Instructables

Retrofitting A Delta T2 Fence to a Craftsman Table Saw

Picture of Retrofitting A Delta T2 Fence to a Craftsman Table Saw
If you have one of these older Craftsman table saws, you already know two things:
1) With a little tweaking, they're surprisingly adequate saws.
2) The fence really sucks. Like, a lot.

Luckily there are a lot of options out there to upgrade that shotty old fence. In this instructable, I'll cover the procedure for installing a Delta 36-T30 T2 fence & rail system onto a Craftsman 113.298762. This is a popular upgrade for these old saws, but the documentation out there on how to do it is pretty sparse. Hopefully this little guide will help a few folks.

 
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Step 1: A note about compatiblity...

The Delta 36-T30 fence & rails are a bargain no matter how you look at it. Its basically a clone of the ever popular and ever expensive Biesemeyer fences. Those can run upwards of $300-400+. The T2 is sold by Lowe's for around $150. A true bargain. But here's the thing...

The Delta T2 rails are supposedly universal, but none of the pre-drilled holes line up on Craftsman saws. There's lots of drilling and nervousness involved, so be forewarned. If you take your time and measure, measure, measure, this works great. If you try to rush through it, you could damage the fence and render it unusable...and un-returnable.

The saw in this instructable is a Craftsman 113.298762, but this process should apply to most other Craftsman table saws.

Step 2: What you'll need...

Picture of What you'll need...
To do this properly you'll need:

Combination Square
24" Carpenters Square
7/16" Drill Bit
3/8" Drill Bit
5/8" Countersink Bit
Flat Head/Phillips Head Screwdrivers
Wrenches (various sizes)
Socket Set
Various Clamps
Drill
WD-40

Note about the drill:
I used a drill press for all the drilling in this Instructable, and recommend you do the same if you have one available to you. The accuracy and repeatability of a drill press made this go a lot smoother. You could certainly do this with a hand held drill, but make sure to use a center punch so your bit doesn't wander.
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Jnbrown27 days ago

I started my retrofit tonight and couldn't do it without this.

However I am really disappointed as the Delta fence I received seems to be either defective and/or damaged. First the holes in front rail do not line up very well in the holes in the guide tube. This resulted in an uneven gap between the rail and guide tube, 3/8" on one end and 3/4" on the other. When I tried to put the fence onto the guide tube it wouldn't go on. After pushing very hard it went on but is basically locked in place and won't slide and yes I have the lever up. I will be calling the place I bought it from tomorrow to find out why I am having these problems. I am wondering if Delta quality isn't what I thought it would be. And damn this thing is heavy, I am going to need help putting it on the saw while I figure out where the mounting holes go.

Jnbrown Jnbrown27 days ago

Ok after reading the Delta instructions I was able to get fence on and sliding by adjusting the two allen screws on the fence. One was way too far in. I am still not happy about the gap not being even between the rail and guide tube, its off by about 1/16" from one end to the other. Hopefully the screws to adjust the fence square to the saw will make up for that. If not then I will have to slot the holes in the front rail even through they already have tons of slop.

cornflake_81 (author)  Jnbrown15 days ago

That sounds incredibly frustrating. When I installed my second T2 kit, I had one bolt on the rail that didn't quite line up, but nothing that caused that much of a misalignment. Did you manage get it dialed in?

After spending a whole day lining up the rails and drilling the holes I discovered that the fence was welded crooked to the bracket that slides on the guide tube, so it is impossible to adjust it square to my saw table. I checked it with a square and it is at least a few degrees out of square. I called Delta customer service and they are sending me a new fence which should arrive tomorrow after waiting a week. I was almost ready to return the whole thing and was considering paying more for a Vega fence, but decided since i already did the work and drilled holes to stay the course. One question I have is how far should the locking lever go down? Mine only goes down about 45 degrees from vertical and doesn't really lock it just gets tight and won't go any further. Again thanks for the detailed instructions, without this I wouldn't even attempt to do this on my own.

cornflake_81 (author)  Jnbrown14 days ago
My locking lever is the same way. It doesn't go all the way down like you'd assume a cam lock should, but it still locks in place firmly.

Glad that Delta was able to get you straightened out. Hopefully you'll be up and running soon.

Have you seen this? I have the stamped metal extension wings and they are really crappy and was looking for something better. I think this may be my next project for the TS:

http://lumberjocks.com/Dustmite/blog/15531

cornflake_81 (author)  Jnbrown14 days ago

I need to do that to the left side of my saw as well. I have the aluminum wings, but they're less than flat. I did something very similar to the right side to incorporate a router table. I actually posted that on lumberjocks as well...

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/94535

My next project will to build a rolling cabinet base for my saw, too.

JasonL515 days ago

I will be installing a Delta T2 on a Craftsman 113.298240 and I am wondering if anyone has had any luck with putting the blade guard back on after installing the fence and rails?

cornflake_81 (author)  JasonL514 days ago
The new rail is only marginally larger than the original rail, so I don't imagine it would be an issue.

