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Replacing the fence on a 10" Craftsman Table Saw

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Forum topic by MLK posted 2396 days ago 57209 views 1 time favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MLK

77 posts in 2408 days


2396 days ago

I have a Craftsman 10” table saw that’s about that about 10 years old. The saw it self works great the fence is a different story. After pricing new saws I’m beginning to lean towards a new fence for the Craftsman. I’m sure there are some of you fellow LumberJocks out there that replaced there Craftsman fence with a new one, I could sure use your input


35 replies so far

View Jamie's profile

Jamie

162 posts in 2411 days


#1 posted 2396 days ago

Hey Mike.. Ironically I just replaced the fence on my 1952 Craftsman 10” tilt-arbor table saw that I had recently restored. I was going to make one, but I found one I really liked… The Delta T2 (you can pick it up at lowes for $150 or less. I think right now it is $135.00)... I love it. It is a Biesemeyer clone, and ironically, Delta owns Beisemeyer, so probably one of the better clones you can get. I actually found Lumberjocks.com because I was googling for fences and ran across this homemade fence that Hutch had made (another member).

What you are going to run into is that you will have to drill all new holes in the rails that come with just about any fence to get it to fit on your tablesaw, unless you get a Beisemeyer, which the same model as the Delta T2, will run you approximately $300 – $400. Or, you could get an aftermarket Craftsman, which would be just about as accurate as what you have now.

I have a blog on the fence upgrade… It is here. Just follow each blog entry to see the progress. At first I was a little gun shy and was going to take the fence back, but decided to go ahead and give it a go. All I can say is that it has breathed new life into this table saw, and I couldn’t be any happier. I am glad that I kept the fence.

I also have a Craftsman 10” tilt-arbor contractors tablesaw that is circa 1995 (or around there somewhere). I think the model # starts with 113. Both tablesaws have the same hole spacing on the front. My 1952 didn’t have any holes in the back of the table, so I had to drill some. If you are going to do this, make sure that you measure everything over and over for a couple of hours before you drill.

One more thing… Most people would just line up the first hole on the rail with the first hole on the table, then drill another hole spaced out to match. The only problem with this is that you won’t be able to use the tape measure on the rail since it will never zero. That’s why I decided to drill all new holes in the rails. I wanted to make sure that I could use the measure to get accurate cuts.

If there is anything I can do to help, just let me know..

-- Jamie, Kentucky

View whit's profile

whit

245 posts in 2574 days


#2 posted 2396 days ago

Mike, when I replaced mine I was also looking for a router table; I opted for the SawTrain by Jointech. I really like the system but, if it weren’t for the need for a router table at the same time, it’s a bit expensive and I probably would have looked elsewhere. It’s the dickens and all to set up but is very accurate. I did have a problem with it not centering a cut on a board; it has a “rabbit and carrot” system that is supposed to help in the process. Uh huh. I tried to get some help from the demo tech at a woodworking show on it and he gave me the bum’s rush like magician would do a kid who was telling the secrets to a trick. Who knows, maybe it’s just ESO (that’s equipment superior to operator).

Good luck on your search.

Whit

-- Even if to be nothing more than a bad example, everything serves a purpose. cippotus

View propcarver's profile

propcarver

32 posts in 2427 days


#3 posted 2396 days ago

Hi Mike,

I’ll ditto the comments by Jamie.

I added the Delta T2 fence to my old Craftsman and it made a huge difference. It wasn’t extremely difficult to install, was a reasonable price and works slick as a whistle.

Give it a go and you’ll be pleased with the result.

Regards,
Bill

View MLK's profile

MLK

77 posts in 2408 days


#4 posted 2396 days ago

Thanks guys your advice is greatly appreciated. What I’m kind of leaning towards is the Vega 36” fence. I haven’t found any bad reviews and most of them installed the fence on Craftsman contractor saws. All these reviews claimed that the fence bolted right up to the hole pattern already on the saw. All clams the fence works great, but the cosmetic’s (finish) and the instructions leave a little bit to be desired. If any one has installed a Vega fence on there saw I wood like to hear from you.

Amazon has it for 229.99 and if I open an account I get another 30.00 off that.

Once again thanks to all and I wish all you LumberJocks a happy Prosperous New Year and may all your woodworking projects turn out great

View mikega's profile

mikega

80 posts in 2465 days


#5 posted 2395 days ago

Hi Mike
I put the Vega fence on my saw about a year ago. The installation was fairly easy and it fit right into the holes that are already there. The fence has really improved the quality of the cuts. I am sure you will like it.

