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!
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.
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.
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......;-)
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.
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>
The tape on my Exacta II (made by HTC) was applied by the factory. I
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
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.
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
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.
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