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Steel City 35990G fence adventure

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Forum topic by Charlie posted 650 days ago 1120 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Charlie

1001 posts in 870 days


650 days ago

OK I have to say that despite some issues folks have had getting this saw set up (split miter slots are a little odd) once I figured it out it’s just nothing short of awesome. BUT .... and it’s a big but… the 2-piece front fence rail is just impossible to get lined up right. Fence parallel to blade when the whole fence lock is on one piece of the rail, but when you need to get close in to rip something like 2 and a half inches or so, the fence lock straddles the splice in the front rail and the fence tails into the blade at the back. No matter how many times I’ve messed with it, I can’t get it to work correctly and reliably.

LOVE the saw…. HATE the fence rails. Can’t even really say I hate the fence. I know it’s nothing special but it keeps a straight line as long as you stay on just one half of the front fence rail. :)

So I got frustrated and fired off an email to Steel City Customer Support. I asked if there’s a one piece rail for this machine and they responded this morning with an email stating that there was indeed a 50 inch one-piece rail kit that they just came out with. And, gee, it’s only $130 plus $36 shipping.

I’m looking for other suggestions here. $166 to replace the front and rear rails (the rear is just an “L”, the front is an “L” to which a square tube is bolted up through the bottom) and I’d still have the same fence…. which is OK, but just ok.

Does $166 sound reasonable?

The square tube is 2” with 1/16 wall thickness. If it’s metric it’s 5cm square with 2mm wall thickness.

Keep in mind that I have the granite top so it’s not like I can drill it to mount just any aftermarket fence system. I thought I read on here about someone building an entire fence and rail out of aluminum extrusion and I’ll be searching for that. But am I expecting too much? I kinda feel like I’d be paying $160 to fix something that shouldn’t be like this to begin with. I wonder if I can just find a piece of 2 inch square tube that I can drill and tap…

thoughts?


15 replies so far

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5354 posts in 1959 days


#1 posted 650 days ago

Considering that you can buy an entire Delta T2 fence single rail for $158 shipped, I’d say $166 for a rail only is absurd.

Have you looked into buy some steel tube stock from a welding supply store?

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

View NormG's profile

NormG

3930 posts in 1588 days


#2 posted 650 days ago

Go Delta fence

-- Norman

View JimmyJam's profile

JimmyJam

31 posts in 1063 days


#3 posted 650 days ago

Not sure if it will work or not, but maybe have the 2 pieces welded together?

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1001 posts in 870 days


#4 posted 650 days ago

Just heard back from Steel City. The rail kit is longer than the stock one as well and would give me 50” capacity to the right of the blade. The new tube is almost 8 feet long. The shipping box is 93 inches. But is IS just the rails.

The T-2 looks nice but the instructions state you have to have a cast iron top and wings and you must be able to drill the top to mount the rails. Not gonna happen in granite.

I don’t know if I have ROOM for 50” to the right of the blade. Would be nice, but in my small shop it might be approaching overkill. Finding a local fabrication shop that has 2” square tube might be a better idea.

OR getting a shop to weld my 2-piece into a one-piece is another option I suppose. There’s a plastic piece that fits into the splice. It adds about 1/4” of length to the assembled rail. I’d LIKE 36 inches right of the blade. 50 would require me to rearrange my shop to accommodate capacity I’ll never use. :)

If I just buy a piece of square tube I’d have to drill and tap it so I could use the existing “L”

Unless that tube from a T-2 could be olted on to the existing “L” instead of being bolted to the front of the table (and wings) .... hmmmm

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1001 posts in 870 days


#5 posted 650 days ago

I found aluminum square tube 2×2 with a 1/8 inch thick wall for $29 ( 6 ft length of 6061 T6 extruded)
Would that be strong enough, ya think? Or should I look at the 1/4 inch thick wall?
The steel tube that’s on there now is 1/16 thick wall. I would think the aluminum tube would need to be thicker. Just not sure how much thicker. The 2×2 with quarter inch wall is more like $50 and there’s one in between (3/16-ish) for $42.