-- Mike www.flickr.com/photos/paturner

View MICHAEL CAMPASANO's profile

MICHAEL CAMPASANO

53 posts in 2395 days


#6 posted 2395 days ago

Thank you guys, I am new to this forum and I am also looking to replace the fence on my 10” craftsman saw thanks for the info as I will be looking into the Delta T2 that you mention. I have a Lowes just down the block from me. When I get it installed I will let you know how it turned out. Thanks again and I am sure I will gain a lot of information from you pros…MIKE

-- never enough time in a day so use it well

View DocK16's profile

DocK16

1139 posts in 2684 days


#7 posted 2395 days ago

I used a Craftsman contractors saw for years till I was able to up grade. The original equipment fence was a POS needing measuring at both table ends to ensure it was aligned with the blade before locking it down. I already had an Incra router fence so I was aware of how acurate they were so when I saw the TS III fence for the table saw I bought it. It was a great upgrade; easy to install and adust. It made the saw much more acurate and even fun to work with. The biggest draw back (other than price) was it does take up alot of space. but if you buy a bigger saw later it is still better than alot of OE fences. The other inexpensive improvement to the Craftsman TS was the kit offered through Woodcraft which includes 2 cast iron pulleys to replace the OE aluminum ones and the link belt which helped tame the vibration alot. Those along with a good blade and it will be like using a new machine.

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View MLK's profile

MLK

77 posts in 2408 days


#8 posted 2395 days ago

All right you guys convinced me to take a look at the Delta T2 before buying. For all of you who have already installed the T2 how would you rate the documentation that comes with the fence?

5 excellent

1 bad

View Jamie's profile

Jamie

162 posts in 2411 days


#9 posted 2395 days ago

To tell you the truth, it’s a table saw fence.. I have both a hardcopy and pdf version of the documentation, and it goes through installing the fence, then alignment and zeroing. It’s pretty straight forward though. It is specific to Delta table saws, so if you are going to put it on your craftsman, there really isn’t anything in the documentation about modifying the fence.

If you want a copy of the manual, I can send it to you through email in PDF form. Just let me know…

-- Jamie, Kentucky

View Jamie's profile

Jamie

162 posts in 2411 days


#10 posted 2395 days ago

Mike,
Here is a link to the Delta t2 manual in case you need it..

-- Jamie, Kentucky

View lawg8r's profile

lawg8r

1 post in 2389 days


#11 posted 2389 days ago

Thanks for the advice on the Delt T2 fence.
I have a similar problem with my Craftsman bench saw. I’ve had it since ‘95 and after every idle period, even just one day, I must readjust the fence (re-square the fence with the table). It’s out of square by a degree or more (up to 3/16 inch across the width of the saw). I explained the problem to an engineering client of mine, and they supposed that the four lock down 1/4 -20 screws were putting the fence in tension that was relieved over time, causing the fence to shift with the rotational force imparted by the tension of the screws. Well maybe. I replaced the screws on the right-hand side of the fence with left-hand threaded 1/4-20 screws in an attempt to equalize the rotational tension on the fence, and it worked, somewhat, but the saw still required some adjusting every time I used it. In the preceding 10 years I’ve disassembled and re-squared the entire saw and fence rail system, changed to fine thread screws and did about everything else I could think of short of exorcising the saw.
Making these adjustments is a huge hassle, but since the saw was a gift, and given to by my wife when my we were struggling financially, it’s a permeate fixture.
Again, thanks for the advice, I just simply could not justify paying as much for a Biesemeyer fence system as the saw cost new. I pick up the Delta fence system later today.
Rudy

View jeb's profile

jeb

3 posts in 2394 days


#12 posted 2388 days ago

mike,
i put a vega 50” on my 12 yr old craftsman ts about 1 month agothat i ordered from amazon. i put it on in less than an hour(all the holes aligned perfectly) and later i built an extension table, and so far i haven’t needed legs due to the weight of the saw. i also added a different set of wheels to make more mobile, i found the sears legs were too flimsy. looking back i may never need the 50” so i should have gotten the 36” and saved some space in my shop. so far i have been please with the vega….
PS i had to rig the switch placement because it was hard to reach once the new fence was installed.

View jeb's profile

jeb

3 posts in 2394 days


#13 posted 2388 days ago

mike
from what i could measure the front mounting bolts on my ts are 16 1/2 inches apart, on the vega they allow for an inch or so either way. you can also drill additional holes in the vega but i did not have to(don’t know if i would have been able to do that) hope this helps you out.

View Larry R. Rosing's profile

Larry R. Rosing

2 posts in 2389 days


#14 posted 2388 days ago

I recently purchased a T2 for my Craftsman contractor’s TS (4 yrs. old). Had to drill new holes, but when I had it on, the fence was a good eight inch off of the table. I could live with that, but when I tried to rip a board to test it out, the two nylon adjusting screws, and the two screws for the tape measure site glass were above the table height, so the board could not set level on the table. There is no room in the angle iron on the front to redrill the holes to lower the unit. I didn’t realize I would have this much trouble. I like the fence. Too bad I can’t use it. Any suggestions as to how to fix this?
Thanks, Larry

-- Larry, Wisconsin

View Jamie's profile

Jamie

162 posts in 2411 days


#15 posted 2387 days ago

Larry,
You have to drill all new holes in the rails. If you use any of the existing holes, your ‘0’ mark will be off quite a bit. Not a big deal if you don’t ever care to use the measuring tape on the square tubing, but I really hate to have to measure the distance from the blade to the fence. Look in my blogs (the link is above in a previous post within this blog) I have went through the same thing.

I also sent you some info in a message that may help.

If you do it right, the Delta T2 fence is amazing!

If you could, start a blog and post some pictures of what you have done so far. I’ll try to help you get this bad boy set up.

-- Jamie, Kentucky

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