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post #1 of 17 Old 05-09-2019, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quick question regarding table saws.

Let me start off by saying I'm definitely a novice in regards to woodworking equipment. I deal more with metal machining. Over the course of a year or so I've been having a hell of a time getting my hitatch c10fl table saw to cut square. Specifically ripping boards into rectangles. For what I'm trying to achieve is simply just take a rectangle to 1.3". The problem is that when I go back to check how "square" it is using a machinist square it will be off by a few degrees no matter how much I fine tune my saw. I don't know why I was under the assumption that these contractor type saws had a ground table top. This one does not and it is definitely not flat. I assume this would be the reason I'm not able to achieve a decent square. My question is this. Cabinet saws like the unisaw and the pm 66 have ground table tops. Other than that is it really worth the money to upgrade? My Hitachi has a 3hp motor and so its not lacking in power which from what I've read is a reason people upgrade to these machines. Or am I simply just asking to much out of a table saw in the first place? For what I'm doing it's imperative that these are as square as possible. Shorter pieces I'm able to throw them in the milling machine and don't have a problem but some of these pieces are 30" or longer and I'm not able to mill them.

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post #2 of 17 Old 05-09-2019, 08:26 PM
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what you mean ... cutting square?

A table saw has a rip fence, a miter gauge and a spinning blade. The blade must be adjusted to 90 degrees to the table or "square". The miter gauge must be adjusted 90 degrees to the plane of the blade or "square". Assuming you are making 90 degree cuts either across the length or ripping down the length.



What else is there to go wrong?


The miter gauge is probably the least accurate way to cross cut long lengths, a miter saw or RAS would be more accurate. The ain't no better way to rip repeated long lengths than on a table saw using a rip fence. Sure a track saw would work, but try making 20 pieces of 6 ft long length, measuring twice for each rip ... PITA.

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 #3 of 17 Old 05-09-2019, 09:03 PM
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The saw you have isn't really a contractor saw, it's a portable saw. It's designed to be lightweight and portable to do the most minor jobs. In the process accuracy is cast to the wind. Still I don't believe you should have the problems you are having. You might need to do some adjusting. The most important thing is that the blade be parallel with the miter slots. Then when using the saw the fence needs to also be parallel with the miter slots. The fence may not be able to adjust it to where it automatically locks down parallel with the miter slots. A lot of saws you have to measure the distance between the fence and the miter slot at the front and the back of the saw every time you set it up. Even some industrial cabinet saws are like that. There is a old model Powermatic saw that has two locking levers, one for the front and one on the back for this reason.

The ground saw tops are generally cast iron and heavy. You can't expect them to put a heavy top on a portable saw. It's made light in weight so a sheetmetal top is used. Lay a straight edge across the top and see how flat the saw is. It's possible a sheetmetal top might lack as much as a 16th of an inch of being flat. No more than that shouldn't cause any real problem. Woodworking doesn't have as tight specifications as metal work. If you could explain in better detail what is cutting off we might be able to help you. Often with a little saw some cuts are just cumbersome and you let the wood slip a little. Nothing wrong with the saw, it's just difficult to operate.
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post #4 of 17 Old 05-09-2019, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
The saw you have isn't really a contractor saw, it's a portable saw. It's designed to be lightweight and portable to do the most minor jobs. In the process accuracy is cast to the wind. Still I don't believe you should have the problems you are having. You might need to do some adjusting. The most important thing is that the blade be parallel with the miter slots. Then when using the saw the fence needs to also be parallel with the miter slots. The fence may not be able to adjust it to where it automatically locks down parallel with the miter slots. A lot of saws you have to measure the distance between the fence and the miter slot at the front and the back of the saw every time you set it up. Even some industrial cabinet saws are like that. There is a old model Powermatic saw that has two locking levers, one for the front and one on the back for this reason.

