Harbor Freight 10" Table Saw - Miter Slot Dimensions? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 Old 04-08-2019, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Harbor Freight 10" Table Saw - Miter Slot Dimensions?

Last year I bought a friend one of the cheap Harbor Freight table saws for his birthday. I already know it's a mediocre saw, but at the time funds were VERY limited, space is still limited, and it's never going to be used for anything more major than shelves for a pipe bookcase. In my case, it's mostly going to be used for occasional construction of photography equipment (macro photography bases, etc.).


My question is, what are the dimensions of the miter slots? I don't have immediate access to the saw (it's in another town and the car's in the shop) and I haven't been able to find the dimensions online yet.


I'm planning to build a rip fence alignment rig and I need to know how big to buy/cut the plastic piece that's going to ride in the miter slot.


Thanks.
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post #2 of 15 Old 04-08-2019, 07:16 PM
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Which model?

The models I see have aluminum tables ....https://www.harborfreight.com/tool-s...saw-63118.html

Unless you know for certain, you could have an non-standard size slot, standard being 3/8" X 3/4". Make you own from Maple or wait until you can measure in person for the plastic.

If the saw were mine I'd make a larger plywood top for it to slip down on 3, maybe all 4 sides. The fence would still work if on 3 sides, but the issue is not enough lead in in front of the blade on that small table top.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 04-08-2019 at 07:19 PM.
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post #3 of 15 Old 04-08-2019, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
The models I see have aluminum tables ....https://www.harborfreight.com/tool-s...saw-63118.html

Unless you know for certain, you could have an non-standard size slot, standard being 3/8" X 3/4". Make you own from Maple or wait until you can measure in person for the plastic.

If the saw were mine I'd make a larger plywood top for it to slip down on 3, maybe all 4 sides. The fence would still work if on 3 sides, but the issue is not enough lead in in front of the blade on that small table top.
I asked because I read that many of the cheaper saws have non-standard slot dimensions.


At some point, we might build a top and better fence, but I'd like to be able to cut straight before I try. I'm not confident of that without the gauge.
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post #4 of 15 Old 04-08-2019, 08:56 PM
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About a table saw .....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanimator View Post
I asked because I read that many of the cheaper saws have non-standard slot dimensions.

At some point, we might build a top and better fence, but I'd like to be able to cut straight before I try. I'm not confident of that without the gauge.

A table saw is the only woodworking machine that is designed to rip and includes a "rip" fence. Yes, a bandsaw can rip and resaw but it will also cut curves and tight radii which a table saw is not designed to do.


So, "cutting straight" is primarily about ripping rather than crosscutting which uses the miter gauge you are seeking the information about. A short lead in, with a short miter bar which may wobble in the slot will give you fits!


A miter saw is designed to crosscut and miter, but can not rip. You will find having BOTH machines will allow you the best outcome

A miter box with a back saw will also give good results and can be tuned with a shooting board and hand plane.




The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #5 of 15 Old 04-08-2019, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
So, "cutting straight" is primarily about ripping rather than crosscutting which uses the miter gauge you are seeking the information about. A short lead in, with a short miter bar which may wobble in the slot will give you fits!
I think you misunderstood me.


It was recommended that I build a top for the saw. I have little confidence that I can rip s straight piece of plywood without a good way to align the fence. Hence my question about miter slot size so that I can properly cut a piece of plastic to ride in the slot as part of my DIY alignment gauge.
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post #6 of 15 Old 04-08-2019, 09:17 PM
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OK, then .....

Ripping to the center of a piece of plywood of any appreciable size, say 24" X 24" will be at the limit of that saw and fence. I haven't use one like that, but I know from experience that the fence is the "heart" of the table saw. I am just forewarning you of what you can expect. Aligning the blade to the miterslot will be the least of your concerns with that saw. The fence is most likely to be the biggest issue and the small area in fron of the fence. Look on You Tube for ideas on "tablesaw surrounds" and you'll find quite a few good concepts. They do not all use the OEM fence, and often they make their own.


https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...lesaw+surround

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 04-08-2019 at 09:27 PM.
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post #7 of 15 Old 04-08-2019, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Ripping to the center of a piece of plywood of any appreciable size, say 24" X 24" will be at the limit of that saw and fence. I haven't use one like that, but I know from experience that the fence is the "heart" of the table saw. I am just forewarning you of what you can expect. Aligning the blade to the miterslot will be the least of your concerns with that saw. The fence is most likely to be the biggest issue and the small area in fron of the fence. Look on You Tube for ideas on "tablesaw surrounds" and you'll find quite a few good concepts. They do not all use the OEM fence, and often they make their own.


https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...lesaw+surround
I've watched quite a few videos on that saw.


