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Table saw fence wiggle

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Forum topic by eldercop posted 12-01-2019 03:25 PM 662 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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eldercop

81 posts in 2115 days


12-01-2019 03:25 PM

Hi
I can’t be the only one who gets annoyed when measuring distance from blade to fence only to have it kick over (toward the blade in my case) Even more annoying is that the ruler on the rail is accurate. Set it to an inch, the fence kicks and its an inch from the blade. the thing is I still don’t trust the rail ruler 100% plus I’m making the voluntary move to the metric system which is far simpler for the fractionally challenged. should I
a) forget about it be grateful its accurate in the end
b) tolerate the wiggle, change the tape and re-set up
c) do some kind of adjustment on the fence itself so it stays straight

thanks in advance guys
George

-- "Experience is what you get the day after you needed it" Mark Twain


19 replies so far

View jbmaine's profile

jbmaine

89 posts in 76 days


#1 posted 12-01-2019 03:54 PM

What fence do you have?

View PaulDoug's profile

PaulDoug

2300 posts in 2310 days


#2 posted 12-01-2019 04:17 PM

Are you talking that when you push down on the lock lever, the fence will move a 1/16” or less as you push down on the lever. Mine does that and yes it is annoying. I’d love to know is there is something to be adjusted to halt that. My fence is a Steel City Biesemeyer style.

Starrett has a rail tape that has both metric and standard. I have it and like it but I have to be careful to remember which one I am currently using.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View eldercop's profile

eldercop

81 posts in 2115 days


#3 posted 12-01-2019 04:41 PM

Oh, sorry JB
The fence is a jet Exacta on their cabinet saw
Thanks for the tip on the Starrett tape PaulDoug I think metric for dimensions and Imperial for holes is a good way to go; minimum tool replacement and oh so easy on dimensions. That’s what I get for watching too much Matthias and John Heisz

-- "Experience is what you get the day after you needed it" Mark Twain

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5928 posts in 3100 days


#4 posted 12-01-2019 04:48 PM

I think most of them will do that unless you clamp it slightly while setting the width (I use my fence scale). I simply put the cursor on the mark, clamp it slightly, adjust if necessary, then clamp it tightly.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View clagwell's profile

clagwell

74 posts in 399 days


#5 posted 12-01-2019 05:26 PM

I got a Biesemeyer fence in 1989 and retired it about five years ago when I bought a new table saw. I used the tape on the rail and was able to get excellent accuracy and repeatability with proper technique and adjustments.

The technique I used to adjust the fence is to pull back on the locking handle and give it a bit of a shake from side to side as I moved it. Pulling back keeps the alignment pads in contact with the rail and the shake helps overcome static friction to make fine movements easier. Of course it also helps to keep the rail and pads waxed.

The first adjustment trick is to be sure that the setscrews behind the alignment pads are making contact without the fence being clamped. If there’s space the alignment will change when you clamp it.

The second adjustment I made was to shim the cursor plate to move it closer to the tape. This reduced parallax error and made the setting much easier to read.

I could repeat a setting to within a few thousandths and absolute accuracy was limited by the accuracy of the tape. Speaking of which, be sure you check the stick on tape before you stick it down. Some of them have large cyclical errors, so you need to check linearity.

-- Dave, Tippecanoe County, IN

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eldercop

81 posts in 2115 days


#6 posted 12-01-2019 06:27 PM

Thanks Dave
big help!

-- "Experience is what you get the day after you needed it" Mark Twain

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

3757 posts in 3716 days


#7 posted 12-02-2019 04:00 AM

My Incra fence, I set to the dimension and then clamp it. Done. I’m still anal enough that I check the dimension again, anyway (with a steel Starrett scale, to boot). Got to get out of that habit- it must cost me 10 seconds per setup.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

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Madmark2

716 posts in 1195 days


#8 posted 12-02-2019 03:58 PM

Incra

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View shawnn's profile

shawnn

147 posts in 1972 days


#9 posted 12-02-2019 09:50 PM

+1 for Incra. Once it’s set to the blade it’a ALWAYS spot on. No guessing, wiggling, closing one eye & trying to hold your head in the same position, etc.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3099 posts in 4044 days


#10 posted 12-05-2019 08:15 PM

I had a Delta/rockwell contractors saw for years and it was a cut and sneak into the correct length with multiple cuts endeavor. Frustrating but you get used to it.

I’ve been using a new sawstop professional for a couple of years now. I didn’t know a fence could be reliable before that. So refreshing. 1 1/8” on the rail is the same on the wood when cut. An accurate fence is such a nice thing. I hope you get satisfaction. I’ve been there.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

4646 posts in 1181 days


#11 posted 12-05-2019 09:53 PM

My usual answer to any TS fence issues is to buy a Vega, and move along with a smile on your face.

That costs $$$$$ though. Does your indicator have a screw on, in, or next to it? That is so you can set the tape exactly the correct distance from the blade. It’s a given if you change saw blades you may have to re-calibrate it. The indicators are only good if you use a Combo blade, and never swap out blades.

Because I do swap blades for Rip, Crosscut, Plywood, etc etc etc. they have minimal, but still different widths. So I use known sizes on wood cut offs, and machined blocks to measure my cuts exactly from the fence to the blade because I can’t trust my tape is dead nutz, and to re-calibrate it every time I swap blades sux. Or you could just use a tape measure. I don’t ascribe to that because you can easily get transposition errors.

-- Think safe, be safe

View nickbatz's profile

nickbatz

395 posts in 687 days


#12 posted 12-05-2019 10:31 PM

I have a lowly Craftsman 24/12, the one that comes with my table saw, and it’s absolutely nuts-on as long as I push the fence forward to keep it in place before locking it. Same idea as above, only my fence works differently.

View toolie's profile

toolie

2178 posts in 3235 days


#13 posted 12-05-2019 11:15 PM



I have a lowly Craftsman 24/12, the one that comes with my table saw, and it s absolutely nuts-on as long as I push the fence forward to keep it in place before locking it. Same idea as above, only my fence works differently.

- nickbatz

It never ceases to amaze me how many people don’t know about this!

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

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

883 posts in 517 days


#14 posted 12-06-2019 04:20 AM

If looking at accuracy on measurement, I use a steel ruler and not a tape measure. and will gladly remeasure after holding down and locking the fence. The measuring tape on my rail is dead on, but if I stand to the right or left of the indicator line and look at the line, I’ll be 1/32” or 1/16” off. So I only use the measuring tape on the rail if I’m not worried about exact cuts.

View nickbatz's profile

nickbatz

395 posts in 687 days


#15 posted 12-06-2019 05:52 AM


It never ceases to amaze me how many people don t know about this!

- toolie

It’s in the manual, but it’s actually pretty obvious – because you can see the thing shifting if you don’t do that!

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