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Biesemeyer Fence Major Disappointment

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Review by Hawk_Guy posted 09-24-2015 04:25 PM 14918 views 0 times favorited 37 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Biesemeyer Fence Major Disappointment Biesemeyer Fence Major Disappointment Biesemeyer Fence Major Disappointment Click the pictures to enlarge them

So I finally pulled the trigger on a Biesemeyer table saw fence, the Rolls Royce of fence systems. I will preface this with the statement that I must be the most unlucky consumer on the market or the tool industry has gone to total crap. For those of you who have read my reviews in the past you may be thinking I’m some sort of internet troll out to bad mouth manufacturers. I’ll be frank, if the product is good then I’ll rave about it but if the product stinks I’m going to tell you about it and that’s really a service to a fellow enthusiast and consumer.

To begin with the product came in two separate boxes, the fence head in one and guide tube and rails bundled in the other. The box that contained the rails and tube was pretty trashed and the end caps of the guide tube (plastic inserts) were destroyed. The rails and guide tubes also suffered minor scratches. The front rail also had some rust and scaling in a few places.

The instructions for assembly were good and will do for most. The rails come with many holes predrilled for various patterns, of course not a single hole lined up with my cast iron table. Not a big deal though, using a pair of bar clamps and the provided height alignment tool, drilling new holes was a snap and in 30 minutes the new rails were mounted.

After installing the guide tube I anxiously placed the fence on the guide tube and gave it a push. I quickly realized the fence faces were in direct contact with the table and the UHMW tab that the fence uses to glide across the table was not even in contact with the table. Essentially the person who installed the faces of the fence screwed up and installed them too low. Now the fence faces raise the height of the head so much that guide rail doesn’t even contact the guide pads. It also appears, after a few quick measurements, that each fence face is at a different height.

I am definitely annoyed after making alterations to my cast iron table and expecting a superior product.

I purchased from CPO outlets, I’ll let you guys know how they handle this…




View Hawk_Guy's profile

Hawk_Guy

82 posts in 1314 days



37 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

5811 posts in 1959 days


#1 posted 09-24-2015 09:08 PM

Strange you should write this review as I was talking with a friend in the tool business yesterday and he said that Biesemeyer was no longer what it had been. Seems it has been acquired by the Chinese and is being manufactured in China. He now refuses to handle Delta for the same reason. Also, a heads up for all you LJs who are fans of the Kreg pocket screw system: Kreg is now moving production to China and there latest release from China has replaced metal with plastic and is no longer what Kreg used to be.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

5182 posts in 3330 days


#2 posted 09-24-2015 09:25 PM

Also, a heads up for all you LJs who are fans of the Kreg pocket screw system: Kreg is now moving production to China and there latest release from China has replaced metal with plastic and is no longer what Kreg used to be.

That sucks. Kreg has always had high quality tools.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Hawk_Guy's profile

Hawk_Guy

82 posts in 1314 days


#3 posted 09-24-2015 09:53 PM

I had to return everything including the rails that I just drilled to my saw. They will send a replacement as soon as the defective one arrives back at their warehouse. I really hope the holes line up with the replacement rails. If the replacement is crap as well then I will get a refund.

My next choice will be a very super cool table saw fence system. That’s a real thing in case you were wondering…

View Daruc's profile

Daruc

460 posts in 799 days


#4 posted 09-24-2015 10:24 PM

I know it’s all about principle and accountability,
but I would have just took a straight edge and routed the fence pcs to size and been done with it.
At least right now I would be enjoying my new fence instead of,
wasted time taking the rails off that were just put on, and then having to ship it all back and wait for the new one, and then have to put the rails back on again.

In my opinion sometimes you just have to weigh it out, (15-20 minutes to rout)
but I’m not saying your wrong, just to each their own.

-- -

View Hawk_Guy's profile

Hawk_Guy

82 posts in 1314 days


#5 posted 09-24-2015 11:35 PM

Touche! Although getting a router bit passed the angle iron would have been impossible. Can’t take the faces off without destroying the laminate either.

View Daruc's profile

Daruc

460 posts in 799 days


#6 posted 09-24-2015 11:54 PM



Touche! Although getting a router bit passed the angle iron would have been impossible. Can t take the faces off without destroying the laminate either.

