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New shopfox vs old biesemeyer

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Forum topic by Thesepaperwings posted 09-20-2017 01:38 PM 557 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Thesepaperwings

47 posts in 1449 days


09-20-2017 01:38 PM

Looking for opinions. I restored an old PM66 and have been using the fence that came with it. It’s not the stock fence and I don’t know where it came from but it clamps from both sides, has faces that are warped and is generally dilapidated so it needs to go. I’ve taken the Vega out of the picture because I finally got to use one and for some reason it just didn’t feel like I wanted it to. Not bad, just not trilled about the round bar.

Right now I am thinking a used biesemeyer 50 with the extension table and legs for $300 or a new shopfox Aluma-Classic also with the long rails and legs for $330.

The Bies shows plenty of wear because it’s been in an active shop for 20ish years. Are there any parts could be worn?


16 replies so far

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

758 posts in 372 days


#1 posted 09-20-2017 02:02 PM

I had a cheaper version of Foxshop on my G0715. Now I have T-Glide -Sawstop’s version of Biesemayer fence. While the table saw is no question superior I liked the fence on Grizzly better. The back slides on the rear rail and is much smoother. The fence stays square at all times. The Biesemayer slides directly on the table and gets out of square when not tightened so it is not as easy to use.

View jonah's profile

jonah

1258 posts in 3079 days


#2 posted 09-20-2017 02:05 PM

The cam that clamps the fence down could be worn, but it’s pretty unlikely. The UHMW runners that ride along the table and rail are the most likely part that’ll need to be replaced, but those are cheap and widely available (at least they used to be).

It might cost you a bit more, but look into the VerySuperCoolTools fence. I love mine. They don’t come with rails, so you’d have to build or buy them, but any Unisaw, PM, Sawstop, or Grizzly Biesemeyer-style rails will fit.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5801 posts in 1979 days


#3 posted 09-20-2017 04:14 PM

The older Biesemeber (ie: BC50) used glued on laminate pads, and the newer ones they sell won’t work without modification. Fortunately, you can replace the laminate ones free – just run down to the local BORG and pick up some of those little countertop sample chips and cut to size :)

Cheers,
Brad

PS: The older 50” BC50 is the commercial version of the Biesemeyer… it’s a lot more robust than the homeowner versions sold today (ie: the T2/T3’s). Bigger fence tube, guide tube and rails… would be a perfect match for your PM66.

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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PPK

745 posts in 590 days


#4 posted 09-20-2017 08:28 PM

I’m not a fan of the Biesemeyer fences. I think when they first came out, they were the best thing – If I’m not mistaken, they pioneered the whole t-fence idea. But now I think they are kind of crummy in comparison to others. I don’t care for the laminated plywood faces. To be honest, I like my cheaper grizzly fence better. Yes, I owned a table saw with the Beisemeyer fence!

-- Pete

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knotscott

7725 posts in 3156 days


#5 posted 09-20-2017 10:11 PM

The Shop Fox Classic is the rough equivalent of an older commercial Biesemeyer fence, and even that isn’t quite as slick as the older Biese IMO.

The Aluma Classic is functional, but is lighter duty, plus AFAIK it has an aluminum rail now. That doesn’t make it bad, but its not on par with an older Biese.

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

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DS

2687 posts in 2201 days


#6 posted 09-20-2017 10:52 PM

I didn’t realize the Beismeyer fence fell from grace lately. That makes me a bit sad.

Back in the mid 80’s I ran a few thousand sheets along a Beismeyer fence and thought there was nothing that could beat it. (Then I got to use a SCMI 5hp panel saw, then I got to use a CNC router, you get the idea.)

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Thesepaperwings's profile

Thesepaperwings

47 posts in 1449 days


#7 posted 09-21-2017 01:39 PM

I know that the shopfox is allum and the old bies is steel tubing. Has anyone you know ever dented the allum enough that it caused issues?

View PPK's profile

PPK

745 posts in 590 days


#8 posted 09-21-2017 01:46 PM

What’s your reason for wanting the aluminum? It seems like a heavier fence is better to me. The fence slides, so it’s not like you are having to regularly lift it and weight is an issue. I’d get this, if it was my saw: (the steel fence)

http://www.grizzly.com/products/The-Classic-Fence-w-7-Rails-Legs/W2006

I’ve never used an aluminum fence (except on those tiny little job site saws) so I can’t speak to the pros/cons of aluminum. I’m open to learning!

-- Pete

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4768 posts in 3741 days


#9 posted 09-21-2017 01:49 PM

My Grizz 00444Z came with the SF AlumaClassic fence, and has done everything I’ve thrown at it. I’d buy it again.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View smitdog's profile

smitdog

290 posts in 1886 days


#10 posted 09-21-2017 02:29 PM

I’ll be curious what you decide on and how it works out for you. Similarly to your story I snagged an old greenie PM66 for $350 because it was partially restored but still disassembled. All I had to do was finish painting the base, which he gave me the paint he had for it, and then put it all together! Had all new bearings and everything already cleaned up too. It also has the old round tube fence system and I’m just not a fan, besides he also lost the mounting hardware for it so I’d have to figure out how to get the rails mounted correctly. I think I’d just rather get a new fence set up. I would love an Incra but not sure I want to part with the $$$ and I don’t like how it sticks way out on the side… Update us when you make a decision!

-- Jarrett - Mount Vernon, Ohio

View DS's profile (online now)

DS

2687 posts in 2201 days


#11 posted 09-21-2017 02:30 PM

My Jet has an aluminum fence and the main issue I have with it is that it “flexes” sometimes when I am clamping on a jig or other fixture.
I have to be careful not to have too much pressure against the fence at any time as it can deform the tiniest fraction. I’ve never had that problem with a steel fence like the Beismeyer.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7725 posts in 3156 days


#12 posted 09-21-2017 04:16 PM


My Grizz 00444Z came with the SF AlumaClassic fence, and has done everything I ve thrown at it. I d buy it again.
Bill

- Bill White

The Aluma Classic has always had aluminum faces mounted to a steel t-square, but it looks like they changed the rails to aluminum in recent years too…..your rails are steel correct?

That’s still not necessarily a deal breaker, but is something I’d want to clarify going in.

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

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

4349 posts in 3024 days


#13 posted 09-24-2017 03:50 AM

I have the original 55” commercial Biesemeyer fence I bought back in the 70’s. It is mounted on a Jet cabinet saw, same year. It is used almost every day and the fence is as accurate as when it was new. I can tweak it to .005” or better and get perfect results. When I first saw it 40+ years ago, I knew right away, this was the best fence around and everyone would be competing to out best it. So far, I don’t think that has happened. Over the years, I had to replace the laminate surface on the fence, but if you know how to work with laminates, it’s no problem. At best, it’s a half hour job.

View Guswah's profile

Guswah

16 posts in 248 days


#14 posted 09-24-2017 04:15 PM

Last year—and after a lot of research—I bought the commercial T-fence made by General. Well, actually it appears that General has partnered with or renamed the product “Magnum”. So far it’s been great. Rock solid, straight as an arrow, and very robust.

-- A woodworker's skill is usually proportional to the number of clamps he possesses.

View DS's profile (online now)

DS

2687 posts in 2201 days


#15 posted 10-05-2017 06:17 PM

What I like most about the Beismeyer fence is that the sight glass can be set to be dead on accurate.

The aluminum fence on my Jet TS has a sight glass that will give you different dimensions depending on which angle you are viewing it from.
Consequently, I have to double check all my cuts with a tape measure to the blade. (Man am I tired of doing that)

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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