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Biesemeyer vs Shop Fox

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Forum topic by lilredweldingrod posted 1724 days ago 3539 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lilredweldingrod

2495 posts in 1732 days


1724 days ago

Another woodworker and I have been talking about making a Biesemeyer style fence for his old 1940’s TS. I was looking in the Grizzly catalog and saw the Shop Fox for about 1/2 price. It looks like a clone to me from the pictures. The cast iron top is 34”deep x45” wide. I don’t know if either Biesemeyer or the Shop Fox will work on a saw this deep. Any body got an idea on this?


13 replies so far

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 1978 days


#1 posted 1724 days ago

I had wanted a Biesemeyer fence for my UniSaw that came with a UniFence for a long time but they were just too expensive, the UniFence is a good fence but I feel the Biesemeyer is more flexible. But I bought the Shop Fox when presented with the alternative due to cost. It was less then a year after I installed it and used it I bought a Biesemeyer. I think that says a lot.

The biggest problem with the Shop Fox I had was due to the phenolic sides they use instead of MDF and how they are attached to the fence. The mounting screws caused the phenolic to bend causing a wavy surface, not good when wanting to cut a board straight. When I tried to do something about it and removed one I found shims behind it from the factory. Anytime you tighten the screws enough to hold the phenolic to the fence you got waves. Well to make a long story short I never could get it as good as I liked or felt necessary, hence I bought the Biesemeyer. I started to make my own sides out of Batlic Birch plywood with Formica laminate but through in the towel and bit the bullet.

I do believe that Biesemeyer guarentees the straightness of their fences and that is what you’re paying for. Even when you get their replacment kit. At least that’s what I have heard.

If you want a good deal on that Shop Fox fence I have one for sale. I also have a new in the box Biesemeyer 78-200 42” Fence with Legs that I’d be willing to deal on that has never been used, has never been out of the box. Here's a link to one. You’d need to buy the 30” or 50” Guide Set 78-130 or 78-150

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

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End_Grain

95 posts in 1762 days


#2 posted 1724 days ago

I have the 50” rails. NIB

-- My greatest fear is that when I die, my wife will sell all my stuff for what I told her I bought it for.

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lilredweldingrod

2495 posts in 1732 days


#3 posted 1724 days ago

End Grain, send me a PM with the price for the rails. I’ll talk to Mike the next time I see him and get back to you.
Rand

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knotscott

5417 posts in 2001 days


#4 posted 1724 days ago

Hi Rand – I had a Biese Commercial fence on my Craftsman 22124, and a Shop Fox Classic on my new Shop Fox W1677 cabinet saw. They’re pretty similar from a design and functionality perspective. Both do a really good job. The biggest difference is the face material, as mentioned…the Biese uses a laminate over birch ply, the SF uses UHMW plastic. The faces on the SF are easier to replace and easier to shim, but are also more likely to need shimming. I did think the Biese had a better fit and finish, and was just had a little nicer feel…no real difference in use. No question I prefer the Biese if given my druthers, but if I were buying a new fence, I’d have a tough time justifying the cost difference.

It turns out that a member at Woodnet was selling some Jet Exacta II fences at a good price last summer, so I bought one, put it on my SF rails, and sold the SF Classic fence. The Exacta II is made in the USA, and is as nicely made as the Biese IMHO. It all boils down to a matter of preference.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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knotscott

5417 posts in 2001 days


#5 posted 1724 days ago

duplicate…

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View TheChucker's profile

TheChucker

38 posts in 1738 days


#6 posted 1724 days ago

Hey BlankMan, I’d be interested in that Shop Fox fence you have. I’m looking at putting one of my Ridgid 4511. Send me a PM. Thanks!

-- Wherever you go, there you are.

View Kevin's profile

Kevin

445 posts in 1830 days


#7 posted 1724 days ago

You can always build your own. Here is a link that I went by when building my clone for my TS before I purchased my Grizzly 1023SL. It wasn’t hard and it worked very nice.

http://www.twistedknotwoodshop.com/tsquarefence.pdf

-- Williamsburg, KY

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2697 posts in 1911 days


#8 posted 1724 days ago

I have several Biesemeyer fences on different saws, and I had a Shop Fox for a while. The Shop Fox is not the quality fence that the Biesemeyer is. That said, what is important to you. If you want to save money, the Shop Fox is a good fence, and would serve you well. Many people would not think the difference mattered.
The Biesemeyer is heavier and everyone else has pointed out the difference in the faces. This is basically the same issue with all tools and accessories. If someone makes a cheaper product, there is almost always some sort of sacrifice in quality, although often it really doesn’t matter. In this case, maybe the diiference is in significant.

Now, the real question you asked. Most table saws are 27” deep. The 34” is unusual, but I think either fence might work. These fences don’t mount on the outfeed side, so there is some flexibility here. As long as the fence is long enough to span the 34”, you should be OK. Just curious, what brand is your saw?
If you are making one, just make it longer than a standard fence.

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3721 posts in 2288 days


#9 posted 1724 days ago

I have a Shop Fox Classic (http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/840), and I doubt you would have any problem using it on a 34” table. As Kent mentioned, the fence does not attach to the rear rail. Instead it has pads (UHMW?) on the underside of the steel tube that slide along the top of the rear rail or the top of the table.

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

View lilredweldingrod's profile

lilredweldingrod

2495 posts in 1732 days


#10 posted 1724 days ago

This is not my saw, though I wish it were. It is an old Davis-Wells. I’m guessing about a 1940-1950 issue. It is a 16”er, tilting arbor. I’,ve been begging on bended knee for some time to let me redo and paint this beauty. The original fence (cast iron) and miter are with it but the blade guard is missing. He bought it for 50 bucks when Stock lumber closed down the Palmdale, CA yard two years ago.

We have a neighbor in Littlerock with a Biesemeyer (BC50) that I have looked over. But I am thinking that I would like to take a stab at making a clone. I still have about a thousand pounds of steel tubing, angle, aluminum, and other metals. I just couldn’t get rid of it. As I see it the most dificult part is the locking handle. You would have to be right on with the angle on the dangle.

Mike, the guy with the old saw, has a bad back, and that old fence is aggravating his condition. What do you fellows think of making this part in aluminum? I have some 3/4 ply with this very hard layer. They use this stuff for outdoor billboards. I would like to attach this on the fence. Maybe some iron on trim to cover the plywood.

Whatever I decide to do all your views will be a part of the design, or if Mike goes with the Biesemeyer, he can make his decission after he reads your input. I really appreciate your guidance as I sail these uncharted waters. Undharted for me anyway. As soon as I learn how to post pics, I will start a blog with the build. I’m just as green with computers as I am in woodworking. lol I;m hopeng that by the time I finisf my shop I’ll be experienced enough to tackle the kitchen and bathrooms in the house.

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TheDane

3721 posts in 2288 days


#11 posted 1724 days ago

You’re going to find LJ’s to be a real valuable resource … the members of this group possess s an awful lot of knowledge and experience.

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

View lilredweldingrod's profile

lilredweldingrod

2495 posts in 1732 days


#12 posted 1723 days ago

An the best part, they jump at the chance to share with us new woodworkers. LJ’s are a GREAT (think Tony the Tiger) group of guys and gals. My very best to all of you!
Rand

View marcb's profile

marcb

762 posts in 2299 days


#13 posted 1723 days ago

The Bies will work fine on a deep top. I have one on my 33” deep top. If you want to use the rear rail you’ll need to drill and tap a hole in the fence itself to move the hook

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