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US Patent: 785,699
Adjustable fence for saws
Thomas Bemis - Indianapolis, IN

USPTO Classifications:
144/307, 451/23, 83/438, 83/468, 83/522.19

Tool Categories:
woodworking machines : circular saws : tablesaw accessories


Thomas Bemis - Indianapolis, IN

Arthur M. Hood
James A. Walsh

Patent Dates:
Applied: Sep. 23, 1904
Granted: Mar. 21, 1905

Patent Pictures:
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"Vintage Machinery" entry for Thomas Bemis
A very complex solution to the problem of quickly setting the rip fence on a tablesaw. This invention requires a track embedded in the table surface, which has holes spaced and labeled every inch. The fence assembly has a cam-shaped disk with 33 holes around its periphery, labeled 0 through 32. To set the fence to, say, 3 23/32 inches, a pin is dropped though the "23" hole of the cam into the "3" hole of the track.

This seems like a good design except for the fatal flaw that it is too expensive to manufacture. Simpler approaches using verniers or a boring old-fashioned tape measure have won out.

The inventor subsequently simplified the design somewhat in patent 816,424.

The August 1909 issue of "Wood Craft" describes the "Bemis positive-set saw gage" and says, "These saw gages are manufactured by Thomas Bemis, Industrial building, Indianapolis, and he also makes gages to rip wider than 50 inches."

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