The ground saw tops are generally cast iron and heavy. You can't expect them to put a heavy top on a portable saw. It's made light in weight so a sheetmetal top is used. Lay a straight edge across the top and see how flat the saw is. It's possible a sheetmetal top might lack as much as a 16th of an inch of being flat. No more than that shouldn't cause any real problem. Woodworking doesn't have as tight specifications as metal work. If you could explain in better detail what is cutting off we might be able to help you. Often with a little saw some cuts are just cumbersome and you let the wood slip a little. Nothing wrong with the saw, it's just difficult to operate.
I appreciate the reply, the hitatchi saw that I have has a cast iron top but using a straight edge you can definitely see that it's not flat, Almost bowed. I have checked parallelism with the miter slots and blade and again with the fence. I understand that when locked the fence will kind of cock one way or the other. All the cuts I make on this table saw is lengthwise slowly ripping my 1.5x1.5x30" to 1.3x1. 3x30". I take a cut on one side and number it, I then put that side on the table and repeat. I do this with all 4 sides until it's to size. I then take a machinist square and check each side in relation to the other. 2 of them will be good, the 3rd is kind of off and the 4th is horrible.

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post #5 of 17 Old 05-09-2019, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelbywilliams54 View Post
I appreciate the reply, the hitatchi saw that I have has a cast iron top but using a straight edge you can definitely see that it's not flat, Almost bowed. I have checked parallelism with the miter slots and blade and again with the fence. I understand that when locked the fence will kind of cock one way or the other. All the cuts I make on this table saw is lengthwise slowly ripping my 1.5x1.5x30" to 1.3x1. 3x30". I take a cut on one side and number it, I then put that side on the table and repeat. I do this with all 4 sides until it's to size. I then take a machinist square and check each side in relation to the other. 2 of them will be good, the 3rd is kind of off and the 4th is horrible.

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Try measuring the parts with a tape measure from corner to corner in both directions. If it is truly out of square it will be different measurements. The texture on the edge of the wood created by the saw can throw off a square.

When ripping the wood can you detect the wood pulling away from the fence at all. Even a little can screw it up. Sometimes you can get a brand new saw blade that the teeth are not exactly in line with each other and it can cause anyone problems ripping.
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post #6 of 17 Old 05-09-2019, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Try measuring the parts with a tape measure from corner to corner in both directions. If it is truly out of square it will be different measurements. The texture on the edge of the wood created by the saw can throw off a square.



When ripping the wood can you detect the wood pulling away from the fence at all. Even a little can screw it up. Sometimes you can get a brand new saw blade that the teeth are not exactly in line with each other and it can cause anyone problems ripping.
I guess this brings another question. You are right about the ends of the rectangle not being exact as far as width goes but does that effect the corners being perpendicular to one another? For example a 2x4 can be cut so that the corners are perpendicular "square" to one another. Now another thing that can be throwing it off is that my fence is not so perpendicular to the table. It has a slight twist in it. I try to just use it as a guide and keep downward pressure on the stock that I'm cutting.

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post #7 of 17 Old 05-09-2019, 10:39 PM
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So, let's get this right .....

You have a wonky saw, with a wonky fence and a warped table and you're looking for accuracy?



Stop beating your head against the wall and the pain will stop.


Get a decent cast iron top contractor saw with a decent fence and you may actually enjoy woodworking. A hybrid saw, motor under the table, is also a great alternative. Like a Grizzly G0715:


https://www.grizzly.com/products/Gri...-Series/G0833P


As you may have figured out already, the fence is the "heart" of the table saw and it must work well and align each time you lock it. Anything else is just a nuisance. A portable saw will never be a substitute for the real deal, sorry...........
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post #8 of 17 Old 05-09-2019, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
You have a wonky saw, with a wonky fence and a warped table and you're looking for accuracy?



Stop beating your head against the wall and the pain will stop.


Get a decent cast iron top contractor saw with a decent fence and you may actually enjoy woodworking. A hybrid saw, motor under the table, is also a great alternative. Like a Grizzly G0715:


https://www.grizzly.com/products/Gri...-Series/G0833P


As you may have figured out already, the fence is the "heart" of the table saw and it must work well and align each time you lock it. Anything else is just a nuisance. A portable saw will never be a substitute for the real deal, sorry...........
Haha I appreciate your honesty. I will definitely invest in a good cabinet saw.

