New TS Unifence or Biesmeyer? (yes another TS post)

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Friday night SWMBO gave me the green light to buy a new TS. Saturday morning I was in the local Woodcraft talking to one of the guys about the different features. I am interested in a Powermatic, Jet, or Delt Contractor saw and after a long conversation, and a lot of research on my own (I've been buildling the case for a new TS for weeks), narrowed it down to a Delta.
Because of the X5 rebate, if I order by the end of the month, I get another $100 off. I wanted a 52" fence, but the guy at Woodcraft made a pretty good case for a 30" (safety, and saving the money).
My first question is on the fence. Which style do you all prefer?
My second question is a moral issue. This guy spent a lot of time with me and gave me some great insight. Do I cough up the extra money to buy it there or do I avoid the sales tax and shipping charges and buy it from Amazon (who is also giving an extra $25 off). I'm torn. I usually buy my stuff there because they're great whenever I have a question, but I'd probably save another $175. What would you do?
My third question, has anyone built the TS/Router Center cabinet in the Oct. 2003 issue of Wood Mag? It would be ideal for me. I currently have a similar setup on my TS, but is a first version and is a little rough around the edges to say the least. I'm looking at the router table as a good second table so I'm not concerned with the "router table in the TS issue".
Thanks, as always, in advance for your 2 cents.
Chuck
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Why is a 30" fence more safe than a 52"? I've got a 52" and it hasn't bitten me yet.
Let your conscience be your guide...
(Personally I'd be torn between the savings and dealing with a local store to resolve any problems I might have with the equipment. I never feel compelled to purchase from any one salesman just because he spent time with me. That's their job.) I've bought on-line and I've bought from local dealers. I can't complain about any of the online dealers when I've had problems, though...
Dave
Woodchuck34 wrote:

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The first thing I'd do is probably talk to the salesman in the store again. Tell him you'd like to buy it from him because if the great service you receive there, but that you could save $175 if you bought it from Amazon. Ask him if there's anything he can do on the price.
If he can make some compromise, keeping in mind that he likely still won't be able to match Amazon's price, then I'd buy it from him. Makes for goodwill all around, keeping in mind that bargaining your local salesman down to rock bottom price also won't get you any brownie points.
If he can't make any price adjustment, then you have to decide if his goodwill is worth the difference. There's a number of times in my life when $200 or so was a pittance compared to what I would have lost if I hadn't paid the difference out of my pocket. Think of the great service and respect you'll receive if you tell him you'll buy it from him anyway because of the excellent way you've been treated in his store.
As far as 50" compare to 30" rails go, that you're going to have to think long and hard about. It comes down to available space, what think you'll likely be building most, and the difference in price.
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I have a Grizzly and changed to a Biesmeyer 52". I've not used a Unifence so I can't talk about the difference but I'm glad I made the change. I don't see why there is a safety issue with a 30" vs. 52".

I would go back to Woodcraft with a print out from Amazon and ask them to match the price. Where I made my purchase would depend on their answer or willingness to work with me. They might not be willing to match the price but could make some sort of counter with a discount or accessories. When possible I try to buy locally but only up to a point. That point depends on the merchant and attitude.
Stuart Johnson Red Oak, Texas
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If they are willing to meet you halfway, that's an indication that you might be dealing with a store who'll give good service after the sale. If they are intractable before the sale, think how they'll be after.
Dave
Stuart Johnson wrote:

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Snip

The first time you need to rip something 32" wide you will be kinking youself if you go with the narrower cut. I have never regretted getting the 52" capacity. Sounds more like he is trying to shoe horn you in to a TS. Safety?

The Bies style for me. I have heard plusses for both stiles but more complaints about the unifence not always being straight.

Do like I do. Give them an offer that is fair to both of you. Leave the ball in his court. If they want your business they will work with you. Also I recomend buying every thing now to make the deal better for both of you. If you also buy the mobile stand, out feed table, and that new blade he will try harder to not loose the deal. The fact that you can return anything for up to 1 year at Woodcraft is a nice insurance policy for a big purchase like this. They will probably be with you every step of the way, will Amazon be?
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Should have been more clear on the safety issue of the 30" vs. the 52". We were talking about making tall cabinets and being able to trim the excess of a long side board. He said that its not safe to crosscut a piece that is much longer than it is wide, which is correct, but we didn't talk about dados or consider the use of that same fence for the router table. Probably not worth if for the router, since its really in a set position.
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A saw with wider rip capacity does not make you do unsafe cuts. You can just as easily try the same unsafe cut on a 30" capacity fence. If you put your hand down on a spinning blade, that is unsafe also. The rip capacity has nothing to do with how safe a saw is.
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Woodchuck34 wrote:

