Installing a Delta Uniguard onto a saw with Incra Fence
As I said in the first installment, I have set a requirement that I can make the Incra Fence co-exist with the Uniguard, such that they can work together. The problem to be solved is that both the Uniguard and the Fence expect to use the same mounting holds on the cast-iron saw table in back.
Mark Mueller from Incra said that he had heard of customers that had accomplished this by flipping the Uniguard tube mounting bracket upside down and bolting it to the slot on the underside of the Incra Fence rear rail. That was enough to get me order to try. And as reported in the “Day of Truth” installment, I got it to work.
Because others may also want to install a Delta Uniguard and a Incra LS32-TS Fence on the same table saw, this installment serves as a guide to doing exactly that. If you end up doing this successfully, I would love to get a quick note saying that you used these instructions. You can send a message on lumberjocks, or leave a comment on my Amazon review (not posted yet 8/29/2010).
1. Remove the Uniguard and any extension table from the saw.
2. Install the Incra Fence according to their instructions.
3. Re-install the extension table, or install a new one.
4. Install the Uniguard, attaching it to the rear rail of the Incra Fence. The details of this procedure follow.
Here is a view from above, showing a detail of one Uniguard tube bracket attached to the underside of the Incra Fence rear rail:
Detailed installation of Uniguard on Incra Fence rear rail:
1. Avoid My Injury. As I reported in an earlier installment, I poked a hard sharp corner of the Uniguard “tube bracket” through my scalp and dented the thick skull below. Sounds worse than it was. It hurt when it happened, but is nearly healed a week later.
But the sharp corner of the tube bracket remained, waiting to injure me somehow (maybe gashing my leg). I decided to file it down, for all three Delta Uniguard tube brackets, before assembly. You only need to do it to the end that sticks out back, not the end that attaches to the rear rail.
See picture below, where the left arrow points to two filed corners. Do this for all corners that face backwards (six in all).
2. Improve the Incra Fence rail mounting. The Delta Uniguard comes with one very handy bracket that is used to attach the third tube bracket on the far end of the extension table. You should use this instead to attach the rear rail of the Uniguard Fence to the far end of the extension table. You should install it near one of the legs that supports this table.
This picture shows you what it looks like, if you’re on the floor looking up:
The tube bracket has filed corners on the left side (in this picture) only. There are two arrows to help you understand that this bracket has tabs on two sides, and a hole for the tube between. Hard to describe; hope the picture helps.
The “very handy bracket” is labeled “Bracket for ext. table (came with Uniguard)”. The proper placement is the same as described in the Uniguard installation manual. Unless you already had the Uniguard installed, follow this procedure now, but don’t tighten screws yet; you’ll need to adjust them when you attach a Incra Fence rail mounting bracket.
[Update: Installing an extension table, and attaching it to the blade, will probably make this bracket unnecessary in the long run. The table will run rail-to-rail, and will help support the rails. The table itself will be supported with a pair of legs.]
3. Required Hardware. You need: three 3/8”-16 hex-head bolts, 1/2” long, and three flat rectangular t-slot nuts that fit this bolt. The t-slot nut is not common. A couple of extras came with the Incra Fence, but you want them for the floating stop. My suggestion is to use these for now but order a bag of these nuts (for example, from woodpeck.com) so you can also mount the floating stop. The extras will also come in handy for mounting other things to the rails.
If you happen to find a 3/8”-16 t-slot-head bolt, you could use that with an ordinary hex nut. I’m not sure it exists, though: they are all 1/4” or 5/16” where I have looked.
4. Attach bolts and t-slot nuts to tube brackets. Having successfully installed the Incra Fence, the rear rail should have two rail mounting brackets, both attached to the cast-iron table of your saw. The fence comes with two extra for solving a problem with some guards, but you won’t have this problem with the Uniguard, so we’ll use them for extra support (soon).
Insert the hex-head bolt through the round, recessed hole in the Uniguard tube bracket. Screw on a t-slot nut just a few threads. Repeat for the other two tubs.
5. Slide Tube Brackets into Position. Looking at the rear rail from the back, slide two of the t-bolt nuts with tube bracket hanging below into the bottom slot of the rail, starting on the LEFT side. One goes all the way to the fence rail mounting bracket, near the middle. The other stays close to the left end. Now slide the third assembly from the RIGHT side, and slide it up to the rail mounting bracket.
This photo of the complete installation, taken from the REAR of the saw, should give you an idea of where these brackets go and the relationship between rail brackets and tube brackets.
6. Snug up all bolts, but don’t tighten yet. Mount an extra fence rail bracket on the left side of the extension table. Get it all lined up properly with snug but not tight bolts.
7. Slide the Uniguard tube into the tube brackets, starting with the left-most (extension table side), then through the middle, and finally through the right-most (cast-iron table side). Position the tube so top and bottom tubes line up vertically. Consider getting someone to hold this up. If you rely on balancing it, you might find it suddenly coming down on your head, like I did. BONK.
8. Motor Interference? If you find the motor and Uniguard tube interfere with each other, I suggest you install a Power-Twist v-Belt for the motor, with a couple of extra links to allow the motor to hang a bit lower. A nice advantage of this belt its its adjustable length, but most people buy it because it reduces vibrations.
9. Tighten all bolts. Adjust the Uniguard according to instructions, and test it. You’re done!
I am very pleased at how well the Uniguard and rear rails go together on my saw. My big concern was that the rear rail and its mounting brackets would not be able to support the heavy Uniguard without interfering with the function of the fence. Using a third mounting bracket for the rear rail, attached to an extension table near its support leg, it is all very solid, and it looks good, too!
Now I just need to fix the problem with the LS Positioner and the micro-adjuster. But hey, Mark Mueller from Incra answers emails on weekends some times! So see next installment about that.
-- Mark, hack amateur woodworker, Medford (greater Boston) MA