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How To Tune-up Your Table Saw

October 31, 2018Olen Murriel

A table saw is an important tool that is used for numerous woodworking tasks. It is a tool that needs constant maintenance to avoid bad results on your woodwork as well as accidents. To avoid such nasty occurrences, and to also maximize the precision performance of your tools, the tips provided here will help to keep your table saw, while also maintaining it, in tip-top shape.


How Do !Know When My Table Saw Requires a Tune-Up?


You don’t need to be a technical expert to have a clue. One way is if the slots and fence of your saw’s table are not aligned to the blade path perfectly, thereby causing burned or rough cuts. Also, non-precision of your blade angle stops can cause imperfect square cuts. When you have a misaligned splitter, it can result in pinching or other related feed problems; when your drive belts become stiff, or the pulley becomes poorly aligned, there could be a vibration. Having these and other difficulties implies your machine is not operating at its optimum level.


Check Blade

The blade of your table saw is expected to be sharp, relatively pitch-free, and perfectly flat. To know if the blade is flat, watch the blade as it slows down after turning off the saw. When the blade slows down and approaches its point of stoppage, you could have a clear view of any “Wobble” in the blade. Any wobbling in the blade implies a replacement is required.


Align the Blade

For clean and accurate crosscuts, the blade must be aligned appropriately to the workpiece. Asa result of the dependence of most crosscutting on a miter gauge, or any other jig that moves in the table slots, always ensure the blade and slots are parallel. Any wrong alignment will result in blade heel which can cause out-of-square, rough cuts.

To check the parallelism, fully raise your blade while you mark its plate very close to the perimeter. Identify the mark very close to one end of the blade slot, push the dial indicator against it lightly, while zeroing-out the dial face. Keep the mark located at the blade slot’s opposite end rotated. The difference in the measurement will help you to determine the level of any non-parallelism. Then, turn the blade until the carbide you chose stays at table level at the saw’s rear; measure again. If the distances still don’t match, you can adjust the motor according to the saw’s manual.


Level the table insert

Ensure the table insert fits flush together with the tabletop. Stand a drafting triangle to the miter slot on edge at 90A. The first thing to do is to bridge the insert right at the front edge, keep the insert raised or lowered until it rests on the triangle. Adjust the triangle to the rear and repeat the process. Then, glide the triangle over the whole insert.


Align the Fence

An improperly aligned fence will cause the saw blade to kick back, which is a hazardous situation. Thus, aligning your fence parallel with the blade will give you dado cuts.

When the blade is perfectly paralleled to the miter slot, align the fence parallel to the miter slot. The fence faces should be adjusted to the table squarely. It a tilted fence, changing it generally requires you to shim between the fence body and the faces. For accurate crosscutting, fit the miter gauge bar in the table slots snugly, without any sideways play.


Adjust the Blade Stops

Check the blade stops at 90A and 45k Ensure the blade carriage completely gets cranked against each stop in the absence of excessive pressure.

Take a few test miter cuts and crosscuts on a stock, while you trim off a minimum of 1504 inches to prevent blade deflection. Readjust the stops if the test cuts prove inaccurate. When set correctly, you can then tighten each of the jam nuts; retake the test cut procedure.


Adjust the splitter/riving knife and blade guard

To do this appropriately, ensure the splitter and the saw blade remain parallel, in the middle. For the splitter setting, divide into half a thin piece of plywood or cardboard, place the pieces against the two sides of the calibration plate or blade, and get the splitter centered.

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