Mounting a Vega Utility 26 fence to a Bosch PTS 10 table saw

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Blog entry by Kellence posted 03-22-2011 03:55 PM 18917 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I live in France and a few years ago purchased a 10 inch Bosch PTS 10 table saw. The PTS 10 is a scaled down version of the Bosch 4000 sold in the US. The PTS 10 is a good saw. It has enough power at 220 volts (1400 Watts) and the blade is very precisely square to the miter slots. Here is a picture of it when I bought it.

It has a sliding table to the left of the blade and a slide-out out feed table notched to accept the sliding table. Further, there is a slide-out support on the right side that allows for the cutting wider pieces.

The problem with the PTS 10, however, is that the fence will not tighten down square to the blade. As you tighten it, the back end pulls in creating a very dangerous situation for kickback. Every time you want to rip you have to go back and forth with a mallet… tap tap tap until you get it right and then clamp it down.

After three years of fiddling with the fence, I ordered a Vega U26 It was not clear if the fence could be installed on the PTS 10. I read a discussion here about a similar US Bosch model. The person had inquired of Vega about such an installation and was told that there was no support for the Vega fences on anything smaller than a 10 inch contractor saw.

I thought that I could probably get it to work with a bit of futzing about. Here are some of the issues:

(1) I did not want to loose any of the benefits of the saw. A normal installation would interfere with the sliding table and render the out feed table of limited use.

(2) I wanted to have the front and back fence supports extend out as far as possible to take advantage of the slide-out support to the right of the table.

(3) The table is aluminum, not cast iron. Making matters worse, the front track for the original fence is dropped down and has a narrow front lip.

(4) The back of the saw does present a flat and easy to drill surface. The problem is positioning the back rail so as to not interfere with the slide-out out feed table or the sliding table on the left side of the table top.

In the end, I was able to keep all of the benefits and have a very accurate fence.

The process:

First you have to overcome the odd shape of the front rail. I initially planned to mount a piece of flat iron bar on the narrow front lip. I, however, had a nice piece of scrape pine and decided to give that a try. The board is affixed with three bolts that are just as thick as they can be and still tightly hold the flat board in place.

With the board mounted you can start with a more “normal” installation. Usually you mount the two brackets holding the front rail so that they can be micro adjusted up and down. Given the odd placement of the brackets in my case they had to be perfectly positioned and securely affixed to the wooden rail. This takes a good deal of time going back and forth using clamps to position the rail. Because the fence head is very heavy, I wanted both front rail brackets to be affixed to the board where it was being supported by the metal of the saw. Otherwise, being wood, I was pretty sure that it would sag overtime on the right side.

By mounting the brackets as I did I lose a couple of inches of cut capacity on the right side, but I still have a little over two feet to the right and nine or so inches to the left.

This arrangement means you have to move the tape on the front rail. Vega provides instructions for how to move the tape.

With the front rail installed, you can move on to the back.

This rail can be directly mounted on the back of the saw. You cannot use the Vega-provided adjustment brackets as you would lose the use of the sliding table. Therefore, you have to drill holes in the aluminum lip of the saw and matching holes in the steel rail. I used a drill press on the metal bar and then clamped the bar and drilled the holes on the back of the saw.

You do have to be very precise in the placement of the back rail as it must be perfectly level to the front rail.

The back of the fence glides on a neoprene button that is held on to the fence with a self trapping screw. In order to make this work I had to remove the button, move it further back and shim it with washers. It is helpful to have a stack of washers of the same diameter as the button, but of different thicknesses. You want the front of the fence and the back to be precisely the same distance from the table top. To make the stack of washers secure, I tapped the hole on the underside of the fence to take a long bolt. Vega tells you to use a 11/64 bit for the self tapping screw. Drilling a hole with that size bit made it very easy to then tap threads for a 4 mm diameter bolt. The bolt is recessed in the button so you must be able to use a screwdriver or similar device to tighten it.

In the end the fence works wonderfully. I did not have to install the optional rear hold down, but it could be done by adding a shim on the very far back end of the fence.

