Why a T-square style fence

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Forum topic by jeffb33200 posted 01-02-2014 03:14 PM 1789 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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15 posts in 1633 days

01-02-2014 03:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw

Hi All,

I have done some woodworking and want to get a better table saw. What are the advantages to the Biesemeyer fence and their like over the old style that clamps front and back? If the fence is adjusted properly will there be any difference? Thanks for any tips.

17 replies so far

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3334 days

#1 posted 01-02-2014 03:18 PM

I have owned and used pretty much every style of table saw fence in the 50+ years I have been woodworking and my all time favorite is the Incra fence system.

View bbc557ci's profile


595 posts in 2100 days

#2 posted 01-02-2014 03:22 PM

I would say the Bies style fence overall is stronger, and stays in adjustment better than many/most stock fences that come with a run of the mill table saw. But that said, nothing wrong with the back clampers, if they keep their set and ya don’t need to measure/fiddle with them before every cut.

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

View bondogaposis's profile


4765 posts in 2377 days

#3 posted 01-02-2014 03:24 PM

Well theoretically if both are adjusted properly there will be no difference. I use a pretty old Craftsman 113. series table saw the fence it came with would crab toward the blade in the back when tightened. That is a kickback risk as well as making the cut off square. I would have to fiddle with it to get the fence and have to measure off the front of the blade and the back of the blade and tighten and re-tighten the fence for each cut. I got fed up with it and got a Delta T2 fence and now setting the fence is easy, quick and accurate. Saved me from buying a new saw.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View CharlesA's profile


3329 posts in 1823 days

#4 posted 01-02-2014 03:28 PM

The biesemeyer style fences offer rock solid stability. My shop fox classic weighs a ton bc of the box section heavy steel. One never has to worry if the stock will deflect the fence. Any they offer very fine adjustability, although usually by nudging the fence

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2472 days

#5 posted 01-02-2014 03:55 PM

The main difference in Biesemeyer type fence and others is,Biese type have one single “pinch point” as it’s called ,oppose to other types that crabs the table from front and back rails which needs constant adjustments.

Every time you move this type of fence you need to make it parallel front and back to the blade but with biesemeyer you move it to desired location and clamp it.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2701 days

#6 posted 01-02-2014 03:56 PM

My son-in-law was given a 113 series Craftsman saw. I was setting it up for him. Ever y time I move the fence and tightened it, I got a new angle. As Bondo said above, it would crab toward the blade. I studied it for awhile and finally saw the problem. If I locked the blade tight enough to really hold it would cause the angle iron rail to flex toward the table. The further out from the blade, the more it moved. I finally got out some precision measuring tools and decided I needed some accurate spacers made to hold the angle away from the fence. I went to a machine shop and had these made. I drilled and bolted them on. My bolts go through the angle, the space and the table. I used a nut on the back. This made the saw very usable for (in my case) no cost. I own a Unisaw with a Unifence on it. It is good but the Craftsman is very usable with some TLC. They all have to be checked periodically.

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3674 days

#7 posted 01-02-2014 04:10 PM

T-style VS “back-forth clamp” benefit is that when you clamp the fence down there is no change of the fence itself bowing/cupping/twisting out of straight.

that said -there are some really good back-forth-clamp fences out there. I personally found the Bosch 4100 TS fence to be excellent!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View jeffb33200's profile


15 posts in 1633 days

#8 posted 01-02-2014 04:19 PM

To all of you,

This was my first post on here and I appreciate all the answers. Thank you.

View knotscott's profile


8057 posts in 3401 days

#9 posted 01-02-2014 04:27 PM

It’s worth noting that there are good and poor examples of most types of fences. The beauty of the Biese style front locking t-square fences is simplicity….once setup, they’re pretty much a set it and forget it fence. They can have very good accuracy, excellent reliability, are easy to adapt jigs to, and are very easy to use in general…”goof proof” if you will. The better ones like the actual Biese and better clones are extremely rugged as well as accurate. Some of the lesser dual lockers have a reputation for locking down out of parallel.

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

View johnstoneb's profile


2939 posts in 2198 days

#10 posted 01-02-2014 05:31 PM

+1 Bondo Gaposis. I had same problem with my 113 the T2 fence saved me from buying a new saw. The T2 clamps square and stays that way. The Biesmeyer uses the a similar system.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View toolie's profile


2134 posts in 2654 days

#11 posted 01-02-2014 11:51 PM

If the fence is adjusted properly will there be any difference?

no. my puny ridgid 2412 has a front/rear locking OEM fence system adn it locks true (+/-.001”) every time, just like th edelta t2 on my other emerson electric built TS, a 113 series c-man.

Every time you move this type of fence you need to make it parallel front and back to the blade

maybe with certain c-man OEM fences, but not with all front/rear lock fences. i wouldn’t change the fence on my 2412 for anything. and if the WOOD magazine projects are checked carefully, there are many projects whose parts are fabricated on a ridgid 3650 (with OEM front/rear clamp fence).

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View Woodbum's profile


813 posts in 3091 days

#12 posted 01-03-2014 08:48 PM

+1 on Greg the Cajun Box Sculptor’s comment. I really like my Incra TSIII fence system.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View pintodeluxe's profile


5705 posts in 2839 days

#13 posted 01-03-2014 08:57 PM

To this very day, my dad measures at the front of the blade and at the back of the blade to the fence.

That is reason enough to use a T-square style fence. Set it and forget it. I have the Jet Xacta II and it is solid.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Gentile's profile


306 posts in 1844 days

#14 posted 01-28-2014 11:22 PM

On my delta TS, the stock fence was terrible. I could not afford a Besiemer upgrade. The woodworkers store carried Steel City machines. I picked one of there’s up. It’s basically a clone of the Besiemers. It works great!

-- "I cut it twice and it's still too short"

View lightcs1776's profile


4210 posts in 1680 days

#15 posted 01-28-2014 11:55 PM

Big difference if you want repeatable cuts that are accurate. I have a 113 series Craftsman. The saw is sufficient for what I want to make, but the fence needs a lot of attention every time it is moved. I have to be very careful not to get in a hurry and fail to check the fence. Unfortunately a decent fence isn’t cheap, costing at least $200 and likely $300 and up.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

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