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Biesemeyer clone

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  • Biesemeyer clone

    I'm posting this thread in response the the requests in this thread. I'm doing it this way so I could post the 56k warning, I don't need to be getting cursed by people I don't know!

    I have this table saw (or very similar) and didn't like the stock fence that came with it. It clamped both front and back which made it very rigid but which also meant it wouldn't square itself up as it was being clamped. I happened to be working in a place that had a Delta Unisaw with a true Biesemeyer fence. The Unisaw at least on the outside looks very much like the saw I have (though it is realistically much better than mine) so I was able to steal some good ideas on how to make my own fence.

    I'm not done my fence yet, it's fully functional as is but I was in a rush to get it operational so I jerry-rigged a clamping mechanism though I will implement probably something similar the the Biesemeyer cam-clamp mechanism. I also haven't got a measurement system on it yet, I use a steel rule to measure blade to fence distances. It's been over a year since I got this fence going so those inconveniences seem to be minor. I'll end up painting it.... someday.

    I'm not going to show a drawing with dimensions since that would be pointless unless you have the exact saw I have with the exact same steel stock, instead I'll show you what I did. You can easily scale this up or down based on what materials you have handy or can salvage. There really is no accuracy involved in making this providing you can drill two or more holes and make them line up so you can actually screw it together. You should be able to work out your dimensions on a scrap of paper pretty easily. This fence system has cost me ~$70, though that's Canadian pesos and most of the steel I got at MetalSupermarket, which is very convenient and they will cut the steel to size for you but you're gonna pay.

    Here's a couple shots of my TS and fence system sporting a shopfox mobile base (POS), a router table leaf and my slap'n'tack outfeed table plus some bracing of the same caliber.

    The angle is 2"x2"x1/4" and the tube steels is 2.5"x1.5"x3/16". I went heavy on the thickness of the steel so bolts had some meat to screw into and the extra rigidity doesn't hurt either. I took some time with some emery on a block to smooth out the top surface as well as the facing into the saw so the fence would slide smoothly instead of the surface of the raw steel. That 2" angle also works out very nicely to support the leafs and any extras you may want to add like a router table leaf. I used counter sunk 1/4" screws to attach it where it worked out that it would support those leafs. The counter sunk screws is a necessity so the fence doesn't get hung up while sliding.

    I also put angle iron on the back side. Has nothing to do with the fence but is used for the support of the leafs. I faced it in the other way but that required some extra trimming so it didn't interfere with the saw.

    The rectangle tube steel bolts on from underneath, maybe I went a bit overboard with bolts but they're cheap.

    I left 9/16" clearance between the tube and the angle, and the tube steel sits 3/4" below the table surface

    I used 1/4" thick steel for the angle that's attached to the fence, 1/8" for the brass runners that face the table saw and 1/4" teflon for slides. That angle iron is 16" wide (IIRC the real biesemeyer used 12"). The actual fence is a 36" long piece of 2"x3"x3/16" tube steel. Again I got thick wall stuff for extra to screw into. You wan't the sacrificial fence to ride a bit above the table, maybe not quite 1/6". So leave some slop in the holes that attach it to the steel fance so you can adjust it just right.

    Some pictures of the fence. I took the sacrificial fence off one side for clarity. again the steel that the locking bolt is in is only temporary so the whole thing is bolted together. I plan to weld it all together for better rigidity. If you're not going to weld it then I'd suggest drilling holed and punching in some roll pins through the angle, spacers, and fence after you bolt it all together to make sure the fence doesn't don't move off alignment on you.

    A good shot of the brass pieces that on the front of the rail. They are attached woth two bolts to keep them straight and the other end is pressed out a bit by a grub screw behind it to the fence only make contact with the rail in two small spots. These grub screws are adjusted to align the fence perfectly parallel with the blade. You can also see the block of teflon way at the end of the fence. HInt make it as wide as possible so it will glide over the miter slots easier.

