence. It might have been an early model as it didn't look factory made and was easily something I could fabricate.

    IMHO tacking on stuff to the fence you have is not going to help it. The parts that make the most difference is how heavy duty the track mounted on the saw top, and the fence frame mechanism. The old Biesemeyer was heavy wall like 1"X2" tubing for the track with heavy angle iron with a clamp setup and heavy wall tubing welded to it as the fence. All accurately welded so when you clamped down the fence it was square. Simple and efficient. Very unlike the fence on my Craftsman table saw that has an aluminum part of the fence that is not welded to the part of the fence that clamps to the track. It uses the locking mechanism to pull across the whole top of the table to hold the fence together and to lock it in place. This is where the error from square happens. This doesn't happen with the Biesemeyer because it locks to the heavy tube track on the front of the table. Just my 2c from a metal head.

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    thewoodworker01's Avatar
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    I ran into a similar problem with my shaper, I needed a fence to run my boards against while running the shaper because not all of my bits have a bearing on them. I ended up coming up with a fence that resembled a Biesemeyer Style, with a cam lock and t-shape. I made a video of it on YouTube, you might want to check it out. You said you have a portable contractor saw, you might have to be creative to get a mounting for it. Mine just had holes drilled into the casting so it was pretty easily accessible.

    Here's the link:

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    Quote Originally Posted by petej View Post
    Hello...as the title says, I hope I'm in the right place for this question. I have a contractors portable table saw (which is all I can afford at this time) and I don't like the fence on it. It's only about an inch wide and accuracy is not it's strong point!! I was wondering if I made it wider with a layer of 5/8" ply on both sides and glue on a layer of 1/4" luan over top of the ply, would that get me more stability or am I just going to mess up my existing fence and be SOL?
    Look at how it tracks on the table saw. Majority of the time, its how the fence is attached to the saw that ends up with the problem. Adding thickness to the fence will help only if the fence is flexing (not due to the locking/tracking device). I have had Biesemeyer, Incra and Unifence systems. While each had their advantages one thing was common. They all had a strong locking/tracking device.

    Check your fence and make absolutely sure that its either the fence that is flexing or the locking device. If its the fence then yes add stock. If its flexing due to the locking/tracking device then you need to change the fence. Most of the time that's not so cheap. You could make your own fence. Look on Youtube to see others how they made theirs. I know that's not what you wanted to hear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by petej View Post
    Hello...as the title says, I hope I'm in the right place for this question. I have a contractors portable table saw (which is all I can afford at this time) and I don't like the fence on it. It's only about an inch wide and accuracy is not it's strong point!! I was wondering if I made it wider with a layer of 5/8" ply on both sides and glue on a layer of 1/4" luan over top of the ply, would that get me more stability or am I just going to mess up my existing fence and be SOL?
    I have a contrator saw and like you it is not always accurate. It's strong enough, but it does not always lock equally in the position every time.

    You probably have a way to adjust the fence. Try to get it as accurate as possible and learn to live with it. I doubt you will be able to create a fence that will be more accurate. Unless it is a flexing issue like others suggested.

    If you need very accurate cuts on small pieces, I suggest you build a crosscut sled.

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    Hi Petej,

    I fully agree with all the other comments. An after market fence system such as the Biesmeyer is the way to go, although not cheap! One possible solution is to use an aluminium or mild steel tube (round or square to suit your fence fitting) in place of the existing bar. This is the system used on my Scheppach TS 2500 saw and has the advantage that the fence is mounted to the slide with 4 adjustable bolts to enable spot-on setting up. Hope this helps.

    Sprog

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    Above is good advice IMHO join these and search -- lots and lots of input

    www.pinterest.com www.lumberjocks.com

    www.vintagemachinery.org

    here is a good tutoral on building one beefy on the mount and guide bar /latch is good.

    http://joe.emenaker.com/Table-Saw%20Fence/Building%20Your%20Own%20T-Square%20Style%20Table-Saw%20Fence.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMTO View Post
    Above is good advice IMHO join these and search -- lots and lots of input

    www.pinterest.com www.lumberjocks.com

    www.vintagemachinery.org

    here is a good tutoral on building one beefy on the mount and guide bar /latch is good.

    http://joe.emenaker.com/Table-Saw%20Fence/Building%20Your%20Own%20T-Square%20Style%20Table-Saw%20Fence.htm
    I'd just use a straight edge(wood or metal) and two clamps forming a "fence",it's what I do all the time.

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    You don't say what the make or model "contractor's saw" you have. I'm really afraid that if you have a low-end saw, that there is really no help for the wimpy fence that came with the saw. Adding to the existing fence really doesn't solve the problem as stated previously, more than likely it is a lock-up issue. However, that doesn't mean that some of the higher end saws in this category aren't good, some are excellent.

    I had a bottom of the line Craftsman that was purchased to do laminate flooring installations. It was downright dangerous for any serious woodworking. It was nothing more than a circular saw mounted upside down. The fence was terrible and would not properly lock-up or hold settings. I could go on, but you get the idea. It was replaced by a higher end "contractor's saw". My replacement happens to be a Bosch 4100 which is an excellent saw in this group. The DeWalt is, also, a good saw, but I have had/seen DeWalt owners dump them after using the 4100.

    A Bosch 4100 refurb. can be had for around $500 if you shop around. The DeWalts for a little less. This may not solve your problem, however, by the time you attempt to fabricate a useful fence you will be on your way to a good chunk for usable, safe and accurate tool.

    I know this isn't what you want to hear, but face the reality...the fence on your saw is inadequate and that isn't going to change.
    Hi, sorry I missed you. I have gone to find myself, but if I return before I get back, please ask me to wait.

    Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.

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    Quote Originally Posted by petej View Post
    Hello...as the title says, I hope I'm in the right place for this question. I have a contractors portable table saw (which is all I can afford at this time) and I don't like the fence on it. It's only about an inch wide and accuracy is not it's strong point!! I was wondering if I made it wider with a layer of 5/8" ply on both sides and glue on a layer of 1/4" luan over top of the ply, would that get me more stability or am I just going to mess up my existing fence and be SOL?
    the only thing the plywood would do is mess up the scales on the fence measurements, if you want to make a more rigid fence, you need to look as to where it locks in place on the scales, and if it locks at the back of the saw? if it does not lock at the back of the saw, that is why it is not a rigid square fence to the blade cut.

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