|Review by brtech||posted 06-23-2011 03:47 PM||9078 views||5 times favorited||9 comments|
I’ve got an older (Emerson) Craftsman TS (113.298240). The stock fence is a joke, but I’ve made do. I finally decided to do something about it, and a T2 was it. Got it at Tools-Plus for $148 + 6.50 shipping. It came pretty well packed via UPS. The box was a bit caved in, but the parts were fine. Excellent manual, very clear, real English. The fence is made in Taiwan. Fit and finish appear to be excellent.
There are two ways to mount the fence to this TS. One is to drill holes in the rails to match the holes already in the TS top. The other is to drill holes in the TS to match the holes in the rails. I chose the latter. There are then two options on that. One is to align the zero on the scale with the blade and drill all new holes. The other is to use one existing hole and drill the rest. The advantage of the latter is that you can put a screw in the one hole which holds up the rail at one point and then support the other end with something like an adjustable roller stand. The disadvantage is you have to move the scale. I chose to do that, although if I had to do it again, I’d probably drill all new holes. When I supported the rail as described, the gap between the bottom of the fence and the top of the TS was small, less than 1/8”. When I was done, the gap is more like 3/16”. Not sure how that happened, but the gap is more than I would have liked. It was very easy to align the rail, drill the holes, and mount them. Less than an hour, more like 45 minutes. I used my Bosch cordless drill, a new bit and WD-40 as a lubricant. I went slow, but steady. I did chuck a smaller bit in the drill and used it to drill a starter “dent”, as the full size drill bit didn’t want to stay on the center punch divot. Only one of my holes didn’t come out centered, and 10 seconds with a round file fixed that.
This TS has stamped steel wings. There are steel angle brackets on each corner, with round head bolts through the wings. I had to remove all the bolts on the front and back, and the rail hole on one side is just about dead center on the END of the angle bracket, meaning I had to drill through the bracket on half the hole. That was actually harder than drilling through the CI. It wasn’t very hard, and with a washer on the bolt supplied with the fence, the rail is stable. The wings appear to be fine, but I’m going to replace them with something else pretty soon.
After mounting the rails, mounting the square stock to the front rail went smoothly. The T square fence dropped right in and moved smoothly. Alignment of fence to miter and square to table was easy: it was close to begin with, the adjustment is simple, and the instructions were clear. With my Align-it, I have the fence parallel to the miter within .001. My good square shows no light coming through with a flashlight behind it.
Moving the scale was easy. I ran a piece of blue painters tape along the bottom of the scale as a reference line. I slid the fence over to touch the blade, centered the plastic indicator line in its slot, and marked where it should go on the square stock. Peeling up the scale was simple, and laying back down in the right place was straightforward. It went down very close to where it should have; final alignment by moving the plastic was about 1/16”. I had to move the scale over around 4”, so I gained a bit on the right, and lost a bit on the left, which is better than the other way around.
What a difference! I knew the stock fence was junk, but the T2 is an amazing upgrade. It’s much more substantial, doesn’t move when you lock it, much smoother motion and more range.
I highly recommend this upgrade to an older TS with a stock fence. The price is very reasonable, the quality is very high, and the installation is not bad at all. That’s my install on the right. With my EB-3 miter gauge, and a decent blade, this is a very capable TS.
Anyone want a stock fence for this TS? Available real cheap!