I am trying to put the t2 on my model 113226880 craftsman but the fence is 29" and the table is 23". Anyone have ideas if it can be tweaked?

cornflake_81 (author)  tom.redmond.96715 days ago

The far end of the fence slides on top of the back rail on a UHMW block. I've seen where folks have just removed and remounted the block further up the fence to accommodate a shorter table. I would need to run downstairs and look at my fence again to confirm that this is plausible.

It is possible.. I did it and it works great. You just need to,measure ,measure ,measure. So you mount it in the new spot correctly.
Thanks
JeffKinCC1 month ago

Thank you so very much for your article! I just finished installing the new rails and fence on my 34 year old Sears 113.298031. The details you provided gave me the confidence to try it and now I can't believe how much more fun it is to use. Your notes on things to look out for were especially helpful and probably saved me hours of frustration. I really appreciated the detail you provided to describe your methods for accomplishing each step. The photos were really helpful. Thanks again. I never would have tried this if I hadn't found your article.

cornflake_81 (author)  JeffKinCC1 month ago

I'm glad it helped!

pinky.vancat2 months ago

About halfway through, this will be a great upgrade for my 1980's Craftsman saw. I could actually get by without changing the back rail but with a drill press, there's no need to do that. Wasn't sure what to do with the scale until I saw Sparkie's comment about lifting the tape - thanks.

heavyveggie6 months ago

First, I would like to say thanks for the step by step. I attempted this yesterday, I got the front rail on with little problem. But, today I attempted to attach the back rail with the assistance from my neighbor, he pointed out to me before drilling that there is excessive movement up and down ( meaning that the fence doesn't sit flush the back rail) but little if any movement side to side. If possible could provide some insight as to what I did wrong or a possible remedy. Thanks again for the steps.

Bdb70988 months ago

Just did this yesterday on my Craftsman TS. Mine was a little different since the bed isn't as deep. Had to reposition the clip and plastic glide at the end of the fence to ride on the back rail. No biggie, actually. Just used a couple of self tapping screws. Thanks for the step by step. Couldn't have done it, or at least wouldn't have ventured into it, without the help. Looking at your fence, mine was even worse. No toggle lever, just a hand screw that was very inaccurate. So, again, thanks.

cornflake_81 (author)  Bdb70986 months ago

Glad I could help! There's something supremely satisfying about breathing new life into an old machine. Happy (safe, accurate) sawing!

ColumbusEric11 months ago
Awesome instructions. The only thing I ran into different was the metal side tables on my craftsman saw have corner brackets in them and bolts. I ended up buying replacement bolts for these holes and counter sinking them so that the rails fit flush against the table. Once that was done I found the hints about the adjustment screws in the T to be a lifesaver. Had I not had your article I would have had them above the table surface for sure.

THANKS!
20140105_150337.jpg
cornflake_81 (author)  ColumbusEric11 months ago
No sweat, Eric. I'm glad it worked out well for you. Also, not a bad idea to make use of those rails hanging off the right side now and build yourself a router table extension. I just finished that on mine and I love it. Enjoy your new fence!



thorkelsr2 years ago
I have an older model, the 113.298051 with aluminum table and sheet metal extensions. I have done a similar modification to mount this fence. A big thank you for your section on marking the zero position on the table. This tip saved me a lot of re-drilling and head scratching. After reading your installation guide, I made allowances for my installation. One major consideration to me was that, since the table was aluminum, I did not want to do any drilling into the table. I have documented my install, if anyone wants to see it. If there is a way to upload the file, I'll be happy to do that, too.
photogWA2 years ago
I bought an old craftsman like yours for abour 50 bucks, but with no fence. This being the first table saw I have ever owned, I'm really not familiar with how a "normal" fence should be. So I have a couple questions before I try to fit the Delta Fence I just bought. Maybe someone can point me in the right direction.

How far to one side do I put the rails? I.E. , more to the right side of the table or the left? I presume more to the right since that is the direction of the rule on the guide tube. OR should you center the rails on the table? Or does it matter?

What puzzles me is why not put almost all the rail to one side, wouldn't you gain more fence real estate? The ability to rip wider than 30 something inches?

I appreciate the help.
WoodChip72 years ago
Haven't put my fence on yet but it seems to be much beefier and by the comments more accurate repeatability. For those looking to buy this little beauty try ToolsPlus.com seems to be the most reasonably priced by as much a $50.00 or so in savings, free shipping and I ordered mine on sunday evening and recieved it tuesday afternoon. Will repost after the fence is mounted.
I guess I lucked out installing mine. I just located two holes (one front and one back) in the table, set the front angle in place, then ran a countersunk bolt up snug. I then took a combination square, set it on top of the front angle over the bolt, and adjusted the other end of the angle until I had the same measurement at the other end of the table. Clamped the angle in place, chucked a 5/8 " drill bit in the hand held and started a pilot center in the edge of the table. Piloted the hole with a 3/16 and finished with the right size clearance drill. Added one hole in each wing using the existing countersunk holes and bolted it up.

The only real problem I ran into was having to remove the splitter mount rod. Rather than go through the hassle of removing all the internals of the saw just to take out two panhead screws that are hidden behind ribs cast into the tabletop, I hacksawed it off and filed the end flush with the edge of the table. I noticed in the pic from cornflake_81 that his splitter is missing too.

