The Biesemeyer Fence

Even when you just start looking at tablesaws, there is one name that keeps jumping out at you: Biesemeyer. Whether it is the Biesemeyer Fence, a Biesemeyer clone, a Biesemeyer style, there is obviously something about these fences that everyone seems to regard highly.

So I thought I’d do a little web-research and find out what it is all about. I make no assertions that the info that follows is actually accurate, but it seems to be a reasonable version of the story, pieced together for a raft of different websites.

The Biesemeyer fence system is based around a T Square (for those of you who used to do technical drawing back in highschool). This means that it can stay very straight, despite only engaging one one edge. This makes it easy to unlock, move and relock.

(hmm – little aside: early on in my high school years, my folks got called to the school to chat to the Principal – I was down for woodworking, metalworking and technical drawing, and apparently I was too bright to do 3 manual/technical subjects. I needed to drop one and take a language. I dropped metalworking, took German, failed it 2 years in a row and got a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Go figure!)

It was originally developed by General Tools, before becoming known as Biesemeyer.

t-fencea1.jpg
t-fenceb.jpg

The front edge engages the rail, while the rear simply supports the load of the fence. The two adjustment screws take out any slack in the front mechanism and the locking handle rotates a cam which locks onto the front rail. The fence itself typically has replaceable laminate fences, and sometimes UHMD (ultra high molecular density) plastic.

I don’t know the history beyond that (nor really care), but the fence design was obviously very effective, and very popular. It was them made by a company: Biesemeyer. This was more recently purchased by DeltaPorterCable, but the name stuck.

2 Responses

  1. I bought a used saw with a Beisenmeyer included. Nice. Where and how do you store that behemoth when you want to put the table away?

    Thanks

    • Guess I never do put the table away! The day I no longer need that saw will be the day I’ve upgraded to one even more spec’ed up! Sure isn’t the Triton – folded and stored away (or thrown in the back of the car when needed on site). (If you were referring to the fence – my saw came with a couple of hooks on the side to hang the Biesemeyer when not needed).

      Perhaps I need the larger MagSwitch, so I can hang the tablesaw from the roof when it is not needed!

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