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post #9 of 17 Old 05-09-2019, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelbywilliams54 View Post
I guess this brings another question. You are right about the ends of the rectangle not being exact as far as width goes but does that effect the corners being perpendicular to one another? For example a 2x4 can be cut so that the corners are perpendicular "square" to one another. Now another thing that can be throwing it off is that my fence is not so perpendicular to the table. It has a slight twist in it. I try to just use it as a guide and keep downward pressure on the stock that I'm cutting.

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Whether you are cutting parts or assembling a door measuring diagonally from corner to corner is the best way to check to see if it is square. It doesn't matter if what you are measuring is symmetrical or rectangular if it measures the same both ways the same it's square. Squares can sometimes lie to you when working with wood. You can sometimes put a square on three corners of a square and it will be perfect and the fourth be off which in reality is impossible.

The fence having a twist in it is not tolerable. It not only can cause you problems it is dangerous. It's critical that the blade cut through the wood in a straight line. Any turns in the cut can create a situation where the wood binds between the fence and the blade and can kick back at you. If you are going to use it keep it in your mind that if it does kick back you let it. Don't fight with the saw. The operator usually loses and I mean fingers.
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post #10 of 17 Old 05-10-2019, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
You have a wonky saw, with a wonky fence and a warped table and you're looking for accuracy?



Stop beating your head against the wall and the pain will stop.


Get a decent cast iron top contractor saw with a decent fence and you may actually enjoy woodworking. A hybrid saw, motor under the table, is also a great alternative. Like a Grizzly G0715:


https://www.grizzly.com/products/Gri...-Series/G0833P


As you may have figured out already, the fence is the "heart" of the table saw and it must work well and align each time you lock it. Anything else is just a nuisance. A portable saw will never be a substitute for the real deal, sorry...........

I have to disagree with this comment to a degree. "A portable saw will never be a substitute for the real deal, sorry.. "


While it is true that the portable saw will never be an exact duplicate for a contractor/hybird saw, it can functionally be a very good substitute.



I have a friend that used to have a fully equipped shop with full scale equipment. Now, at a later stage in life, he has less space and used a fold up, portable saw. He still makes woodworking projects just as beautiful as he ever did with the full shop.


George
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post #11 of 17 Old 05-10-2019, 07:40 AM
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I disagree to a degree ..

My Bosch 4100-09 was a $650.00 saw, when new. It's not a cheap, wonky saw with a wonky fence like the OP's. If you have the money for a good portable saw, and need the lightweight for shop constraints, you CAN get a saw that will do good accurate work .... DAMHIKT



I wouldn't want it to be my ONLY saw if I had the space for a "real deal" cast iron table saw, however. There are different grades of every type of saw, and yes, my statement was a generalization .... to a degree.

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 #12 of 17 Old 05-10-2019, 09:13 AM
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Even a portable site saw can have a fence adjusted to rip accurate strips of wood.

The problem would be to chop those lengths accurately.

You can get a small capacity miter saw (7¼" blade) for about 100 dollars. It is probably the most cost effective way to do this.

You should try a sled on your existing saw first. You might get satisfactory results from that. 1.3" probably only requires about a 2" long cut so a sled might do fine for that.
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post #13 of 17 Old 05-10-2019, 11:23 AM
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You can fix your fence by adding a length of MDF or similar to it, fasten it with at least three countersunk screws, shimming so it is perendicular to the table surface.

Check that your blade is parallel to miter slots and adjusted exactly perpendicular to table surface.

Adjust your fence parallel to miter slots.

Make a test cut and check if it is square, if not adjust blade.

If you are using S4S stock only make two cuts to resize it, with factory face down on both cuts to reduce chances of error.
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post #14 of 17 Old 05-10-2019, 02:55 PM
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I guess the bashers didn't bother to look up the model number. it is not a wonky saw.

the table being warped is an issue. which direction is warped? direction of cut or perpendicular to the miter slots?
ripping 1.3" fence to blade, the warping may not pose an issue.

the fence should be adjusted parallel and no it's not 'normal' for it to be 'off' when clamped.

how are finding the saw blade set to 90'?
it tilts, if it's not set at exactly 90 the error can/will (depends on how you rotate) accumulate with every cut.

