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drzaius

SawStop T-Square fence

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After living with my Sawstop for a while, I thought I'd post a mini review of the T-Square fence. There are lots of reviews out there of the saw itself (PCS 3 HP) that pretty much all say that it's awesome, and it is.

The T-Square fence is also mostly awesome. It was easy to set up & calibrate & in fact, was almost perfect from the factory. After using it for over a year, it has not gone out of adjustment at all. The face of the fence is quite flat, with a couple of thou variation along the length, but it doesn't seem to be enough to affect the work. I've been thinking of getting a VSCT extrusion & bolting it to the face of the fence, which would make it perfectly flat & add quite a bit of functionality.

Now the bad parts. the handle, when locked, sticks straight out like a swollen, red phallus. It's always in the way. Why would someone design it like that? And the magnet that holds it in the unlocked position, where it is slightly less in the way, is so week that it barely holds. The cursor could have a finer line & likewise for the markings on the rule.

I guess this tuned into more of a rant than a review. On the whole though, it's a really good fence that could be better with just a few design tweeks.

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My experience has been the same except I have no issue with the big, swollen phallus. I've never found it to be in the way.

I was just thinking yesterday how its been a year and a half since I set up the fence and it's still dead on accurate.

Sent from my SM-N910W8 using Tapatalk

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 I added one of these

http://www.rockler.com/multi-track-for-jigs-and-custom-fences-multi-track

thinking it would be more functional and provide better results. I have not really seen any benefit and the cursor will not compensate for the additional thickness in the face. I plan to switch it back next time I get some time.

I'm glad I went ahead and tried it. Since I had the extrusion anyway it's a no-cost test for me. My opinion on the result is that I wouldn't bother but, we all work differently and find different values in different features. Others may find the T-slots to be more valuable than I did however, the milled face provided no apparent benefit in the end result of a cut.

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4 hours ago, gee-dub said:

 I added one of these

http://www.rockler.com/multi-track-for-jigs-and-custom-fences-multi-track

thinking it would be more functional and provide better results. I have not really seen any benefit and the cursor will not compensate for the additional thickness in the face. I plan to switch it back next time I get some time.

I'm glad I went ahead and tried it. Since I had the extrusion anyway it's a no-cost test for me. My opinion on the result is that I wouldn't bother but, we all work differently and find different values in different features. Others may find the T-slots to be more valuable than I did however, the milled face provided no apparent benefit in the end result of a cut.

That's good info, thanks. I guess by adding the VSCT extrusion I'd loose a couple of inches of rip capacity, as well as having to rejig the cursor. Just trying to find a more elegant way of attaching things like a tall fence or sacrificial fence.

 

5 hours ago, shaneymack said:

My experience has been the same except I have no issue with the big, swollen phallus. I've never found it to be in the way.

The default place for my saw is fairly close to the wall behind it, so whenever I move towards the right side of the table I have to be careful that the swollen red phallus doesn't hit me in the... well, phallus.

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"Just trying to find a more elegant way of attaching things like a tall fence or sacrificial fence."

I use these and just have a means to secure via holes in the fixture.

these

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I use them individually for stand offs or other things that do not have shear pressure. 

stand off block sm.jpg

I use a pair or more for sacrificial fences.  I don't have a pic of the tablesaw with dado and sac fence which is odd since that is my most common use (???).  The box-joint sac fence on the sled gives you the idea although I generally use 3/4" material which allow a 3/8" hole for the rod to drop into.

box joint sac fence 002.jpg

I have never had them move on me.  Ah, found a pic with the sac fence and dado setup.sac fence.JPG

These are pics from my old saw with a Bies but, they fit the Saw Stop fence the same way.

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Y'all just like to say "phallus."  Congratulations.

I used to use those clamps that GD has pictured until I realized they can (and do) kick out the bottom of your auxiliary fence and throw off your cut.  Then a few years ago I got a VSCT fence and never used them again.  The VSCT accepts t-bolts so you can secure a sac-fence perfectly flush in a few seconds.

I haven't had hands on experience with that many saws in my life...but the ones I did experience all had fences that sucked until VSCT...including Sawstop.  Biese clones are #1 on the most overrated tools list.

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1 hour ago, Eric. said:

Y'all just like to say "phallus."  Congratulations.

I used to use those clamps that GD has pictured until I realized they can (and do) kick out the bottom of your auxiliary fence and throw off your cut.  Then a few years ago I got a VSCT fence and never used them again.  The VSCT accepts t-bolts so you can secure a sac-fence perfectly flush in a few seconds.

I haven't had hands on experience with that many saws in my life...but the ones I did experience all had fences that sucked until VSCT...including Sawstop.  Biese clones are #1 on the most overrated tools list.

 

Well, learn a new word & I just gotta use it.

Never used a VSCT fence, but isn't it similar to a Biese, except that it has the extrusion instead of a square steel tube. Is the clamping mechanism on the VSCT that much better? Trying to decide if I need to get the whole VSCT fence, just the extrusion, or just stick with the T-Square fence I've got.

Gee-dub, have you had the bottoms tend to kick out as Eric has? That is the thing I was worried about with those clamps.

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While we're on the subject of phalli, make sure the red dong looking thingy is threaded all the way home. Just after a few weeks of use, I went to lock the fence and the thingy broke away from the last thread it was holding on by. I managed to chase the threads in both mating parts and then added some blue Loctite to secure it for future use

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14 hours ago, drzaius said:

Gee-dub, have you had the bottoms tend to kick out as Eric has? That is the thing I was worried about with those clamps.

I have not had that problem.  The clamps perform much as f-style clamps in that the pad has to be directly opposite the fixed portion.  Think of the same thing we do on purpose to make clamps pull boxes into square (kick one end or the other of the clamp out of line).  As always, different things work for different people and no one thing is right for everyone.

I can think of a few reasons why the bottom would kick out aside from misalignment; the board being clamped does not have parallel faces, the hole is not drilled parallel to the faces (you'll notice in this video that the holes are drilled with a drill press and fence, not free hand), the item being clamped to does not have parallel faces or the "L" hook could be bent out from 90*.  I guess there's more than a few :unsure:.

P.s.  I notice in the video that they optimistically show a single clamp used to hold a stop block for hand planing.  I do use it to hold a stand-off block for crosscutting on the tablesaw but, the block fits tightly against the table to prevent twisting.  With two clamps twisting is not a problem.

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The problem was that the part that goes into the hole (for want of the real term) was too short. So it would apply pressure to the top but not the bottom of the aux fence, hence kicking it out to one degree or another. Holes were drilled with DP and I typically used MDF.

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So far I've loved the fence. The red handle has never bothered me. I added the Jessem Clear Cut Guides (LINK) to it and use those for every cut that I can.

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45 minutes ago, ben_r_ said:

So far I've loved the fence. The red handle has never bothered me. I added the Jessem Clear Cut Guides (LINK) to it and use those for every cut that I can.

I came to the SS fence from a Bies. The handle on the Bies is much closer to straight down when engaged & almost straight up when released. The SS handle goes from just a little above horizontal to a little below & the magnet that holds it up is very weak. My saw is usually in pretty tight quarters so I'm constantly running into that handle.

But ya, that's a pretty small complaint. The fence is very good.

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