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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help!

I've read a few threads both on here and other forums, but I can not find a solution.

I've just purchased a used (obviously) 10" Craftsman Contractor table saw Model: 113.298842. I have been trying to get the blade aligned to one of the miter slots to no avail. I've spent the last three days working on it and today I thought I found success. My problem before was just when I thought I had everything dialed in within about .003, I'd tighten the 6 trunnion bolts down and it would be off by like .01. I'd like it to be a little more accurate than that. Today I finally got it down to .001 and that was with all the bolts tightened up. I was feeling pretty proud of myself for the rest of the day (as one would), until just now I decided to tilt the blade all the way to 45, raise and lower, then back to 90, raise and lower, then recheck. Now its off by .006.

I don't know if .006 is that big of a deal, especially when its tilting away from the fence at the back, so i guess its technically -.006. My irritation/issue is with the trunnions and worm gear for the tilting mechanism. Why would it change my alignment after tilting back and forth? I also noticed that it gets really hard to crank on the handle when close to 45, and its really loose when its close to 90. I tried some dry graphite spray, and also johnson paste wax, but it didn't seem to help much. Its difficult to get 90 dialed in because the worm gear is so loose at that end. It seems like the worm gear is not making full contact with the teeth when at 90. Is there any way to adjust this/alleviate the blade coming out of alignment when tilting back and forth? This is really frustrating!

I know its an old saw. I only paid $80 for it but I've heard that they are pretty good saws if you can get everything tuned up. I'd get a better saw if my budget would allow for it, but thats not the case, unfortunately. I'm bummed because I've already put in a lot of time building a table for it and everything. If this can't be solved I feel like ill be at a loss. So, any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

Thanks!

Zayne
 

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Keep in mind the saw is old and there is wear in the trunnions. This probably accounts for the difference. In any case if you would quit measuring it with machinist tools you would be a lot happier. With woodworking if the blade is aliened with a tape measure that's good enough.

The tightness when you crank the saw to 45 degrees could probably be adjusted out. It sounds like the trunnions are not parallel with each other.
 

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There is usually a stop collar that can be moved to change the worm to gear clearance. When the worm gear wears, it starts to bind, and can usually be readjusted. This is from a Grizzly, yours should be similar. (Item 95 in picture).
 

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You are close enough. Not to worry. This will be more than good enough for woodwork.
 
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You've got 2 separate but related issues.

If you really want this saw to operate smoothly and precisely, here's what I would do.
Disassemble the carriage, including the trunnions by taking it all apart. Clean and inspect the trunnions looking for signs of wear. Reassemble them on the carriage and see how smooth they will rotate. Remove any burrs and polish the surfaces with 400 grit or finer sandpaper. That should solve one of the issues.

Look at the tilt mechanism and thoroughly clean the Acme threaded rod using a piece of cord that fits into the thread, sawing back and forth all around. Crud builds up in there and you can't get it out other than this method. See if it's easy to crank to full tilt without the weight of the motor on it. If not further inspect it to find out what's hanging it up. It should be smooth as glass.

Now reassemble the carriage back onto the saw table. Replace the washers that may be bent or hammer them flat again. They are probably "star" washers and will take a set when tightened IF the bolt holes are a bit too large. You will have an easier job of all this if the saw is resting on it rear edge on a bench, rather than trying to do all this from underneath! Now you can measure and tighten the bolts and see what you are doing. This is a once in a lifetime process, so it's a bit of work but you'll only have to do it once.

I've done it about 4 times because I own that many Craftsman table saws. :surprise2:

You can use whatever measuring tool you are comfortable with to get the same distance to the miter slot to the blade. Use a blade that is known to be flat. You can test for run out by just spinning it place by hand with a small stick just touching the teeth. Put a mark or piece of tape on a tooth that touches. Use that tooth for your measurements. I use a tri-square because it always registers against the side of the slot. You can use a feeler gauge to get more precise if you want.

First, try to center the carriage on all the bolts to give you some room to move it around. If one bolt is rubbing you have to file that hole open a bit. Get it as parallel as possible to start using only the center bolts on each end. Snug them, but do not tighten them. Once you get it parallel to your satisfaction, install the remaining bolts and snug them down. Recheck for movement, tighten them all another 1/2 turn or so.