    Here's the that grub screwin the lower left corner, you can also see the screws that hold on the brass. They were filed flush with the angle iron so they dont grab anything.

    I did a little experiment to test deflection. Here's the setup. The the locking bolt on the fence was snugged tight but certainly not as tight as I can make it.

    Pic of the dial gauge face.

    me pulling on the end of the 36" long fence with ~50 to 60lbs of force.

    That's ~0.011" deflection which is about 2 or 3 sheets of paper, you'll never see that in normal use.

    I probably missed something so if you have any questions fire away!

  • #2
    Re: Biesemeyer clone

    Now if I can make myself a router table that nice, I'll be sittin' pretty!!
    "HiFi doesn't come in bits and pieces"
    Economic Socialism is the liberty of owner/operated businesses that Princes of forced capitalism fear most.


    • #3
      Re: Biesemeyer clone

      Really, really nice!

      How did you align the tube attached to the angle (that the fence clamps onto) so it would be close to perpendicular to the balde?

      Are the holes in the bottom leg of the angle slotted a little?
      Jay T


      • #4
        Re: Biesemeyer clone

        Is your locking mechanism a screw? I.e. you have to screw it in to lock it instead of a cam?

        Anyway very nice .


        • #5
          Re: Biesemeyer clone

          Epic post is epic.

          I'm just that guy. Rock Solid.

          "It has been remarked that if one selects his own components, builds his own enclosure, and is convinced he has made a wise choice of design, then his own loudspeaker sounds better to him than does anyone else's loudspeaker. In this case, the frequency response of the loudspeaker seems to play only a minor part in forming a person's opinion."

          L.L. Beranek, Acoustics (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1954), p.208.


          • #6
            Re: Biesemeyer clone

            Jay, I used a carpenters square to align the tube steel for the fence to the angle. You only need to be close and this joint needs to be as rigid as possible. The brass slides that are on the inside of that angle that clamp against the rail will flex when pushed from the backside by the grub screw. This is how fine adjustments are made. Here's a close-up of that brass piece after I have adjusted it square, you can see that only the very edge of the brass wears since it is (should be) the only contact point. You only want three small points aligning the fence, the two very tips of the brass pieces and the locking screw.

            eyekode, you are correct. I stole that screw handle off of a drill press, it was originally used to clamp the table. you could probably use something like this, it doesn't take much pressure to lock it down.


            • #7
              Re: Biesemeyer clone

              Here's a couple pics of it on the table, since I forgot to add these.


              • #8
                Re: Biesemeyer clone

                Thanks Ryan, I thought the jack-screws behind the brass pads would do most of the alignment duty, just wasn't sure how critical the initial alignment of the rail-tube was.

                Once again, super work, and great execution!
                Jay T


                • #9
                  Re: Biesemeyer clone

                  The closer you get it to square the less cock-eyed the angle will ride on the rail so its worth it to be somewhat accurate if not just for cosmetics.


                  • #10
                    Re: Biesemeyer clone

                    I want one... drool.......... KILLER SETUP!!
                    My modest builds:
                    Armadillo TM, A.K.A. Lil' Dillo
                    Tarkus/Armadillo build #2
                    Armadillo Center Channel
                    Au-Rock-O Sub
                    Staining MDF tutorial


                    • #11
                      Ryan, I know this is a very old thread but I'm interested in your fence from the description above. I guess PE has dropped the embedded photos. Any chance you could re-post the photos? thanks


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dwigle View Post
                        Ryan, I know this is a very old thread but I'm interested in your fence from the description above. I guess PE has dropped the embedded photos. Any chance you could re-post the photos? thanks
                        Google found another one. See attached.

                        "Our Nation’s interests are best served by fostering a peaceful global system comprised
                        of interdependent networks of trade, finance, information, law, people and governance."
                        - from the October 2007 U.S. Naval capstone doctrine
                        A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower
                        (a lofty notion since removed in the March 2015 revision)


                        • #13
                          That's fantastic, I've looked extensively, apparently not in the right corner of google! thanks