Biesemeyer fence reface...(and a little rant) - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-30-2013, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Biesemeyer fence reface...(and a little rant)

Let me preface this by saying it is partially a rant and partially to hopefully save a little frustration for those planning to reface their Biesemeyer fence extrusion. Long story as short as possible...I had a lot of trouble with the Biesemeyer fences when I first bought my Unisaw a few years ago and Delta ended up giving me a fence from the new version Unisaw.
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f24/n...-unisaw-13654/
I was very impressed with this fence however I felt some of the procedures I now do repetitively would benefit from the Unifence so I bought one of those and sold the Biesemeyer. Turns out it wasn't the greatest idea so I decided to buy the newer version Biesemeyer again. First thing I found was there is now a "type 2" which no longer has the aluminum guide tube nor the nicer locking mechanism as shown in my thread above (the type 2 is virtually the same as the original steel tube design just painted black). I preferred the aluminum guide tube of the type 1 so I actually tracked one down even though it had been discontinued and I also tracked down the fence head/extrusion with the nicer locking mechanism. As soon as I opened the box with the extrusion I saw the laminate was peeling on the corner of the left face and subsequent checking showed numerous bubbles in the laminate on both faces so I thought oh crap here we go again! I called to have it replaced however they did not have any more type 1's so I returned it and ended up finding one at another place. Before ordering from them I emailed my concerns due to all the trouble I previously had and asked if they would open the box to check the fence before sending. They said they would and emailed before sending to confirm that the new one was fine. I received the fence and sure enough there was a small bubble however I decided this time I would just reface it myself since I already had the material to do it. I finally got around to starting the reface this past weekend and was surprised at the crap I found (I guess I should have checked it more closely when I received it!)

First thing you can see here is rough edges around the bottom of the laminate where I cut myself while removing it from the box...



Once I removed the laminate (using a heat gun) I found the source of the small bubble which was a blob of glue...



Here you'll notice the plywood is held on with self tapping screws and the face appears to have been ground "flat" before the laminate was applied...



After removing the plywood I saw why the face was ground flat after it had been attached which was the screws had been torqued pretty hard causing "mounds" to form around the holes and probably not leaving the face flat (this pic is actually after I tapped the mounds down with a punch and re-threaded the holes for machine screws).



After seeing this I realized why I had read where numerous people ended up using tape etc as shims when refacing their fences to get it flat so I figured I would remedy this by countersinking the back side of the holes in the new face.



After attaching the new face I found it was still not flat and actually had a "twist" in it. After checking the tubing with a straight edge and winding sticks I saw that it was OK however I noticed something while sighting down the sticks. If you look to the left of the first picture just below the cursor you can see the crappy weld grinding job that left that area proud of the flat surface and caused the twist in the new face. I solved this by just sanding a bit on the back bottom edge of the new face instead of trying to grind the metal. After looking more closely at everything I could see the crappy welding and grinding all over as well as dents etc (you'll also notice in the second picture that the 1/4" bolt on top was too short to even contact the nylon in the self locking nut so I had to replace that)..





So, everything is fine now you say?! Well not quite since when I went to install the handle I could not get the bolt started in the threads and after removing the collar this is what I found..





I fixed this by just drilling the hole in the collar a little larger and I'm waiting on the new t molding before I finish this up and will post that application asap.

Now the ironic part, on top of everything else they even put the decal on backwards ! (edit: I just saw the current "stock" photo actually shows the decal backwards while every other fence on the market including their own in older photos and the owners manual shows it the other way!)



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post #2 of 13 Old 12-30-2013, 06:35 PM
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Go to askwoodman of YouTube and watch his make your own beisemeyer fence and see if you could forget all the bad crap you were sent and use some of the parts and add a dead straight beautiful aluminum extrusion fence on instead and just scrap all that other frustrations. I totally had it with my beisemeyer and decided to build mine from scratch it's actually been a fun challenging process
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-30-2013, 06:43 PM
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The laminate face was pretty poor on my fence as well. I had no problem getting a replacement face from my tool supplier but decided to go with a UHMW plastic face instead. That's interesting to hear that they switched back to the steel guide tube.