That should be all you ever have to do to have it set up correctly.
In the event of a severe kickback you should check the alignment again to see if it moved the carriage. :vs_cool:
 

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You will have get the tilting mechanism working properly before you can adjust the trunnions, it is an old saw so things will be worn and dirty, study how it all works and then get it working as good as possible. This usually means removing caked, compacted sawdust from nooks and crannies, then playing with the linkage to remove the slack.

Take Bill's advice and remove the saw from the base and tilt it up to work on it once that is fixed, take Steve's advice and forget using precision instruments to set it up, usually all they do is get you chasing your tail.
 

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I've owned one of those saws since buying it new in 1984. I keep it at 90° because adjusting the tilt is a frustrating experience. You set the angle you want then tighten the lock and the angle changes. Been like that since the day I bought it.

Your .006" is fine. But if it really bugs you look into a set of these:

http://www.in-lineindustries.com/products/contractor-saw-pals/
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you really want this saw to operate smoothly and precisely, here's what I would do.
Disassemble the carriage, including the trunnions by taking it all apart. Clean and inspect the trunnions looking for signs of wear. Reassemble them on the carriage and see how smooth they will rotate. Remove any burrs and polish the surfaces with 400 grit or finer sandpaper. That should solve one of the issues.

Look at the tilt mechanism and thoroughly clean the Acme threaded rod using a piece of cord that fits into the thread, sawing back and forth all around. Crud builds up in there and you can't get it out other than this method. See if it's easy to crank to full tilt without the weight of the motor on it. If not further inspect it to find out what's hanging it up. It should be smooth as glass.

Now reassemble the carriage back onto the saw table. Replace the washers that may be bent or hammer them flat again. They are probably "star" washers and will take a set when tightened IF the bolt holes are a bit too large. You will have an easier job of all this if the saw is resting on it rear edge on a bench, rather than trying to do all this from underneath! Now you can measure and tighten the bolts and see what you are doing. This is a once in a lifetime process, so it's a bit of work but you'll only have to do it once.

I've done it about 4 times because I own that many Craftsman table saws. :surprise2:

You can use whatever measuring tool you are comfortable with to get the same distance to the miter slot to the blade. Use a blade that is known to be flat. You can test for run out by just spinning it place by hand with a small stick just touching the teeth. Put a mark or piece of tape on a tooth that touches. Use that tooth for your measurements. I use a tri-square because it always registers against the side of the slot. You can use a feeler gauge to get more precise if you want.

First, try to center the carriage on all the bolts to give you some room to move it around. If one bolt is rubbing you have to file that hole open a bit. Get it as parallel as possible to start using only the center bolts on each end. Snug them, but do not tighten them. Once you get it parallel to your satisfaction, install the remaining bolts and snug them down. Recheck for movement, tighten them all another 1/2 turn or so.

That should be all you ever have to do to have it set up correctly.
In the event of a severe kickback you should check the alignment again to see if it moved the carriage. :vs_cool:
You will have get the tilting mechanism working properly before you can adjust the trunnions, it is an old saw so things will be worn and dirty, study how it all works and then get it working as good as possible. This usually means removing caked, compacted sawdust from nooks and crannies, then playing with the linkage to remove the slack.

Take Bill's advice and remove the saw from the base and tilt it up to work on it once that is fixed, take Steve's advice and forget using precision instruments to set it up, usually all they do is get you chasing your tail.
Thanks for the helpful responses, I appreciate it!

So, I've flipped the saw upside down and examined the threaded rod for the tilt mechanism. I noticed the side that the crank wheel is attached to flexes the whole side of the base of the saw when turned. I cut some 1/4" steel plate and bolted it to either side of the crank on the outside of the base to see if that helped anything, and it definitely helped, but it still flexes quite a bit, dunno if that will cause a problem with the saw coming out of alignment though. What i did notice is that the acme rod at the crank end on the inside moves in and out when rocking the carriage by hand. Also, the nut that is on the carriage that the threaded rod threads into to cause the carriage to tilt, also rocks side to side when you wiggle the handle on the outside. Below are videos. Is this normal/would it affect the saw coming out of alignment with the miter slot? Thanks!


 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Tried posting a reply but it's taking forever to get approved. I linked a couple of videos for reference but I'll just do my best to explain.

I flipped the table upside down after taking the motor off to inspect the tilting mechanism. I discovered that the whole side of the body that the tilt crank is attached to flexes pretty bad in and out when cranking to 90 or 45 (really, it flexes at any point). It flexes so much that the whole side was bent. So I reinforced the outside of the body with two 1/4" 1" wide strips of steel that span top to bottom of the base, on either side of the crank handle. This seemed to help, but it still flexes a little. I also noticed that the little ball socket that is attached to the body where the crank handle is moved in and out when rocking the carriage by hand. There is probably 1/4" of movement. Also, the nut that is on the carriage end that the tilt worm gear feeds into also has some side to side movement when moving the rod side to side by hand, probably also about 1/4". Is this normal? If not, how do I alleviate this?

Thanks again!

Zayne

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That helps some

The lateral play is OK, in the first video.
The in/out play is not so good in the second one.
I would see what you can do to reduce that play. I couldn't tell if the side panel was oil canning or not, but that wouldn't be desirable either.

What you really want is for the entire carriage between the trunnions to slide freely with no effort other than to overcome it's own weight.
Test this without the tilt rod connected. When you get that right, then attach the tilt rod and you should be good to go.

The video that comes up after I played yours, by Jerry Cole seems like it would be helpful .... I donno?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The lateral play is OK, in the first video.
The in/out play is not so good in the second one.
I would see what you can do to reduce that play. I couldn't tell if the side panel was oil canning or not, but that wouldn't be desirable either.

What you really want is for the entire carriage between the trunnions to slide freely with no effort other than to overcome it's own weight.
Test this without the tilt rod connected. When you get that right, then attach the tilt rod and you should be good to go.

The video that comes up after I played yours, by Jerry Cole seems like it would be helpful .... I donno?
I'm not 100% on what exactly oil canning is defined as, but the side is definitely bent from the pushing/pulling of the rod against the side panel, which is why I added the bracing (the ten bolts you see sticking through on the second video). I'll probably add some more bracing and see if that helps. I'll do what you suggested and get back to you! I'll also check out that video, didn't even notice it and it seems helpful

Thanks!

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
UPDATE:

I have cleaned/fixed everything. I shimmed up the tilt rod so that it doesnt have any play. I lubed up the gears and trunnions with paste wax. I made and installed some PALS. Got everything adjusted and tightened up. Tilted the blade to 45, and it was still really hard to crank from about 70 all the way to 45. The tilt rod was very well lubricated just to eliminate friction as a variable. Tilted the blade back to 90 and the angle of the blade from front to back changed by .004. Decided to tilt it again, and back to 90 just to see if the problem would be a compounding one (ie. To see if the blade angle kept getting worse and worse everytime I tilted to 45 and back to 90). When I checked again, the angle was .002 off from front to back... so, it was less. What the heck is going on!? Why is it changing every time i tilt the blade, and why is it so dang hard to crank the tilt?

This is an ordeal!



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like I said earlier ...

I have a Bosch job site saw, 4000-09 if I recall that has no tilt rod. To channgkle the blade angle you loosen the tilt lock and swing the whole carriage over by hand. Then tighten the tilt lock knob.It swings very easily with help from gravity.

If you disconnect the tilt rod, your carriage should swing very easily from 90 degrees to 45 degrees, by hand. You'll have to overcome the weight, so I would remove the motor for this test. If the carriage does not move easily in the trunnions, something is twisted or binding. That's what you need to address. Make certain the tilt lock knob is loose enough to prevent binding. Both trunnions have to be in the same plane for this to work right. One of them can't be skewed to the other. Once you get this part moving easily, reconnect the tilt rod and see how that works. Then it's time for blade alignment.
:nerd2:
 

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like I said earlier ...

I have a Bosch job site saw, 4000-09 if I recall, that has no tilt rod. To change the blade angle, you loosen the tilt lock and swing the whole carriage over by hand. Then tighten the tilt lock knob. It swings very easily with help from gravity.

If you disconnect the tilt rod, your carriage should swing very easily from 90 degrees to 45 degrees, by hand. You'll have to overcome the weight, so I would remove the motor for this test. If the carriage does not move easily in the trunnions, something is twisted or binding. That's what you need to address. Make certain the tilt lock knob is loose enough to prevent binding. Both trunnions have to be in the same plane for this to work right. One of them can't be skewed to the other. Once you get this part moving easily, reconnect the tilt rod and see how that works. Then it's time for blade alignment.
:nerd2:
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have a Bosch job site saw, 4000-09 if I recall, that has no tilt rod. To change the blade angle, you loosen the tilt lock and swing the whole carriage over by hand. Then tighten the tilt lock knob. It swings very easily with help from gravity.

If you disconnect the tilt rod, your carriage should swing very easily from 90 degrees to 45 degrees, by hand. You'll have to overcome the weight, so I would remove the motor for this test. If the carriage does not move easily in the trunnions, something is twisted or binding. That's what you need to address. Make certain the tilt lock knob is loose enough to prevent binding. Both trunnions have to be in the same plane for this to work right. One of them can't be skewed to the other. Once you get this part moving easily, reconnect the tilt rod and see how that works. Then it's time for blade alignment.
:nerd2:
Thanks for the response. I actually made sure to check this before reinstalling the motor. The carriage swings back and forth nice and easy with absolutely no resistance. I then installed the tilt rod and it tilted easily when cranked. Then I installed the motor and it became extremely difficult. There has got to be something I'm overlooking.



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Here is a diagram of a saw very similar to yours. In this diagram there are two trunnions (15), onto which there is a bracket (39) that hangs and swivels on those trunnions.

There must be some interference between those two surfaces. The two castings rub on each other, allowing it to swing. Those surfaces must be cleaned and burr free, then lubricated with a dry lube, like Teflon or graphite...so it won't attract dust into the lube. The binding of its ability to swing freely is what is causing the sheet metal to bow and distort because the sheet metal is weaker than the trunnion assembly. Whatever is binding there is causing your inaccurate measurements. Until you correct this it will NEVER be accurate.


In order to inspect and clean and lube these parts they must be separated from each other. This is easiest done with the saw completely upside down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Here is a diagram of a saw very similar to yours. In this diagram there are two trunnions (15), onto which there is a bracket (39) that hangs and swivels on those trunnions.

There must be some interference between those two surfaces. The two castings rub on each other, allowing it to swing. Those surfaces must be cleaned and burr free, then lubricated with a dry lube, like Teflon or graphite...so it won't attract dust into the lube. The binding of its ability to swing freely is what is causing the sheet metal to bow and distort because the sheet metal is weaker than the trunnion assembly. Whatever is binding there is causing your inaccurate measurements. Until you correct this it will NEVER be accurate.


In order to inspect and clean and lube these parts they must be separated from each other. This is easiest done with the saw completely upside down.
I can say, after disassembling the carriage system and cleaning the trunnions along with everything else thoroughly, then waxing the moving/sliding surfaces. Then testing everything without the motor on. Everything was moving/sliding with great ease until I reinstalled the motor. I dont think anything in the way of burrs/grime/sawdust is the issue. Everything was cleaned immaculately.

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One last thing .... well, maybe ?

With the motor installed with the drive belt on, in the normal operating position, it binds and becomes hard to tilt right? IF you "assist" the weight of the motor by hand and tilt it, what happens?
The motor is adding a twisting or torque to the carriage, either because it is too heavy, too far out on the adjustment rods, or the mounting brackets are twisting. Check that out. If that's the only issue, why not add a spring assist or a bungee cord to overcome the motors weight? I wouldn't add a counter weight because there already too much weight.

I don't know about your saw exactly, but if there are two 5/8' or 3/4" rods held in place with set screws, tighten them really tight. I think I remember seeing a diagram where the trunnions are closer together than is normally the case. How about a nice clear photo or 2 of what's going on? A overall shot and a close up. :nerd2:
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
With the motor installed with the drive belt on, in the normal operating position, it binds and becomes hard to tilt right? IF you "assist" the weight of the motor by hand and tilt it, what happens?
The motor is adding a twisting or torque to the carriage, either because it is too heavy, too far out on the adjustment rods, or the mounting brackets are twisting. Check that out. If that's the only issue, why not add a spring assist or a bungee cord to overcome the motors weight? I wouldn't add a counter weight because there already too much weight.

I don't know about your saw exactly, but if there are two 5/8' or 3/4" rods held in place with set screws, tighten them really tight. I think I remember seeing a diagram where the trunnions are closer together than is normally the case. How about a nice clear photo or 2 of what's going on? A overall shot and a close up. :nerd2:
I just now tried tilting while assisting the motor and it was still binding. Tried adjusting the motor carriage in a little to see if that helped. Nothing. Took the motor off and flipped the table over. Still difficult to crank. Removed the tilt rod and tilted the carriage back and forth by hand and it was sticking a little. I then loosened the bolts on the front trunnion and it started moving freely.

I think what's happening is by the time I get the rear trunnion adjusted it offsets the front and back trunnions so they aren't in the same plane anymore. Should I be loosening all 6 bolts? 3 front and 3 back when adjusting the rear trunnion with the pals that I made? Or do I leave the center bolts somewhat snug?

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