Setting up my shop - Delta Contractor Saw part 1 #1: I thought I had been getting good cuts before, boy was I wrong

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Blog entry by DurangoDelta posted 02-07-2011 08:33 AM 1376 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Setting up my shop - Delta Contractor Saw part 1 series no next part

Got a lot of tools from my father as an early inheritance when they were cleaning out the one and only house where I grew up back East. Thanks to some good friends, I was able to get the whole shop moved out to Colorado as they were also moving out West.

The table-saw is a Delta 10” contractor model with the two stamped supports and the round bar fence. There were also a bunch of blades that my dad had for years. I tried aligning the fence to the front and back of the blade, but that was about it.

Well, I had been drooling over other fence systems and knew I needed to upgrade if I wanted to make better quality projects. After much deliberation I picked the Incra Combo System #3, this is the Incra TS-LS 52 setup with the left mount router table, wonder fence and all the accessories. I also got the PAL-S, the In Line performance kit (machined pulleys and link belt), the A-Line it kit, and a couple Forrest thin kerf blades.

Had to completely remove the trunion to get the arbor pulley off by cutting the nut holding it on with a grinder. What a stupid design that was. The replacement pulley uses the normal key and set screw to hold it on. Put that all together with the link belt and noticed a smoother running saw immediately.

Then I used the A-Line it kit and the PAL-S to true the blade to the saw rails. I also checked the arbor runout and that was within a thousandth or less. This may have been the first time this saw was ever aligned to this precision. Had to try a test cut with the WWII-48t blade. So smooth.

Next I took a couple days to assemble and dial in the Incra system along with the left mount router table. Still trying to figure out where to put the stops so I can get the max cut with the long rails and also have a stop for the router table. Used the A-Line-it kit to test the setup of the fence. Again, had to make some test cuts after getting this dialed in. Boy, when the Incra says 4” on the rail it means it. Can’t believe how far off I was using the tape measure method.

Today I wanted to try the 30T Forrest rip blade. I have some 2” thick maple butcherblock that we trimmed from my dining table. It is close to 6 feet long. The saw ripped it with no hesitation, no burn marks, nothing. It cut through that hard maple like butter.

Now the fun part. Learning how to use all the amazing features of the Incra.

Might have to sell my Dad’s old saw blades. Compared to the Forrest, they just don’t cut it.

4 comments so far

View woodman1962's profile


150 posts in 2107 days

#1 posted 02-07-2011 02:07 PM

sounds like you got it working good.As far as the blades go they really have come a long way from the old blades with new technology.I got a lot of old blades from a friend of mine an they just do not cut like some of the new ones.Good luck with all your new tools


View SPalm's profile


5249 posts in 3301 days

#2 posted 02-07-2011 04:36 PM

I remember when I finally added a new fence and blade to the old saw I had inherited from my father. I had no idea that other people lived like this. What a revolution.

Enjoy you new found freedom,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View GregD's profile


777 posts in 2555 days

#3 posted 02-07-2011 05:38 PM

You might want to keep some of the old blades. I save my WW-II blades for cuts that I care about and use less expensive “beater” blades otherwise (cutting to rough dimensions, for example). Blades that cut too horrible even for rough work are sometimes cut up for metal parts.

If you still have sheet metal wings you may find that replacing them with shop-made wings surfaced with plastic laminate will also make a noticable improvement.

-- Greg D.

View DurangoDelta's profile


8 posts in 2094 days

#4 posted 02-07-2011 05:50 PM

Yes, in hindsight I decided that it would be better to keep the old blades. I’m going to clean them well and get them sharpened, saving them as “beater” blades.

I replaced the left wing with the Incra router table. Planning on making a larger right wing with laminate top. Not sure if I’ll get the $39 incra install kit or just fab up something myself. Might make a couple more intermediate stops for the incra as well. Then a rolling cabinet to go under the right side to hold all the ts, router and incra accessories.

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