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Revamping my Delta Contractor Saw #5: Assembly Complete!

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Blog entry by Mark Colan posted 08-26-2010 05:14 AM 3570 reads 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: The Day of Truth Part 5 of Revamping my Delta Contractor Saw series Part 6: The First Cut Reveals a Problem »

I’ve had a little time in the morning and evening to work on it, so it has gotten done a bit at a time.

Completing the Assembly and Installation

I had a few minor stumbling blocks. At one point I was wondering how the Base Mounting Clamp screws were ever going to get tightened. The instructions didn’t seem to say they should be. Eventually I figured out that that came a bit later – with the Base Unit in place. But I had no access to the screws… huh?

The instructions COULD suggest at the beginning that if you have an extension table already in place, such as I do, that you should start by removing it. It does suggest that I can add a table after it is installed, but I did not extrapolate from there. Once it was removed, I had the access I needed.

It also mentioned some “provided” cardboard strips 3/4×3”. I could not find them, anywhere. It did not say which parts pack they would be in. Eventually, I did find them, and I continued.

These are minor stumbling blocks, the kind of thing that says, if I can’t figure this out, maybe it’s time to call it a night, because it should be easier than this. And it was, the next morning.

Incra Fence installed!

Here’s a rough photo of the fence installed on my Delta Contractors Saw. It’s a messy shot; to do it right, I should have cleaned up the saw surface, and straightened up the shop a bit. But not tonight, and I wanted a shot for this blog entry.

Alignment

Any fence needs to be in alignment with the miter slots, which ideally are already in alignment with the blade. The procedure for this fence was to position it right at the edge of the miter slot, lock it in place, straighten it (which adjusts the mounting a bit), then tighten the screws.

I tried it with a straight-edge, but I had no confidence that it was right.

Aligning the Incra Fence

I brought out my SuperBar, adjusted the fence so the SuperBar could fit in the miter gauge, and ran it along the length of the fence. It varied perhaps 40/1000 over the length of the fence: hardly good enough. Also, the gauge reading was wobbling a bit. But the base has adjustment screws, and I set it to the point where it was tight, and would just move through the slot without wobble at all.

Loosening the base mount screws for the fence, I then tried a series of passes, running the SuperBar the length of the fence, watching the scale. Some small adjustments, bumping the fence gently, try again. I was thinking: this is how I have been doing EVERY fence adjustment with the Unifence… no more!

Eventually I got it into a position where the scale deviated no more than 1/1000” according to the scale, and tightened the screws down.

Zeroing to the Blade

This was tricky. You move the fence to be almost but not in contact with the blade, and half-lock it (the position that allows you to microadjust with the knob). The reason it was tricky: in that half-lock mode, the fence can be pulled forward and back a little.

The solution was to fully lock, then return to half-lock, and then be careful not to move the fence, aside from the knob. I brought it up to where I could just hear the teeth scraping lightly against the fence, then backed it off until it just stopped scraping, and called that zero.

More Alignment

I haven’t done the alignment for left side of the blade. I decided to leave that for my next session, even if it does not take long. In sports like woodworking and downhill skiing, it is always good to know when to quit, to avoid accidents or problems.

With this blog entry complete, it’s time to call it a night. Goodnight!

-- Mark, hack amateur woodworker, Medford (greater Boston) MA



3 comments so far

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2103 posts in 3191 days


#1 posted 08-26-2010 05:56 PM

That is some setup. I’ve never been all that precise, but I’m working on it.

View Mark Colan's profile

Mark Colan

209 posts in 2308 days


#2 posted 08-26-2010 07:44 PM

Precision is not everyone’s cup of tea. A lot of woodworkers are much more organic in their approach to designing and building, and that works very well for some kinds of work. My education is in engineering, and precision is just part of how I think. It’s great to be able to realize it in the woodworking hobby.

-- Mark, hack amateur woodworker, Medford (greater Boston) MA

View empeg9000's profile

empeg9000

86 posts in 1888 days


#3 posted 11-26-2011 10:20 PM

“Precision is not everyone’s cup of tea. A lot of woodworkers are much more organic in their approach to designing and building, and that works very well for some kinds of work. My education is in engineering, and precision is just part of how I think. It’s great to be able to realize it in the woodworking hobby.

—Mark, hack amateur woodworker, Medford (greater Boston) MA”
Ha! I’m definitely an organic builder . I try to come up with a plan and rough sketch but I always end up changing on the toy.

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