I have a 35yr old 12" Craftsman TS. I have been reading the forums alot. It seems that you guys frequently recommend getting a new fence for an old saw.
I have alot of hardwood in need of ripping so far the results have been horrible. lots of burning and ridges galore on the cut.
Will a new fence really improve an old saws performance?
How much does the blade matter? I have been using cheap 10" 24 tooth carbide. The blade is new and sharp but should I invest in a dedicated ripping blade?
can you guys recommend a Fence system for me?
How about a blade?
Smitty your fence is more than likely out of adjustment if your burning.just check to make sure it's parellel with the blade.
also check to see that your stock is straight.if not than trim (or joint)each edge untill one is .also make sure your blade isn't too high!!. good luck!!
Yes, a new fence will make a world of difference in your saw. I put a Biesemyer on mine because I'm a traditionalist. My saw, my choice.
What you decide on is up to your personal likes.
On the point of burning your wood:
Make sure your blade is parallel to your miter slot, and that your fence is also straight with the miter slot.
That done, the feed rate needs to be right. Two ways here,
1. You must feed the stock at a consistant speed all the way through the entire cut and no wavering sideways. Any slowing can cause the burned spots.
2. A $250.00 dollar stock feeder. Shortly after I got my new fence I had absolutely straight clean cuts, but every hesitation in speed would give me a slightly browned area on my stock.
I was ripping panels of MDF for molding and the stuff is prone to burn instantly. I had a lot of footage of this stuff to do.
So I bought a Delta Versa-Feeder, made my own plate to mount it (rather than make any holes in my inherited saw) and haven't burned anything since.
I won't mince words over best-est, accurate-est, or tough-est fences. That's been done.
But you can also see mine at my shop page. As well as the feeder.
Have fun in your shop and work safe!
Sonny Edmonds Mar-07-01, 02:09 AM (CDT)
3. "RE: TS Fence recommendations"
"Here comes the other side of the fence.
Yes, a new fence will make a world of difference in your saw. I put a Biesemyer on mine because I'm a traditionalist"
He made that "traditionalist" comment because the bessy is a "traditional" (analog) fence design as compared to the Incra and JointTech "digital" fence designs.
The major difference is that analog fences slide on a rail and can be clamped anywhere using smooth pressure pads. A digital fence has two sets of teeth, one on the fence and one on the positioning head that are meshed to form a lock. The advantages to the meshing teeth are that it automatically forces you to a multiple of the teeth spacing (typically 1/32" or .5mm) and you get a mechanical lock rather than just a friction lock.
The bessy is a *FINE* fence, big iron, like a piece of railroad track bolted to your saw. The Incra (et al.) appears to some as 'flimsy' because it's made from aluminum, however the design of the Incra is such that it cannot 'slip' until stressed to the point of mechanical failure. It will hold it's settings absolutely perfectly no matter how much force is applied right up to where the force is sufficient to break it.
You can clear the deck in one of two ways. First you can just slide it to the far right. If you need to completely remove it there are four knobs, two front, two back, and just loosen a turn each and lift straight up & off. Replace the same way and tighten and it's dead nutz back on.
I avoid "busting a gut" by sliding it left. I normally only go on that side of the saw when I'm done working for the day as there are no tools on that side of my saw.
Don't know why my email doesn't show. Couldn've sworn I put it in.
The Question of adding to an existing saw is a tough one. On one hand a new fence will make your saw a much better tool. On the other hand the cost of making all the changes that you might wish to make might be more than buying a new saw with all the right features.
Here is how I changed my craftsmam Now pushing 32 years old.
Biesemeyer fence. I will debate to death with Mark the analog digital analogy. I am an Electronic Engineer by education and occupation. The Incra is a fine fence but, digital is a bit of an overstatement.
New 2 Hp Beldon Motor
New Pulleys and Link belt
Wooden Cabinet with Saw Dust extraction designed in.
Outfeed table with expanding capability
custom designed Inserts
New Miter gauge
Cross cut sled
For what I have spent I could have bought a Cabinet saw, but I have bought this stuff over the years and not all at one point.
I am now looking at an aftermarket sliding table. The way a buy things it will be a few years before I decide.
So back to your original post
Will it help Yes,
Is there One Best Fence, No. There are a few good ones that have different advantage and disadvantages. Depending on what you want to do and how you work each has advantages.
The price for an after market fence ranges from about 250 to over 400, so it is not cheap.
I like Biesemeyer, Mark and others Like the Incra. So of this is the natural tendency of when you spend lots of money you want to think you made the right decision. I have had mine for 15 years and still like it. If I had a Incra I am sure I would like. For me I think the type of work I do and the skill I have in using my fence (read that as set in my way of doing things) gives me more accuracy than I could get with the Incra. (I can set my saw to less than a 64th of an inch every time).
Here are some links to check out and see if you like them.