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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read two schools of thought:

1. Set the fence exactly parallel with the saw blade.

2. Set the fence so the rear is a bit open from the blade so there is no back cutting of the blade.

The first one has never worked for me. The back of the blade always clips a bit more off the cut, even though both front and rear measurements are identical. After trying this method numerous times, I'm finally giving up.

FWIW, I have a 20-year old Delta contractor's TS. I use a steel ruler with 1/32 gradations. I hand spin the blade about 1/4 rotation when checking the measurements.

Am I missing something or is back cutting inherent with method #1?
 

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well, sorta no. 1

I set the fence parallel to the miter slot.
I set the blade parallel to the miter slot.
Then if things are done correctly, :yes: they are both parallel to each other.
I use a splitter which keeps the work more tightly against the fence.
I use a think kerf blade and the splitter thickness is just slightly less than the kerf so it offers little or no resistence to the pass.

Occasionally, the wood opens up as you cut and may take a hair more off.

Your push stick/block or hand position may not be giving you the best results. I lock my right thumb over the work and push forward and into the fence simultaneously. That's difficult, but not impossible to do with some push sticks, depending how and where you locate them on the work. Close to the blade to give maximum leverage for inward pressure is the best. Close to the fence is not the best, no leverage.

There are "board buddies" and other roller assists to press inward towards the fence. I tried them, but they get in the way. A magnetic feather board works better for me. They twist to lock on and twist the opposite way to unlock. I only use them on rare occasions.

The fence panel itself whether an applied material or steel, must be straight, with no curve. Probably not something you would check but just assume it's straight....probably is? :blink:
 
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IMO...No Sorta To It

The blade should be parallel to the miter slot, and the fence should be parallel to both the miter slot and the blade. If the fence is set to a "toe out" condition, that is one where the back of the fence is further away from the blade than the front of the fence, you are starting off with a problem cut.

Lets say just as an example, that instead of toeing out just little bit, that you set it over ½". Now that sounds like a lot, but I'm just using that dimension to dramatize the effect. You will have the blade in one line, and the fence in another line. As you cut, you have an out-of-parallel cut causing stress on the blade. Why start off with a problem.

A good parallel cut is made with the operators' concentration on holding the stock against the fence throughout the cut, and keeping it flat to the table. Your attention should be on the fence and what's happening there, not looking at the blade. Looking at the blade takes your concentration away from where it should be even for a split second, which can allow drifting off the fence. This could contribute for a bad cut, or at worse, a kickback.

If you use a push shoe/stick or whatever, the guidance should be to keep the stock against the fence and flat to the table. This applies whether you have a riving knife or splitter or not. Riving knives and splitters have their own nuances. With wood having some internal stresses, it can bind against the riving knife and the fence.






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There is a school of thought that thinks.....any fence past the blade is wasted and contributes to a dangerous binding situation.These are big saws,Tanny's,Olivers N such.

I'll take a few .001's toed away from back of blade....and that can be increased until you see the stock start to come away from fence.On a cheap saw,a little toed out in back is usually safer than the opposite.

Try to make the distinction between setup and the wood's behavior.Meaning,if in doubt....use a nice grade of plywood.Then learn to read the cut....during and after.Take a real good look at your etiquette(make sure YOU aren't causing the issue),and cut or test with manageable sized pcs and try to see how the wood is traveling through the cut.It is entirely possible to see the blade struggling on the backside of cut......

I'm not a big fan of TS's in general.It is however a necessary evil in any WW'ing shop.I will say though,a well tuned setup is much more pleasurable to use.Once dialed in,it really shouldn't take that much effort to hold stock against fence...assuming good wood.Good luck,am sure you'll get yours setup just how you like it.
 
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Perfectly parallel is ideal. The theory behind option #2 acknowledges that nothing is perfect, and is a conservative approach to having the fence parallel to the blade, that attempts to avoid binding due to any imperfections in fence straightness. If you use the right side of the fence, you have to ensure that it is parallel too, which can make choice 2 a little tough. If you never use the right side of the fence, #2 is a decent choice IMO if you're very gentle with the toe out.....~+0.002" to 0.003".
 

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I've read two schools of thought:

1. Set the fence exactly parallel with the saw blade.

2. Set the fence so the rear is a bit open from the blade so there is no back cutting of the blade.

The first one has never worked for me. The back of the blade always clips a bit more off the cut, even though both front and rear measurements are identical. After trying this method numerous times, I'm finally giving up.

FWIW, I have a 20-year old Delta contractor's TS. I use a steel ruler with 1/32 gradations. I hand spin the blade about 1/4 rotation when checking the measurements.

Am I missing something or is back cutting inherent with method #1?
I do and have done both. Have had no problems with either way as long as I pay attention to be sure the back of the blade really is at the same dimension.

You have to measure the front of the blade anyway just to make the cut and it only takes a few seconds to do the second measurement. I never rely on the fence always returning to the same alignment as do some people.

George
 

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Also in the parallelism camp with a Biesemeyer fence, but sometimes I'll clamp on a short fence euro style if I think I may uncover reaction wood, It wouldn't take but a few minutes if you have a pair of clamps like these.

