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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-07-2010, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Default New Table Saw Fence

Hello All,
As mentioned in the safety thread, I ordered a Delta T2 36-T30 fence system for my 25 year old Craftsman Contractor saw. I bought the saw for $100 via craigslist earlier this year, and overall have been happy with the saw, except the fence was stock and it was shot. (I had no expectations at getting an older table saw with a good fence at the time of purchase) As much as I would have liked a Bies or Incra fence, the T2 @ $155 (that is including shipping) it seemed like a smarter purchase for the saw.

I took a few pictures along the way of installation, as there are a few obvious challenges of getting a Delta fence to fit on a Craftsman table saw. I am going to break this down over a few posts so that I can better explain each step.

The first picture is the before picture. As you can see the fence would only go right of the blade. Honestly it wasn't that big of a limitation, but there are times when having the fence to the left of the blade is usefull. Also the power switch points down towards the floor, which can make it hard to get to when trying to turn the saw off. The second picture has all the T2 Fence parts layed out for inspection.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-07-2010, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Default Part 2 - Demolition

Before I could go any further I had to remove the old fence. Despite the bolts for the old fence rails being a little rusty, they came out fairly easily. I found however that the wings had bolts that had rounded heads that needed to come out as well, otherwise the angle irons for the new fence would not be able to sit flush to the TS. Out 9 of these bolts 1 came out easily. Using some WD-40 and slotting the bolt heads with the dremel, I was able to get 6 more out. The last two..... Well they were a bit stubborn. The picture speaks for itself as to what it took to get those suckers out. (Fear not, none of theses tools were used anywhere near the cast iron table.... yet)
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-07-2010, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Default Part 3 - Planning

So, if this had been a Delta table saw, this fence would have very easily bolted up to the saw. However, since the saw is a Craftsman, none of the holes in the saw lined up with the holes in the angle iron. I could potentially use the closest matching hole, but the tape measure would be about an inch off. So I need to drill some holes. But before I do that, I need to figure out where. First thing I did was put the blade up so that it was taller than the new fence, and then placed the fence right against the blade. Looking at the indicator line on the fence told me where there rail needed to line up so zero would be reasonably accure. I marked that on the saw using a red china pen. I then attached the tube rail to the angle as it would be on the final installation, and the lined up zero on tape measure. Using my combo square, I used my red china pen to mark where I needed to drill.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-07-2010, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Default Part 4 - Drill baby drill!

So in much of the research I had done, most folks used a drill press to drill the new holes into the angle iron, thus revoking the warranty of the fence. My plan was to do this as well. I did test the functional parts of the fence to make sure it clamped down, and inspected every part to make sure I wouldn't be burned by not having the warranty. I quickly discovered that my small bench top drill press was not up to the task of safely drilling the holes, plus I was risking damaging the angle iron.

After thinking through and remember that the table saw itself hasn't been under warrenty in over 20 years, and I can easily replace it via another craigslist purchase should I damage it beyond repair for less than the fence itself, I made the decision to drill through the approximately 1/4" thick cast iron. While I did not come to this decision lightly, I figured I could use a jig to more accurately and more safely get the holes I needed. The other benefit was I was able to use the specialized screws that came with the fence for a more solid fit. I made a drilling guide using a scrap piece of hardwood. The width was about 1.5" close to the width of the front of the saw. I marked as best I could where the hole should be on the guide, and drilled the guide hole using the drill press. From there I used trial and error until I was able to drill a hole that I could stick a bolt through to a whole in the saw, and the tops would be flush. You can see in the picture where I marked the successfull one. I then lined up the hole to the red mark on the table and clamped it down good and tight.

You will also note in the picture the bottle of machine oil. I coated the drill with the oil before I started to drilling, and several times during drilling. After taking a good deep breath, I started to drill. The first hole took about 5 minutes to cut through. Now, this is the first time I have drilled through cast iron. I was therefore taken by quite the surprise when the drill bit finally cut all the way through, and instead of sliding further in like normally happens, the bit caught in the cast iron, yanking the drill out my hands. I was very fortunate that I did not get hit by anything, and nor did the drill or bit break in this process. The second hole I drilled took quite a bit longer to drill as I was concerend about the samething happening with worse results. I did discover that just before punching through there is a lot more vibrartion which is a warning to slow way down. I was able to drill through this time without incident. For the back rail, I decided it was best to use one existing hole and only have to drill one more hole. With the difference being only one inch I was not really loosing anything by having both rails being lined up. The third and final hole I was able to drill the quickest, and was able to drill through without incident.

