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Powermatic 63a Vega fence Question

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Forum topic by Craftsman70 posted 08-01-2012 03:39 AM 1787 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Craftsman70

243 posts in 880 days


08-01-2012 03:39 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Ok, so I’ve been looking to upgrade from a cheap little benchtop saw for a long time. As recommended by a lot of people on this forum, I waited for a good deal on Craigs List.

I just brought home a Powermatic 63 Artisen. Its contractor saw not a cabinet saw, but its a hube improvement for me. I have some questions about the rip fence on it. It says its a Vega fence. Its basically a 3” wide aluminum rectangle that glides along a chrome tube at the front and slides a top a square iron bar at the back. When I lock it down, the front is very steady, but the back doesn’t lock down like more modern designs. Because of this, if I push the fence at the back I get about 1/16” of play at the back of the table. Is this normal, or is there someway to tighten it up?

Also, according to the manual there should be a micro-adjustment know at the front of the fence but I thing its been removed. Is that something I could find a replacement part for?


9 replies so far

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knotscott

5610 posts in 2130 days


#1 posted 08-01-2012 03:33 PM

Testing a front locking fence by yanking at the back doesn’t really test any real world pressures that the fence sees…it just proves the principles of leverage. The vast majority of pressure a fence encounters is just prior to the blade….push your fence there and see if you get much movement….it should be negligible.

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

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DIYaholic

14705 posts in 1430 days


#2 posted 08-01-2012 09:59 PM

I purchased a used TS from CL also. A C’man contractor saw that came with a Vega Utility 26” fence. I contacted Vega Enterprises Inc. and they were QUICK in sending me a copy of the manual. They were very helpful. I’m sure they can answer your question, regarding replacement parts.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

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b2rtch

4351 posts in 1803 days


#3 posted 08-01-2012 11:29 PM

The fences that I know do not lock in the rear. I have a brand new Shop Fox,it does nott lock in the rear.

-- Bert

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ducky911

232 posts in 1544 days


#4 posted 08-02-2012 03:04 PM

i had a vega fence for ten plus years. and i know what you are talking about. i now have a sawstop and it does the same. i always adjust the fence pushing from the same side at the same point….this way you get the same answer and i adjust the tape so it is right on at the blade.

to say it another way…if i am looking to cut 3” wide and push my fence from 2” wide to three vs from 4” wide to three i get a differnt cut width small difference but different. i think they all do that.

now after lock i do not think that there is much force on the fence to move the 1/16thyou are talking about that you see when you push with it with your hand.

bob

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knotscott

5610 posts in 2130 days


#5 posted 08-02-2012 03:33 PM

Craftsman70, did you try pushing in front of the blade vs at the rear yet?

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

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Craftsman70

243 posts in 880 days


#6 posted 08-02-2012 06:56 PM

Thanks for all your suggestions so far. If I push on the fence around the middle, it only moves about 1/32 of an inch, and it is harder to move at that point than at the very back of the saw. This should be fine for the work I am doing, but being my first non benchtop saw, I assumed it would lock solid with no play at all. I didn’t know what to expect.

In referring to other fences locking in the back, I was picturing how benchtop TS fences like on the Porter Cable or Bosch tend to have a threaded rod running inside the fence from font to back that causes the fence to pinch down on the front and back of the table.

Next I have to start searching these blogs for the best methods of cleaning up the cast iron top and whether I should fill in the webbed cast iron extensions.

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dmorrison

146 posts in 2016 days


#7 posted 08-05-2012 06:53 PM

I have owned the Powermatic 63A since the late 80’s. It is a very good table saw. The Vega fence is a good solid fence ( Mine is now on my father-in-laws Sears table saw since I bought a Biesmeyer Professional Series fence.) . Vega still makes and supports fences. Make sure you do an alignment of the blade to the miter slots. Then the fence to the miter slot. I had to drill out the trunnion holes to get mine to align. That after 20+ years of using it. The fence should be very tight. Check the condition of the tab that presses against the chrome fence. If worn, then replace it.

Good luck.
Dave

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Craftsman70

243 posts in 880 days


#8 posted 08-08-2012 08:11 PM

Thanks, I called Vega and we found the brass tab was completely missing. After replacing it, the fence is solid. Over all the saw is in pretty good shape for its age, but its not been loved. There is a lot of sawdust throughout. Should I just blow it all out, or would you recommend I dismantel it and clean it completely?

Also, just curious since you replaced your fence, how much better is a Biesemeyer fence? What makes it better?

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sixstring

296 posts in 998 days


#9 posted 08-08-2012 08:23 PM

Cant comment on the Bies fence although I’d love one. Cant complain about my own Vega pro50 though as it’s super solid and dependable so far (3 months now?)

Regarding the micro-adjust, I wouldnt really bother paying extra to replace it. I can see it’s usefulness, but I have no problem with my bump adjustments and really dont like the extra steps involved using the micro… so why bother. I’d take mine off but it looks cool and I’m lazy about it so why bother. There’s my 2cents.

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

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