Jet cabinet saw, measuring tape


Just received my new Jet JTAS cabinet saw with the XACTA fence and I am little distressed that the guide rail doesn't have the measuring tape already installed. Instead someoone has put a roll of Starret stick on measuring tape in the box and I'm somehow supposed to align that as precisely as Jet does at the factory!
Has this happened to anyone else? Help!
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I think it's pretty standard. That's how my GI saw shipped. All you need to do is get it close, and then most fence cursors are adjustable, to tweak it to the nth degree. Not a big deal. Just make sure when you tighten up the cursor that you don't crack it by tightening too much. DAMHIKT.
Clint

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I would suspect that is the way it is supposed to be. Once you have the rails on for the fence, the directions should tell you specifically how to put the tape on. If they did it at the factory, it could be way off after you install the rails.

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I know you think that may be a lousy way to sell a tablesaw but in this case, it works for you.
First of all (and I have first-hand experience with a Jet cabinet saw), Jet outsources the fence, rails, extension table etc. So before making anything permanent, look it over carefully - especially the fence. Note the block that is welded to the rear of the fence (underneath) and connects to the lock/slider mechanism. Be sure the welds are all good and that this block is reasonably centered. On the slider - are all the adjustments hex screws able to be turned? I had one that wasn't threaded, one that was cross-threaded. I went through 3 fences from Jet before finally getting one that was welded correctly. Jet knew they had a quality problem and were working it but right then, the fix was to sort thru the pile,find a good one and send it out.
The locking mechanism has a piece of Teflon (or whatever it is) and the glue they used to use simply didn't hold these pads in place very long. Simply clean the surfaces off and reapply using a poly glue like Gorilla glue and a small clamp to hold it in place.
Mount the front rail and be sure to follow the instructions. Once that is all done and you're happy with the alignment and that everything works - then apply the tape. Move the fence to the blade - that's the zero reference obviously. Center the cursor (more on the cursor below) and be sure you can move it about 1/8" left and right. Now follow their instructions for mounting the tape.
Cursor. The new cursors that I've seen on the Jets (last year) all came with a wider cursor alignment mark. Mine has the thin line and is more accurate to me. But if you find you don't like it, call them and they used to send out the old version to anyone that asked. Ask for two - just in case you break one. Grumble a bit, they send it free......;-)
Bob S.

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The precision is determined by the alignment of the cursor on the fence, not the installation of the tape. Cursor alignment is a user adjustment, not a factory adjustment. Personnally, I'd rather have the tape shipped loose. That allows me to install any fence enhancement gadgets first, then mount the tape to account for them. For example, I added a Grip-tite steel fence plate to my fence and had rip off the old factory tape and install a new one to account for the shift in fence thickness.
I'm sure you can stick on the tape +/- 1/8" accuracy which is all you really need, if that close.
Bob
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on 9/8/2005 1:36 PM BillyBob said the following:

Agreed. Just went through this drill with the older JCS-10 I recently purchased used. Original owner had the Excalibur fence (nice) mounted and I have no freakin' idea what he was thinking when he installed the tape. Made absolutely no sense.
Went to Rockler's and picked up a couple of their tapes, one L to R and the other R to L. Using Jet's or someone's directions I cross cut a piece of wood using each miter slot and marked my "Zero" on the fence rail and then compensated for the cursor being mounted to the right side of the fence and laid them down. Fairly accurate now regardless of which side of the blade I have the fence on and easily tweaked by adjusting the cursor if I switch blades.
We're screwed though when we slap an auxiliary fence on the bar.
Still, the idea of that tape is meant - I hope - as a ball park measurement anyway. For me that's the first measurement of the old "measure twice, cut once" routine.<g>
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didn't think about it at the time, but I think would have preferred to do it myself. Accurately setting the cursor required shifting the fence rail to one side to take up the mounting hole play, and shifting the cursor to its limit in the opposite direction. At least I did not have to slot the rail holes.
The first 12'' are graduated in 32nds. I can eyeball to 64ths and can verify the cut is accurate with a dial caliper or a Starrett rule. That's a small enough ballpark for me.The value of a good fence is that you can set it by the tape and trust that the cut will be correct.
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snipped-for-privacy@ball.com wrote:

That is absurd. My tablesaw I bought about 8 years ago already had the measuring tape on. Welcome to 21st century manufacturing.. that sucks. Crap like this makes me hope I don't have to ever buy new tools. I'd like to upgrade to a bigger bandsaw, but I don't know if it's worth all the BS from getting a 21st century import kit, so I stick with my smaller one made in 1993.
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wrote:

Well at least the tape itself was made in the USA.
BTW three "T"s in Starrett. Unless it is some Chinese copy-cat (God forbid).
--
Chris

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Chris wrote:

Or Mexican.
My father-in-law was a Starrett. I showed him some hacksaw blades once that were marked "Starret". He looked them over pretty carefully and asked where and when I had gotten them. I told him that they were in my grandfather's tool chest, which dated them to the 1950s at latest, and he said that there had been some forgeries around then - probably from Mexico.
John Martin
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bf wrote:

The JTAS I bought a few years ago also had the tape attached. I use a set of blade stabilizers on the saw. I had to remove and reapply a new tape as there wasn't enough movement in the cursor to compensate for the thickness of the stabilizer on the inside of the blade.
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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