I’d have to come up with a way to attach it. Easy to drill, but not sure how durable it would be if I thread the holes in the aluminum.

View lieutenantdan's profile

lieutenantdan

176 posts in 890 days


#6 posted 650 days ago

I bought the front L for the Sears granite top and it bolted right up to my granite. Then I bought a Besemeyer fence kit and bolted the one piece rail to the Sears front L. Bolted right up (no drilling). You could also buy the Sears rear L. I did not because the Besemeyer fence does not need it. The front and rear Besemeyer L’s will not work on the granite so I just stored them away.

-- "Of all the things I have lost in life, I miss my mind the most."

View jaydubya's profile

jaydubya

183 posts in 1396 days


#7 posted 650 days ago

I would look at getting a piece of steel tube with 1/8 wall. I wouldnt go with less than 3/16 aluminum. remember you have to tap threads into it and it needs to be thick enough to hold threads

View OnlyJustME's profile

OnlyJustME

1562 posts in 961 days


#8 posted 650 days ago

Cheapest route would be to just get a new piece of steel tube, drill it, tap it, paint it and put it on. If you’re willing to drill aluminum you might as well just drill the steel. Same bit to use just use some oil on the bit to keep it cool. I would also upgrade to 1/8” wall thickness. And just have to go slow and careful tapping it. back the tap up several times as you go to clear out the metal in the threads. Not hard to do. Don’t try to use a drill to do it. do it by hand.

I wouldn’t try to weld the 2 pieces together. Unless you’re an awesome welder it would cost just as much if not more to have it welded together as it would to buy a solid piece. then you would have to grind the weld flat, paint and try to install hoping all the holes still line up perfectly and the tube is straight.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1001 posts in 870 days


#9 posted 648 days ago

Just buying the square tube is certainly the least expensive way. I wonder if I shouldn’t also get the real one as well. That’s just a piece of angle. I don’t really do anything LEFT of the blade, except use the miter gauge on that side. Yet my front and rear rails stick out past the left wing several inches. Would there be any reason NOT to make them end at the wing on the left side? If I replace the front and real rails I would keep them the same length and just slide them over to the right to give me more on the right side of the blade. 30” to the right is a little too short, but getting the rails for 50” to the right is way too big for my little shop. I would LOVE to have 35” to the right.

Just mostly wondering if there’s a real problem with NOT having the rails extend past the wing on the left.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5354 posts in 1959 days


#10 posted 648 days ago

Shouldn’t be a problem on a left tilt saw.

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

View OnlyJustME's profile

OnlyJustME

1562 posts in 961 days


#11 posted 648 days ago

If you’re buying square tube you can make it whatever size you want.

Also if Murphy has his way as soon as you shorten the rails on the left side you will need them there. lol

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1001 posts in 870 days


#12 posted 648 days ago

So true…. so true. :)
I’m really trying to think of a reason to keep them projecting past the left wing and the only thing I can come up with is that I need them to catch my belt loop as I walk by once in a while.

I use my EB-3 to the left of the blade.
My crosscut sled favors the left end of the saw, but my fence stays on the right.
I can not for the life of me think of a good reason not to put them where I use them if I’m buying the steel tube anyways.

View NormG's profile

NormG

3930 posts in 1588 days


#13 posted 648 days ago

Let us know how it comes out

-- Norman

View OnlyJustME's profile

OnlyJustME

1562 posts in 961 days


#14 posted 648 days ago

LOL As i was reading your reply “trying to think of a reason to keep them” i thought “to snag you as you walk by” and then finished reading what you typed. We both came up with the same conclusion so i guess you will have to put them there. lol

What is EB-3?

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View mrdunn's profile

mrdunn

8 posts in 572 days


#15 posted 455 days ago

Okay so here goes, I just ordered the 35990g and I’ve used one a few times at a buddies shop and he’s got a beis. Does anyone know where I can get the full kit? Or a clone or something like it? I read about the delta but I’m just curious if there might be other options?

-- Turning is a privilege, not a right.

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