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Hello all. I was able to pick up a used Delta contractor saw for cheap. I'm very new to woodworking but have done a lot of research about tools and techniques. One of the selling points of this saw was the fence. However, for the life of me, I can't get it to lock. I push down on the handle and it just won't lock in place.

I've looked around a couple forums and a few people with similar problems backed out the set screws. I tried that. In fact I backed them out the whole way and the fit is still too tight.

The fence moves along the rails just fine and you can see evidence that the fence is well used. Unfortunately, the original owner passed on and this saw was passed down. The seller had no idea how it works. I looked at it and assumed-wrongly I guess-that I would figure it out.

Pics attached for reference. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hood Automotive tire Wood Rim Bumper


Wood Bumper Table Automotive tire Automotive exterior


Automotive tire Bumper Wood Rim Bicycle part


Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive exterior Fixture Gas
 

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In the second pic it should be locked into place. If it is still moving then the set screws on the back need adjusted. I think you screw then in to tighten it up. I have the same fence I can take some pics of mine if it would help you. Mine may have a pad on the face of the metal flap piece. The set screws also need adjusted to square the fence to miter slots which should square it to the blade also since the blade should be squared off the slots also.
 

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Above posts are correct: one way to fix clamp that will not lock, is to adjust the screws under the glide pads on front/inside edge of the fence. This pushes the fence forward, and reduces the gap where you clamp.
This assumes your glide pads are not missing, or worn down to nothing?

The clue that points to glide pad adjustments needed, is location of clamp in 1st picture?
It should clamp before it reaches the end of circle like shown LeeRoyMan last photoin pst #2.
The difference is very subtle, but then so is difference between clamp and loose. ;-0)

BTW - For two Biesemeyer fences I bought used to upgrade old rebuilt Unisaw, they also had significant wear on the concentric (offset round) end of lock shaft. The wear was enough that even with new pads, and fully extend adjustment screws, still would not lock tight.
Read a solution somewhere, and tried it successfully:
Added couple beads of weld material to contact portion of concentric clamp. Then I used a file to level it off, and adjust the fit. Since I have equipment, this was cheaper than buying a new part. The weld metal is harder than normal soft steel, and creates a 'hard-face' surface. This same type of hard-face repair is often used on irreplaceable worn out shaft bearings. Simply add metal, and then machine it to right size.

The newest versions of the fence clamp swing arm use a replaceable pad of laminate on face to increase friction. Picture thanks to ebay seller that carries them.

Can get free sample of kitchen laminate from BORG (any color works), cut it size, and use contact cement to attach it. This is another way to move the clamp ~0.100 closer to the front rail if growing the size of concentric is not within reach.
Biesemeyer used same kitchen laminate as glide material in other locations in early version fences. When Delta bought Biesemeyer they changed to nylon pads like shown in LeeRoyMan photo in post #4. Delta spare parts can be challenge to find, and old timers would resort to bonding laminate with epoxy as replacements.

One caution. The goal with clamp is to stop fence movement, NOT lock the clamp bar all the way down. You can apply too much clamp force, and dent the front rail. DAMHIK #IAMAKLUTZ

Best Luck!
 

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Besides the pads LeeRoy point to, there is also one on the locking foot which should be greased periodically. If you don't have them, they can easily be fabricated using those laminate sample chips found at the big box stores. Exact same stuff was used on the original commercial Biesemyer fences. They were epoxied in place IIRC.

If you have the pads in place, then adjustment is done via the set screws. From the BC50 manual:

VERY LITTLE Lever pressure is required to hold the fence in position. For good operation, do not apply too much pressure to the lever. To DECREASE Pressure, let BOTH Set Screws OUT the same amount. For MORE pressure, turn both Set Screws IN the same amount. Again, make sure that the Fence is parallel with Saw Blade (See Figure)
Parallel Font Rectangle Diagram Auto part


Cheers,
Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks all for the great comments. You were spot on. I was thinking that the pointed tip needed to be into the bar and not down so I was loosening the set screws to get enough room to push the tip up and it just wasn't working. As suggested, I went the other way with it and tightened the set screws. Working like a charm now. Just need to align properly to the blade and I should be ready to go. Thank you all!
 
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