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gee-dub

Tablesaw Alignment - Routine Maintenance

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I am reasonably proficient at aligning my machines.  I discovered that slow, subtle changes can sneak up on you.  My Saw Stop has a Bies-clone fence.  Like others of this ilk, pads are used to let the fence ride on and grab onto the front rail.  These are wear parts.  Although they are quite resilient, my saw had changed to this poor rip quality:

56f6af532358f_RipQuality(1).jpg.b1abf325

I fascinate myself sometimes with my ability to over-focus to the point where I let something like this happen :huh:

I expect machines to stay aligned, once aligned, as long as I am not moving them around on uneven surfaces or moving them from site to site.  I was glad to see that the Saw Stop had held alignment as the blade to miter slot variation was all but immeasurable.  The fence was another story.

In defense of the product quality, this is the first readjustment of this fence since the machine was new.  The fence faces have always had some irregularities on the order of .003" across the length.  At least Saw Stop makes changing the faces easy; I will have to get to this after the current project.

Adjusting the fence back to "normal" now gives me this result which is more what I expect.

56f6af54118ac_RipQuality(2).jpg.98e99192

The moral of the story of course is that one doesn't have to wait until a blind man can see the degradation before one does a little bit of PM to one's machines :D

 

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I like SawStops but Biesemeyer fences and Biese clones are just about at the top of my World's Most Overrated List.  They're not terrible but I don't understand why people give them the heavyweight status that they have.  IMO they're rife with design flaws.

I bought a VSCT fence a couple years ago after having my fill of trouble with the Biese clone that came with my Grizzly, and after a few hiccups getting it set up...haven't touched it since.

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1 minute ago, Eric. said:

I like SawStops but Biesemeyer fences and Biese clones are just about at the top of my World's Most Overrated List.  They're not terrible but I don't understand why people give them the heavyweight status that they have.  IMO they're rife with design flaws.

I bought a VSCT fence a couple years ago after having my fill of trouble with the Biese clone that came with my Grizzly, and after a few hiccups getting it set up...haven't touched it since.

Same reason why people revere the Beatles 50 years later.  First mover advantage.  Great music for 1965.  A bies fence is the same.  The best of 1970s technology and still pretty good. 

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I had a Delta Unifence on my contractor saw for years and I really liked it.  Unfortunately I don't think they are made anymore, If they did, I wouldn't mind having it on my SawStop.

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6 hours ago, shaneymack said:

Good reminder. I have a sawstop as well. How long did you go without having to adjust it?

Sent from my SM-N910W8 using Tapatalk

I've had it about 3 years and use it pretty regular.  I really should have noticed sooner :huh:

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Had a Bies for years & now a T-glide, which is almost a good. They are both very good fences, but not really easy to add accessories to them. Getting the faces perfectly flat can be another issue. A VSCT fence will probably be in my future, sometime in the future.

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18 hours ago, Eric. said:

I like SawStops but Biesemeyer fences and Biese clones are just about at the top of my World's Most Overrated List.  They're not terrible but I don't understand why people give them the heavyweight status that they have.  IMO they're rife with design flaws.

I bought a VSCT fence a couple years ago after having my fill of trouble with the Biese clone that came with my Grizzly, and after a few hiccups getting it set up...haven't touched it since.

The VSCT product line is nice.  They have eliminated the irregular face material problem but, the problem I ran into is present on their design as well.  The pads wear over time and it did indeed take several years to show the initial effect.  This is a minimal wearing but, in the position their in, it doesn't take much to alter your feed path.  A minor tweak after 3 years doesn't bother me.so much  If it is like my Bies before this, the next tweak will be about a decade down the road.

It is disturbing that manufacturers think the irregularities of the face material is so acceptable.  I imagine the majority of users are OK with it and it is of no consequence to them.  As with so many tools and techniques we use, what works 'best' depends what your are doing :).

I have seen folks add different face material to various fence types in an effort to get a nice true surface.  There is a little trade off in weight to resiliency.  If I were a person who had to remove and replace my fence often I would want less weight.  However, lighter weight designs can be prone to getting misaligned if knocked about while off the saw. VSCT has found a nice balance. In the end we all move toward a balance that works 'best' for us.

 

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17 hours ago, gee-dub said:

The VSCT product line is nice.  They have eliminated the irregular face material problem but, the problem I ran into is present on their design as well.  The pads wear over time and it did indeed take several years to show the initial effect.  This is a minimal wearing but, in the position their in, it doesn't take much to alter your feed path.  A minor tweak after 3 years doesn't bother me.so much  If it is like my Bies before this, the next tweak will be about a decade down the road.

It is disturbing that manufacturers think the irregularities of the face material is so acceptable.  I imagine the majority of users are OK with it and it is of no consequence to them.  As with so many tools and techniques we use, what works 'best' depends what your are doing :).

I have seen folks add different face material to various fence types in an effort to get a nice true surface.  There is a little trade off in weight to resiliency.  If I were a person who had to remove and replace my fence often I would want less weight.  However, lighter weight designs can be prone to getting misaligned if knocked about while off the saw. VSCT has found a nice balance. In the end we all move toward a balance that works 'best' for us.

 

I know you haven't been around long but these kinds of well thought out,  coherent posts are not acceptable.  

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I have been pretty happy with the Incra fence.  It does not have the same problem with wear pads, but it's possible to get out of alignment if you remove/reinstall the fence and don't make sure it is perfectly seated.  I rarely remove mine, so that's not a problem.  It is very nice to adjust fence to blade distance with a dial by 0.05mm (I have the metric version) instead of the "tap, lock-down, and check" method of the normal fences.

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I am super curious what you did to make UHMW wear out that fast.  The clamp holds firm so I friction lube the rail even though the pads are low friction. I wonder if you are using a compound that degrades the UHMW?

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31 minutes ago, C Shaffer said:

I am super curious what you did to make UHMW wear out that fast.  The clamp holds firm so I friction lube the rail even though the pads are low friction. I wonder if you are using a compound that degrades the UHMW?

I wonder the same. In the 15+ years I had my last Bies it never went out of square at all.

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58 minutes ago, C Shaffer said:

I am super curious what you did to make UHMW wear out that fast.  The clamp holds firm so I friction lube the rail even though the pads are low friction. I wonder if you are using a compound that degrades the UHMW?

 

24 minutes ago, drzaius said:

I wonder the same. In the 15+ years I had my last Bies it never went out of square at all.

I'm with ya guys.  My old Bies had what appeared to be HDPE pads and never blinked.  I have UHMW runners on sleds that have been in use for years without issue.  I keep the Saw Stop rails clean and dry, no additives.  I rarely remove the fence and have a place for it when it is removed. As heavy as it is I am sure I would remember if I dropped it :D.

The unusual nature of the situation is what made me post in case others experience the same.  We are talking about a really insignificant amount of change.  It just happens that where the change took place (wear or otherwise) the impact was significant.  Just for grins I think I will mic the thickness and jot it down with a note to re-check in a few months.

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On 3/28/2016 at 8:25 AM, andrew-in-austin said:

I have been pretty happy with the Incra fence.  It does not have the same problem with wear pads, but it's possible to get out of alignment if you remove/reinstall the fence and don't make sure it is perfectly seated.  I rarely remove mine, so that's not a problem.  It is very nice to adjust fence to blade distance with a dial by 0.05mm (I have the metric version) instead of the "tap, lock-down, and check" method of the normal fences.

I agree. I love my incra fence. It is such a great design.

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