I just acquired a 1957 Unisaw (gloat omitted but implied) with the Jet Lock
Fence. I assumed I would replace that fence but now I am having second
thoughts. Any of you guys using the Jet Lock? Care to comment on its
strengths and limitations? Have you made any modifications to make it more
accurate or reliable? I was thinking that wood or UUHM fence faces would be
a nice addition. Also thinking of ways to make the scale more readable like
using a marker to get ink down into the numbers and marks and then rubbing
it off of the rail surface. Anything else? These things were standard issue
for over 50 years; how bad can they be?
I use the one that came with, but I don't rely on the scale, rather a rule
between the first tooth and the fence. Of course, I don't rely on the 90
degree stop on the blade either, but check against my square, same as my
miter gage. Final setting is made with the fence half tightened.
I don't see any weaknesses other than those after over 20 years with it.
One at school has been abused by amateurs for almost fifty years, is checked
at least twice a year for tight adjustment.
It's my understanding that this was a transaction between
two consenting adults and you made out like a fat rat?
Sorry Jim but there's a point of order to be established.
If the fence that is on your saw is the original as sold
with the saw then it's a Micro-Set. Jet Locks have the
singular locking lever/square and butt fugly head casting
whilst the Micro-Set has the lever and a thumb nut for the
back rail. The Art Deco styling of the Micro-Set are way
better cool looking than the Jet Lock.
Oh, the Jet Lock was introduced 1962ish.
I did but only long enough until I could get my table built
and install the (insert name of after market fence here).
The strengths are, it's a fence and it works. Locked down
it doesn't budge. It does what Herbert Tautz intended it to
do. Also, should you want to attach some sort of hold downs
these fences will readily accept them.
Limitations? I suppose limitations have to be taken into
account when the fence is compared to a (insert after market
fence here). The (insert after market fence here) beats the
snot out of the Micro-Set/Jet Locks for speed of setting up
and usage. I no longer wait for the blade to spin down so I
can spread a tape from the front tooth to the fence. No
longer have to measure from the miter slot over to the fence
(which by the way always worked out to be on a 1/32", i.e.,
7 13/32", 15 9/32", 23 7/32" and so on) and tap the fence in
at the front and the back until I line up with the dimension
ending in a 32nd.
That is one of the things that is good about the fence over
the Biesemeyer. Some day I suppose a light will go on in
Delta's pea brain and they will offer the Biesemeyer with
removable (UHMW) fence faces.
Wellllllll. Let's put it this way. I used four fences to
restore my one good Micro-Set. The main reason was so when
the magazines came by to show case the saw it would be as
stock as it was when it first got sold. I now have a
(insert after market fence here) and the Micro-Set fence is
permanently not attached anymore.
That's not to say that I don't think everyone should
experience the Micro-Set/Jet Lock. Trouble with people
today is they got it entirely too easy. Why, when I was a
Your Mileage May Vary.
Gloat mode on.
Well, only if you consider paying $200 for a single phase 1957 Unisaw in
real good condition with all the original parts except the miter gage and
the motor cover making out like a fat rat. ;-). Did I mention the mint
condition King Sealy/Craftsman drill press that I got in the same deal for
an additional $90?
Gloat mode off.
that is on your saw is the original as sold with the saw then it's a
Oakey doakey. Thanks.
the fence (which by the way always worked out to be on a 1/32", i.e.,
and the back until I line up with the dimension ending in a 32nd.
Whoa, flashback to my Emerson/Craftsman. YIKES!! That saw was a nightmare. I
guess I've become spoiled over the last few saws (two with a Beismeyer and
one Inca). Thanks for the reality check! I'll probably go with the
Unifence because I have become so used to the flexibility of the Inca fence.
I had a Unifence on mine in the shop till I bought a second Unisaw, and moved
the first to the garage (more room) and the 1949 model to the basement. Same
comments about squaring and measuring the fence. I will probably purchase a
unifence or biesemeyer when I come across a deal on a short one. The big ones
don't work in my shop(first sentence), and I know I will run across someone who
wants to get a big one. Just my opinion.
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