Table Saw blade alignment - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-17-2011, 05:33 AM Thread Starter
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Table Saw blade alignment

I can't say if this is an "approved" method of blade alignment, but it made sense to me. Here's what I did, with my overall approach being to align the blade to the RH miter slot.
  1. I looked around for a straightedge that would span the table. I ended up using one of my 4' levels. While they do have a bit of flex to them, they are at least as straight as the cast iron table top of the TS, so I called that good.
  2. I first clamped the level to the table, but later abandoned that approach as I realized that the straightedge should be attached directly to the blade. I ultimately used two small c-clamps to firmly attach the level to the blade.
  3. Using the accompanying miter gauge, I cobbled together a means of holding the HF dial indicator.
  4. I was careful to not allow any of the carbide tips touch the level so as to ensure that just the blade carcass touched the straightedge. I also made sure that the level did not drag on the table so shimmed it up a bit with some cardboard as I tightened the c-clamps, then removed the cardboard...leaving the level to be just above the table.
  5. After a bit of trial and error of adjusting the trunnions, I ended up getting it to just over .010" from front to back. That was as good as I seemed to be able to achieve, given that even slight touches to the blade and/or level would cause false readings. So in doing so, I used a very light touch throughout the process.
  6. I then did the stock rip fence the same way, but this proved more time consuming than the blade, even after having gained the experience with the blade alignment. I ended up getting it within about the same amount of deviation. Although I know the stock fence is not high-end, I am pretty happy with it overall and it only moves a couple thou when forced side to side with my hand, so it seems plenty rigid.

















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post #2 of 16 Old 07-17-2011, 07:06 AM
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Just a few comments. Your fence should not move when clamped down. Some of the deviation could be where your gauge touched the straightedge, or in not using the whole blade (its total diameter including the tips) as a reference.

There's been many "squaring" methods on forums. Some of them will work very well to square the blade to the miter slot and the fence to the blade/miter slot. Other methods can be more simple requiring no special dial gauges, providing to some what may be "acceptable results".








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post #3 of 16 Old 07-17-2011, 08:24 AM
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Nutz, that's a nice looking saw. Granite?

I believe what you've done will work fine, I do have just a few points of constructive criticism though :) this is one man's opinion and what works for me... Feel free to read amd burn!

When aligning anything it's important to remove as many variables as possible... this yields accuracy.

I suggest measuring from the blade. Mark a spot with a marker and measure front and back at the same point on the blade. That eliminates variables such as a bad grind or warping of the blade. Yes even new ones aren't perfect.

One other thing is gauge your fence from the left miter slot too. Same slot for both = less variables = greater precision.

And finally, your fence shouldn't actually be perfectly square lol... Not sure where I picked this up, but I set the rear of my fence 0.0005" to the left so as to prevent binding and kick-back.

Anywhich way you'll know your saw is tuned correctly if you can pass a jointed board through with little to no resistance and no swirls, burns or paint on the blade!

Take care!

~tom ...it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt...
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-17-2011, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemedic View Post
And finally, your fence shouldn't actually be perfectly square lol... Not sure where I picked this up, but I set the rear of my fence 0.0005" to the left so as to prevent binding and kick-back.
Yep +1
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-17-2011, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemedic View Post


And finally, your fence shouldn't actually be perfectly square lol... Not sure where I picked this up, but I set the rear of my fence 0.0005" to the left so as to prevent binding and kick-back.
I think the theory floating around is to set the rear of the fence to the right (toe out so-to-speak) away from the blade if the blade is on the left. In theory (so-to-speak), setting it to the left (toe in) (if that's towards the blade) would have the tendency to force the wood into the blade.

What we try to do is minimize problems to get a good cut. My opinion is to set the fence as parallel as possible to the miter slot/blade. Why start off with an out of parallel situation.








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post #6 of 16 Old 07-17-2011, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by cabinetman
What we try to do is minimize problems to get a good cut. My opinion is to set the fence as parallel as possible to the miter slot/blade. Why start off with an out of parallel situation.
.
I hear ya, but that small a difference is helping a straight rip... What happens is your allowing your rear teeth that are on the up-stroke to barely clear the wood. The front teeth on their down stroke are the only ones cutting.

