The Kreg Precision Bandsaw Fence is a solid piece of equipment that will improve the accuracy of your bandsaw while adding increased flexibility. Installation is straight forward and took me less than 30 minutes to be up and running.
I have a Delta 14" bandsaw in my shop, which is the style of bandsaw found in many shops. It is a workhorse bandsaw and gets used on most of my projects. However, I've never been happy with the factory supplied fence system. The fence itself is only about 2" tall and can be adjusted horizontally for drift, which I'll get to later in this article, but not vertically. More importantly, the fence's scale accuracy is extremely poor. As can be seen in the photograph, the measurement scale is etched into the tubing on which the fence rides.
The tube bolts onto the front of the saw, and in my case, the zero mark never lined up perfectly with the scale and the scale markings themselves are not precision by any means!
The Kreg Precision Fence system is a dramatic improvement over this manufacturer fence system. I'll walk through the installation and use of the fence in a minute but in summary the fence is made out of sturdy extruded aluminum, has adjustments for both horizontal and vertical movement, uses a tape measure and magnifying cursor for accuracy and can be enhanced with several optional accessories.
The first thing to mention is the packaging. The fence system comes well packaged in a sturdy box with everything laid out in form fitted pockets and very easy-to-read instructions. I always think that a company that puts care and thought into their packaging does the same thing for their tools as well.
The installation instructions mention that the fence system is compatible with a large number of bandsaws. The Kreg website has a compatibility chart that lists over 100 bandsaw models.
As seen here, the mounting rail is pre-drilled to accommodate different bandsaw tables and hole locations. If you have an older bandsaw or one that isn't on the compatibility list, the instructions have a whole page dedicated to how to measure and drill additional mounting holes.
Finally, there are detailed measurements for the height of the rail and how to ensure that it is parallel across the front of the bandsaw table.
The next part of the installation involves putting the magnifying cursor in place and the bracket for the fence itself. The following photograph shows the cursor in place and the four (4) nylon leveling screws partially installed. The four leveling screws provide vertical adjustment for the fence and allow the fence to slide easily along the front mounting rail. The two bolts (one shown in the picture) will be used to adjust the fence for drift.
Here is the fence system mounted on my bandsaw.
The final step is to attach the adhesive-backed ruler on the front rail. Again, the instructions are very clear on how to do this while zeroing it to the bandsaw blade.
I really like the improved accuracy using the tape and magnifying cursor over the Delta supplied fence. Once the tape measure is applied the setup is done!
As I mentioned earlier, the fence system can be enhanced with some optional accessories. The first is the Kreg Precision Micro-Adjuster. The micro-adjuster lets you dial in the width of cut with 'extreme' precision.
Another accessory is the Kreg 4-1/2" or 7" Resaw Guide. This curved resaw fence mounts on the bandsaw fence to provide for resawing using the single point resaw method.
As seen in an earlier photograph, the face and top of the fence contain T-slots for adding stops, re-saw guides, and other user made add-ons. The fence can also be used in the low-profile.
This low profile is nice if you want to move the fence close to the blade and you have a thin piece of wood to cut. The fence will not hit the guide blocks in this configuration.
The final topic I'd like to highlight is bandsaw blade drift. Using a rip fence on a bandsaw won't necessarily guarantee a straight cut. Because of many factors – blade set, twist in the blade band, crown or no crown wheels, temperature variation across the depth of the blade, etc. - most bandsaw blades tend to veer slightly to the left or right when cutting. The amount of this drift is different for every blade but you can compensate for it by changing the angle of the fence to match the drift angle.
How do you do this? Draw a line on a board and cut along this line until you have a smooth cutting action and you get a clean cut with the blade centered in the kerf. Then stop the bandsaw keeping the board at this angle. The following photograph shows a slight gap between the board and the fence showing that it is cutting at an angle. (Note: You normally wouldn't have the fence this close to the board at this point but I did that so you would see that the board is not cutting square to the fence or the front of the bandsaw table).
Now, you can loosen the two bolts holding the Kreg fence and bring the fence flush to the side of the board. Tighten the bolts. Access to the bolts is very convenient on this fence, which makes this adjustment extremely easy.
The saw will now cut 'straight' with the fence in this position.
Don't need the fence? Just loosen the locking knob and lift the fence from the mounting rail, which is located below your table's surface so it won't get in the way. Quick and easy!
As you can see, the Kreg Precision Bandsaw Fence is built for precision, flexibility and ease of use. I was very pleased at how easy the system was to install and how smooth the fence glides over the mounting rail and table, yet firmly clamps into place. Finally, I now have a fence on my bandsaw that is as accurate as the one on my table saw. I can set it and cut, knowing I'm getting an accurate cut. It's a BIG improvement over my manufacturer stock fence. I highly recommend the Kreg Precision Bandsaw Fence!
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Kreg Precision Bandsaw Fence
Will a Kreg Bandsaw Fence Fit My Saw?
Jeffrey Fleisher has been a woodworker for approximately 20 years and a professional woodworker for the past 6 years. He is the president of his local woodturning club, the Woodturners of the Virginias and past president of the Northern Virginia Carvers. You can see some of the furniture he has made at
www.jeffswooddesigns.com. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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