Record Power BS350S Bandsaw Modifications - Part 4: Rip Fence Upgrade

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MikeK

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I put the Sabre 350 fence on my BS350S this afternoon, and I'm not sure I'm happy with it, but I'm still working with it. The fence rail uses the same pair of holes the original fence rail used, and it is steady. This means I don't have to remove anything in order to change a blade, as I have to do with the Axminster fence. However, removing and installing the Axminster fence rail was easy and indexing marks I added made alignment easy.

The very light (flimsy?) fence knuckle is another matter. The cam-action fence adjustment knob is much larger and longer than it needs to be, while the fence locking knob is much smaller and shorter than it needs to be and is difficult to tighten. The mechanism is not solid, and the fence extrusion moves while being locked in place after setting the angle. After a few attempts, I learned to under adjust the angle with the cam, and watch the fence settle into alignment as it was tightened.

The metric and imperial scale is engraved (stamped?) into the guide rail, with two "zero" marks for the left and right side of the blade. However, the left side zero mark was off by almost two millimeters with respect to the edge of the blade. I managed to force the rail to the right in the two mounting holes to close the error by one millimeter. The only other option I have to reduce the error is to loosen the table to trunnion bolts and try to shift the table a bit...and then go through the table alignment process again.

Overall, at the end of day one, I'm not impressed with my €145 purchase. This could change after day two, but if I had been able to see the fence on a Sabre 350, I would not have purchased it and would have learned to love the Axminster fence. As an alternative that I was considering before I learned about the Sabre 350 fence, I will make a fence using 18mm MDF and some of the Magswitch Mag-Jigs I have.
 

Spectric

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Hi Mike

Sorry to hear you are not happy with the Sabre fence, I almost went this route as you get the two fences but went for the Kreg instead which will now be fitted on the other side to facilitate blade changes. It seems everything has its ups and downs, why can't the OEM's manage the design process anymore and make something that meets customer expectations. The axminster locking lever does take some getting used to, I think that on my table saw I set the cut +3mm and once locked it is ok. The locking knob on the Record and Kreg I find Ok in that it does not move the fence and if you find it hard to tighten fully look at replacing with a three lobed knob or maybe a lever type.
 

MikeK

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Day 7, and my feelings for the Sabre fence are improving. I fixed the movement of the fence as it is tightened on the fence rail. It is now the way it should have been from the factory and I am happy with it. I can live with the rest of the issues for now.

Here is the reason the fence moves along the rail as the locking knob is tightened. The bolt is not drilled on center to the fence rail, and as the bolt is tightened, the end walks along the rail.

Sabre-Fence-1-L.jpg



My fix was to cut the end of an inexpensive putty knife and bolt it to the inside of the knuckle so it is between the end of the bolt and the fence rail. I marked the depth of the cut and drilled the holes before I cut the section off with a Dremel and cutoff wheel.

Sabre-Fence-2-L.jpg



I drilled two 4.5mm holes in the knuckle for the M4 screws.

Sabre-Fence-3-L.jpg



This is the end of the putty knife attached to the knuckle. I did straighten it after I took the picture.

Sabre-Fence-4-L.jpg



It's not obvious in this picture, but this is what the knuckle looks like when it is on the fence rail. It's upside down so I could take a picture of it. The fence does not move at all when I tighten the rail knob, and the difference between fully locked and loose is less than 1/4 turn. Before, it took about 1-1/2 turns to lock the fence in place.

Sabre-Fence-5-XL.jpg
 

Ttrees

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I believe the term for what you have made is called a gib.
Good solution Mike
My fence always moves the same fraction when it's locked down.
This means I get a chance to micro adjust the fence to the left after its moved in position only once.
As locking the fence pulls the back into position, so when released will change the point of contact from the bolt at the front.
I'd be surprised if this is not the case with any single rail fence.

Tom
 

MikeK

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I believe the term for what you have made is called a gib.

That's it! I could not remember what it was called, and I didn't want to call it the springy thing. The rip fence on my table saw has a similar setup, which was the inspiration for my fix.
 
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