Result; clean cuts with no double cutting, no rear climb and safer overall operation.

~tom ...it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt...
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-17-2011, 10:12 AM
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I hear ya, but that small a difference is helping a straight rip...
I may be all wrong, but a fence on an angle to me seems would allow a cut to be on an angle. IOW...how do you get a straight cut when the fence is on an angle?








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post #8 of 16 Old 07-17-2011, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemedic

I hear ya, but that small a difference is helping a straight rip... What happens is your allowing your rear teeth that are on the up-stroke to barely clear the wood. The front teeth on their down stroke are the only ones cutting.

Result; clean cuts with no double cutting, no rear climb and safer overall operation.

~tom ...it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt...
The rear of the blade will up-cut the cut off. And usually that's the piece not held down by push sticks or feather boards.

Ditto on everything parallel.
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-17-2011, 10:37 AM
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Old School / New School

Lol... We're only talking about 3/4 the thickness of a sheet of paper... we are LITERALLY splitting hair, lol

~tom ...it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt...
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-17-2011, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemedic
Old School / New School

Lol... We're only talking about 3/4 the thickness of a sheet of paper... we are LITERALLY splitting hair, lol

~tom ...it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt...
When there's not much hair left, one tends to cherish what's left :)
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-17-2011, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Brink

When there's not much hair left, one tends to cherish what's left :)
Watch what kinda ammo ya give me! lol

~tom ...it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt...
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-17-2011, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by firemedic

Watch what kinda ammo ya give me! lol

~tom ...it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt...
What ammo? I still have the same amount as when I was 19, it's just relocated some :)

(lol I beat you to it)
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-17-2011, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
Just a few comments. Your fence should not move when clamped down. Some of the deviation could be where your gauge touched the straightedge, or in not using the whole blade (its total diameter including the tips) as a reference.

There's been many "squaring" methods on forums. Some of them will work very well to square the blade to the miter slot and the fence to the blade/miter slot. Other methods can be more simple requiring no special dial gauges, providing to some what may be "acceptable results".

When I say that the fence "moves" I mean that I can see a lateral flex of about .003", but it does not move from that position...am I making sense? Anyway, I sincerely appreciate all the comments.

I read about using the blade and marking it, but to me that only trues about 10" of the saw. With this method, I am working with a much larger length, about 27" so in my mind I am maximizing the accuracy over the entire length of the table.

It is a Ridgid R4512, so just the std. cast iron top with steel wings.

Chris A.
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-17-2011, 12:59 PM
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That's what inspired this thread in '09

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiknNutz View Post
When I say that the fence "moves" I mean that I can see a lateral flex of about .003", but it does not move from that position...am I making sense? Anyway, I sincerely appreciate all the comments.

I read about using the blade and marking it, but to me that only trues about 10" of the saw. With this method, I am working with a much larger length, about 27" so in my mind I am maximizing the accuracy over the entire length of the table.


It is a Ridgid R4512, so just the std. cast iron top with steel wings.
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/t...er-slot-11185/
I felt that the blade just did not have enough length to give an accurate measurement to the miter slot. Check it out. bill

BTW there is a "flaw" in this method, but the difference in accuracy is negligible....blade imperfections and run out not in play.... Can you figure out what it might be?

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; 07-17-2011 at 01:03 PM.
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-17-2011, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/t...er-slot-11185/
I felt that the blade just did not have enough length to give an accurate measurement to the miter slot. Check it out. bill

BTW there is a "flaw" in this method, but the difference in accuracy is negligible....blade imperfections and run out not in play.... Can you figure out what it might be?
The flaw that I can see and thought of as well is that you have to assume that the both sides of ruler are perfectly parallel.

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post #16 of 16 Old 07-17-2011, 03:19 PM
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That would be the "flaw"!

Possible, but pretty unlikely ..you think? bill

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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