Sears "Align-A-Rip" vs "Exact-I-Rip" vs "True-Rip" fences.
Ok, I'm swinging for the fences here with my in progress rebuild of an amalgam of Sears table saws, and fences deserve a topic of their own.
Fence budget is $140, only because I know that I can get the Sears Align-A-Rip for $119 plus shipping brand new.
The issue is, sometimes "newer" does not mean "better".
And one cannot trust the photos that massive retailers like Sears use to describe their products. Some retailers come right out and say "photo may not be exact, but is similar to what you will receive". So basically, I'm better off buying on Craigslist than brand new, because at least I'll be able to see EXACTLY what I'm getting in a fence, in terms of the length of the rails, the profile of the extrusion, the girth of the fence box, width of the squaring T, the type of lock down, etc.
I have access to a used Exact-I-Rip fence, and in researching that, I came to understand, from a member of WWT in an archived post, that the Align-A-Rip is supposed to be an improved evolution of the discontinued Exact-I-Rip (which itself supplanted the earlier King Seely era "True-Rip". But the same poster said that at the same time Sears introduced the Align-A-Rip, Sears was moving all production to China... something to that effect. I've since lost the post, having too many windows open at once, closing a few down to reduce the tabs. Hopefully that member will see this post and pipe in to clarify.
In the meantime, if you have had any experience with, or have accumulated general impressions about, either of theses Sears special fences, please share your opinion. I've google searched photos of these fences, and even within each marketing name, their are evolutionary differences in the details. I'm not sure how to correlate the visual differences I observe with meaningful functional differences in action. Another member of WWT said this of Sears quite succinctly: "They offered exclusive features no other company offered (because no experienced user needed them) to sucker neophytes into selecting Sears branded equipment". Think radial saws with digital readout scales. Or table saws with flex drives. Gadgets that turned out to be gimmicks and gaffaws.
One letter back from G is F.. for failure. But looking forward, to fences... what say you? Not going to drop $300 to fence what at best will amount to be a $100 Sears saw. I want to try and maintain the Sears vintage and brand, but use the best of what they had to offer (that actually worked, not just seemed like a good idea). I see that orange box store now has the Delta T 30 inch on sale for $179.... tantalizingly close to my established fence budget, but all the re-drilling into the rails or the table or the wings doesn't appeal to me for this project. I would prefer a bolt up solution with the holes already in the right place.
What has the latest thinking evolved to now on the best fence solutions for the Craftsman 113.****** series 27" deep cast iron splayed leg table saw?