Does anyone besides Delta offer a tablesaw without a fence? I actually
have a nice fence without a good saw to put it on (it was a good deal, I
figured the rest would fall into place) :( I like the look of the Delta
36-979 and I should be able to go higher in price a bit if I need to.
A nice fence on a bad tablesaw is not such a bad thing. You may
very well be able to buy one without a fence, since many fences are
another brand and often sold separately. Don't put too much value on
appearance of a saw--that can fool you. Some of my best tools are
TImes have changed. Used to be a strict Delta policy that fence had
to be sold with a saw. Dealer could mix and match if they wanted, but
they were expected to sell a fence with a saw.
Product liability issue. (Potential Plantiff: " I didn't know I had
to have a fence to use this thing"?) Same with the blade. UL/CSA
didn't trust you to apply the proper blade, consequently to be listed
you had to provide a blade. Thus the many thousands of cheap stamped
steel blades that get thrown away immediately.
Yup sell a saw with out a fence and you loose $200-$300 in sales with each
saw. B&D apparently sees things differently.
I suspect that was what Delta wanted every one to believe, but I suspect a
loss in sales would be the real reason. Seems that the fence should have
been installed at the factory had they really thought some one might use
the saw with out a fence. Delta knows good an well that parts not installed
at the factory often don't get put on when the customer get it. Take the
guard for instance.
BUT you never know what makes some companies tick.
Same with the blade. UL/CSA
I'm curious, what blade would not be proper on a TS, one that could result
in legal problems?
I've got two thoughts on this.
Some people will buy a saw and be perfectly happy with a cheapie blade
because it is their first saw and inexperience won't allow them to know
And for an improper blade, maybe a metal cutting blade, like those
fiber(?) things that are used for cutting sheet metal. Yeah, I know
someone would have to be pretty green to put one of those on and expect
nice cuts in oak, but we're also dealing with the same public that
didn't know coffee was hot and sued so that warning labels are put on
Let's see, we had the two highest selling by volume fence systems and
we were afraid we would lose sales. And it doesn't matter what we
thought about whether someone would be foolish enough to use the unit
without a fence, what mattered was the story a plantiffs lawyer could
concoct. Additionally, we, for most of that time, were the only
manufacturer whose industrial units were UL listed. May still be, I
haven't kept up, don't really care anymore. But you're free to
suspect what you want, I was there part of the discussions, but no
longer have a horse in that race in any way. I was simply commenting
on the change in policy.
Installed at the factory. Little tough to ship that way. That is why
everyone uses master box systems to tie multiple boxes to a single
You would have to ask UL/CSA that question. It was their requirement
not Delta's. We (Tupelo domestic) proposed the addition of a blade
coupon to be placed on the arbor instead of a blade, offering a
substantial discount on the blade of your choice and reducing the
cost/price of the unit. Could not be done because of the UL/CSA
There is no doubt that you had the highest selling by volume, fence systems,
I don't have those figures in front of me but that is a very credable
statement and I would agree with out need of proof. But if you dont sell a
saw with out a fence that helps to insure high fence sale volume regardless
of whether the customer wanted a Beis or Unifence. For you to not include
the possibility the fact that Delta was in the the business to manufacutre
equipment and make a profit is probably speaking a half trugh. Agreed, the
fences being included does indeed help in preventing the possibility of
litigation for the reason you mentioned but I highly suspect that Delta also
knew that not including the fence with the saw would cost more in lost sales
than losses from possible law suits. I am sure they and their lawyers had
data from other manufacturers to look at, including the manufacturers that
did not require a fence with the saw sale. It certainly makes answering the
question, why can't I buy a Delta TS with out a fence easier using the
possibility of a law suit as a reason, because we want to make more money
does not seem as focused on customer safety on the sales floor when you are
face to face with the customer. For certain the requirement of a fence
generated more revenue, possibly it negated some law suits.
Understood and I totally agree, but including a fence with the saw does not
insure that the customer will use the fence as it does not insure that the
customer will use the saw with out a guard.
I see, I probably missed that point some where. Did the UL/CSA also
require the fence? Again I probably missed that point if you mentioned it
earlier, and if it did require the fence I totally agree with your
I have the utmost respect for your experience and especially what you have
been through with Delta. I have been in similar shoes when it comes to the
pride in your work and product and to see it turn out differently that you
had hoped. I wish you well.
All points above well taken. Sure about the blade think the fence was
also a requirement, policy so entrenched and strict. Dealers not so
encumbered and many wanted to buy base units, fences, al a carte. It
actually cost Delta money when high volume dealers, with, in my veiw,
valid complaints, forced inventory resets to get their, unit/fence
inventory matched out.
The UL/CSA listing forced other strange things. For instance, we
developed a stock guard that could be set in an upright position to
facilitate the changing of blades. The intepretation of UL/CSA
clauses regarding guards caused the introduction of that improvement
to be delayed until after our non-listed competitors introduced theirs
and the UL/CSA wording was changed.
The much safer aftermarket guards, ours and competitors, were not so
encumbered, because they were not sold with the saws and not UL
listed. One of the reasons, I believe, you never saw any special
editions that had the better, safer, aftermarket guards as part of the
master box package.
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