The new fence has been sitting in its boxes since it arrived Wednesday. I promised myself and my wife that I would get to a certain stopping point in the current project – a kitchen pantry extension in the basement – before starting the next. The basic structure (a closet and a wall along a 100-year-old stone and block wall) was up, but it needed to be painted. Some trimming out, and a couple days to paint it, has taken my spare time in the past few days.
While paint was drying, I cleaned up the saw and performed my standard alignment procedure. To my surprise, the alignment of blade and miter slots was zero to 0.003” within the range of the blade, even after using the saw for the past two years (not constant use: I have a busy job with some travel). I did not bother installing the PALS, because I don’t think I can get much better than that. The trunnion bars, which I discovered a few years ago were out of skew until I fixed it (a bear of a job) were also perfectly aligned, within what I can measure.
BTW I use the SuperGage and MasterPlate from mastergage.com for aligning my saw. They make it easy to align the saw, and it makes a huge difference in the quality of the cuts, and the safety of the saw. I’m glad I invested in them. And while not strictly necessary, I used the 123 Microgage to get the throat plate perfectly level with the table top (see my review in the reviews section).
I blew out the inside of the box with the dust collector running to get it clean, so I could examine the inside workings better. (Some time ago I enclosed the trunnion box for dust collection purposes – I’ll blog about that later.)
There were some places where sawdust has collected, apparently with pitch, because I could not scratch it off with my fingernail. I got an old toothbrush and some blade/bit cleaner, and it cleaned up nicely.
The cranks for raising/lowering the blade and for tilting the blade had a bit of a squeak here and there (not surprising after 10 years of use in a basement). I bought some graphite spray to handle this problem, after noticing during the last alignment, and the works run smoothly (more easily) and without squeaks now.
I installed a Power Twist V-belt, replacing the original Delta belt. It reduces vibration as advertised, but it makes its own noise, perhaps a bit more than the original. What I did not expect was how well it solved a key problem in installing my new fence! (discussed in next entry).
Notice the two pieces of masonite on the back of the trunnion box to enclose the works? This is for dust collection. It works well, but MUST be removed before tilting the blade. Look closely and you may see a black mark near the belt. The slot needs to be cut a bit wider to clear the new belt; the Delta belt was narrower.
I plan to write a blog entry on my table saw modifications. They have an impact on installing the Incra fence, so if you’re following this blog closely, have a look.
-- Mark, hack amateur woodworker, Medford (greater Boston) MA