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Make due with old tablesaw fences

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Forum topic by JeremyT21 posted 01-30-2015 03:31 AM 841 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JeremyT21

60 posts in 934 days


01-30-2015 03:31 AM

I just wanted to share my opinion and experiences with old table saw fences. I have a circa 1970 Craftsman 10” table saw and am using the original fence which i think the consensus is “sucks”. I agree it’s not the best, but I’ve found a few things that make it totally usable and consistent in my experience. I did the below video showing the suggestions, but here is the gist of it.

Add a piece of plywood or something similar to the face.
Make sure to set up fence to make it parallel to the blade.
Ensure table top is coated with something like wax or other slicky coating. Also coat the fence where it contacts table/rail.
Lastly(and i think most importantly), when moving the fence, make sure to grab from front and put pressure on the “T” portion. This ensures the back side moves in sync and doesn’t bind up.

When I got my tablesaw, I was so excited, but then read all the comments saying the fence is junk and pretty much useless. While I agree it’s not the best, it certainly is adequate and shouldn’t prohibit anyone from purchasing this type of saw.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHbTMpdn0Ok&feature=youtu.be

-- www.rockytoptimber.com


14 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 954 days


#1 posted 01-30-2015 03:36 AM

It looks better than the align a rip crap that came with mine.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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JeremyT21

60 posts in 934 days


#2 posted 01-30-2015 05:24 AM

Fridge, do you still use the stock one or have you upgraded?

-- www.rockytoptimber.com

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1592 posts in 2327 days


#3 posted 01-30-2015 05:35 AM

Or you could use a fence like mine…

Here I’m setting the fence for a rip operation.

And here I’m ripping using the fence.

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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JeremyT21

60 posts in 934 days


#4 posted 01-30-2015 08:01 AM

That definitely looks like an affordable alternative. :) My very first cheapo tabletop saw i got didn’t come with a fence and I built one very similar to what you have. I’m actually pretty happy using the methods I showed in the video. I mainly wanted to share this with anyone who was in the same boat as me…frustrated everytime they have to move the fence and measure multiple times. It’s not anything groundbreaking, but for some reason I didn’t figure it out until 6 months after I got the saw. Hopefully someone else can read this from the start and not have to go through that same frustration.

-- www.rockytoptimber.com

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

2150 posts in 1640 days


#5 posted 01-30-2015 02:57 PM

The big problem with the Sears 115 fence was even once it was set parallel with the blade it wouldn’t always hold. So after repeat cuts some of your lumber had tapered sides some didn’t.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

13738 posts in 2086 days


#6 posted 01-30-2015 04:06 PM

I’m thinking there are many that manage with stock fences. Great tips, thanks for posting (he said, reaching for the paste wax…)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View jsuede's profile

jsuede

69 posts in 692 days


#7 posted 01-30-2015 04:44 PM

http://lumberjocks.com/Hutch/blog/2740

Not inexpensive to build, but I built the fence for my current CF 113 with this method and cannot tell you how happy I am with it in the short time I’ve had it.

I did use the stock fence on my first 113 and I generally discovered it was out alignment (not often) at the worst possible times. I eventually got smart and kept a machinists rule handy, and would verify the alignment roughly each cut by measuring at both the front and back of the miter slot to the fence. I found the miter slot to blade alignment held true after the initial adjustment, making it a more consistent reference.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7225 posts in 2843 days


#8 posted 01-30-2015 04:50 PM

Here I m setting the fence for a rip operation.

And here I m ripping using the fence.

Herb

- HerbC

Herb – How is that Kempston rip blade? I know they’re Chinese eco blades, but they look better made than a lot of them.

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

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1592 posts in 2327 days


#9 posted 01-30-2015 08:53 PM

Yes. I bought it a couple of years ago thru Amazon and have been very pleased with it. It cuts a flat bottom kerf which is why I got it.

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View Patch2020's profile

Patch2020

97 posts in 709 days


#10 posted 01-30-2015 09:29 PM

My table saw is old enough it says Sears and Roebuck. I keep talking about getting a new saw but when I look at new saws they look just like mine with shinier paint and fancier fences. So okay I will get a new fence, then my wife says you have been in business with that fence for 20+ years why do you need a new one.(I bought the saw used with a bunch of equipment.) Okay I’ve been learning that one for 20 years how long will a new one take and will I be any better. I keep coming up with no. That was just a long way of saying, you can accomplish a lot with what you have with a little ingenuity.

-- Patch2020, Tennessee

View Will50's profile

Will50

22 posts in 800 days


#11 posted 01-31-2015 12:57 AM

Great post and video. I have that fence and have been measuring front and back at every setup. I will try those mods.

-- Our's is not to reason why, our's is but to shuck and jive!

View toolie's profile

toolie

2025 posts in 2096 days


#12 posted 01-31-2015 01:19 AM

good modifications. but the most significant one is the last that addresses the OM instructions to square the fence to the front rail prior to locking it down. funny how following the manufacturers instructions always seems to make things work better.

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

View JeremyT21's profile

JeremyT21

60 posts in 934 days


#13 posted 01-31-2015 01:27 AM



good modifications. but the most significant one is the last that addresses the OM instructions to square the fence to the front rail prior to locking it down. funny how following the manufacturers instructions always seems to make things work better.

- toolie

Haha…Thats great. Never thought of reading the manual for something like that.

-- www.rockytoptimber.com

View rhybeka's profile

rhybeka

2683 posts in 2589 days


#14 posted 01-31-2015 01:35 AM

Thanks Jeremy! I have the same saw as well and have those same issues. I’m also going to be upgrading the fence using Hutch’s blog here soon but in the meantime I’ll be using your tips!

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

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