I have a Hitachi C10FL tablesaw. It is often maligned for having flimsy legs. It does. But, I am going to back the existing legs with some angle iron and that will solve that rather inconsequential problem. I say “inconsequential” because it has not been a “problem.” The only way it actually affects anything is in moving the saw. This saw closely resembles Lowe’s new Porter-Cable saw except it (the PC) has a stronger one pedal actuated off the floor lift. The Hitachi has a wimpy lift on each leg.
This is supposed to be about the fence. The Hitachi fence has been described in some reviews as “decent.” Not mine. I could never adjust it to anything remotely resembling consistency or holding square. It slewed terribly between front and back I always, always had to measure front and back to guarantee squareness. I got fed up. One of the new additions for my new shop project was a new fence! It took a lot of study. There are a lot of choices and a fairly wide spread of prices. I had let from the banker (wife & mother) to get what I want and to not skimp and get something based upon price alone. Still, I have a responsibility not to be careless. We are on a fixed income. I narrowed my choices down based upon reviews, merits and whether or not I liked it’s looks. (Not much of a recommendation I know but, hey, Looks has to count for something:) Then I started juggling $$$ signs. My choice was not the cheapest but, was in the lower quadrant.
What I finally settled upon was the “Shop Fox” W1410 “manufactured for Woodstock.” This is not the same shop fox fence from Grizzly I have seen reviewed here by others but a different one I got off Amazon. It’s “made in Taiwan” but the quality from there is not necessarily bad these days. It just depends on what level of quality the item customer is willing to pay for. From what I have seen, the quality of this is second to none. Now, the rails are simple angle iron. Nothing fancy about that but it’s plenty sturdy! Other than the sight window for the scale, there is no plastic in this thing. It is solidly built of steel and aluminum.
This fence is tall, slick sided and basically black. It came with “standard rails,” namely the aforementioned angle iron and two end pieces for an optional table addition that I did not use. The holes did not match up with my saw but, that is no surprise and no problem. They actually supply a bit and tap for putting in new holes but, throw those away! I tried them and they are no good. A tap that can’t cut threads in cast iron isn’t worth wasting your time with. Still, that was no problem either. I used my own.
The instructions are well illustrated and clear but, there was one detail that I goofed on. Let me blame VA meds for that embarrassment. The rail in back is supposed to mount 1/16” of an inch below the table top. The one in front also 1/16” of an inch BUT, down from the bottom of the miter slot. I missed that little detail. MY fault, it was clearly written but, still, an easy over sight to make. I got the rail relocated and it was much better. One thing I did that caused me a little grief is that I just drilled a hole in the angle iron instead of trying to tap a hole to bolt through the slots provided. I just can’t help but feel that any bolt through a slot will eventually move. Going through a fitted hole will prevent that. The flip side of going through a fitted hole is that once set, there’s no adjustment, and I needed it. What I didn’t do was upon clamping the rails in place prior to drilling, was to test the location of the fence to the surface of the saw. Instead I fixated upon that 1/16” depth. Got it w/in .010” all around. Unfortunately, that suspended my fence about a 1/4” above the table. Too much for my comfort. Since they recommended using a side board on th fence, I just brought that down. I set it 1/8” above the table. They suggested some woods I don’t have or MDF which I don’t trust. I had a wild hair and decided to try a left over piece of artificial, some kind of vinyl I think, flooring board I had left over from reflooring the house. I have no idea how well this will work but, I’m giving it a try.
When the fence went on it rolled smoothly, firmly and with no trace of front to back shifting. Rock solid. One problem though was the clamping force required. It was excessively hard. That was no surprise though. The maximum length of table it is made for is given as 27 1/4. Mine is 27 1/8. Pretty near the limit. Adjustment is tricky and a bit of a pain. You have to pull pins, disconnect parts and make adjustment turns front & back, reassemble and test it again. You have to do this incrementally until you get it adjusted to suit. Still, it only took two tries to get it right. I checked parallelism from miter slot and blade and it was spot on.
Now it clamps easily but firmly. There is no shift or wobble and it holds parallelism rock solid! I am very happy with it. One feature I believe that holds it in place so well is it’s wide ‘foot print.’ It has one roller in back and two quite widely spaced in front. The rollers are steel, grooved so they ride on the edge of the angle iron and can’t ride up or sag down. The front rollers serve for fine adjustment which they allow smoothly and easily.
There is a slot down the center top of the fence to take Tee nuts and there are clamps sold separately to work with this fence I have not bought.
For $186.70- free shipping but, tax charged, I am well satisfied and thrilled to have a fence that is an asset instead of an aggravation.
The only problems incurred in assembly were of my own making. Below are some pics. Please excuse the dust on the saw. I m not the neatest person and I haven’t got my dust collection hooked up to this machine yet.