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Forum topic by YPA posted 12-08-2009 06:51 AM 6089 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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YPA

14 posts in 2559 days


12-08-2009 06:51 AM

Hello all!

Being new to woodworking I bought a Ryobi Table Saw to get started with. The saw works fine….the fence on the other hand leaves a lot to be desired. I can not spend money to get a new saw with the bells and whistles, I also an not afford the $200 plus for a new top of the line fence system. Are there any recommendations for fixing this problem? The model saw I purchased is the Ryobi 10 inch table saw (BTS12S). Thank You for the help!!


20 replies so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

17676 posts in 3143 days


#1 posted 12-08-2009 07:56 AM

Measure both ends until you can get a better saw. A good fence will cost more than the saw did.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Thomas Keefe's profile

Thomas Keefe

131 posts in 2876 days


#2 posted 12-08-2009 08:16 AM

I had exactly the same problem when I bought my table saw. It is one of the new Craftsman saws that everyone complains about. One of the first problems I noticed was the poor fence. The fence was flimsy and not perpendicular to the table top. I bolted 3/4” red oak faces on either side of the fence and shimmed the faces to make them perpendicular to the table top. The faces really improved the rigidity of the fence and my ability to depend on it. I am pretty happy with the way my fence works now.

Tom

View YPA's profile

YPA

14 posts in 2559 days


#3 posted 12-08-2009 05:51 PM

Thanks for the quick replies! Topamax, I agree that I would pay more. I learned how important the fence is after the fact. I wish I would have been able to get a better saw withe better equipment.

Tom, is it possible for you to post a picture of your upgrade? I was thinking of doing something kinda like that with a clamp I found in Home Depot and pitching my current fence.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16244 posts in 3685 days


#4 posted 12-08-2009 09:13 PM

I had that same saw, so I feel your pain. The problem with mine was that the back end of the fence was too easy to move around accidentally. The only workaround I came up with was to clamp down the back to the table once I had the fence set correctly.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

17676 posts in 3143 days


#5 posted 12-08-2009 09:17 PM

Tom, I have one of the deaded Craftsman formn the 70s. It is tuned as delivered except for the fence. I just double and triple measure critical cuts. Like you, I discovered this after the fact.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View YPA's profile

YPA

14 posts in 2559 days


#6 posted 12-08-2009 09:32 PM

Charlie,

Did that work as a long time fix, or did you have to upgrade your saw?

View Kevin's profile

Kevin

462 posts in 2672 days


#7 posted 12-09-2009 07:00 AM

I used to measure both end of the blade and that was so time consuming. I then followed (almost anyway) this document and built my own clone. Very easy and was exactly what I needed for my benchtop TS. I didn’t have to get the same size steel tubing and rails listed in the article since my TS was a benchtop. I spent maybe 15 bucks all together on this fence. :) :)

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

-- Williamsburg, KY

View YPA's profile

YPA

14 posts in 2559 days


#8 posted 12-09-2009 07:22 AM

khays,

How did you alter the process? I don’t have access to metal working tools, so the harder task I can’t do.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16244 posts in 3685 days


#9 posted 12-09-2009 06:24 PM

I used that little saw for about 3 years before I finally upgraded to a full sized saw. I wish I had not waited so long. Woodworking became much easier, and the results were better as well.

If you keep your eyes open, you can get a good new or slightly used contractor saw for under $500. I highly recommend you save your pennies and keep your eyes open for a good deal.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View YPA's profile

YPA

14 posts in 2559 days


#10 posted 12-09-2009 09:40 PM

Charlie,

Maybe we should form a Ryobi support group….just kidding. What did you upgrade to? Is the miter gauge any good? I haven’t used it yet..kind of doubtful after the fence issue.

Thanks

View lilredweldingrod's profile

lilredweldingrod

2495 posts in 2574 days


#11 posted 12-09-2009 10:40 PM

After you return that sucker, check around the base and I bet you find guys being transferred that need to get a new home for some nice equipment. It is how things are on the Marine bases. Army should not be much different. Maybe the want ads in the base paper?
Sempre Fi, Rand

View Thomas Keefe's profile

Thomas Keefe

131 posts in 2876 days


#12 posted 12-09-2009 10:44 PM

Hi YPA. I will post some photos of the faces I added. But, it is pretty simple, so let me try to explain.
There are two oak faces (3/4” width) that I added on each side of the fence. The fence was drilled with
two 1/4” holes for attaching the faces. The heads and nuts are countersunk so they don’t interfere with
the use of the fence. I also added about 6 threaded inserts with allen screws so that I can adjust the surface
of the fence faces. There are three adjustments along the top edge and three near the bottom. The
bolts attach the faces near the middle.

I also added a 3/4” piece of oak that runs over the top of the fence. This I screwed
into the fence with short drywall screws. The edges of the top piece have 1/8” aluminum band attached.
The allen screws on the top of the fence faces press against this aluminum strip. Its purpose is to keep the
allen screws from wearing against the oak.

Adjusting the whole thing is quite difficult because the tightness of the bolts holding the faces onto the original fence tend to counteract the effect of the adjustment allen screws. This can cause the face to flex
slightly.

The purpose of my modification was to make the fence faces perpendicular to the table top. It doesn’t help with keeping the fence from slipping when pressure is applied near the back. My fence does move a bit in that case but so far it hasn’t been a big problem. I typically don’t have to measure the front and back on my fence because it tends to lock down predictably. (I do it once in a while anyway, just to make sure.)

I wish at times that I had a better fence. But I don’t think it is a limiting factor in how well the saw works.
I typically have a lot more trouble with crosscuts not being square (even after I adjust it very carefully). So,
if a cut really matters I generally have to use my sled.

Tom

View ryno101's profile

ryno101

384 posts in 3132 days


#13 posted 12-10-2009 12:06 AM

YPA,

To chime in on this, I went through the exact same situation, with my first saw. Unfortunately for us newbies, you don’t know what you don’t know, and that’s a big reason why sites like this are a great resource!

My approach was to do exactly what topamax suggests, keep a good scale near at hand and measure the distance between the fence and both the front and back of the blade for each cut. This is what ultimately led me to purchase a new Craftsman 22124 with a nice Biesemeyer fence.

Here’s a review I posted of my first saw, showing a similar fence upgrade to the one Thomas Keefe has mentioned: http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/425

Good luck, and save those pennies… you’re going to upgrade eventually I suspect!

-- Ryno http://shawsheenwoodworks.com

View lilredweldingrod's profile

lilredweldingrod

2495 posts in 2574 days


#14 posted 12-10-2009 02:37 AM

Hey guys, maybe there are some Ljer’s in the Fort Hood area that know of a decent piece of equipment. Surely we can hook YPA up with a connection. How about it?
Rand

View Kevin's profile

Kevin

462 posts in 2672 days


#15 posted 12-10-2009 06:03 PM

YPA, sorry for the delay, been really busy the past few days. The way I altered the process is that I used a smaller tubing. I went to a welding shop and they had scrap metal out there in their backyard. I picked through and I found about 5’ of 1 1/2×3” rectanguler tubing. They just let me have it. I had to sand the rust off of it though, but after that it looked brand new.

I did however have to weld the two pieces onto the tubing for the cam lock to go onto though. Actually the hardest part for me was just tapping threads intot he L shaped metal for the bolts to go onto. I basically just downsized the metal tubing and L shaped metal, tapped the threads, welded the braces onto the tube and made a cam lock.

Took just a couple of hours to do it all then it was time for me to get my digital calipers out to get the fence parallel with the blade.

-- Williamsburg, KY

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