Sunday, February 15, 2009

Carter Magnetic Bandsaw Fence

I saw this product online the other day and I wanted to see if it was the answer to one of my problems. When I installed a 3/4 inch woodslicer blade on my Rikon 14 inch bandsaw I had quite a bit more drift than I have been used to. I talked to a few of the guys on The Woodwhisperer chat room and Marc AKA The Woodwhisperer and found that I had probably overtensioned the blade so I started over and tensioned it by "feel" instead of using the gauge. This helped quite abit but there was still more drift in the blade than my fence could compensate for, I was in the process of planning a shop made fence when I came across this one and ordered it right away.
The fence is made by Carter, the same people that make bearing guides and aftermarket tension springs for most bandsaws. I ordered mine from Woodcraft who seemed to be the only company carrying it at the time I ordered. It's made from extruded aluminum with a cam lever on either side to remove the fence once its locked to the table. Even using the levers its not easy to move this fence, there are 7, 1 inch rare earth magnets that hold the fence to any ferrous surface, do NOT get your finger between this fence and the table.
Once the fence is in place it will not move, its a very stable, completely square fence. It is simple to use but maybe not the easiest to adjust. I would suggest that you determine your drift angle, and using bevel gauge transfer a pencil line and the correct angle and correct distance from the blade, align and set the fence on this line, you can make fine adjustments by using one of the cam levers to raise one side and pushing that side into place.
The instruction sheet says that you can also use the fence as a small extension table, I don't know if I'll ever use it like this but I wanted to show you that it was possible. One thing for sure is that you will never lack for a good place to store this fence, just stick it to the bottom of the table or to the frame of your bandsaw.
Now drift angle compensation is not a problem and I'll be able to cut fine slices for inlays or veneer with no more issues.
"There is no need for temples...My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness." ~Dalai Lama


Amos said...

Thanks for your blog. I refer to it quite frequently.

I have the same 14" Rikon bandsaw. I have a couple of questions for you:

1. The problem I have with the Rikon fence when resawing is that any time I want to change the drift angle on the fence, it also changes the squareness of the fence to the table as well. In light of that, would the Carter fence solve that problem? How does the Carter fence adjust for squareness to the table?

1. I have been using a 1/2" Woodslicer blade (which was a big improvement over the 1/2' Timberwolf). I was surprised to read that you are using a 3/4" blade. I havn't tried one because I assumed the saw wouldn't have enough power for one that wide. Have you tried a 1/2" blade, or did you go straight to a 3/4" blade?


Brad Ferguson said...

There are no adjustments for the Carter fence, its square and it attaches directly to the table wityh the magnets.
I've found that the wider the blade the better when cutting veneer so I opted to go straight to the 3/4 inch blade.