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Thread: Uh Oh! T-fence is wonky - how to vertically realign?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Uh Oh! T-fence is wonky - how to vertically realign?

    Hey all,
    My recent purchase of a GI 50-175 has been interesting. While it's been great to use, last week it was some blade run out that was thankfully caused by some rust on the arbour plate..

    This time though, I'm afraid it's going to be a bit more complicated. I never actually measured the General-T (Beisemeyer copy) fence for vertical squareness, assuming that since this can't actually be adjusted, that it would be correct from the factory. After ripping the faces of a few 3" wide boards, I noticed there was an issue... the fence actually seems to have a "twist" to it..

    At the very start of the fence, it is square to the TS top.. by the time it gets to the back end of the fence, it is off by a few degrees.


    I'm guessing this isn't something General would swap out for free is it?

    My only plan of attack right now is to attempt to peel the laminate on the fence off (heat gun?) so I can unbolt it and then try to shim it, and reattach the laminate.

    Has anybody else had this issue, how did you solve it?

    Thanks again for your help with my can of worms saw.

    Mike

  2. #2
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    Steve Morris

    Default Re: Uh Oh! T-fence is wonky - how to vertically realign?

    i'm not familiar with that fence so im going to assume its an aluminum extrusion with bolted on laminated particle board for a facing

    i would definetly remove the facing and check the aluminum bar for square. you mentioned rust on the arbour, maybe the fence got wet too.

    if the aluminum is straight and square, just install a new facing. id use a piece of quarter sawn, jointed and planed hardwood. use carefully countersunk machine screws into drilled and tapped holes in the aluminum fence. shim as needed while tightening the screws
    my shop is a beaver lodge
    steve, sarnia, ont

  3. #3
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    Ted

    Default Re: Uh Oh! T-fence is wonky - how to vertically realign?

    If the fence is off by a few mm away from the blade this might not be a bad thing. Many adjust their fences this way. When the wood is ripped it rides on the spltter/riven knife and the blade not the fence as it goes through, thus preventing binding. If it's too far off, is there adjustment on the fence. If it is twisted I would contact my retailer for a replacement.
    When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  4. #4
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    Mike

    Default Re: Uh Oh! T-fence is wonky - how to vertically realign?

    You said you recently purchased it. Was it new from a dealer or used from an individual. If new, I'm curious on how there was rust on the arbor plate so quickly?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Uh Oh! T-fence is wonky - how to vertically realign?

    The saw was bought used, see here http://forum.canadianwoodworking.com...-T.S.-Opinions

    The main fence is a steel tube with two boards on either side.

    fence.jpg

    If it is twisted it was likely dropped or hit. You may be able to correct it once the boards are removed. Place the far end in a vise (or clamp to the bench) and twist it to see if you can reduce or eliminate the twist.

    Possibly easier would be to shim or make a new board that accounts for the twist.

    AK
    Last edited by Andrew_K99; 06-25-2012 at 10:28 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Uh Oh! T-fence is wonky - how to vertically realign?

    If the twist is behind the blade it won't matter much at all.
    "Do it Right!"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Uh Oh! T-fence is wonky - how to vertically realign?

    If it were twisted, the board would slowly rise from the table at the far end. Seems like a gentle twist in the opposite direction might straighten it, especially if it tubular inside insteaded of an extruded support.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Uh Oh! T-fence is wonky - how to vertically realign?

    I don't own the General T-fence, but I believe it's similar to mine in that the laminate board is attached to the fence tube by bolts at each end. You can remove them by taking off the endcaps and reaching inside the tube -- no heat gun needed. Assuming the tube is OK you can replace the laminate with umhw or whatever. If the tube is only slightly off you can compensate by shimming or shaving the new board.
    Jim

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Uh Oh! T-fence is wonky - how to vertically realign?

    It is highly unlikely that the fence itself is twisted. Unless it was dropped really hard or abused somehow. I am thinking that more than likely it is the fence board that may have been damaged or possibly was allowed to get wet sometime and has a slight warp now.

    Replace the fence board first and see what you have before you replace the laminate on the fence board. If the steel fence itself is truly twisted you might be able to plane the fence board straight before installing the laminate.

    Once it is true it will stay that way. There are easy adjustments to make sure the fence is running parrellel. The other thing to check is the plastic feet witch ride between the fence and the tube. If one is missing or worn out it would also cause a bit of an alignment issue.

    Good luck

    Cole Moore
    Canadian Woodworker Ltd

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Uh Oh! T-fence is wonky - how to vertically realign?

    Hi all, just wanted to update this tread.

    The wood fence boards are fine, so it appears the problem is with the metal part of the fence itself. Which is unfortunate, because it was either like this from the factory (unlikely) or the fence to a substantial blow at some time before I bought it second hand.

    I emailed General and a replacement fence fully assembled is around $270, while the metal frame only is a bit more reasonable at $150. Until I can get some money together, I will try to remove the arborite laminate with a heatgun, detach the fence board and try to reattach it while shimming it perpendicular.

    Thanks for all the help on this thread. The T fence design is a beauty, and I love it. Shame that someone mucked it up, and now I've learned my lesson to check for this sort of thing when buying a second hand piece of equipment.

    Mike

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Uh Oh! T-fence is wonky - how to vertically realign?

    Before you try removing the laminate, try tapping the aux face with a mallet and see if it moves. I believe the aux fence is attached in key hole slots so you should be able tap it off once you get it moving in the right direction.
    J.P. Rap Mount Hope Ont.
    Carpe Ductum (Seize The Tape)


    "In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. Elwood P. Dowd

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Uh Oh! T-fence is wonky - how to vertically realign?

    Quote Originally Posted by J.P. Rap View Post
    Before you try removing the laminate, try tapping the aux face with a mallet and see if it moves. I believe the aux fence is attached in key hole slots so you should be able tap it off once you get it moving in the right direction.
    Thanks JP, this would be very helpful if that was the case! General actually said to remove the laminate, but I'll try some tapping first.

    Mike

  13. #13
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    J.P.

    Default Re: Uh Oh! T-fence is wonky - how to vertically realign?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5vhQCj View Post
    Thanks JP, this would be very helpful if that was the case! General actually said to remove the laminate, but I'll try some tapping first.

    Mike
    In that case you're probably better off listening to General than to me.
    J.P. Rap Mount Hope Ont.
    Carpe Ductum (Seize The Tape)


    "In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. Elwood P. Dowd

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Uh Oh! T-fence is wonky - how to vertically realign?

    Quote Originally Posted by J.P. Rap View Post
    In that case you're probably better off listening to General than to me.
    Unfortunately tapping didn't work. Thankfully the arborite laminate lifted off very easily with a heatgun, so I could see that the holes were just plain-old holes.. no sliding it off.

    I've cleaned up the original boards, and reattached them using some masking tape to shim them perpendicular to the table. So far so good, I just have to find some suitable laminate to cover them with.

    Mike

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Uh Oh! T-fence is wonky - how to vertically realign?

    Okay last update. I'm happy to say that the wonky T-Fence is finally fixed!

    The factory laminate came off easily with a heat gun and putty knife. I cleaned the boards, removed the old shimming tape, coated them in poly a few times, and reattached them. I shimmed them to perpendicular using some well-placed masking tape. A local cabinet maker gave me a few offcuts of some white laminate, so I contact-cemented that on and them routered the edge off.

    Done and no longer wonky! I thought for sure I would have had to spend a lot of money replacing this, since it seemed like it was twisted.. but it turns out it was just badly shimmed from the factory.

    Mike
    Windsor ON

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