Biesemeyer Fence Accuracy

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Forum topic by Scott posted 11-14-2013 02:48 AM 1764 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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121 posts in 2220 days

11-14-2013 02:48 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw

I’ve just upgraded my R4512 to a Biesemeyer fence.

The first one they shipped was defective – arm was welded to the carriage at an angle. I got a replacement for that one.

Now the replacement fence face has a slight cup to it. There’s also a slight convex bow across just the middle of the face. The bow doesn’t exist at the bottom or top of the fence. When I say “slight”, I’m talking like 5/1000th of an inch.

I’m thinking I’m just being too picky, but wanted to get the opinions of some others. The whole reason I finally got rid of the Ridgid fence was after I found out it had a bow in it that was off about 1/100th of an inch.

Here’s the cupping from the middle of the fence (it’s about the same at the front, and much less at the back):

20 replies so far

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2628 days

#1 posted 11-14-2013 02:58 AM

I think you’re being too picky.
But just to be sure, why not cut a few boards and see the results?

View Scott's profile


121 posts in 2220 days

#2 posted 11-14-2013 03:03 AM

I did a few test cuts, everything is within a thousandth of an inch with some scrap. I’m more worried about down the road, maybe dealing with some 8/4 stock that may be half the height of the fence and get into that cupped area.

I’ve only been into this a year, so I don’t know what I might run into (if anything) with that.

View ShaneA's profile


6928 posts in 2594 days

#3 posted 11-14-2013 03:06 AM

Looks too small to be a problem in my opinion. It is wood, so super high tolerances aren’t realistic in all situations.

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2050 days

#4 posted 11-14-2013 03:12 AM

Could it be the straight edge?
I personally would not be happy with it.

-- Joel

View Scott's profile


121 posts in 2220 days

#5 posted 11-14-2013 03:26 AM

Shane, I kind of agree. I think I might just be a little paranoid after dealing with the problem on the original fence. I’d like to have my equipment calibrated to 1/1000th of an inch though.

Joel – I checked with a Veritas straight edge and it’s the same. I can also feel the curve when I slide the straight edge across it. I just used that square in the picture to show that it’s 90 degrees at the top and bottom at least.

I’m thinking that as long as the bottom is always my reference point I should be ok. However lets say I’m trying to cut some square stock. I guess if I don’t watch where I’m putting pressure it could get angled slightly?

View lab7654's profile


266 posts in 2242 days

#6 posted 11-14-2013 03:30 AM

For me, 5/1000ths of an inch causes what I call “sandable errors”. But then again I’m not picky, because I know that people are bothered by even less than that.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

View realcowtown_eric's profile


608 posts in 1933 days

#7 posted 11-14-2013 03:32 AM

I wouldn’t call it being picky, you just discovered something. Thats all. Whether it affects anything at all , well the proof is in the pudding.

I have a sacrificial fence on my knock off, it’s about 4’ long, Plastic laminate on baltic birch (one side).

you should see the tail end of that move with the humidity. I actually had to cut a kerf and put a turnbuckle in it so I could adjust it.

Your fence sides appear to be particle board, with plastic t-molding. I am not sure if you have plastic laminate on one side and melamine surface on the other. But however it’s made, if it involves wood or manufactured wood products it’s gonna move with the humidity.

I don’t think it’s a worriable problem at all.


-- Real_cowtown_eric

View Scott's profile


121 posts in 2220 days

#8 posted 11-14-2013 03:49 AM

Tristin, I can see you like sanding based on your tagline :) I’m just getting to the point where I want the accuracy for glue-ups… after which I’ll sand like crazy.

Eric, the fences are melamine over birch ply. I’m at least hoping it doesn’t move. The humidity doesn’t vary in my basement much between seasons which is a plus.

View jonah's profile


1696 posts in 3294 days

#9 posted 11-14-2013 04:49 AM

That is almost certainly from the bolts that hold the plastic to the metal fence frame. They are pulling in at the center of the plastic. I wouldn’t worry about it.

If you really care, you could return the fence and very super cool tools will sell you a dead flat aluminum extrusion fence if you pay a little extra.

View darthford's profile


601 posts in 1920 days

#10 posted 11-14-2013 06:21 AM

If its only in the area of the bolts just shim it at the bolts, it doesn’t appear the vertical dimple at the bolts would make any difference since the top and bottom seem straight, I can’t really think of an example where it would. I would be more concerned about the fence being parallel to the miter slot along its full length e.g. not wavy, bowed, or cupped.

View knotscott's profile


8008 posts in 3371 days

#11 posted 11-14-2013 10:05 AM

AFAIL, the Biese doesn’t have bolts holding the face….it’s a glued laminate. Your tolerances are plenty close to do excellent woodworking….the day that fence is the largest contributor to your errors is a day to celebrate! Make some dust, enjoy your new fence.

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

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2628 days

#12 posted 11-14-2013 02:39 PM

I’ve got a Delta T2. It’s dead-flat/straight/accurate.
Wanna trade??
Seriously though. The Bessy is a GREAT fence. Probably the best money can buy. Its designed to give accurate, repeatable cuts. Your test cuts seem to prove that it delivers exactly what it’s designed to deliver.
Worry less about specs…..more about results.

View jonah's profile


1696 posts in 3294 days

#13 posted 11-14-2013 02:55 PM

I was 90% certain that there are some kind of mechanical fastener in there. I thought it was glued and bolted to the frame, but I can’t remember where I saw/read that.

View Scott's profile


121 posts in 2220 days

#14 posted 11-14-2013 03:22 PM

I found an article on popular woodworking that shows how to replace a face on the fence. Looks like under the plastic are some bolts holding it to the frame. At least on theirs, which they say is 17 years old. I’m not sure what’s under the laminate on my new one – I don’t want to rip it apart yet, but I guess if this becomes a problem for me I can try to reface it.

View Scott's profile


121 posts in 2220 days

#15 posted 11-14-2013 03:26 PM

Ted, I was actually looking for a T2 for my upgrade as I expected them to be cheaper than the Biese, but there weren’t any on Amazon.

You guys are probably right, and I was already suspecting I was getting too picky. It does lock down tight and doesn’t move, so as long as I get it dialed in I probably won’t have much to worry about.

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