if the ends are not cutting square using the miter gauge, it may not be set square to the miter slots.

there's really no reason you should not be getting acceptable results - so you may need to step through the saw set up again.
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post #15 of 17 Old 05-10-2019, 10:14 PM
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wonky ..... ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shelbywilliams54 View Post
Let me start off by saying I'm definitely a novice in regards to woodworking equipment. I deal more with metal machining. Over the course of a year or so I've been having a hell of a time getting my hitatch c10fl table saw to cut square. Specifically ripping boards into rectangles. For what I'm trying to achieve is simply just take a rectangle to 1.3". The problem is that when I go back to check how "square" it is using a machinist square it will be off by a few degrees no matter how much I fine tune my saw. I don't know why I was under the assumption that these contractor type saws had a ground table top. This one does not and it is definitely not flat. I assume this would be the reason I'm not able to achieve a decent square. My question is this. Cabinet saws like the unisaw and the pm 66 have ground table tops. Other than that is it really worth the money to upgrade? My Hitachi has a 3hp motor and so its not lacking in power which from what I've read is a reason people upgrade to these machines. Or am I simply just asking to much out of a table saw in the first place? For what I'm doing it's imperative that these are as square as possible. Shorter pieces I'm able to throw them in the milling machine and don't have a problem but some of these pieces are 30" or longer and I'm not able to mill them.

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This is the closest I found to a product description:
https://woodworkingtoolkit.com/hitachi-c10fl/
QUOTING:
Custom fence – You can easily retrofit your own fence with this unit. It is not delivered with one, which is a bummer.

Actually, it sounds decent at first but the "Conclusion" gives a different impression.

If the fence is wonky, then it doesn't matter about dust collection or how powerful the motor is etc. It just won't be a joy to use as the OP is suggesting. As a metal machine operator the OP should be able to improve on the fence locking and alignment system. I completely redesigned a Craftsman fence from the rails to the locking mechanism years ago and I still have all the pieces. Older Craftsman fences were notoriously wonky. I love my Delta Unifence which replaced it.


If the basics are there, then some effort to improve the fence would make sense.

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; 05-10-2019 at 10:16 PM.
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post #16 of 17 Old 05-11-2019, 02:26 PM
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It would be much easier to reply to this thread if we actually saw a photo of the saw and the end result of the cut, there seems to be a terminology problem, both with the type of saw and the expected end result. If it has the fence I think it has there may be a way to adjust it perpendicular to the table.

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post #17 of 17 Old 05-17-2019, 12:14 AM
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Whatever solution you undertake, you will need to check your setup, particularly the parallelism of the blade and miter slots. Even on a new saw, this is a critical step with any saw. If the table isn't really flat, you'll find it almost impossible to get good cuts, but flat is pretty relative. If you're using feeler gauges, most manufacturers consider 15 thousandths to be flat. If it is much more than that, you'll have problems. Theoretically you could take it to a mahine shop and have it flattened, but you might be better off just biting the bullet for a nice hybrid saw. Even then, how you set the saw up will determine how well will do what you want.


Most stock miter gauges are not very accurate if you rely on the protractor settings. But with a really good engineer's square or a draftsman's triangle, you can adjust the angle to exactly 90 to the body of the blade. Not the cutting tips, the flat part of the blade. You can add a very straight board to most miter gauges, and apply a self adhesive strip of sandpaper to the front surface of the board so you don't get slippage. I have the thick triangle from Rockler. Very accurate.



I make a lot of picture frames, and had a devil of a time getting perfect mitered corners. Finally turned out to be the narrow kerf blade. I changed to a Freud glue line full kerf blade and the cuts became flatter. The narrow kerf blade deflected slightly mid cut. The full kerf blade cured all that.


Do immediately buy a Wixey angle gauge. This lets you set the blade angle precisely to 90 to the table. A slight error on that angle will mess up your assembly. Cost is $30 on amazon. If you get a news saw, you'll use it. Use it every time you move the blade. Crank the blade all the way up to use it.


I had a decent Delta contractor saw for several years and it worked OK, but then I got a Laguna Hybrid and it is a brand new world of accuracy and performance. But even it required a careful tune up.
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