Table saw fence upgrade questions....


Greetings All.....
It seems the time has come to get a better rip fence for my table saw...it's an older sears contractors saw, the fence will not seem to keep an adjustment and will sometimes lock out of whack with the blade, so I thought I would get a new fence. In my research it looks like the Biesemeyer is the way to go, but having never used anything else, and not really being able to compare fences side by side, I thought I would ask the opinion of the group about the various models ( Biesemeyer vs Vega vs Jet) and see what ya'll thought, or is it six of one, half dozen of the other, cause I'm sure most of them would be better than the one I have now...:>
Thanks for the help...
DCH
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Several years ago I had a 1983 model Craftsman TS. I put the Bies clone on it. It was the Jet Exacta fence. About 5 years ago I sold that saw with the Jet fence for $400.
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DAGS and you'll find this subject has been discussed many times.
That said, I have the Vega and am very happy with it.

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Had a the 80's craftsman..... upgraded to Vega. Well worth the money
Now I have a JET Cabinet saw with Xacta-jet-beizclone. Both are good fences, but I actually liked the Vega a bit better. It had holes for mounting an aux fence and a micro-adjust, and the slippy plastic faces on the Jet are difficult to make perfectly planer because the material distorts too easily.
Both are light years ahead of the original craftsman.
Personally I would choose either the Vega or one of the Beis clones with a laminate (formica/melamine) fence face.
My 2 cents.

the
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saw...it's an older sears contractors saw, the fence will not seem to keep an adjustment and will sometimes lock out of whack with the blade<<<
For what it's worth, I rigged my old Sears fence with a pair of ball bearings (think from an old router). I used heat shrink tubing to fasten them together and replaced the old nylon roller with the ball bearing set up. They rolled real smooth on the rear rail and gave the fence just a tad more lift/clearance. I had to clean them every now and then but it worked much better than the original setup. Used it that way for 10-12 years before I found a good excuse to buy a new saw. RM~
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===============I have been using a Biesmeyer (Homeshop) for well over 15 years...long before the clones were on the market....and to be completely honest I love the darn thing... Purchased the homeshop because the fence is only 36 inches long instead of the 40 inches on the Commercial version.. did not need it hanging off the back of the saw (27 in deep table) ...both have rails that are about 6 foot long...
BUT I would have to say its really 6 of 1 half dozen of the other...I think I would be happy with the Vega or any of the clones... I have absolutely no use for a micro adjusting fence just not needed...and I will never go back to any fence which locked fron and back...period...
Just my opinion...
Bob G..
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wrote:

keep
the
Jet)
Likewise, I have been using the Craftsman Align-A-Rip 24x24 for quite a while and I just love it. It has remained very stable and once tune to the saw properly, it is as accurate as any craftsman would need on a tablesaw. The price is about half of what the Bies and other high end fence systems cost and is every bit worth the money. Mine is mounted on a Craftsman Model 100.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
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My only comparison with the Biesmeyer-type of fence is the Jet XACTRA and the ShopFox Classic used on the Grizzly cabinet saws.
I have seen two XACTRA fences shed the one of the nylon glides on the T-bar part of the fence. One happened in a friend's shop the other was on a store display model. Minor but irritating if you have to fix, or find the part, during a project.
I have used the Shop Fox Classic on my Grizzly 1023S for about four years and love it. Everything is straight and square and has stayed that way with very infrequent tuning. However, I suspect you will find the Classic in the same price range as the Bies.
http://www.grizzly.com/products/searchresults.cfm?listtype=keyword&keywords=classic+fence
RonB
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I too have the Vega with the finger saver (which is really neat!) and hold down attachment on my Sears saw. It was always right on. I practically like the fine adjustment feature on it. I also have the extension with legs on it. I recently bought a new Grizzly G0444Z with the Classic fence which is about the same in comparison to the Bies. I am now going to sell my Craftsman and put the old fence back on it, and I am going to sell my Vega fence with attachments. I was going to put the Vega stuff on EBay, but I think it would be too much of a hassle trying to package it up and trying to decide what to charge for shipping.

T-bar
store
with
the
http://www.grizzly.com/products/searchresults.cfm?listtype=keyword&keywords=classic+fence
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what I did: from biesemeyer's web site I bought a cosmetically blemished fence.
watch this page: <http://biesemeyer.com/specials/index.htm and sooner or later one will show up.
I made rails from locally purchased steel.
it works great.
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Just to be wierd, I'm trying an Incra Jig Ultra fence on my old Craftsman saw. With a $40 Freud Diablo blade, I set the saw up for a 1" rip cut. I put a pair of calipers on it and measured out 0.998".
No foolin'.
I'm going to set up a removable fixture to be able to swap the Incra back and forth between the router table and the tablesaur.
The only complaint that I have with the Incra is that the fence is attached to an arm that is either 16" or 24" long, witch slides back and forth in the positioner. If you have the saw set up for a 24" cut, the arm hangs out 24" from the right side of your saw. If you walk around the saw quickly with this piece hanging out, you run the risk of damaging some delicate parts of your anatomy!

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Bob the Tomato wrote:

Sometimes you just have to choose between accuracy and a scar-less body<g>
Ask SWMBO if she likes you without scars. If the answer is yes, lobby for a bigger shop!
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DCH wrote:

I did what you are considering. I installed a Biesemeyer on my Craftsman TS and was really happy with the results. Later I bought a UNISAW, so I moved the Biesemeyer to the new saw and sold the Craftsman with the old style Delta fence.
Anyway, it was a good upgrade to the Craftsman.
John
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John Worman wrote:

If you're going to spend money on a fence that just _might_ make it's way into a actual saw upgrade down the road... The Biesemeyer is the way to go. The B-Clones really aren't that much cheaper, and if you're smart, you'll be patiend and check eBay and Craigslist daily. I picked up a brand-new, in the box Biesemeyer Commercial for $216.00 shipped when the seller had a $200.00 BIN. I tweaked the mount holes and now have a 38" right side rip capacity on my Unisaw. I think Grizzly's Shop Fox Pro is around $250 + shipping and is similar.
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Last year I installed a "Mule Accufence" (model M-825) on my 20+ year old Sears table saw. Cost me $200, more than the saw itself is worth, but compared to the cost of a new table saw, it was a bargain.
I have been extremely happy with the Accufence. It made my little old saw feel brand new again. Installation was fairly easy, and it seems to have very good accuracy. I highly recommend it.
You can read more about them at http://www.mulecab.com/TableSaw /
Anthony
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I ended up getting the Vega Utility model, it fit my saw with no drilling, easy to install and is far better than my old fence, I think if I had the cash I would have gotten the Biesemeyer, but the budget was just not there...all-in-all it seems to be great so far....
Thanks to All that offered advice....
Regards,
DCH
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