I've lived too long using a tape measure to set the distance from the
front of the blade to the fence, then measuring the back of the fence,
then measuring the front of the fence, then checking the distance to the
blade again to see whether (as if they never do) it has changed and I
need to adjust (always).
I've been leaning toward the Shop Fox because of the incorporated T-slot
for attaching accessories, but with the way they sell it with the long
rails, it is among the most expensive of the ones I'm considering.
The Shop Fox Classic is in the running, 'cause I don't know whether I'd
actually ever take advantage of that T-slot.
The Vega has gotten consistently good reviews, but I haven't been able
to find anything definitive in terms of the difference between the Vega
and the Vega Pro (other than price).
So, Shop Fox or Shop Fox Classic or Vega or Vega Pro? (Or maybe save
$100-plus and build my own from some of the plans out there.)
I'll be putting this on a Delta Contractor's, by the way. A new saw is
not in the budget - unless it's a Ryobi BT3500, in which I wouldn't need
a new fence.
The difference btwn the utility and the commercial versions is, AFAIK,
the same as btwn the Biesemeyer 'Home Shop' and Pro/Commercial
models... namely heavier built, larger front tube (I think), and a
longer fence bar that hangs out a ways over an outfeed table.
Everything about the Vega Utility seems to be what I want, but I'm still
convincing myself that my beater is worth the upgrade ;) Mulecabs are
highly recommended by most everybody that has one it seems.
I know more than enough *nix to do some very destructive things,
and not nearly enough to do very many useful things.
I bought a Vega Utility, the shorter one, not the 52" model, for my
Delta Contractors saw, and can easily say, it was some of the best
money I have spent.
As an engineer, I was a little underimpressed by the collection of
hardware that came in the pack, but the cheesier stuff is just for
setting the height, and alignment, before the final lockdown with more
substantial hardware. After installation and use, I will tell you it
is perfectly engineered, just the right level of quality for each
component, and no more. More would NOT make it a better product, and
would likely substantially raise the price. The standard bar is plenty
rigid for almost anything I can imagine pushing through the saw, and
that includes full sheets of plywood. I could see the a thicker front
bar on a commercial setup, where some lacky employee rams the
sheetgoods into the fence with little regard for the tool. Might also
be the ticket is buying the 52" version.
Well thought out piece of gear. Installation was a snap, although, I
have heard of others having an issue with non-standard saws, like
T-slots would be kinda nice, for mount a vertical feather board, or
sacrificial fence, but the aluminum fence extrusion has a thick enough
wall that drilling and tapping for couple of 1/4-28 socket head cap
screws work just fine. No slot to catch odd dimensioned work either.
I too have the Mule - bought it about 2 years ago and am very satisfied with
it. I took an afternoon to mount and get everything aligned. I haven't had to
fuss with it since the initial tweaking.
I have small basement shop and I am always looking to save space so I will
probably buy their router table and fence to add to my t-saw in the near
future. Their router fence bolts directly onto the rip fence.
luck with whatever you get
Thanks for the responses--to a variation of a question that I know gets
asked all the time here.
Based on what folks have said, I checked out the Mule Accusquare, and it
looks as though that company gives you more for your money than anyone
else around--not just in the fence but in their other products as well.
Check 'em out at <http://www.mulecab.com . I'll probably get the fence
and the router table as soon as finances permit.
The one thing the Mule doesn't have is a micro-adjust. The factory fence
that came with my Grizzly had it; the Shop Fox Original doesn't (despite
what they say <g>). If money was no object I'd get this. It's about 2x the
mule, but it has microadjust.
I hate "thumping" on a fence to move it small amounts. The microadjust on
my factory Grizzly worked very well for getting within 1/32".
====================Well I have been running a Biesmeyer fence (and they do not have a micro
adjustment ) on my saw for well over 10 years and have never found that I
missed or even needed a micro adjustment... So I honestly would not pay a
ANY premium for it on any fence system...
I am not really UP on the various after market fences TODAY because I
stopped looking at fences the day I ordered my new saw with the Biesmeyer
... I honestly love the thing .
Personally that is all that counts...
Your "Hatred" of bumping the fence is a good reason however for you to
purchase what you personally like...
Yup. <g> I even added a micro adjust to my router table fence because I got
tired of sloppy multi-pass dados. Now I can move it persactly where I want
it. If it ends up sloppy that's not the fence's fault anymore. ;-)
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