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Thread: HTC Multi Fence System for Saw - opinions?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Trinity County California

    Wink HTC Multi Fence System for Saw - opinions?

    I'm taking delivery of a 10" tablesaw with extension tables in about 5 weeks.
    It's a General and comes with a Biesemeyer fence. Should I exchange the Biesemeyer and get an HTC fence system instead?

    First, I have to talk the dealer into making the switch. The fences cost about the same, and I'm sure he can sell the Biese quickly.

    This would help me plan my newly built shop by shifting router duties over to the extension on the saw. I can do that with either fence, but the HTC offers:

    Micro adjusting
    A router fence attachment with DC
    Replaceable faces on the main fence

    I've already signed the check, so all this would be extra work. Is it worth it to give the machine dealer grief about this? Is the HTC equal to or better than the Biesemeyer it would replace? Will I end up with an equal or better router fence to, say, a Veritas or BenchDog?

    Gary Curtis

  2. #2

    Thanks for posting this - I have no answer to your questions but was planning on asking opinions on the same thing. Will be eagerly watching for replies. The Biesmeyer is not available in the UK.
    Last edited by Ian Barley; 11-09-2005 at 4:17 PM.

  3. #3
    i wouldn`t get rid of the bies. they`re the fence the others are copying for a reason. do you really need the "micro" feature? i had a vega pro fence once for about a week replaced it with a bies. never looked back sometimes gimmicks keep you from cutting wood.......... tod

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Trinity County California

    HTC Fence

    I hear you re: simplicity. In reality, I won't demand much from this router set up, I could make my own router fence using the Lee Valley parts.

    What is it about the Biese that gets people excited?


  5. #5
    the ability to lift it off the table, throw it accross the shop, jump up and down on it then put it back on and it`s still square. idiot-proof. that`s what i like. tod

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    San Diego, CA
    I've only had my Beisemeyer for a couple of months. I've found that it is easy enough to adjust in small increments. I just move it about where it should be, flip the lever down and up to square it, tap it into final location and flip the lever down.

    Smooth, heavy and square.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Hi Gary - I've only played with the HTC in stores a few times but have never used one for any period of time, so my vote shouldn't count. The accessories and features sound nice, but it's not all a free lunch. Not sure how much you'd end using the seems easier to just nudge them. Those replaceable UHMW plastic faces are more likely to have a little wave in them than the Biese's laminate faces....small issue at most though. Also FWIW, Wood picked the Biese 1st in the fence comparison...big deal right, but like I said...FWIW. I suspect you'll be happy with either, but I like my Biese alot and probably wouldn't bother to trade it.

    Enjoy that saw!
    Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    I bought the HTC fence, mounted it on my old Unisaw, and have been using it for three years or so. The review? Some good, some neutral, some bad....

    The microadjuster is genuinely useful for me. I make tenon cheek cuts on on the table saw. I just stand the workpiece on end, register it against the rip fence, and run it through. The microadjuster allows me to tune the tenon width easily.

    IMHO, UHMW faces are a poor design decision. Wood faces on a rip fence work just fine, and are lots less expensive. You also can make your own wood fences if you have an operation which requires a sacrificial fence.

    The fence I received was not straight. It turned out that the patented clips which HTC uses to connect the UHMW to the steel distorted the plastic. As delivered, the fence was unusable. My fix was to replace the plastic and the clips with wood faces screwed to the steel. The fence works well now.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Forest Hill, Maryland, USA
    A friend has the HTC fence and does not like it. He found that the replaceable faces are not flat and not perpendicular to the table and must be shimmed.

    He has since added a permanent baltic birch plywood fence to it so that he can have a flat reference.

    When he contacted HTC, they said it is common to have to shim the fence and that it says so in the manual.

    IMO - keep the Bies.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Anywhere it snows....
    The HTC has a micrometer adjust feature and I like the one I use. But mine is on a 1970s Martin so its a bit different.

    The HTC fence has all sorts of junk that you can add on. Here is the problem. They sell you the base fence for 5 bucks. Then, each time you add on, you have to go them and pay kazillon bucks for a plastic trinket to add on.

    All that shaper fence stuff looks expensive and I am not sure you really need all of that.

    Is the fence your getting a actual beismeyer or a general version of it? Both are excellent. Personally, if your not going to buy all those trinkets, just keep the beisie and move on.
    Had the dog not stopped to go to the bathroom, he would have caught the rabbit.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Grantham, New Hampshire
    I used to have a Vega Commercial fence with the micrometer feature. Hardly ever used it as it was more trouble than it was worth. I can nudge my present Bies fence within a couple of .001s with great repeatability. I use the scale on my rails and compare widths with a dial indicator and they are VERY close. I would go with the industry standard. BTW, the original Bies fences were actually manufacture by General, so they have the knowledge and experience to do it right.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Trinity County California

    Talking HTC Fence Options

    The experience level and analysis here at SMC is impressive. Thanks to you all.

    My questions stem from having no hands-on experience. In opting for a saw-top router, I'm trying to get machines "off the floor". But there's no reason for me to "finesse to death" about the rip fence since all my wood joints will be done on my wall-mounted WoodRat. I certainly don't need something as trick as a Jointech or Incra fence to true an edge.

    And hearing that the micro-adjust on the rip fence is overkill, I imagine that experience will make the "nudge&bump" method second nature to me.

    Thanks to you all. I just saved a few hundred dollars.

    Gary Curtis

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Blog Entries
    Rockler sells this doo-hicky but for the money; if I needed it, I'd make one.

    I see a cheapo HF clamp, a block of wood and some rare earth magnets.
    “The life so short, the craft so long to learn.” --Hippocrates

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Plymouth County, Massachusetts
    I have the Bies. and I use a plunge type indicator with a magnet on the back opposite the face. Put it against my fence~ move fence~ perfect cut.|

    Gary K.

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