rip fence for craftsman table saw

OK, first things first, I'm a newbie to this wonderful hobby of woodworking, which I am finding is just a black hole to throw money into. Anyway, on to the question. I recently bought a craftsman 10" direct drive table saw with a full size 27" wide cast iron top. Unfortunately the fence that came with the saw just plain sucks and I was looking for some suggestions on a fence system for this saw. Price will play a large part in the consideration of this purchase due to the fact that my wife and I are expecting in less than a month. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks, Ted
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Crawled out of the shop and said. . .:

First off, congrats on your soon to be larger family. my wife and i have tried for years, and cannot make little ones,,,oh well, that's another thread for another group.
anyhow, two things. 1. a decent aftermarket fence for your DD sears TS is going to cost more than i would think you paid for the saw. there is however an upside to this. any fence you buy can be moved to a different saw about a month after you put it on this one. trust me, you are going to want a new TS and soon. 2. my personal recommendation is the Excalibur fence system. it locks front and rear, takes a lot of abuse, moves effortlessly, and stays true.
again, congrats, and good luck with your new baby,,,oh! and the new child! lmao
Traves
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What kind of a DIYer would you be if you didn't take a straight piece of wood and clamp it to the TS for use as a fence. Good luck. BigJoe
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Heck, I got through a year of woodworking with that setup. Now that I have a decent table saw (1972 Rockwell contractor's), the stock fence on that is great to me.
GTO(John)

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I put a Biesemeyer on mine.
wrote:

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Crawled out of the shop and said. . .:

don't bother with it. its less than worth the price they want for what you are getting, and for another 100$ or less, you can get a great fence that will last you for years.
Traves
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Depending on the saw, it might be difficult/impossible to fit one of the 'regular' aftermarket fenceds like Biesemeyer, Vega, HTC, etc. to the small direct drive bench top saws. Full sized cast iron top might make a difference, though. AccuSquare/MuleCab is about the cheapest of the mainline aftermarket fences, though sometimes you can find a scratch-n-dent universal fit Biesemeyer Home Shop on clearance. Vega was looking pretty good last time I looked. For now I'm making do w/ the Align-A-Rip 24/24 that came w/ my (used) saw. Finally have it whipped half-ways into line, I think. This is the fence that is used on the larger/full-size Craftsman and Ridgid contractor's saws and locks up front and back. Some love it, some hate it (the front-n-back locking). Me, I'm not sure yet, but front-only like a Bies is looking pretty good lately.
Another option might be to dig around Rousseau (www.rousseau.com) and see if they have an aftermarket fence system to fit your saw. Seems they focus on fences and accessories for benchtop/portables. Never heard anything bad about them, other than being a little spendy (a good aftermarket fence for a contractor saw may cost up to half what the saw itself cost, where on a portable it might cost *as much* as what the saw did!), but that's the nature of the game w/ these little beasts, it seems.
HTH,
nuk
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