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?
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
This is a good one http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyida60
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)
Better to be stuck up in a tree than tied to one.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar.org
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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