The second pic shows one of the newly drilled holes.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-07-2010, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Default Part 5 - Final installation

I didn't take any further pictures during the install process, except for the final product (as shown) as from this point the installation was exactly as described in the manual and it went in fairly quickly. Much of the time spent was with tuning the fence. Which I did even further the next morning as well, until I was happy with the setup.

One unexpected benefit was the power switch placement. It no longer faces down, but instead faces up. I did move out a little bit further I was fearful I would accidently turn the saw off mid cut by leaning into it. However the bracket mounted right onto the angle iron by using one of the bolts that hold the tube rail to the saw.

For the cost of this fence (being less than half of many of the popular high-end fences) I was really impressed with the feel of it. It glides over the rails with very little force, despite it being fairly heavy. The measurement guide is very easy to line up, and leaves very little doubt to the accuracy of the cut. Finally, since it use a similar clamping mechanism to the Bies, it ALWAYS locks down square. Even though the saw itself is 25 years old, this upgrade has made the saw feel like it is new. All said, I am very happy with the end result, I had fun installing it, and I am having even more fun using it!
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-08-2010, 12:21 PM
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Thats a great fence btw ,I have it mounted on my Ridgid 4511
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-08-2010, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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I am finding that it is as well too. It really gives a lot more confidence in the tool know that it has made the saw more accurate and more safe to use.

It is making it tempting to put a router table wing on my saw, rather than building a free-standing one.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-08-2010, 09:38 PM
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I contemplated that for a while as well but decided against it as I already have a router table. If I didn,t I woould still prolly get a router table tho
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-03-2010, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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After a couple months of useage, the new fence is working out great! One issue I noticed immediately was after removing some of the bolts from the wings to make the new rails fit, the wings were no longer stable. Plus with the longer rails, I felt like I was missing out on additional work area. So to the solve that problem I made two new wings. The left wing is roughly the same size as the old wing, while the right wing takes full advantage of the new rails. The first pic shows the wings installed on the TS.

Construction was very straight forward. The second pic, while fuzzy, should give an idea of how it is constructed. The bulk of each wing is two pieces of 3/4" mdf laminated together to make a surface that was 1 1/2" thick. Notice all the screws on the bottom. Before any glue touched the MDF, I predrilled and prescrewed each screw to make the pieces lined up properly, and to make sure that the top piece didn't lift away from the bottom during glue-up. After glue-up came the edge banding. The edge banding serves two purposes here. First it makes a clean looking edge. Second, and much more importantly, it provides the structure to bolt the wings to the saw and rails. I intentionally made the edge banding wider than 1.5" and initially attached them proud of the top surface. I only attached two bands at a time using glue and nails. Once each two bands were attached and the glue was dry, I took a flush trim bit on the router to the edge band to make sure they were dead flush with the mdf surface. After completing the edge banding, I covered the top of each wing with a sheet of Formica, using contact glue and a j-roller.

Finally came time for installation, and this was actually the most time consuming part of the project. After getting a wing lined up as close as possible, I would mark the two outter bolt holes. I then drilled the through hole. If you look in the picture around the edge you will see large holes in the bottom. These were drilled using a forstner bit, and then using a chisle and hammer, made a flat surface for the nut & washer to bite into. After cutting each of these (8 in all) a lot of time was spent with lining up with wings. This included widening the through holes with a rasp, tightening and loosening bolts, and finally some brute force with the rubber mallet. After finally getting everything even, I did a finally check to make sure all the bolts were good and tight.

I may still yet further utlizile the space on the right side of the table saw. It is still very possible drop a router on the larger wing, but with the T-Square fence, the starting edge of the fence for the router will be on the opposite end of where the fence clamps down. I am thinking more along the lines of putting a couple legs on it and put a small storage unit on it. That however is a future project!
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 11:46 PM
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Default T-square fence interchangable?

Whqt size is the guide tube on your T30 fence? I'm wondering if all T-square type fences are interchangable regardless of guide tube. I have a Steel City contractor saw and want to swap the original T-square fence with Delta T30 fence or Jet ProShop fence.
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