Do the guy a favor and go back and tell him the secrets of the cross cut sled. He'll learn something.
UA100, who thinks the guy isn't doing his customers any favors spreading rumors like that...
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I don't think he is there yet. Some times in the beginning stages of an adventure you just hafta experience the occasion to really understand what is involved. I bought a new Jet ocilationg spindle sander earlier this month. I thought it would be a luxury tool but have used it on 3 projects in the last 3 weeks. I had no clue that I would use it this much. I also thought that I would need more 3" diameter replacement abrasive sleves than the smallest ones. Yesterday I was happy that I had used the tool more before discovering that the smaller sleves would probably wear out 10 times faster than the 3" one. But after probably 2 hours of use on the machine none of the abrasives show any wear yet, WHO KNOWS!!! Duh.

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I laughed when I read your response... Gosh about 5 or 6 years ago my daughter gave me a Crapsman Ocilating Sander... for Christmas...
Course I smiled and gave my best song and dance ... Was not impressed with the brand...not at all... BUT believe it or not it gets a hell of a lot of use..and works just fine....My comments were really concerning your usage... not about the brand...
Bob Griffiths

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I've used both and I like the Bies better. That said, being able to flip the unifence into the vertical position is something I miss.
There is a thoughtful article comparing the Bies to the Unifence here. (Lot's of other useful reviews, as well.)
http://benchmark.20m.com/articles/articles.html
Lars

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I have both a 30" Unifence and a 50" Biesemeyer. There are NO safety issues with one over the other. A 50" fence does require a GREAT deal of real estate but is wonderful in terms of space available for cutting.
I would deal locally since it tends to cut down on any issues that might come up. I buy online. but not major tools that might suffer through shipping.
Woodchuck34 wrote:

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wrote:

I went through the same thing you're going through exactly a year ago. I don't understand a "safety issue" with the longer fence rails but this decision depends on available space. I opted for the short Bies. I have yet to regret it, but I imagine the time will come. Otherwise a clamp-on straight edge and a circular saw have done the job. I can't envision manhandling a 4 x 8' sheet of MDF onto the saw by myself anyway.
As to the question of price difference, you need to ask yourself whether you like having a Woodcraft store handy. I do, so I paid the tax. They also delivered and helped unload it in my garage for an extra $15 for "gas money." When the problems arise (they will---guaranteed) it's nice to be able to go eyeball-to-eyeball with the salesman and get it resolved.
My $0.02
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"Woodchuck34"

Snipped

Chuck, 1) Lots of good advice on the 52" and I concur, get it. 2) Amazon vs Woodcraft. The diffrence will quickly disappear if and when any problems arise. 3) No.
Dave
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There's a way to have the best of _both_ worlds.
Get a Unifence, and add a TTRACKUSA (<http://www.ttrackusa.com/unifence.htm ) Uni-T-Fence to go with it.
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wrote:

I have used both..... BUT MY saw in MY SHOP has a Bies on it... 'nough said ! Except that mine is the 52" model..which if I remember correctly (15 years ago) was only like 20 bucks more... What saftey issues was this guy talking about.... Sorry but I can not see any at all...

Buy local and use their services IF needed BUT at least you kow they are still there...no 800 numbers to call..just walk in the door and raise holly hell like any good customer...

my tablesaw either... I made a few then but years ago I needed to haul a RT out of State to do a small project for my daughter... So I purchased a small Bench top RT from Benchdog.... Heck when I got home my shop built table was no longer "good enough" ...The Benchdog ..even the little one was much better...
Lots of luck. Bob Griffiths
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wrote:

I you have room for the 52 and the budget is not a problem I'd go ahead and get it. You may not need over 30" very often but the first time you do you'll be wondering why you didn't buy the 52.

I have both and I use the Biesemeyer on the job and much prefer it. The Unifence is on the saw at home and does not see as much use. I just find the Biesemeyer to be much more convenient besides having iron rails instead of the aluminum on the Uni.

See if the guy will come down to get closer to the Amazon price. We had the same situation a year or so ago and the local guy got within $50.00 so we purchased locally. Also, I believe the saw is available with different configurations with wings either stamped or cast, one wing or two, extension table or not. Be sure you are comparing apples to apples.
Mike O.
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If you have the room buy the 52" fence. Biesmeyer or Unifence is a toss up, both are good. Greg
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you must have done well Friday night. Forget about the fence, tell us about your sheet technique!
Marton
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