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Shop Fox Classic Fence - A Real Gem

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Review by TheDane posted 1858 days ago 11647 views 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Shop Fox Classic Fence - A Real Gem Shop Fox Classic Fence - A Real Gem Shop Fox Classic Fence - A Real Gem Click the pictures to enlarge them

Review: Shop Fox Classic Fence

Bottom line: The “Shop Fox Classic Fence” has proven to be an excellent addition to my workshop.

My table saw is a Jet JWTS-10 (708100). I have always liked this saw (see review at http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/333), but was never completely satisfied with the fence.

After a good deal of online research, I settled on the “Shop Fox Classic Fence”, and found a very good deal on it from Warren Cutlery, a Shop Fox dealer in Rhinebeck, NY.

I felt sorry for the UPS driver … he hand-carried the box 125 feet up a 20% slope. The box was about five feet long, and weighed 80 pounds. The styrofoam packing was crumbled up pretty good and the box looked like they had rolled it in front the truck all the way from New York, but when I opened it and checked the contents, everything was in good order.

Installation wasn’t as straightforward as I would have liked (took 2+ hours), but it went fairly smoothly.

None of the bolt holes in the rails matched up to the bolt holes in the table and extension wings (I didn’t expect them to), so I measured from the table top to dead-center of the bolt holes in the table, then marked/center-punched locations that would match up on both the front and rear rails (had to account for the bevel on the front of the table for the front rail). The bolt holes in the table and wings would accommodate 5/16” bolts, so I chucked a 7/16” bit in my drill press and drilled the holes in the rails over-size to provide some adjustment room.

I mounted the back rail first. To get the rail flush with the table top, I jointed 2 4’ long pieces of 2×4, laid them across the top and clamped them on the front of the table. Then I clamped the rear rail to the 2×4 and drew it flush to the table. I ran common 5/16” x 1” hex bolts with flat washers through the rail into the table top, and used lock washers and lock nuts to secure. Same for the front rail. I bolted the rectangular tube direct to the front rail without having to use any shims, and I have exactly 1/16” clearance between the table and the fence front to back.

The mounting bracket that Jet uses for the power switch on the JWTS-10 is designed to mount at a 45-degree angle, so it can’t be attached to the rail on the Shop Fox. The easiest way to deal with that was a 4” long piece of 1 1/2” angle iron. I drilled two holes in the angle iron to match the holes in the Shop Fox rail, drilled two holes in the Jet bracket and used 1/4” bolts, lock washers and lock nuts to attach the bracket to the angle iron. The new bracket and switch were then bolted to the Shop Fox rail using the 1/4” flat head machine screws supplied with the Shop Fox.

Shop Fox’s instructions for aligning the fence to the miter slot (no alignment was required!) and applying the self-stick rule were easy to follow and dead-on.

There are two things ‘missing’ ...

1) I do some work with the fence to the left of the blade, and Shop Fox doesn’t supply a right-to-left rule and left-hand cursor (they can be purchased separately).

2) There is no micro-adjust other than ‘bumping’ with the heel of your hand.

In use, this fence is a real gem. It glides smoothly on the rails, and for the first time, I don’t feel that I have to measure the blade-to-fence distance on every cut. I can trust this fence to hold the setting I want.

I also like the fact that I can clamp fixtures to it, and use the space between the rail faces to hold a push stick, pencil, rulers, etc. The steel tube that is the backbone of the fence body is thick enough to drill/tap threads to mount T-track or fixtures like the “Board Buddies” Grizzly has on their website.

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




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TheDane

3722 posts in 2289 days



14 comments so far

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a1Jim

112010 posts in 2203 days


#1 posted 1858 days ago

Super review well done

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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davidroberts

1002 posts in 2112 days


#2 posted 1858 days ago

Thanks for the review. I probably would have kept my old craftsman beater TS a little bit longer if not for the POS fence. On a waxed surface, that shop fox will glide with the slightest hand pressure. Mine is dead nuts accurate on the scale. I have a right tilt arbor. I’ve only recently broke the habit of measuring fence to blade distance on every cut. Your gonna love it. BTW, I was messing around with a new PM 2000 at the local Rocklers and the fence is hugh. A monster. Twice the size of the shop fox. I had never noticed that before.

-- God is great, wood is good. Let us thank Him for wood......and old hand tools.