Vega says that the fence should normally be about 1/16th of an inch above the table. In this installation, the rear bar is set low enough to accommodate the left side sliding table. Thus the fence rides considerably higher than 1/16 inch. This is not a problem for me because I prefer to have a taller auxiliary fence installed anyway. It will come down to the normal level.

The fence bar rides on a very heavy head secured by four adjustable bolts. After everything was installed, I used a dial indictor to get the fence perfectly aligned. It has been about a month and I check the alignment regularly. So far so good. If problems emerge I will replace the wooden rail with a metal bar.

After finishing the installation, I set about to put things back together. Oops, the miter gauge could only slide in from the back of the saw… not too handy.

This was solved by cutting out notches in the front wooden bar. If you go with a metal bar, these slots would have to be cut early in the process

Finally, there is nothing about this installation that changes the factory specifications. Were I to want to sell the saw, I could take the Vega fence off and the new owner could fight with the factory fence! That is to say, you do not have to ruin the original fence tracks if you are careful with how you drill the Vega mounting holes.

Here is a photo of the finished installation with the left sliding table extended and the right table extension pulled out.

I also built a stand on locking castors for the saw. The sack for sawdust is from Harbor Freight.

I have more pictures if you are contemplating an installation like this. From what I can tell, similar Bosch saws sold in the US would present fewer problems, mostly because the front track appears to be more like those on contractor saws.

-- Kellence, Languedoc-Roussillon France

3 comments so far

View Topgun's profile


5 posts in 1061 days

#1 posted 12-02-2013 10:16 AM

Hi, i have recently bought the same saw. I am very frustrated about the fence, being that un-precise as it is.
I have even contacted Bosch, that for the 3th week is investigating an answer.

So i have started to look for another solution, meaning another fence. Living in Europe (Denmark) we really have like a fraction of the possibilities residents of the US have, so i was thrilled when i saw a Frenchman having the same issue and even better. Found a solution for it.

I have one question, where have you found your fence ? I can’t find any selling it in EU (which would have been the best thing, due to our insane taxes in Denmark). But i can’t really find a US dealer that want to ship it (im not even at the cost of the thing yet :) )

Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

-- Michael Pedersen, Denmark

View Kellence's profile


4 posts in 2117 days

#2 posted 12-02-2013 03:12 PM

Hi, Michael…

PTS 10 Saw Fence Issues

According to Rockler’s FAQ’s they will ship internationally.

When things come into France by UPS or FedEx one is sure to pay an import duty. It becomes very expensive. Here the duty would be 19.6 percent and they even charge duty on the shipping charge. Probably somewhat like that in Denmark I suppose.

A better option, if you have family or friends in the US that you want to visit, you could bring it back, paying for a second suitcase, about 75 US dollars with Air France. The U26 package is just small enough to come in under the measurement limits that Air France uses. I, of course, do not know the likelihood of your having to pay duty as you deplane in Denmark.

The only EU aftermarket seller of quality fences of which I am aware is Dieter Schmid in Germany. He sells the Incra table saw fence which has good reviews. I went out and measured my table and it would seem that the fence might fit. You would have to add a metal bar across the font to bring the connecting plate up to level with the table top. The bar could not be real thick or you would exceed the 754mm distance front to back. You would also have to watch out for blocking your miter slots.

Here is a link to his site.

I do not know if you can install the fence and save the use of the built-in sliding table. You could always build a sled if needed.

I have ordered a number of things from Dieter and have not had any serious issues. (One package of long clamps was poorly done, but fortunately there was no damage.) Service has be polite and efficient. Shipping costs to France have been quite reasonable.

I hope that you find something that will work for you and good luck!

PS Until you find something, you could rig up a strip of MDF or stable hardwood and use clamps to make a fence. Time consuming but much more accurate than the “fence” that comes with the PTS 10.

Kelly in France

-- Kellence, Languedoc-Roussillon France

View Topgun's profile


5 posts in 1061 days

#3 posted 12-02-2013 04:14 PM

Thank you, this was very helpfull. I will look into both possibilities.
Again thanks

-- Michael Pedersen, Denmark

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