Has Biesemeyer gone completely to hell?

I am unlurking to ask a serious question. Has Biesemeyer gone completely to hell?
I've been intending to upgrade my TS fence to a Biesemeyer for a few years. Every time I use someone's saw with a Bies fence, I'm reminded that my fence is not strong enough. I love their old fences.
So it was natural that I'd try Biesemeyer first when I decided to build a quickie, small miter saw station. I know I should have built the whole thing from scratch, but when I was tempted by "78-802 Biesemeyer Miter Saw Table System" I decided it would be nice to have a ready made set of tables. Plus they have a really (!) nice (but expensive) stop system. So I got two of their miter saw tables and they looked great until I put them on a flat surface. The little SOBs are both twisted - the worst one has one leg a quarter inch off (high). That much twist on such a short (24") table is terrible. I should send them back, but there seems to be no point in having them replaced, since more than one was twisted. So I clamped them to my old bench and tweaked until everything was straight and true (one fence need a bit of untwisting, too). And now they work great; it's a nice design if they would just put them together right.
So the question is is Delta making Biesemeyer fences more carefully than their miter saw tables? I am not interested in doing any more of the factory's work, and I'm not sure I am capable of tweaking a table saw fence into good enough alignment. Plus I just don't want to start bending and twisting on something that expensive.
If Biesemeyer has gone to hell, who makes the best Bies-clone fence these days? By best I mean strong, straight, square, able to hold alignment. Maybe General has kept up the Biesemeyer tradition. Anyone have recent experience with Bies clones?
TIA PDX David
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Try WWW.mulecab.com I had one of the TS fences and was pleased with it. Takes a little longer to take of and put on but unless your changing 50 times a day.... Jim
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Thanks, Jim. The reason I intended to get a Bies is that I've worked in several shops where they threw full sheets of plywood against their Bies all day and the things stayed square and straight. But these were older Biesemeyers and were made well. I seldom abuse my tools (but accidents happen), and I am impressed by tools that can take it. Will the Mule keep its alignment after hard use? If so, I'm interested. I've had other people recommend the Mule, but I don't thiink I've ever seen one anywhere. And it sounds like you don't use a Mule any more - did it stop pleasing you? :-)
Thanks, PDX David
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It's a kind of yes and no answer to your question. Yes I stopped using it an no it didn't stop pleasing me. The mule was an upgrade to an old Rockwell TS with a jet style (I think) fence . It was a stop gap solution,but a thousand fold improvement for that saw. A year or so after getting the fence I upgraded to a 5HP Unisaw with a Unisaw fence, and I'm very pleased with that setup. I still have the mule fence but not the rails. After checking the mule web site to see if it still worked before posting it, it got me to thinking that when I get all my tools out of storage( in an apt now ), it would be a great addition to the back side of my extension table for a router. As to the beating it will take. I've not used the beis fence for any length of time. Just 4 or 5 months at a cabinet shop. But I think from my use of the mule it's just about as strong.As you said your the one that will have paid for it so you'll be more careful with it that someone working for wages and not a cent invested it the tools. If you have looked at the site you must have noticed the T slots in the thing, a good way to attach all sorts of aux things to it. :-) . Good luck with whatever fence you go with. Jim
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I think you have answered my question well. You have some real experience with the Bies and still compare the Mule favorably - that is a positive, knowledgeable recommendation as far as I'm concerned. And the Mule doesn't even cost and arm and a leg. Could be what I'm looking for. Thanks again! PDX David
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On Sat, 07 Oct 2006 14:46:25 -0700, Jane & David

Mine occasionally slipped until I added a strip of self-stick "non-slip stair tread tape" down the front rail, right where the fence engages the rail.
I can pull stumps with it now! <G>
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I am totally satisfied with the General (not International) fence which looks a lot like a Biesmeyer.
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On Sun, 8 Oct 2006 09:55:17 -0400, "Dave W"

Which is the same fence I have that slipped. I have a General (not International) 650.
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Remember,
Delta is now a Black & Decker company. I sadly remember that in the 60's, B&D was the standard. Next the standard was Rockwell and Milwaukee. I like the Dewalt routers and drills, but . . . . . .
A Delta rep addressed a local woodworking club a few months ago. He said the Dewalt line would feature tools for the jobsite and Delta would favor the woodworker. I've bought two Jet tools since then, a bandsaw and a jointer. :-)
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Jane & David wrote:

I've got the General version (came on my saw).
Like the Bies, there are two sizes, the "home" and the "commercial". As you can imagine, the home version is a little smaller (this is what comes on their contractor and hybrid saws). I have the commercial version.
The fence locks solidly. When sliding it back and forth it can angle slightly--some of the other clones have plastic spacers between them and the saw so they slide a bit easier. The other thing that might be nice is a red hairline on the cursor--as it is, it's just a raised line on the plastic. Works fine, but a red line might be a bit easier to see.
Chris
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