I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. Cheap prices make for cheap goods; cheap goods make for cheap men; and cheap men make for a cheap country. ~ William McKinley
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-31-2013, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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I've seen that askwoodman fence and also the VerySuperCool Tool fence but decided to go back to what had previously worked well. Also, I had initially planned to use UHMW however a lot of the threads I read stated it was not consistent in thickness causing the need for shims etc. After tearing this down I now believe their troubles may have been caused by the issues I found so I may try it.
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-31-2013, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.C.
The laminate face was pretty poor on my fence as well. I had no problem getting a replacement face from my tool supplier but decided to go with a UHMW plastic face instead. That's interesting to hear that they switched back to the steel guide tube.
How did you get the UHMW attached to the fence?

Al

Nails only hold themselves.


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post #6 of 13 Old 08-09-2014, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al B Thayer View Post
How did you get the UHMW attached to the fence?

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
Finally added the UHMW to mine Al using the same basic technique I used for the plywood however I used cabinet connector bolts with a larger head to keep the plastic from distorting when tightened.

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post #7 of 13 Old 08-09-2014, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al B Thayer View Post
How did you get the UHMW attached to the fence?

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
Sorry, I missed your post. Just used 10-32x1" flat head machine screws. IIRC, I used the old fence as a template and used the original holes. Just had to run a tap threw them.

I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. Cheap prices make for cheap goods; cheap goods make for cheap men; and cheap men make for a cheap country. ~ William McKinley
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-09-2014, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv View Post
Also, I had initially planned to use UHMW however a lot of the threads I read stated it was not consistent in thickness causing the need for shims etc.
The UHMW I used only varied by a couple thousands at most. I'm not sure how if that varies depending on the manufacturer or all brands are the same.

I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. Cheap prices make for cheap goods; cheap goods make for cheap men; and cheap men make for a cheap country. ~ William McKinley
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-09-2014, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by J.C. View Post
The UHMW I used only varied by a couple thousands at most. I'm not sure how if that varies depending on the manufacturer or all brands are the same.
After taking the fence apart and seeing the crappy quality I figured the problems others had may have actually been issues with the fence not being flat/square etc. The UHMW I bought (from Peach Tree Woodworking) was very consistent however I did need to use a strip of tape as a shim to square the face to the table since the angle iron that fits over the front tube is not square to the face of the fence extrusion and there is no adjustment like on some of the clones.
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-10-2014, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv View Post
I did need to use a strip of tape as a shim to square the face to the table since the angle iron that fits over the front tube is not square to the face of the fence extrusion and there is no adjustment like on some of the clones.
When Lowes was giving away Biesemeyer fence kits for $50, I bought a few of them. One of the fences had the problem of the face not being at 90 degrees to the table. I called Biesemeyer and without even asking me where I bought it, or asking for proof of purchase, she offered to send me a new one. No need to send the old one back!
Turned out it was a day or so, before they were closing the facility she worked at. Lost her job. Might as well give away the farm! Worked for me!
I do like the adjustment for face to table alignment, that my Jet Exacta fence has.
I have a used Bies fence that has a smile on one fence. I had thought of refacing it before selling it, but after reading these posts, think I will just fill with bondo and sand.
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post #11 of 13 Old 08-10-2014, 10:21 AM
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To buy a Biesemeyer fence and then go thru all that to make it right and true, is just ridiculous. My INCRA fence system, after installing and tuning, has never given me any problems. Just my $.02 worth.
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post #12 of 13 Old 08-10-2014, 12:42 PM
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Wow, this is an object lesson in how to trash a stellar brand by losing sight of the reason it got there in the first place.
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post #13 of 13 Old 08-11-2014, 09:40 AM
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"Originally Posted by Marv View Post
I did need to use a strip of tape as a shim to square the face to the table since the angle iron that fits over the front tube is not square to the face of the fence extrusion and there is no adjustment like on some of the clones."

Stella brands need tape to finally make the fence true to the table. I'll be sure to remember that WHEN & IF I ever buy that Stella Brand fence.
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