Table saw fence not flat/true. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-17-2020, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Table saw fence not flat/true.

I was cutting some 2" cherry today and had difficulty pushing it through and it became harder once the end of the board went past the blade. So I dug out the dial indicator and checked. Sure enough, the fence had shifted towards the blade. But as I was moving the indicator from the operator side to the back of the fence, I noticed the dial moving in both directions as it remained touching the fence. I took some measurements and this is what the indicator showed, (+ = fence closer to the blade). I started about an inch from the edge on the operator side and ended about an inch from the back:

1" = 0
4" = +.003
14" = +.002
19.5" = 0
24" = - .0015 (back side of fence and this is where I set it)

Saw is Shop Fox W1837 with factory fence.

Should I worry about this, and if so how do I fix it?

Thanx ~ Ron
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-17-2020, 11:37 PM
where's my table saw?
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If you want to fix it ........
I found this 8" X 36" brass/aluminum kickplate which you can saw into two pieces or at any width that will cover your fence.You can use double sided tape to stick it on with. If it's hollow in the center, use two or more thicknesses of tape vertically where it's most hollow to build it out a bit. BEWARE once it's stuck it's almost impossible to get off. So leave the tape's backing on until it's flat across.

They also comes in stainless and brass, BUT stainless is too hard to cut with a table saw blade, unlike brass or aluminum.

You could spray glue some 150 or 240 grit wet dry paper to a very flat surface like your table saw top and sand it flat, BUT you will remove the anodizing off the aluminum..... not a good idea.

Finally, stick on some Melamine 3/4" thick and it may be flat enough .... I donno?

Measure the straightness from a dial indicator sliding in the miter slot if you are super picky about getting it as close to straight as possible. We are splitting hairs here, BUT if the feeding isn't smooth and even then there is a big enough issue to get it fixed ... JMO.

For many years I used a thick piece of Formica stuck to my table saw fence because it reduced the friction so much better than the aluminum. It comes in different thicknesses FYI.

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; 09-17-2020 at 11:43 PM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-18-2020, 03:15 AM
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You havent mentioned how you were moving the indicator. If you had it attached to a bar in the miter slot, it could just as easily be a loose miter bar wobbling

Either way, for woodworking .003" is nothing. Youre talking half the thickness of a hair, thats not something thats going to create a problem. Youve got an issue going on somewhere else, barring a major measurement error (like measuring flatness from a non-flat reference surface)
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-18-2020, 07:39 AM
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Do not concern yourself with those "errors." As noted above they are meaningless in woodworking.

Concern yourself with why the back of the fence shifted toward the blade and fix that.

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post #5 of 7 Old 09-18-2020, 11:11 AM
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there are 2 issues. one being the fence is not flat (assuming the readings were accurate) you can give it to a machine shop and they can skim it flat for you. but, that is very little deviation, i doubt it would affect the wood feed.

the 2nd issue is that the fence is toed in toward the blade, what george said. you typically want it toed out a few thousandths, front to back. at least make that adjustement.
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-18-2020, 12:00 PM
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or perhaps the kerf collapsed on the riving knife from internal stress.
or the riving knife is too thick for the thin kerf blade.

the aluminum extrusions are typically bolted to the fence body - a couple thou deviation where the bolts pull it tight is not unusual.
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-18-2020, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanx all for the replies.

First, @epicfail48 the indicator had no wobble and I was very careful as I moved it, so I'm fairly sure that the readings are accurate. And they were repeatable...

@woodnthings - I was hoping for the answer that I don't need to worry about it, so no need to fix since that's what most think.

To everyone else - I appreciate confirmation that it's not out enough to worry and I did correct the fence so that the back end is about .0015 away from the operator end.

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