It's not going to be used much or for anything bigger than a DIY top for it.


My buddy doesn't have room for a bigger saw in his garage. The only place I could put it would be my living room.



Currently, I need to rip a few boards for a bookshelf.



It's a minimal saw for minimal tasks.
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post #8 of 15 Old 04-09-2019, 11:25 AM
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Why not simply measure the distance from the leading edge of the blade to the fence and from the trailing edge of the blade to the fence? If the distances are the same, the fence is aligned. Why go through the trouble of building an alignment jig?
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post #9 of 15 Old 04-09-2019, 02:12 PM
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If this is for ripping thin strips why not just wait until the saw is in your possession, it is very simple so will not take long to make.

http://benchnotes.com/Strip%20Cuttin...ting_gauge.htm

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post #10 of 15 Old 04-09-2019, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Why not simply measure the distance from the leading edge of the blade to the fence and from the trailing edge of the blade to the fence? If the distances are the same, the fence is aligned. Why go through the trouble of building an alignment jig?
Because I'll only have to measure once. You set the jig at one end and set a duplicate. With the fence against the first one, you tap the fence at the other end until they both just touch. It's a pretty elegant solution and easy to make. Even easier if you do what I'm going to do and take apart one of those parallelogram measuring devices and use two of the bars as the arms of the jigs.
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post #11 of 15 Old 04-09-2019, 03:28 PM
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I get it now. Each time you want to change the width of a rip, you'll simply adjust the jig to the correct measurement and move the fence until it contacts the jig arms.

Do they sell jigs like this? There are so many different gadgets, like those parallelogram devices, that I'm wondering if what you want to make is available on Amazon or something.
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post #12 of 15 Old 04-09-2019, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gj13us View Post
I get it now. Each time you want to change the width of a rip, you'll simply adjust the jig to the correct measurement and move the fence until it contacts the jig arms.

Do they sell jigs like this? There are so many different gadgets, like those parallelogram devices, that I'm wondering if what you want to make is available on Amazon or something.

There are plenty of gauges, most using dial indicators, but nothing like this that I've seen so far. I found it on YouTube. The originator used a couple of wooden arms that he cut out, but I immediately recognized that I could have the same thing by disassembling one of those parallelogram angle duplicators. They even have scales on them. I just need to cut a couple of plastic pieces to fit in the miter slot. If nobody knows the dimensions of the slots, I'll just measure them with a set of dial calipers.
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post #13 of 15 Old 04-09-2019, 05:30 PM
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Sounds a like overkill to me ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanimator View Post
Because I'll only have to measure once. You set the jig at one end and set a duplicate. With the fence against the first one, you tap the fence at the other end until they both just touch. It's a pretty elegant solution and easy to make. Even easier if you do what I'm going to do and take apart one of those parallelogram measuring devices and use two of the bars as the arms of the jigs.

If I wanted a quick and easy way to insure the fence is the same dimension from the miter slot at each end, I'd use a tri-square set to the intended dimension and check at both ends of the table. The intended dimension would take into account the distance from the kerf to the miter slot..... about 3" or 4" depending on your saw. Use this cheap Harbor Freight tri-square to go with the harbor Freight table saw:
https://www.harborfreight.com/12-In-...Set-63688.html


or this one which is longer;
https://www.harborfreight.com/24-In-...are-63687.html


OR buy 2 and set them the same ........
They are useful for all kindsa things in the shop.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #14 of 15 Old 04-09-2019, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanimator View Post
There are plenty of gauges, most using dial indicators, but nothing like this that I've seen so far. I found it on YouTube. The originator used a couple of wooden arms that he cut out, but I immediately recognized that I could have the same thing by disassembling one of those parallelogram angle duplicators. They even have scales on them. I just need to cut a couple of plastic pieces to fit in the miter slot. If nobody knows the dimensions of the slots, I'll just measure them with a set of dial calipers.
If the saw is there to measure why ask for the measurements, this has at least confused me.

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post #15 of 15 Old 04-09-2019, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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If the saw is there to measure why ask for the measurements, this has at least confused me.
It's in a friend's garage in another town.


When I asked, my car was in the shop and I had no way to get to it.


I'm sure he has no accurate measuring tools. I load my own ammunition so I have a dial caliper.


If I knew what the dimensions were, I could order plastic stock of roughly the right dimensions from Amazon. Better to cut (or sand) a little than a lot.
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