I've come to the conclusion that I need a new fence for my Delta (36-650).
It's a struggle to cut a straight line with the fence that came with the
saw (it's just a generic Delta fence), because it has too much wiggle at the
back end when it's locked. It looks like most replacement fences have long
rails and require adding an extension with legs to support the rails, but I
don't really have the room for that kind of setup. So my question is what
would be a good replacement fence that would fit the saw without having to
add an extension? I'm assuming I'll have to spend about $200 to $300...
After poking around on the web it looks like the U30 Unifence (I think it's
the one with the shortest rails) still requires a set of legs to the right
of the table, do you know if it can be installed (and is it stable) without
I took a look at the Biesemeyer on the web and it looks like the shortest
rail system is on the BHS28 (28" right home shop fence). But it looks like
the rails are still long enough so that support legs are necessary. Is it
stable without the legs (on a contractor saw)?
The rails are damned rigid and rugged. I don't think that is the reason the
legs are in place.
If you add an extension and tableboard, you have a nice work area for
assembly etc. Pile on a cabinet under assembly, dozen clamps, Next thing
you know, the saw is tipping over. Leg prevent that.
You need to also take into consideration that with either the Biesemeyer or
the Unifence you will have to buy or build a FLAT table extension for the
fence to set on. The back rail is not used by the fence and is only needed
to support the table extension.
I've had both, and neither stands out for me--they each have strengths and
Beis: strong, lockable, accurate.
Uni: accurate, easily movable, versatile.
You couldn't make a mistake buying either one.
I have a Unifence, but would be happy with a Biesemeyer, too. As I see
it, the big advantage of the Unifence is the ability to switch the fence
from high to low, enabling better control of cutting thin stock, e.g.,
cutting narrow strips of plywood.
The times I wish I had a Biesemeyer are when I know I could easily make a
jig to carry small parts past the blade which would fit over the
Biesemeyer with its parallel sides. It is much more difficult to make a
sliding jig for the Unifence.
"If I knew what I was doing, I wouldn't be here"
Consider the Uni-T-Fence upgrade for the Unifence ... awesome
"slide-in-in-seconds" replacement for the actual fence. Got one, wished I'd
done it sooner. Batch cut a half dozen different height "sacrificial fences"
with pre-drilled holes and screw one in when needed... great for jigs also.
No affiliation, just a satisfied owner/user.
Biesemeyer is my first choice and also look at the HTC fence. Lee Valley
carries them. They are a Biesemeyer clone. With the 30" rails I think you
could get away with out the legs. OTOH, if you are knowledgeable about
using a saw, making a tableboard and legs is a fund thing to do.
I've worked with and owned both (Beis/clones and Unifence) and mounted them
in several different configurations. Either can be adapted to -just about-
any tablesaw. You can check the manf website to see if they have any
installation notes that may prevent it from being installed on your TS.
The rail in the back is not used for the fence at all but is merely a
support for the extension table on the right side. Since you do not have
the room for the extension table, you will not need the back rail.
The front rail mounts slightly differently for each model but essentially,
if you can bolt it down to the front in 3 places, it will be as solid as
you'll ever need. Essentially, the top of the front rail needs to be ~3/4"
lower than the tabletop surface. The fence mounting bolt locations need to
be about 1/2" to 1" lower so you may need to make/install brackets and/or
drill holes in the TS. You can cut the front rail to the length you want.
Measure distance from blade to the max right position then add the extra
needed to support the right-hand part of the T on the fence.
You may also want to consider this -
You would be better off selling your tablesaw, add your 200$-300$ you
were planning to spend already on the fence and get a better saw with
a good fence included. Spending extra money on a Delta 36-650 is
overkill IMHO and not worth it. You'll end up spending more money if
you keep replacing components than if you buy a good tablesaw in the
I have an old Rockwell /Delta with a standard fence and it has an adjustment
for the rear rail clamp. Don't let me discourage you from getting a new
fence but perhaps your standard fence can be fixed with a simple adjustment.
Thanks everyone for the feedback. I called Delta for more info and they
confirmed that even the short Unifence would absolutely require some support
since it only runs on a single rail, but that I might do OK with the 28"
Bies (home version, not commercial 30") without using any extra support
since it runs on front and rear rails. That's probably what I'll do, but
I'm going to try to find one to look at first...
dont know if it will work on a contractors saw but i have an old micro
adjust fence that came on my 1948 unisaw. i replaced it with a bies
because that is what i wanted. the old one is sevicable and much beter
than what comes with the contractors saw. the old fence and rails are
collecting dust as we speak. if you are near central N.C. and can come
get em they are yours for the asking. unisaw a100 can answer weather
they would fit or not.
Thanks for the very generous offer, but I'm in northern CA. I haven't been
able to actually see the Biesmeyer, but someone who has a 30" pro told me it
shouldn't be a problem mounting it on a contractors saw without using a set
of support legs. Thanks again!!!
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