tablesaw fence

I have a craftsman contractors tablesaw that's about 5 years old. It seems that the fence used to lock down pretty straight on its own, but now the fence can and will lock down out of parallel by a good 3/16ths of an inch in either direction if I don't pay attention to it (the fence locks in both the front and rear). My habit is to knock the fence slightly away from the blade in the back as my last adjustment before locking down to ensure that it does not bind in the back. Is this typical of contractor saws?
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No, just typical of saw with a crappy fence. If the saw is worth investing a few bucks, get a Beisemeyer or good clone for it and you'll live happily ever after.
This is a good one http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyida60
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I got the Vega fence for my c. 1983 Crafstman and it's the best investment I ever made.
-Zz
wrote:

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Something is either loose or worse, cracked. Find it and fix it. Usually, it's at the joint where the lock assembly attaches to the fence. Adjustment can include wrenching, shimming, even filing.
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3/8" is not typical of even crappy contractor saws. Sounds like something broke.
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If nothing is broken this type of fence can probably be adjusted back into a serviceable condition. Inspect for any damage and if everything is OK, figure out which nuts/bolts change which adjustment. The key to a front and rear locking fence is to adjust it so the front locks to the front rail before the rear. If nothing is bent or broken the front rail will square the fence, then the rear will lock and hold the fence in place. It also helps to get in the habit of pushing forward on the front while setting the lock lever, and always move the fence towards the blade as its final motion before locking. (Move it away then back again when necessary)
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Better to be stuck up in a tree than tied to one.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar.org
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Sounds like the fence needs adjustment. There's usually adjustments at the handle end to square it up and to adjust the tension rod. I don't think that type of fence is as nice as a higher end fence for reliable, repeatable accuracy, but they certainly can perform to far better than the accuracy you're experiencing now. Take 15 minutes and have a hand at adjusting it.
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-Mike-
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