Upgrading the fence on my 1946 Unisaw, looking for feedback

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Forum topic by MikeUT posted 09-14-2018 07:02 PM 1247 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MikeUT's profile


200 posts in 2159 days

09-14-2018 07:02 PM

I am looking in to options to replace the fence system on my 1946 Delta Unisaw. I want something more precise and repeatable, my budget is $350-ish. I’m considering:
- A shop fox or Vega Beismeyer clone ($250-300 range)
- Delta T2/T3 fence system (around $220 on home depot)
- Build my own rails and use Very Super Cool Tools fence (probably around $350 all-in)
- Build my own rails and buy a heavier duty Biesmeyer fence. (Probably around $250 all-in)

I am leaning towards building my own rails and getting a VSC fence with aluminum extrusion or a Biesmeyer. Is it worth an extra $100 to have the extruded aluminum fence? Are there better options out there?

Any/all opinions are welcome and appreciated. Thanks!

7 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5293 posts in 4760 days

#1 posted 09-14-2018 07:27 PM

I have the Shop Fox Classic on my Grizz. It has been (and is) A really good fence. Set and forget.

-- [email protected]

View toolie's profile


2186 posts in 3428 days

#2 posted 09-15-2018 01:59 PM

One vote here for T3. I have a delta T2 on a change 113 and it is as repeatable and reliable as the OEM fence on my ridgidl 2412.

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

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7643 posts in 1512 days

#3 posted 09-15-2018 03:21 PM

either one will be better :<))))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2285 days

#4 posted 09-16-2018 03:20 AM

Out of 3-4 viable fence options I’ve used, I like a bies even over a unifence.

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

View runswithscissors's profile


3105 posts in 2824 days

#5 posted 09-16-2018 11:05 PM

Much as I like the Unisaw, the original fence to me is the weak point. On a Rockwell contractor’s saw I had many years ago (same fence as the Uni), I despised the fence, and made my own rails and T-square type fence. Worked fine. I have heard many good things about the Unifence, but have never used one. Otherwise, I think any decent T-square fence would serve you well.

I made my own rack and pinion fence (real one, like on the DeWalt job site saw), just because I like the idea, but I wouldn’t do it again. It actually works very well, but was too fussy to make. The hardest part was finding steel square tubing that would fit to telescope nicely, but not be too sloppy. The outer tube has to be the exact right wall thickness.
It has the advantage that it gives generous cutting width not only to the right side of the blade, but left side also, while staying within the table footprint when retracted. This required that the actual fence could have 3 mounting positions—left, right, and center. I still use it, but it’s getting to the point where it needs a tune up.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View jonah's profile


2123 posts in 4098 days

#6 posted 09-17-2018 03:38 PM

I absolutely love my VSCT fence. Building the rails isn’t trivial, but it’s very easy as metalwork goes. Alan’s videos take you through the whole process step by step.

If you can find a local metal shop that has drops the size you need, you could get the steel for almost nothing.

The VSCT fence is definitely a few steps above the T2/T3/Vega fences. I’ve not used the Shop Fox they sell now, only an older model. It’s not bad.

View shawnn's profile


152 posts in 2164 days

#7 posted 09-19-2018 04:00 PM

I have an older PM-66 with an Incra fence and love it. I don’t know that you can get a more repeatable setup. Offers a lot of options as far as total rip width too, as the rails can be set further back; I currently have about 26” rip. I got mine used (and somewhat abused) for about $250, it’s the older style Ultra positioner but works perfect for me.

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