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Thread: Table Saw Fence Wheel?

  1. #1
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    Table Saw Fence Wheel?

    I am considering putting a wheel on the far end of my SS PCS fence to raise it just a bit off the table.

    Anybody tried it? Pro's/Cons? It looks like it should ride really smooth on the back rail of the Beis. clone fence.

    Right now the front edge of the fence is about 1/16" above the table and the back rides on the table.

    Years ago this was popular on certain saws, but I haven't seen it used lately. Looks like it would be dirt simple to try.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  2. #2
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    Rick, the sentence in your post that concerns me is: "Right now the front edge of the fence is about 1/16" above the table and the back rides on the table". IMHO, that's too far off the table. Properly adjusted, the fence should be "almost touching" the table.

    That said I see no major harm in supporting the rear of the fence like you ask about unless there's even a small amount of binding that might throw off the fence alignment in the wrong (dangerous) direction when you clamp it down at the setting you want. That's a challenge that put a lot of the old fences that were supported front and back out of the market, I believe. So you'd have to get the engineering right. But it's not necessary...a simple HDPE glide pad on the bottom allows for easy movement on these tee-square fences. Personally, I wouldn't bother. The fence on the PCS I have in my temporary shop moves almost too easy, honestly...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
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    Rick, i have an older Martin table saw that utilizes two small bearings for the rip fence. One near the front rail and one near the far end of the fence. It glides very smoothly, and its a shame more table saw manufacturers do not utilize a similar design. The bearings probably cost $8 combined. On my other fences: VSCT, biesemeyer, unifence, and felder, i found them all to be pretty smooth if i waxed the cast iron table where the fence pads contacted. They are not as smooth as the old Martin's rip fence.

  4. #4
    The fence is designed to ride on the table. There are glide strips underneath.

    Sounds to me like it needs to be levelled.

  5. #5
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    I am wondering what benefits do you you envision from doing this? What problems are you having with the present setup? My SS PCS fence has about a 1/32 gap along its length and slides very smoothly.

  6. #6
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    The Delta T fence which is a clone of the Beisemeyer has a glide that rides on the rear fence rail angle iron (which is mounted with the horizontal leg on top). I think it is an improvement over the glides that ride on the table and on my new (to me) Beisemeyer I've removed the glides which ride on the table (one was already missing) and replaced them with a glide that rides on the rear rail. Can't think of any reason why having the glides ride on the table would be a better design.
    The glides that ride on the front tube were also missing and previously replaced by steel bolts, I replaced the steel bolts with nylon bolts which can be adjusted to set the fence a paper thickness off the table, the rear glide is shimmed also so the fence is a paper thickness off all the way.
    I can post pics if requested.

  7. #7
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    A glide is easier to design and simpler to make it so it goes smoothly over a mitre gauge slot, screw head etc. When I got my saw the unifence had the bolt but the pad was missing. I made one out of some scrap trex. Rounded the leading and trailing edges a bit, countersunk the bolt head, done.
    Bill D.

  8. #8
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    Not mine but the same idea.
    Capture.JPG
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  9. #9
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    I mounted a wheel on my Unisaw Beisemeyer fence that rides on the rear angle iron similar to that shown by Glenn.
    It works terrific! I'd highly recommend it.
    I attached it with hot glue thinking it would be easy to remove (it is - I accidentally hit it when removing the fence once - and just as quickly re-hot glued it). I thought I would drill and tap it if I liked it but it works so well as is I've not bothered.

    I originally did this because I was getting marks on my cast iron table from the rear glide. The wheel support works much better than the glide.

    I also posted on this forum asking about it. I found it interesting that I got a number of negative comments about how it wouldn't work. Clearly those were wrong. I don't recall exactly when I did this but I'm sure at least 6 months. I could look back through my old posts on here but it doesn't matter - it works great.

  10. #10
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    I appreciate the comments guys. Perhaps I should have given a bit more info.

    My Beis clone fence is heavy to start with, and I have added the Jessem table saw guides to it, plus it normally carries a couple push sticks and shims along for the ride. It slides ok, but is pretty heavy.

    I will wax the saw table as suggested. I have not done that for a couple years...no real rust problem here.

    I measured the gap under the front of the fence by sliding a Formica scrap under like a feeler gage. It was 5/128ths (.99-1.03 MM) as close as I could measure it. no where near my guestimate of 1/16. I did find the fence was barely off of square, and fixed it by adjusting one plastic glide nut by 1/8 of a turn. I also found that the fence face was just a bit off of being flat at the far end, but it fades outward, so I am OK with that.

    The gap under the rear of the fence is just slightly tighter than the front, so it is not dragging.

    When I move the fence, it always cocks just a bit, maybe 1/4" at the far end, and I always pull it back with the handle before locking it down to ensure it is against both plastic guides. It always locks down straight, but if I don't take out the slack It will need a slight readjustment. That is easily fixed by adjusting both screws to a tighter tolerance, but I haven't done that because I suspect it may make it harder to move. I also suspect I might be wrong about that.

    That is why I am thinking about a wheel, just like the pic Glenn posted.

    Eric posted good results with his, I think I might just try it. I can always take it off.

    Thanks again, lots of good answers here.

    PS: Thanks also for putting up with all my crazy ideas. Some are pretty off the wall, but hey...even a blind squirrel gets an acorn now and then.
    Last edited by Rick Potter; 09-30-2021 at 3:49 AM.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Potter View Post

    When I move the fence, it always cocks just a bit, maybe 1/4" at the far end, and I always pull it back with the handle before locking it down to ensure it is against both plastic guides. It always locks down straight, but if I don't take out the slack It will need a slight readjustment. That is easily fixed by adjusting both screws to a tighter tolerance, but I haven't done that because I suspect it may make it harder to move. I also suspect I might be wrong about that.
    I have always found this to be true of the "tee square" type fence including the one on the PCS I'm currently using in my temporary shop.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #12
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    Rick I also have the JessEm stock guides mounted on a oak board with Magswitches.

    Also, it's easy enough to try and very cheap. Not much at risk to give it a try.

    Unisaw Router Table Pic.jpg

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Arnsdorff View Post
    Rick I also have the JessEm stock guides mounted on a oak board with Magswitches.

    Also, it's easy enough to try and very cheap. Not much at risk to give it a try.

    Unisaw Router Table Pic.jpg
    Eric,
    I see that you have the same fence DRO as I have. Mine switches on any time I move the fence and that runs the batteries down. Do you have the same problem?

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