 

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I'm with the parallel group too.... I get mine to .001 or less utilizing a dial indicator bolted to the miter gauge. Then I start with the blade to miter slot....and then go to the fence to miter slot.
 

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where's my table saw?
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"sorta" .... confusion and explanation

I've read two schools of thought:

1. Set the fence exactly parallel with the saw blade.
My "sorta" response was NOT to the theory, but to the procedure.
Setting the fence to the blade is NOT the correct procedure. Both the fence and the blade must be set parallel to the miter slot which is the only fixed reference on the table, since both the blade/arbor/trunnions/carriage assembly and the fence can be adjusted independently of the table.


On contractors saws the trunnions/carriage is mounted to the underside of the table. To adjust the assembly requires loosening the carriage bolts that hold it to the table and aligning the blade to the slot using a scale or other measuring device.

On cabinet saws, the carriage is mounted to the cabinet as is the table. To adjust the blade alignment, you loosen the bolts that secure the table to the cabinet and align the blade to the miter slot using a measuring device.

Sorry for any confusion I may have created in the minds of those who may have misunderstood my "sorta" comment here. :yes:
 

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My "sorta" response was NOT to the theory, but to the procedure.
Setting the fence to the blade is NOT the correct procedure. Both the fence and the blade must be set parallel to the miter slot which is the only fixed reference on the table, since both the blade/arbor/trunnions/carriage assembly and the fence can be adjusted independently of the table.

Sorry for any confusion I may have created in the minds of those who may have misunderstood my "sorta" comment here. :yes:
There may not be any confusion. As stated the ideal setup is as below, IMO.
The blade should be parallel to the miter slot, and the fence should be parallel to both the miter slot and the blade.
If those conditions cannot be met, then further maintenance in adjustments as you have stated could be employed.






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see post 2

Paragraph 1 that's exactly what I said. :yes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I went back to the TS (again) but this time used a Starrett digital caliper. I also marked one of the teeth on the blade and used that tooth to do all the measurements.

My TS has a Delta Unifence on it. I found out that the fence toes-in slightly when completely locked. It's about .005 in. I was doing the measurements with the fence locked only enough to keep it in place.
That's why the slight toe-out method worked all these years and the parallel method didn't.

Thanks for the replies
 

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I went back to the TS (again) but this time used a Starrett digital caliper. I also marked one of the teeth on the blade and used that tooth to do all the measurements.

My TS has a Delta Unifence on it. I found out that the fence toes-in slightly when completely locked. It's about .005 in. I was doing the measurements with the fence locked only enough to keep it in place.
That's why the slight toe-out method worked all these years and the parallel method didn't.

Thanks for the replies
You should readjust your fence for a locked position.




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Setting the fence to the blade is NOT the correct procedure. Both the fence and the blade must be set parallel to the miter slot which is the only fixed reference on the table, since both the blade/arbor/trunnions/carriage assembly and the fence can be adjusted independently of the table.
That's only true if you want the blade and fence parallel to the miter slot. I think my words were "ideally". If the saw mechanism is out far enough to keep the saw blade out of parallel to the miter slot, OR, if you just don't want to have it that way, it's not an absolute necessity.

If you adjust your fence only to the blade, and don't need to use the miter gauge, you will have a parallel condition between the fence and the blade. If you want to do crosscuts, you can make a sled that can be configured perpendicular to the fence (and blade).






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Perfectly parallel is ideal. The theory behind option #2 acknowledges that nothing is perfect, and is a conservative approach to having the fence parallel to the blade, that attempts to avoid binding due to any imperfections in fence straightness. If you use the right side of the fence, you have to ensure that it is parallel too, which can make choice 2 a little tough. If you never use the right side of the fence, #2 is a decent choice IMO if you're very gentle with the toe out.....~+0.002" to 0.003".
When, where, what for are you using the right side of the fence to do when the blade is to the left. Do you put your fence to the left side of the blade?

George
 

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When, where, what for are you using the right side of the fence to do when the blade is to the left. Do you put your fence to the left side of the blade?

George
If the saw is a right tilt, the fence can be used on the left side of the blade for beveling. For some lefties, a saw is more comfortable to use with the fence on the left of the blade.






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woodnthings;532780 Setting the fence to the blade is NOT the correct procedure. Both the fence and the blade must be [B said:
set parallel to the miter slot which is the[/B] only fixed reference on the table, since both the blade/arbor/trunnions/carriage assembly and the fence can be adjusted independently of the table.






. :yes:
WHAT? Please say that again. It is the ONLY EXACT procedure for doing a rip cut. Setting the fence parallel to the miter slot is a procedure that will HOPEFULLY work. The miter has absolutely nothing to do with with a rip cut. For a rip cut the saw does not even need a miter slot.

If you measure your blade to fence distances you will KNOW that you have the correct alignment.

Now if you want to discuss cross cuts that is another matter. I believe that the initial discussion in this thread was a rip cut. If it was not then just ignore this post.

George
 
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