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  1. #1
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    Biesemeyer vs Unifence?

    I don't mean to open up a whole can of worms here, but I'm contemplating getting a Unisaw and was wondering what the better choice of fence is- Biesemeyer or Unifence? I'd be partiularly interested in hearing from people who've used both, as to the pros and cons of each system.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    RE: Biesemeyer vs Unifence?

    I would be interested in the answers also!

  3. #3
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    RE: Biesemeyer vs Unifence?

    I've watched Norm swap back and forth a couple of times over the years. He's currently using the Biesemeyer. On his web site, he just says they are both good fences with different strong points.

    The Beez is supposedly built like a tank, rarely needs adjusting and has lots of accessories available.

    The Unifence isn't quite as strong, being aluminum, but can be high or low profile and has that retracting feature for using it in conjunction with the miter gauge.

    When I eventually get my Uni, I'm leaning towards the Biesemeyer, but I'll also be interested in hearing from people who have used both.

    Cody

    [ol]
    An amateur built the Ark
    PROFESSIONALS built the Titanic[/ol]



  4. #4
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    RE: Biesemeyer vs Unifence?

    jimknapp,
    I am so glad that you posted this question. When I saw and touched a Biesemeyer for the first time, I thought,"WOW, this is the Cat's @$$, It's the best I've ever seen!!" UNTIL: a manager at the local Woodworkers Emporium,(they sell GI, Jet, Powermatic, Biesemeyer, Delta and more) showed me some of the various features and DooDads on the Unifence and told me that for HIS money he wouldn't have any other. I was floored, and confused?? Yes the Biesemeyer seemed to be built like a tank with top quality workmanship and manufacturing, but the versatility of the Unifence seem to make it a hrd choice between the two. The Unifence seems easier for attaching jigs, sacrificials and other bits of hardware and it has that curved thingie for the saw blade clearance on bevel cuts and several other things that I don't even remember. Unfortunately the Uni has to be slid to the end of the rail to remove it and is made of aluminum and it might require adjustments and tweaking more often than the Bies. Any and everything that you might want to attach to the bies has to be clamped, but man is it sooth and sturdy. All of these observations are just from playing in the store and not from actual use. I too would relly like to hear from someone who has used both and whose opinion isn't biased by the $$$ that he spent on either one. Thanks again for posting this question as it was one of the next I was going to ask.


    Gene

  5. #5
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    RE: Biesemeyer vs Unifence?

    I've got the unifence. I'venever used a 'Bies - so can't comment on that. For the most part, I really love the unifence for all reasons mentioned above. Because I don't have the courage to drill holes into its face so that sacrifical fences can be screwed to it, I find that I use clamps and these can get in the way at times at the beginnning and end of the fence.

    As for jigs, I'm surprised a poster above said it was easier on the Unifence. I've seen 3-sided rectangle shaped jigs that just slip over the top of a Bies, for the unifence, the shape is more irregular, so jigs tend to be more complicated.

    One feature I do really like (which isn't an advantage over the Bies) is the Unifences' ability to be placed on both sides of the locking mechanism. This allows me to use this fence (with a jig) as my router table fence which is mounted in the extension table.

  6. #6
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    RE: Biesemeyer vs Unifence?



    Biesemeyer is built very solid and use of both sides is quick and easy. The unifence requires you to loosen the two knobs that hold the aluminum fence in place, slide it off, remove and reinsert the u-bolt arrangement, slide the fence back on, reinstall and tighten the two knobs. No "BIG" deal, but the 6 step process may deter you from making that quick, right side cut.

    I like that the uni can be easily slid fore and aft for use as a stop block when cross cutting with a miter gauge or sled. Uni also allows you to fit the fence very tight to the saw top before tightening the two retaining knobs. You can almost run a 45 miter point against the bottom of the fence without it becoming trapped under the fence, almost.

    Uni, without drilling holes, is more difficult to fasten jigs to. With holes, you simply screw them to the fence. Without, clamping is harder to accomplish. No parallel plane to clamp against. I would drill hole with the uni. Biesy, clamp away.

    Both fences are very good. My feeling is that any feature that biesy lacks, can be easily added with the use of a jig. I am a purist and like the simplicity of the biesy style fences. I have worked more with the unifence and it certainly has its strengths (used to be my personal preference). It mostly dependant on your work habits, and if you haven't developed "work habits" yet, either fence will most definitely do what you want it to, only in a slightly different manner, with slightly different set-up.



  7. #7
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    RE: Biesemeyer vs Unifence?

    Jim, heres a short review of the two fences.

    http://benchmark.20m.com/articles/Un...rsusbessy.html

    I have a Biesemeyer so I really cant comment on the Unifence,
    I have no complaints at all with my bies fence its a very sturdy and simple design, Slides easy and locks down square and it dont move.
    I built a sliding jig for mine, I would like to add a pair of Board buddys to it but just cant bring myself to drill holes into it just yet.
    If I had to replace my fence I would get a new Bies but with longer rails than the 52" that I have but thats just me.
    If you know someone close to you that has the fences see if they will let you give them a test drive so to say so you can get a feel for them, that may help you decide which one you are more comfortable with, I think that the most important part what works best for you.
    I know not much help, hopefully the link helps some.
    Don.





  8. #8
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    RE: Biesemeyer vs Unifence?

    I use my bies as a router table fence for the same purpose and notice very little if any movement when routing. I've been clamping my jig to it so far as I too can't seem to drill into it. I just got a set of rare earth magnets that I am incorporating into a slip on fence (advice given by scott spencer on this site). They are, as billed, amazingly strong. I haven't used the uni but love the bies for all the reasons already mentioned.
    carlos





  9. #9
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    Let's go a little deeper...

    OK, if you hit the blade with the Uni-fence you buy a new aluminum extrusion. On the Biesemeyer fence it is possible to replace the face material on the fence.

    When I look at a Biesemeyer fence there does not appear to be any obvious way to remove the fence facing material. How is this done? And what is the method of attachment of the facing material?

    There is one other thing that I notice about the Uni-fence it that there seems to be a lot of hardware to the right of the aluminum extrusion. Does this add to the required length of the rails for doing that 48" wide rip?


  10. #10
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    RE: Biesemeyer vs Unifence?

    Thanks to all who have responded! It seems like this is one of those "six of one, half dozen of the other" kinds of things.

    I'd still be interested in any more feedback anyone has to offer.

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