Biesemeyer Fence Rehab-Advise Please!

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Forum topic by Enkidomark posted 06-30-2014 09:01 PM 2703 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Enkidomark's profile


3 posts in 1885 days

06-30-2014 09:01 PM

Hey guys. I’ve recently acquired my grandfather’s old Craftsman 10” tablesaw (how many woodworking stories start with that line?). I’m working on getting it cleaned up and put back together. While the saw itself isn’t anything special, its in good enough shape and has extra-wide side wings. What makes it really good, other than who it belonged to, is that my grandfather fitted it with a Biesemeyer fence with a 6 foot front rail. It came to me with nicks and scratches and heavy rust on any exposed surfaces. I’ve already done a lot of sanding, and I have some UHMW polyethylene pieces to replace the faces, the plies of which are separating and loosing some of the t-molding.
What I need advice on is what to do about painting and rust-proofing the metal. Do I need to remove the rest of the paint before I paint over it? If so, should I sand it off or use some sort of stripping chemical? Whether I’m removing all the paint or just sanding the rust spots bare, what type of paint/primer should I use? any tips about how to apply it?
I’m thinking about rustoleum high performance enamel in the can, with or without primer.
I also bought some UHMW tape:
Any advice on how best to use it here?
Also, Any tips on how to clean out and rust-proof the inside of the rail? This saw literally sat under an open roof alongside pig-pens for 5 years, so it got pretty dirty.
Pics at link below. Thanks for the help!

6 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile


2739 posts in 3025 days

#1 posted 06-30-2014 09:42 PM

I’m not sure about the rust issues, but for the faces I’d not use UHMW. It won’t stay flat. I had to replace the faces on my steel city saw because of that.
Baltic birch plywood with formica applied over it is probably the best surface for a fence face. You don’t need the t-molding; once the laminate is applied and trimmed flush, I just put a 1/8” roundover on the edges. Works perfectly, and stays flat.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View jonah's profile


2075 posts in 3747 days

#2 posted 06-30-2014 10:18 PM

Anytime I have to remove rust, nothing holds a candle to Evap-o-rust. It works like magic. Try using a length of PVC pipe (a gallon of Evaporust fills a 4” PVC pipe about 20”) or just use paper towels soaked in the stuff and then draped on the exposed rust. You’ll have to then cover the paper towels with some sort of plastic or something, to keep it moist.

After you de-rust, spray paint the metal with some sort of Rustoleum paint.

View Enkidomark's profile


3 posts in 1885 days

#3 posted 07-05-2014 03:34 PM

Thanks for the advice, guys. Do you think it will be okay to remove the rust, then clean with mineral spirits and spray rustoleum paint on top of the remaining original paint? I’d like to avoid taking the whole thing down to bare metal, ‘cause it would take a LONG time.

View shampeon's profile


1900 posts in 2632 days

#4 posted 07-05-2014 04:29 PM

Yeah, there’s no point in taking it down to bare betal. A scuff sand of the old paint should be sufficient.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View MrRon's profile


5621 posts in 3692 days

#5 posted 07-05-2014 06:27 PM

The question really is: what to do with the bare sliding surfaces of the rail. You can’t paint over those sliding surfaces. I have the same problem with my Biesemeyer fence. I’m guessing you intend to use the UHMW tape on the sliding surfaces of the fence. I did that also with my fence. Just remember not to clamp down too tightly on the rail. You risk denting the rail. A light clamping pressure is all that is needed to keep the fence from moving.

View Enkidomark's profile


3 posts in 1885 days

#6 posted 07-07-2014 03:56 PM

I guess I’ll clean up the rail with evaporust, scuff up the rest of the paint with 220, clean out the inside as good as I can and spray it down with wd-40 to prevent further rust, then mask off the front “sliding surface” of the rail and paint the whole thing with rustoluem high performance enamel. Then I’ll apply the UHMW tape to the bare metal where the fence actually contacts and probably give the rest of that bare metal a light coat of paste wax along with the cast-iron top.
Based on Nitewalker’s advise about using UHMW as a fence surface, I’ll probably just clean up the ply that’s already on there, make sure the laminate isn’t coming loose at the edges, then use polyurethane on the exposed edges where the t-molding has broken off.
Thanks again for all the advice. I’m looking forward to getting this done, ‘cause I’ve been stalled-out for fear of messing it up.

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