2nd Jul 2011, 11:31 AM #1
How to straighten a table saw fence rail?
Typically, I picked up another piece of cheap machinery. This time it is a rusty table saw that looks like it was dropped on one of the rails.
The rear rail now has a slight bend in it at the edge of the table on the far right. The fence rails are the old style tubular steel type.
I have taken the rail off and I am attempting to straighten it, but it is not working. I first tried putting it in the bench vise, but that didn't help. I then tried holding the length in the bench vise and slid a crow bar down the inside and tried to use the extended leverage to bend it back, but it is just laughing at me.
I then slid the crow bar down the length of the rail and tried persuading it with a 2 1/2 lb hammer, but there is no sign of it straightening. At least so far I don't seem to have done any new damage to the main length of the rail or the bent tail, but I'm at the point where if I try anything else I think I am likely to stuff up the existing good part of the rail and make it entirely unusable.
What other suggestions are there on how to straighten the steel tube rail? Would a motor body repair shop perhaps have something that would do the job?
In case all else fails is there a cheap option for finding a new rail?
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2nd Jul 2011, 12:01 PM #2
Here's a pic of what I've tried. The dolly/crow bar is stuck up the long end as far as the bend. I've had a mate stand on the bar and tried to straighten the tail with a pry bar, but the tube doesn't want to bend it looks like the crow bar is just flexing in the long bit.
2nd Jul 2011, 05:56 PM #3
Take it to your favourite engineering/steel shop and get a new piece of steel. Maybe they can straighten it but it is more likely to be cheaper to just replace it.Semtex fixes all
3rd Jul 2011, 01:41 PM #4
If its that hard to get any sort of bend I cant imagine that you will ever get it acceptably straight without specialist equipment.
Bite the bullet and replace it if you can
3rd Jul 2011, 05:58 PM #5
Try an hydraulic press.
It could be easier to make or obtain a replacement.
7th Jul 2011, 12:58 AM #6
I'd find a second length of rod that is a neat fit to the internal diameter of the guide rod which is a good length longer than the bent section. Then I'd heat the bent section to a soft red before sliding the internal-fit bar up inside it sufficiently far that it is beyond the heated section thus straghtening the bar itself. If you rotate the inner bar as you do this (wear thick leather smithing/welding gloves) you will be able to straighten it without the inner bar binding. Allow it to cool (slowly) and you should be set.
It might require a bit of polishing once it's cooled down.
7th Jul 2011, 07:21 AM #7
Thanks Guys for the replies. I've had a bit of run around and so far not much luck. Basically it's a cost benefit equation.
1. It's not a standard size pipe.
2. I can find nominal 25mm internal diameter gal pipe, but it's outside diameter is a gnats tail less than the original and it's also relatively bumpy compared to the original chromed pipe.
3. Drilling accurate holes in a replacement pipe would be a challenge.
4. I randomly tried a couple of engineering shops and they weren't confident of straightening, at best saying it would just kink and there was the question of cost.
5. Don't have access to a hydralic press, but the shop that had one didn't have any dies suitable to try and straighten.
6. Best suggestion was to cut and shut.
Because it is far right of the back rail, it is probably not actually going to come in play very much so I think for the moment I will just clean it up and reassemble as is and see how much a problem it becomes in use.
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