Okay, I've never posted here before, so bear with an amateur rec poster.
I'm just going to put in my 2 cents worth on this. I think it depends on
the Craftsman saw. I get pretty tired of Craftsman bashing when someone
doesn't even know what model of saw, etc. I do agree that a good fence is a
must. I upgraded mine with a Mule Accusquare fence, which is not only
comparatively affordable (compared to Beisemeyer etc.), but awesome in every
respect. I have a Craftsman contractor saw that I spent $500 or so on a
couple of years ago. I have no problems "keeping it aligned" etc.
Horsepower is not awesome, but equivilant to other contractor saws in this
price range. I am very pleased with my saw and proud of my results. I
believe there is a lot in the set-up and the user that is overlooked.
Crapsman. Grow up people!
What are you adjusting? If you adjust the table so that the
groves are parallel with the saw blade, it shouldn't change,
unless it is so cheap that the metal bends. I don't know
about your particular saw, but when you move the fence do
you just turn the handle and then lock it down? I have an
old Craftsman and the difference in the near and far end of
the fence changes depending which direction I turn the
handle to move the fence. In fact, that is true of every
fence I have used, but then I've never used a really
expensive fence. I just move the fence with the handle to
set the fence to first tooth distance, move the lock partway
down, set a machinist square in the grove at the near end
and set the slide to hit the fence, move the square to the
far end and move the end of the fence to touch the square,
and lock the fence. This will square the lousiest fence,
and with any normal fence it won't make the cut any wider or
thinner that a 1/64" and probably not more than a 1/128,"
not enough to worry about. Takes about 2-3 seconds longer
than adjusting the cut width with the most expensive fence.
I wouldn't trust any fence enough to not use a square in the
groove. I have a cast iron table if that makes any
George, you HAVE to use a real fence someday like a Beisemeyer. Once you
set the adjustment screws, it is square unless your rail gets bent. It is
a real pleasure to use. Set it on 3", cut a block and check it with your
verniers, adjust the sight glass to the measurement and you are done.
This is coming from a guy that owns a 12/24 Align a Rip Craftsman but gets
to use a Jet periodically. There is a world of difference which is why I'm
building a Beisemeyer clone soon.
Won't happen any time soon as I'm unwilling to spend the
money. I am not saying that a good fence isn't a delight to
use. If you can just move it over to 4-3/64 and set the
lock and have it exactly 4-3/64 and square, that would be a
delight. What I'm saying is that I can get the same
accuracy with not more than 2 seconds, well maybe that's
exageration so make it 5 seconds difference. Besides I'm so
slow and measure 2 or 3 times anyway, it just wouldn't make
much difference to me.
I have to agree with Bruce on this one. I have what sounds like an
identical saw. I tried like mad to move the trunnion to the table when I
thought it was mis-alignment. I could not get it to budge (enough to my
satisfaction anyway). Then in a rare moment of insight I thought I would
try a different (new) blade in the saw, and guess what? The first blade was
not true, or at least if it had been true, was not anymore after being used
for a couple of projects cutting white oak.
I've never had any problems with the fence staying in alignment except for
when I whack it by butting a 4x8 sheet of MDF up against it. (I've learned
to be more careful!)
At the very least, try another blade.
I had for 10 years a nice Craftsman saw. After struggling with the fence to
make consistant and repeatable cuts I got a biesemeyer fence. WOW. that made
all the difference in my work and enjoyment of using the saw.
I have since sold my Craftsman saw and purchased a Delta Unisaw with the
Unifence. I love the Delta saw but miss the biesemeyer fence. If I had it
to do over, I would have bought the Delta with a biesemeyer..
Just my thoughts
Joe in Indiana
I had a very similar experience. I had a belt-drive craftman with a lousy
fence. Installed a Vega fence (not the "Pro" version, the $169 one). It make
a huge improvement in the usability of the saw. I finally upgraded to a Jet
Cabinet saw with which I am very pleased, but you do not NEED a $1500 saw to
do good work.
Some have said ... save the money until you can buy the mega-saw... That's
nice if you have that kind of disposable income. I'll leave it at that.
Better tools only serve to prop up the tallentless and those
of lesser abilities, and those of lesser imagination.*
* Caveat: This does not apply to those who make a living
with their tools, though I've seen mechanics who can do more
and better work with a set of Channelocks and Vise-Grips
than others with well stocked roll-aways.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.