Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Table Saw Alignment

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Herndon VA
    Posts
    180

    Table Saw Alignment

    I'm in between projects so I thought I work on getting things in order in the shop. One thing that I have put off for awhile is addressing my table saw alignment. When I do a crosscut my cut is not square. To address this I've measured the left miter track with the blade. It is off by about .01". The far end of the blade is off to the right. I also measured the miter gauge to itself (Incra) it was dead on square at 90 degrees. After making a cut with a 6" wide piece of maple, the front end angles to the left by about a degree. I can compensate and make square cuts by moving my guage to the right a degree.

    I know that I need to adjust my blade alignment to reduce the gap. The question is what is a good tolerence to shoot for? The hard part is that this is a Delta contractor saw and getting into the front trunnion bolts is kind of a pain. Hmmm, maybe it's time to upgrade!

  2. #2
    Do not rely on one blade measurement to assertain alignment. remove and replace the blad, making sure that no dust or chips are in the mix. clean all concerned parts, etc. Then re-measure, change another blade and measure again. After completing this procedure, then you can "assume" that th adjustment is off. In the absence of major event such as kickback, or droping or some other tramma, I have seldom heard of aquality saw just getting out of adjustment. I would first check for other variables and make sure they are not influencing the alignment (or measurement)

    Having said that... Have you noticed binding when ripping, or a gap with the fence when you complete the rip?

    Also, when I set up a crosscut guage, I use a small square so that the leg does not touch the teeth or set, Or sometimes I have a blade with a hollow grind which means the sides of the blade are not a good referance point. When setting the crosscut guage to square, I use a scrap, make a cut and check the piece not the guage, and make adjustments and repeated cuts till the results are square, makes no difference what the measurement or referance to the blade, it is the cut that counts.

    These may be common thoughts to you, I'm just throwing them out there for consideration.
    Last edited by Bill Simpson; 02-06-2008 at 02:51 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Herndon VA
    Posts
    180
    Bill - I did check it against 2 blades and got the same results. Dust is not a factor either, I cleaned the blade and arbor. My rip cuts seem to be ok, no binding etc. The fence is slightly toed out (to the right) by less than .01". It's a B-meyer so the deflection should not be a concern.

    When I readjust the miter guage about a degree I can get dead on cuts at 90degrees. I guess I should leave well enough alone and just adjust the miter gauge.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    583
    One of the cons of a contractor saw, even the good ones, is this very alignment you're having difficulty with. The trunnion / carriage assembly is a bunch of parts bolted together - no single piece large castings like you'll find in cabinet saws. They work well and are much stouter than table top saws, but they do need an occassional once-over if you're expecting low tollerance work.
    I've adjusted my G.I. contractor saw once in the 4 years i've had it. It's still pretty accurate, but will be due for another tuning sometime soon.
    Do you know if the miter slot / blade alignment ever was correct? Or maybe your level of craftsmanship and aftermarket miter gage have now made you aware of the discrepancy?
    At any rate, this is a common issue for people using their contractor saw for precision work. Unfortunately, it's a bear of an adjustment to make. When i first set up my saw, it took me several tries to get mine close enough (i like to stay within 2 or 3 thousandths of an inch). I would leave one of the front bolts tight and keep the other 3 snug. I would then tap the edge of the top with a wood block & mallot to get it adjusted. Then, when i'd tighten up the bolts, everything would go off again. I think i invented new combinations of explatives.
    So, the next time i needed to adjust this, i picked up a PALS alignment kit (about $25 at your local woodworking store or on-line). It replaces the rear mounting bolts with a clip that has an adjustable set screw so you can precisely rotate the top while one of the front bolts is still tight. Then, the set screws hold everything snug so things don't shift while you're tightening the trunnion bolts. I don't have any affiliation with PALS - i don't sell them or have any reason to promote them, but they simply work as advertised. I recommend installing the kit. You'll save yourself a very frustrating couple of hours.
    While you're under the table top, double check all of the other nuts and bolts holding the carriage / trunnion assembly. They can work loose over time and will throw things off.
    Paul Hubbman

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gabbay View Post
    I guess I should leave well enough alone and just adjust the miter gauge.
    If the rear of your blade is heeling towards the fence I would be concerned about burning and kickback during fence guided cuts. As long as your taking the time to square things away (no pun intended), I would go ahead and align the saw. On the upside, once aligned it should stay pretty well put. Even my old 1970's C-man was just as good 2 years later. My dad now has it and I realigned it for him after the move. This was a no-brainer as I had added PALs years ago.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 02-06-2008 at 04:08 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Herndon VA
    Posts
    180
    Hey guys thanks for the recommendations. I'll order the PALS and give it a try this weekend.

    I did not baseline the saw when I bought it so I'm not sure how bad it was to start. I am developing to a higher level with my woodworking skills so the little things are starting to concern me more than they did in the past.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tokiwadai, Japan
    Posts
    2,882
    Mike,

    I also use the PALS kit on my Delta contractors saw and highly recommend it. (Be sure to get the Delta model) You'll find it easy to install and easy to adjust your saw..right on.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Shorewood, WI
    Posts
    97
    I'm confused. Alignment of the blade to the miter slots should have nothing to do with how square a crosscut is. That depends on your miter gauge, and whether the stock slides on the miter gauge fence as you cut. Think about it: you could use a router table with your miter gauge, and whether the piece winds up square depends on the orientation of the piece to the path it moves, not which way the bit cuts.

    Gluing sandpaper to your miter gauge fence might help, if the miter gauge is actually set square and giving you an out of square cut.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    University Place, WA
    Posts
    101
    I am with Alan on this one.
    To visualize this, take a crosscut sled that is cutting at a true 90, now adjust the blade so it is no longer adjusted to the miter slot and run another piece of wood through it, it is still 90. A larger kerf, burning maybe, more chipout, but still 90. This of course is just MHO
    Last edited by Scott Donley; 02-06-2008 at 08:30 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gabbay View Post
    Bill - I did check it against 2 blades and got the same results. Dust is not a factor either, I cleaned the blade and arbor. My rip cuts seem to be ok, no binding etc. The fence is slightly toed out (to the right) by less than .01". It's a B-meyer so the deflection should not be a concern.

    When I readjust the miter guage about a degree I can get dead on cuts at 90degrees. I guess I should leave well enough alone and just adjust the miter gauge.
    If you are not experiencing problems with rip cuts and the blade seems to parrallel the fence, then the problem may be with the incriment indications on the crosscut guage. If you can make a dead-on cut with the guage except it reads a degree off then is there a way to adjust the indicator to pooint to "0" and be just as well off. seems if the saw rips well and you can make a square cut, and all the other suggestions folks have made seem to result in a smooth square cut, then it might be the indicator that is off whack.

    Or at least it seem to me (long distance advising) I am not savy to your B-meyer guage (Biesemeyer I assume) but does it have adjustments?

Similar Threads

  1. ROS sandpaper alignment jig
    By Darren Wright in forum Jigs and Fixtures
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-18-2015, 05:09 AM
  2. Must get the lathe alignment sorted.
    By Chas Jones in forum Lathe Project Showcase
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 01-31-2014, 06:37 PM
  3. Counter Top Alignment
    By Tom Niemi in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-12-2010, 04:57 PM
  4. Alignment Question
    By Mike Gabbay in forum New Tools
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-22-2008, 04:14 PM
  5. Table saw blade alignment - Lo-tech / Hi-tech
    By Niki Avrahami in forum Jigs and Fixtures
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-25-2008, 05:34 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •