|Review by TheDane||posted 07-20-2009 10:20 PM||13373 views||2 times favorited||14 comments|
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!"