Most bandsaw fence systems amount to a compromise. Either they are too rigid to deal with the reality of blade drift or they are too adjustable to allow for accurate repeatability.
The Drift Master ( see video ) fence system from Laguna Tools addresses both of those issues with clever solutions in a package that is designed to fit virtually any saw.
Drift Master meets Frankenstein
The folks at Laguna Tools assured me that the Drift Master fits any saw, so I really put it to the test. Back when I had more time than cash (or sense!) and needed a big bandsaw, I got the insane idea I could use my welding, machining, and woodworking skills to make one myself for way cheaper than I could buy one.
The 300-pound result I dubbed Frankenstein. I learned a lot about bandsaws by making the saw from scratch from scrounged parts, but if I'd figured my time, I could have bought two or three better saws for what I invested. But that's for another story
In any event, Frankenstein has never had a proper fence system beyond something just clamped to it's big cast-iron table. I knew I'd have to drill a few holes to mount the Drift Master, and the DVD enclosed with the fence system made it look easy.
Two clever adapter blocks allow you to drill just two holes in the front side of the saw table and adjust the fence system location side to side and up and down to match your saw, resulting in a solid and secure mounting.
How it works
The basic components of the Drift Master consist of an extruded aluminum fence, a cast iron carriage, a sliding rail, a cam action to adjust drift and a threaded wheel system for precise fence movement. The fence can be easily removed and flipped to offer high or low fence options, and its 31-inch-plus length handles any bandsaw table I've seen, including Frankenstein.
The carriage slides easily along the rail when disengaged from the threaded system, or engage the threaded wheel and move it in precise, repeatable increments.
The heart of the Drift Master is an ingenious cam system that easily adjusts and locks the angle of the fence to any drift angle. An enclosed DVD shows how. I was able to easily adjust for drift even on the notoriously fussy Frankenstein saw. This fence system really civilized the old monster.
List price for the Drift Master fence system is $395, which accurately reflects the value of this device. If you've been fighting your own monster of a bandsaw and need to do precision resawing, it's well worth checking out.
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