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Something old, something new

So, while it was a tough decision to get rid of the old tablesaw and spring for a new one, I’ve decided that I will keep one memento. I’ll be switching out the fence for the Biesemeyer that was attached to the old saw. In most cases, the fence makes the saw, and I think this will be an improvement here. The fence on this saw has a bit of flex in it. To make up for it, they’ve added a rear locking mechanism, but that’s a bit less convenience than I’m accustomed to. Plus it is in the split-rail style that has become popular among the home center set. Great for shipping purposes. Not overly useful for my purposes.

But while I was in the process, I decided to make some repairs on the fence that were nagging at me. The corner of the fence nearest the operator was beginning to delaminate and some of the plywood plys had begun to work loose and splinter away. It was quickly throwing a good fence out of square. Time to replace the fence board.

Tablesaw Fence Board Replacement 1

First, peel the formica from the plywood face. Since I already had a corner coming up, I carefully worked a paint scraper under, then used a wedge to keep pressure on it. Pretty soon, the wedge alone was enough to take off the entire sheet of formica (minus a few little pieces that needed persuading).

Tablesaw Fence Board Replacement 2

That exposes the bolts that hold the fence to the steel tube. A simple task to remove those.

At this point, one could use the old fence board as a router template to easily replicate it. I went another route. I’ll be making the fence a little higher and adding some t-track for featherboards and whatnot. I used the holes on the old board for layout.

Tablesaw Fence Board Replacement 3

In need of some laminate scraps, I scurried down to the neighborhood Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  If you’ve not been to your local ReStore, you’re in for a nice surprise. Stocked by donations of surplus building materials from contractors, building centers, demolition crews, and citizens, ReStore proceeds go to help local Habitat affiliates fund housing projects.

I found a very large roll of formica scraps for $15. (and that was the expensive bundle.) I won’t lack for jig laminate for decades.

Tablesaw Fence Board Replacement 4

Of course a lot of the formica was pink (“salmon,” my wife says), but in carefully unrolling the bundle, I found one small scrap of dark, manly gray. After attaching the board to the fence, I applied the formica:

Tablesaw Fence Board Replacement 5

Then trimmed the excess with a flush trim bit and added the t-track.

Tablesaw Fence Board Replacement 6

I removed the OEM fence:

Tablesaw Fence Board Replacement 7

… took the opportunity to polish and protect the top …

Tablesaw Fence Board Replacement 8

… and voila! A restored Biesemeyer fence. An inexpensive fix on a classic fence that, in my opinion, greatly improves this new saw. And I get to hang on to a bit of my shop’s history.

Tablesaw Fence Board Replacement 9

2 Responses to “Something old, something new”

  1. I’m really glad I discovered this article. It gave me the confidence to take mine apart. You never know what article might help someone else.

  2. Yes you can overbuild it as much as you would like. I need to write this guy and tell him to build a band saw and a scroll saw… pretty much all I need to round out the shop

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