- Hawk_Guy

Good point! I didn’t think of that.
Might have to spend 5 more minutes getting that last couple of inches with a sanding block or belt sander. ;)

-- -

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

7099 posts in 1153 days


#7 posted 09-25-2015 12:14 AM

Hell with that. You buy what’s supposed to be a top of the line fence then that’s what it better MFing be. I’m not above some extra tuning but I have my limits.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

5182 posts in 3330 days


#8 posted 09-25-2015 12:34 AM

My next choice will be a very super cool table saw fence system. That s a real thing in case you were wondering…

If I were in the market for a fence system, Allan Little’s would be at the top of my list: http://vsctools.com/shop/product-category/table-saw-fence/

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4830 posts in 2715 days


#9 posted 09-25-2015 12:39 PM

Hamk ,
I believe that your steel tube is not at the right place, causing all your problems.
I had a similar problem that I solved by shimming the tube up.

After trying different fences for my Unisaw, I bought and I installed a Shop Fox fence and I am very happy with it.

http://smile.amazon.com/Shop-Fox-W2006-Classic-7-Foot/dp/B001UE7K1W/ref=sr_1_4?srs=2600467011&ie=UTF8&qid=1443184650&sr=8-4&keywords=shop+fox+fence

I installed it in such a way as to have 24” to the left of the blade

-- Bert

View Hawk_Guy's profile

Hawk_Guy

82 posts in 1314 days


#10 posted 09-25-2015 02:02 PM


Hamk ,
I believe that your steel tube is not at the right place, causing all your problems.
I had a similar problem that I solved by shimming the tube up.

- b2rtch

Initially I thought the same thing so I rechecked the height of the angle iron that supports the tube and its right on. They even provided a precision metal template so that no measuring was necessary. If you look at the third picture you’ll barely notice the uhmw tab that is supposed to be proud of the bottoms of the fence faces’ edge. If I shim the tube up the aft side of the head will still sit on the table. Also there is quite a disparity in the height alignment of each face with respect to one another.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

6803 posts in 1995 days


#11 posted 09-25-2015 06:59 PM

Major Bummer…. another quality brand goes China-ho and we all loose out.

My 30 year old Jet with a Biesemeyer fence is a tank…. the extruded aluminum T-track stuff doesn’t come close to the rigidity of the steel tube.

I refurbished the fence and made new facings for it and expect to enjoy it’s second 30 years of life.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

4128 posts in 2910 days


#12 posted 09-25-2015 08:13 PM

I put a Biesemeyer fence system on my Jet cabinet saw when it first came out. It has been around 30 years and I have been totally satisfied with it. I’m sorry you are having problems with your fence. I almost have to gloat over having a fence made in the U.S. of A. Most of my tools and machinery are made in the U.S.A., having procured them many years ago. I rest easy knowing I will never have to replace what I have and will be able to pass them down to my children. If you cannot get satisfaction with your fence, return it and look for a used one. They will be hard to find, a testament to their durability and quality

View BurlyBob's profile (online now)

BurlyBob

4505 posts in 1932 days


#13 posted 09-25-2015 10:12 PM

Sorry to hear about your bad luck. I love my Biesemeyer fence.

b

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

9619 posts in 2047 days


#14 posted 09-26-2015 03:36 AM

I chose the Unifence over the Bies and it has been a great fence to own. The only downside is that jigs don’t ride along the top but otherwise it has many advantages. The Bies was a great fence when it came out because all other fences were garbage, well except for the Unifence, but the tolerance on it was pretty poor by today’s standards.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View wbrisett's profile

wbrisett

201 posts in 2015 days


#15 posted 09-26-2015 09:24 AM

When I bought my Unisaw 12 years ago, it came with a Biesemeyer fence. I was OK, but once I upgraded to the Incra fence I never regretted taking it off. After working with the Incra system I couldn’t see putting anything else on my saw. I ended up adding the router table to the saw so I could use the Incra system with that too. If I had room in my shop, I would have liked to have a separate table for the router, but otherwise I think the Incra system is one of the best on the market today. Accurate and repeatable results. If the Biesemeyer replacement doesn’t work out for you, you might consider the Incra system.

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