What I Like
What I Don't
I purchased the Osborne EB-2 several years ago. The EB-2 was accurate and it had a lot of good features, but since it did not provide a means for user calibration, I was afraid that one fall on the floor would do it in.
According to the Excalibur web site, the EB-3 is based on the original patented design by David Osborne. Evidently, David Osborne developed the EB-3 in collaboration with Excalibur and Excalibur manufactures it in their Toronto Canada plant. The EB-3 is sold by Excalibur and a number of retailers.
Miter Bar Adjustment
The guide bars are made from cold rolled steel and 1/32" of bowing is normal. Much of the rocking action you get is because of the depth of the slot on your saw. All other miter guides have the head of the guide at one end of the guide bar, the end closest to the operator. When a standard guide is placed on the table the guide bar drops down to the bottom of the slot and sits just below the table top. The Osborne series of guides has the fence positioned near the middle of the bar. When the Osborne is placed on the saw the fence rests on the table top and the guide bar is suspended in the air actually above the bottom of the slot. With a deep enough slot the guide can rock back and forth with the heel then the toe touching the bottom of the slot. Slot depths vary from saw to saw but all are deeper than the "nominal" thickness of the guide bar. As a result, when you press down on the handle, the front of the bar will come up. Pressing on the nose of the bar will raise the handle end.
Squaring the Fence to the Saw Table
The Osborne EB-3, like its predecessor, is perfectly accurate. The machining, feel, and overall quality is excellent. I purchased and have used the JDS Accu-Miter for many years. I also have purchased and used the Incra 2000, Incra 1000, Woodhaven Standard Miter Gauge, and the Osborne EB-2. The Osborne EB-3 beats them all. Each gauge has its favorable and not so favorable features. But for ease of setup/maintainability, use/feel, capacity (41"+), repeatability, ease of reversing the fence from one miter slot to the other, and so forth, the EB-3 has the others beat. The only thing I would change is the location of the ruler/scale.
I take some heat now and then with my perceived anti-miter gauge stance. It is true that I have purchased a number of miter gauges, only to be disappointed by their performance. After tweaking and replacing components on our JDS Accu-Miter, it still does not function perfectly. The Incra 2000 was a huge disappointment. The Incra 1000, though better in my opinion than the Incra 2000, still gets little use in our shop. In regards to the EB-3, I use it as frequently as our Dubby crosscut sled and shop-made sleds. It is the first miter gauge that over a long period of time, I feel comfortable setting to an angle and cutting my work pieces without "checking" for fit. So, compared to other miter gauges, I give the EB-3 a FIVE, compared to other crosscut devices (i.e., crosscut sleds), I give the EB-3 a FOUR. But for heaven's sakes, if it is good enough for Norm and the New Yankee Workshop........
In a corresondence with David Osborne, I asked him for his two cents worth in regards to crosscutting with a miter gauge. Here are his responses....
Should I pass the miter gauge and work piece all the way through/past the blade?
Should I return the miter gauge to the starting point with, or without the work piece?
Should I use of the flip stop for all cuts to reduce/prevent slippage?
What is the guideline for maximum width of material to be cut with the miter gauge?
What are other techniques that might be overlooked by novices and pros alike?
Table saw slots are not a precision machining process in manufacturing. The depth and width vary significantly from saw to saw and even between the two slots on the same table. One thing that is unique to our guide is the result of our design. Most guides have a protractor head at one end of the guide bar. When you put it on your saw the bar drops down into the slot and rests on the bottom of the slot. Most slots are slightly deeper than the bar is thick so they sit just below the top of the table.
There are numerous ways to calibrate a crosscut device to be square with the blade. Unfortunately, using a carpenter's square or even a machinist's square does not always cut it. There are three methods that are regarded as being the best practice methods for squaring a crosscut device (miter gauges, sleds, and sliding tables). Click Here to read about and view demonstrations of three methods for calibrating crosscut devices.
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