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USCJeff

1044 posts in 2694 days


#3 posted 1858 days ago

I’ll second the review. I’ve had mine for nearly 4 years. I would state the same as the review, but also add that nothing has changed in 4 years of use. Still locks and holds as desired. The adjustments are simply a matter of guess and check with the set screws, but simple enough. As I don’t use the cursor, the lack of the left cursor isn’t an issue. The micro adjust would be nice. I too do the heel bump game.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

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Jef

2 posts in 2344 days


#4 posted 1813 days ago

Just put one of these on my Ridgid R4511 in place of the “fence” that came with the saw. Its a great, heavy piece and slides across the table like silk. Had to drill my own holes in the rails also. I only use it on the right of the blade so I don’t have a problem with not having a scale on the left. I also installed a Wixey digital scale at the same time but only used half of the rail since I only use it on the right and am limited to 26” rip anyway. Got the ShopFox Classic fence and Wixey scale both for $290!

-- -- Jef

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TheDane

3722 posts in 2289 days


#5 posted 1813 days ago

I have given some though to adding a Wixey digital scale.

I have a Wixey on my planer (DeWalt DW733), and one of their digital angle gauges and both are very good products. The batteries for the original Wixey planer digital readout would last about 10 minutes, but I get much better battery life from the upgrade I bought last year. It looks like Wixey has standardized on the CR2032 battery which seems to last longer. I wish the other digital instruments in my shop used this same battery.

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

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TheChucker

38 posts in 1739 days


#6 posted 1732 days ago

I’m looking at putting this fence on my Ridgid 4511 similar to what Jef has done. Do you guys know how much room is to the left of the blade for the fence? I don’t typically use the left side of the blade, and was planning on shifting the fence as far to the right as I could. 26” of cut capacity to the right just won’t cut it – thanks.

-- Wherever you go, there you are.

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TheDane

3722 posts in 2289 days


#7 posted 1732 days ago

I think it is either 10” or 12” ... not sure. I’ll chjeck it when I get back to ranch tonight and PM you with the actual measurement.

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

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TheChucker

38 posts in 1739 days


#8 posted 1732 days ago

Thanks, I’d rather not have to spend the extra money for the long rails, nor take up valuable shop space.

-- Wherever you go, there you are.

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TheDane

3722 posts in 2289 days


#9 posted 1732 days ago

I just put a scale to it … in the standard installation, I get 10” to the left of the blade.

Like you, I pretty much never cut to the left of the blade.

Both the front and back rails have two rectangular cutouts for the miter gauge. Measuring from the left side of the left cutout, it is 10” to the end of the rail. I would think you’d just be able to slide the whole assembly to the right, yielding about 36” to the right of the blade.

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

View JasonWagner's profile

JasonWagner

523 posts in 1806 days


#10 posted 1632 days ago

TheDane, check out my review of the Wixey digital scale if you would like. It fit my shopfox classic fence without any additional drilling. Great scale but almost too acurate…you’ll bump, nudge and thump the fence all over to get it where you want.

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

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TheDane

3722 posts in 2289 days


#11 posted 1632 days ago

Jason—Thanks for the heads-up … I’ll check it out!

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

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Lip

158 posts in 2676 days


#12 posted 530 days ago

Great review … I’m just curious … is the rear rail simply for vertical support … as opposed to several of the fences that come with the saws from the factory … which often depend on clamping down on both the front and rear rails for full support and stability … I ask because I want to surround my (very old) Unisaw with a full 4’x8’ melamine table, but the original fence makes it practically impossible … rear rails stick out 1 1/2” and and the fence is pretty useless without them

-- Lip's Dysfuncational Firewood Farm, South Bend, IN

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TheDane

3722 posts in 2289 days


#13 posted 530 days ago

Lip—Yup … the rear rail is basically along for the ride. This is a ‘T-square’ type fence with the clamping pressure on the front tube. I no longer have this fence (sold the saw last year), but it served me well and if I had the same decision to make again today, I would buy it in a heart beat.

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

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Lip

158 posts in 2676 days


#14 posted 529 days ago

Thanks … you make a good salesman … been looking at this for awhile, but after reading you and a few others have had to say, I’ll be ordering it tomorrow … thanks again …

-- Lip's Dysfuncational Firewood Farm, South Bend, IN

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