How close is close nough - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-23-2018, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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How close is close nough

I am tuning my table saw and the blade and fense are to within 0.005 of being parallel. they both are tilted 0.005".

Last edited by Bob Willing; 06-23-2018 at 10:38 AM.
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-23-2018, 10:34 AM
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Good to go.

Dave in CT, USA
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-23-2018, 11:00 AM
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Spec on my Grizzly say .004, so yes, I'd think good also. Are they parallel to the miter slots?

Alexis de Tocqueville was a very smart man.
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-23-2018, 11:17 AM
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I do not own an instrument (other than a micrometer) that reads anywhere near that accuracy.


Woodworking just does not need accuracy in that range. I am very happy with 1/32" (00.03125}.


I also set up the rear measurement to be about an RCH wider.


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post #5 of 16 Old 06-23-2018, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Willing View Post
I am tuning my table saw and the blade and fense are to within 0.005 of being parallel. they both are tilted 0.005".
What are you using as the reference point? The miter gauge slot? Are the blade and fence parallel to each other? If so, you might want the fence tilt away from the blade a wee bit at the back of the table to prevent binding. Depending on the type of work you do a tad closer to parallel, if doable. What kind of saw is it?
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-23-2018, 12:08 PM
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A "T" style fence such as a Biesemeyer slides along some stock square tubing, simple geometry and logic will tell you that it is virtually impossible to adjust the outer end of the fence to the nth degree across the length of that tubing, even the thickness of the paint is going to have an effect the measurements.

The best you will ever do is "close enough".

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #7 of 16 Old 06-23-2018, 02:05 PM
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A "T" style fence such as a Biesemeyer slides along some stock square tubing, simple geometry and logic will tell you that it is virtually impossible to adjust the outer end of the fence to the nth degree across the length of that tubing, even the thickness of the paint is going to have an effect the measurements.

The best you will ever do is "close enough".
I've got a Delta T2 fence and it has a couple of set screws that allows the fence to be adjusted. Are we talking about the same thing?
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-23-2018, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by JIMMIEM View Post
I've got a Delta T2 fence and it has a couple of set screws that allows the fence to be adjusted. Are we talking about the same thing?
Yes we are!

Those set screws will allow you to adjust it in one position, dead on, within as many thousands as you have the patience to fiddle with, move the fence 6 inches along the rail and take a reading and see where you are now.

Woodworking machines will tolerate a "pretty close" setting and still produce adequate results, I would hate to think what a fence and rail system with tolerance to the .0001 thousands would cost, certainly not in the $500 range. Such a system would be in the class of a large high end metal lathe with ground and hardened ways, check the price of one of them.

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post #9 of 16 Old 06-23-2018, 07:42 PM
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How close is close enough? As good as you can measure, when it comes to woodworking. If all you have to align your saw is a ruler with 1/16 graduations, then thats close enough, you can get as fine as you need by eye and splitting the graduations. Personally though, i think that for machine setup every shop should have a dial indicator. Theyre cheap, commonly available, and the better the setup on your machine the better the end results will be. My machines i get as close to 0 as possible for something like blade parallelism, though you do have to factor in external issues like runout of the blade itself, so my target is <.003"

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post #10 of 16 Old 06-23-2018, 10:51 PM
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machine setup VS woodworking ....

We are talking about 2 different types of measurements. No woodworker I know of ever measures to .003" when building a jewelry box or kitchen cabinets. Some woodworkers like myself, don't hardly measure at all and just "cut to fit" . Lengths have to be the same for front and back, sides have to be the same for right and left, etc. Sure, gross measurements are required for cabinets, but a dado width is a cut to fit on a test piece for me. When it fits "right" is when it's a good fit.

Maybe I'm the only one who works that way, but I find it easier to cut to a pencil mark rather than measuring an opening, then transferring that measurement to the workpiece, then cut it hoping nothing went wrong and I didn't read the tape correctly. I use story sticks with the pencil marks labeled, rather than a tape measure a lot of the time on cabinets. For smaller projects, I use the pieces themselves to transfer the dimensions.

For machine setup, like the fence to miterslot, I don't care what then number says on the steel rule or dial indicator, I use the "touch" method by aligning the fence right over the slot and feel for an offset or not. For the blade to slot, I use a combination square resting in the slot and one marked tooth. I don't care what the number is on the rule, I go by the sound and feel as it "kisses" the tooth or not.


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 #11 of 16 Old 06-24-2018, 12:22 AM
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And if you were trying to cut a miter corner and the angles were wrong and you can see a gap. . . . . . .
It's a really nice, brand new house and there isn't hardly a single square corner in the living room, dining room or down the hall.
Maybe 1 molding joint in 10 matches up. . . . .

Paint the raw wood faces in the miter with black felt marker.
The optical illusion makes the gap seem a lot smaller than it really is.
If you're a wizard wood worker like me, this is a good trick.

That's how "close" becomes "close enough"!
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post #12 of 16 Old 06-24-2018, 12:35 PM
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And if you were trying to cut a miter corner and the angles were wrong and you can see a gap. . . . . . .
It's a really nice, brand new house and there isn't hardly a single square corner in the living room, dining room or down the hall.
Maybe 1 molding joint in 10 matches up. . . . .

One of the many reasons for this is that if you go to HD and buy a square, it most likely isn't.


My house built in the '80s has straight and square outer wall, but insides walls are random.
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post #13 of 16 Old 06-24-2018, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JIMMIEM View Post
What are you using as the reference point? The miter gauge slot? Are the blade and fence parallel to each other? If so, you might want the fence tilt away from the blade a wee bit at the back of the table to prevent binding. Depending on the type of work you do a tad closer to parallel, if doable. What kind of saw is it?
Parallel to the miter slot I used a dial indicator. the fence is plus on the bottom.
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post #14 of 16 Old 06-25-2018, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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First I would like to thank all of you for your comments. I originally posted this as a question to the group was that I needed to check my TS. It was pushing the wood away from the fence, but than I saw a YouTube video stating how to put pressure on the fence to correct the fence Parnellism. So, I tried that process and it appears to work based on my measurements with a dial indicator relative to the miter slot. I have not checked the actual operation so far due to other projects tying up the saw. By the way this is a SS TS Contractor saw, which has a very poor fence to start with. So, other reviewers tell me.
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post #15 of 16 Old 06-25-2018, 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Willing View Post
Parallel to the miter slot I used a dial indicator. the fence is plus on the bottom.
Sounds like you are good to go.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #16 of 16 Old 06-26-2018, 02:26 AM
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Yeah, you're off by . . . .
It Doesn't really matter . . . .

First question: are you wide at the rear?
Answer: you're probably good to go.
Question: do you expect to rip on the right side of the fence?
No. Go flavor some ice cubes and relax.
Yes: get it as close as you can but expect the left side of the fence to be a bit wide.
Get the fence as close as possible but a bit wide (0.001) when the fence is to the right of the blade.
If you are too far off when ripping with the fence to the left of the blade, it may be a bit tight and scorch the wood in your cut.
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Rich
In furniture 1/32" is a Grand Canyon

Last edited by NoThankyou; 06-26-2018 at 02:28 AM.
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