For the back rail, I located the end of the angle the same distance from the left end as the front angle. The first hole in the table lined up with the hole in the angle. All I had to do was clearance that hole, bolt it up and repeat the leveling procedure. The holes in the back angle were big enough to use for guides so I just pushed my clearance drill through and installed the bolts. All in all, I think I have about an hour and a half in putting it together.
wallerps2 years ago
I love this Delta T2 kit but am having trouble getting it attached. I used one of the existing hole on the front and one on the back. When I lay the fence on the saw table the fence doesn't even come close to fitting the back rail. I'm sure I will have to re-drill all the hole and mount it again. I was glad to read that you could remove the measurement tape and re-position it. My Craftsman has metal sides and not the steel ones.

I have attached some of my photos.

All of the comments on this project have helped me a lot. Any ideas on my project would be appreciated.

Sparkie Waller
Quinton, Alabama
Delt T2 Fence #6.jpgDelta T2 Fence #1.jpgDelta T2 Fence #2.jpgDelta T2 Fence #3.jpgDelta T2 Fence #5 copy.jpgDelta T2 Fence #5.jpgDelta T2-30 in box & Craftsman Saw.jpg
Mr Waller,
I don't know if you have figured this out yet, but it appears that you have the back rail on upside down. The fence rides on the flat part of the rear rail. I attached a photo.

Hope this helps, it's a great fence.

Jeff
IMG_5116.JPG
Blackie_2 years ago
Thought I'd chime in a bit late, thanks for these great instructions cornflake, I have an Hitachi C10FL and was looking for instruction for installing the T30, I ran across yours for the craftsman and thought well shouldn't be that much different and it wasn't actually using your method I had it installed within 5 hours, no trips to the hardware store either, I found that a 1/2" counter sink was enough as I didn't have a 5/8 on hand, I used these adjutable roller stands

http://www.harborfreight.com/132-lb-capacity-roller-stand-95621.html

to hold the rails up with and made minor adjustments getting the fence proper height and also 2' level. I optioned for the drill press as well.

All in all your instructions fit my application perfect once again thanks.

Randy
home84012 years ago
I am trying to install my new Delta T2 fence on my craftsman table saw and it is a 113.226880 I have owned for a lot of years. The table is only 23" outside to outside old rails still on the saw. New fence is 6" longer. I would like any experiences you have had with this problem. Looks like moving the rear bracked on the fence forward about 6" is my only hope. Any advice would be appreciated. Need to install this and just received it today.
Thanks in advance.
Wendell
hwendell6487@yahoo.com
home84012 years ago
I tried to find the Delta 36-T30 T2 and called every Lowes I could find.
No one had one. I got on the Internet and found several places that had them at different prices The one I selected was Tools Plus, Inc. They had them for $147.97 and shipping was $6.50, UPS ground. They shipped it the day I ordered and am waiting for it to arrive. Good Price.
My saw is a Craftsman #113.226880 and I hope it works. Not sure of the saw width but this seems to be a critical width or fence won't fit.
Hope this helps those of you are now searching for a Delta fence upgrade for your Craftsman saw.
Home8401
The installation went great following your procedure; lots of measuring. Required two trips to hardware store; what project doesn't require that? Took the motor off which made working on the rear rail much easier. Oiled the old motor while I was working on the saw. The motor burnt up on restart (go figure). I assume the cause was my penchant for over lubricating. New motor, belt and I've got a great running sw. Definitely wirth the time and money.
Pinhead93 years ago
Where have you placed the switch? I'm trying to locate a position that doesn't interfere with the operation of the fence.
Just finished installation on mine this weekend. My saw is Model No. 113.298031 from the late 70's. I mounted the switch on the bottom right leg for the base, just below the saw housing. Easy enough to reach to start, then very easy to stop with a tap of the toe.
pfred23 years ago

I'm in the process of writing up my fence right now. Oh BTW your craftsman saw isn't that old. This is an old Craftsman saw! Like 1948 old
FenceSide.jpg
I did this exact thing a couple of years ago! Kudos for posting about it. Definitely a worthwhile upgrade!
shafiqj5 years ago
Nice instructions! However, I found that drilling into my saw table was a lot easier. I lined up and used one existing hole on the table with the front rail and drilled the next two. 10 mins for the front of the table (front rail) and 10 mins for the back of the table (rear rail) and I was done. The only remaining thing to do was to remove the sticky measure tape on the guide tube and move it over to the zero point. No other measurements needed.
bsczap shafiqj3 years ago
This is the way to go. Here's my writeup about it. http://tiny.cc/craftsman-t2-fence
jster shafiqj4 years ago
Alot simpler
jesseroscoe4 years ago
Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that I used your instructions and installed the T2 on the exact same model Craftsman saw (16 years old).  Huge difference.  Thanks!
Small correction: you are counter sinking the holes, not counter boring them. Counter bore is for fasteners with a flat underside like a hex head cap screw. Counter sink is for slope-sided heads like wood screws.
cornflake_81 (author)  UnstoppableDrew5 years ago
Noted & corrected, thanks.
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