Squaring a table saw fence... To blade or miter slot? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-11-2017, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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Squaring a table saw fence... To blade or miter slot?

I've seen people do both. Is one more preferred than the other?
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-11-2017, 10:42 AM
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Both....
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-11-2017, 11:38 AM
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Blade should be set parallel to miter slot, so as already stated, both.

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-11-2017, 12:59 PM
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There's a reason for "both" .....



It's not as quite as simple as a one word answer, although both is correct, here's why ....

The miter slot is the only part on the saw that is not moveable or adjustable, unlike the blade/arbor or the fence.

So, you must reference all the adjustments of the blade/arbor and the fence to the miter slot which is milled into the table. The blade is mounted on an arbor which in turn is either table mounter or cabinet mounted depending on the type of saw. There is a different process for adjusting the blade/arbor on a contractor saw which is table mounted than on a cabinet saw which is ... cabinet mounted.

The fence is the easiest to align with the slot.

The arbor /blade is more complicated, because of the access to the bolts, and because tightening the bolts sometimes throws off the adjustment you just so precisely made... :frown2: and also because you are measuring from the front and rear of the blade over to the miter slot for each slight movement of the arbor. It can be tedious...

By aligning both the blade and the fence parallel to the miter slot you end up with the blade and the fence being parallel to each other, by "default".... so "both".
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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; 06-11-2017 at 01:31 PM. Reason: bottom paragraph added
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-11-2017, 01:19 PM
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On a saw that has a fence that does not lock parallel to either and has to be measured to make it so then on a properly set up saw it would be preferable to use the miter slot. Using the blade as an indicator you are working over less than 10 inch distance, using the miter slot you will be working over a much greater distance. Blades also tend to warp so may not be an accurate starting point, the miter slot is not going to go anywhere.

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post #6 of 6 Old 06-11-2017, 05:41 PM
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The accuracy of the rip cut is determined by the relationship of the blade to the fence. If there is any doubt that the blade and the miter slot are not exactly parallet, then measure the placement of the fence so that it is parallel to the blade. This measurement is between the fence and the blade.

If you KNOW that the blade and miter slot are parallel then it does not matter which you use. During the course of any project I will often use both. Usually I will just measure from the front of the blade to the fence and assume that the fence is still parallel when fastened down.

George

PS. It is never "square." Square means 90 degrees to. The correct term is parallel.
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