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Is a 0.015" difference good enough for tablesaw alignment?

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Forum topic by Tony1212 posted 08-24-2015 02:13 PM 1495 views 1 time favorited 39 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tony1212

111 posts in 1202 days


08-24-2015 02:13 PM

Topic tags/keywords: pals blade alignment

I inherited my grandfathers Craftsman 113 tablesaw a few years back. I finally got around to putting some PALS on it to align the blade.

Now this tablesaw is probably older than most people on this site, 55 to 65 years old.

I worked with it for a good two hours yesterday and the best I could get is a 0.015” difference. The back if the blade is closer to the fence. I know some people have gotten their saws to 0.000”.

Is this good enough? If not, I have to pull the top completely off and file out the bolt holes in the trunion to get more movement. The trunion is pushed up TIGHT against the mounting bolts. But I’d rather do that than risk kick backs.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs


39 replies so far

View Ripthorn's profile

Ripthorn

1406 posts in 2452 days


#1 posted 08-24-2015 02:21 PM

That is about 1/64 inch, which would be a little more than I would be comfortable with, but you could make a couple test cuts using push blocks to see how the wood feels and reacts when pushed through it. I find going by feel to be much more informative, personally.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 698 days


#2 posted 08-24-2015 02:29 PM

My opinion: If it can be checked to be .015 from correct, you have the means to correct the saw to being 0.0”. If it cuts perfect, that is another question. A board will wonder while it is cut. But I would rather it wonder from perfect rather wonder from .015.

That is the problem with being the son of a machinest. It makes you see things in very black and white terms. My jointer tables are .002 out of coplaner, I can hear the jointer screaming for perfection from the basement. It kills me. I am tweaking it as soon as I get my current project rebuilt.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View WoodNSawdust's profile

WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 644 days


#3 posted 08-24-2015 02:29 PM

Regretfully, time for filing. 1/64 out of alignment and the back of the blade closer to the fence are both undesirable.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View ice_man21's profile

ice_man21

1 post in 474 days


#4 posted 08-24-2015 02:32 PM

Since we are talking opinion here, mine would be NO. Number 1 would be possible kick back, number 2 would be taper in a part top to bottom if you are cutting with the blade fully raised (as if cutting a new face on a 2X4) and # 3 would be burning on hard wood.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2200 posts in 948 days


#5 posted 08-24-2015 02:37 PM

I+1 iceman. I would check the fence alignment first, not the trunnion.

Far as I know, normal procedure is adjust the trunnion so the blade is parallel to the miter slots, then adjust the fence parallel to blade.

FWIW, if its the model I think it is (with the rod going through the fence and you tighten the handle by screwing it) those are a pretty awful fences. I had one like that and it almost killed me with kickbacks because you can’t keep it inline even if you do get it set up.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

2149 posts in 1640 days


#6 posted 08-24-2015 02:37 PM

I had a 113. I was able to get it much closer to 0. Make sure your angle wheel is unlocked and just a little loose. If the angle wheel is locked tight it will not let you move the front of the trunnion.
I just bought a sawstop contractors saw and the factory tolerane is .010 It was within .005 from the factory I felt that was close enough as the blade had that much runout.
Make sure you are aligning to the miter slot.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

14649 posts in 2151 days


#7 posted 08-24-2015 02:48 PM

Ok….
I used a 113 for a LONG time.

Always set the fence about a 1/64” wider at the back.
When using the mitre gauge, I would first check the alignment between the blade and the mitre gauge for square.

Two different operations here. Setting the fence for rip cuts. Setting the mitre gauge for crosscuts.

Did a lot of tenon work on that old 113. “Starter block” C clamped to the fence. Once past the block, it all depended on me holding the piece to the mitre gauge’s fence. Saw’s fence merely served as a depth stop.

Never had PALS on the saw. And, by doing the above checks, always had square cuts, the only burning was during resaws. (dull blade mostly)

So the blade isn’t perfectly square….is there a PALS to also check the mitre gauge? And the fence?
They all must work together, or things go wrong. Note: in 25+ yrs, only one kick back. It was operator error at that. YMMV

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View mramseyISU's profile

mramseyISU

419 posts in 1013 days


#8 posted 08-24-2015 03:10 PM

I normally shoot for about .005” or better. 1/64 might not sound like much but if you trig it out over say 30” that’s a lot.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

111 posts in 1202 days


#9 posted 08-24-2015 03:40 PM

Yeah… Kinda figured I’d have to pull it apart, but I was hoping a general consensus would be that I was good to go and I could feel confident using it.

Bruce, yes I did have my angle wheel locked. Well, the wheel itself doesn’t lock. I have a tightener at the top of the front to lock the angle in place (sure wish I had a way to lock the height in place). I will have to look into that being an issue.

It is not the fence. I am using a dial caliper to measure the distance of the blade from the miter slot. The fence was never a factor in that measurement. Besides, my new fence (Vega Pro 40) is also aligned with the miter slot. And that’s something else I’ll have to remove to get the table top off.

I guess this will give me a chance to give it a deep clean and get some of that 50 year old sawdust out of there.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View Richard's profile

Richard

1907 posts in 2158 days


#10 posted 08-24-2015 03:41 PM



I+1 iceman. I would check the fence alignment first, not the trunnion.

Far as I know, normal procedure is adjust the trunnion so the blade is parallel to the miter slots, then adjust the fence parallel to blade.
FWIW, if its the model I think it is (with the rod going through the fence and you tighten the handle by screwing it) those are a pretty awful fences. I had one like that and it almost killed me with kickbacks because you can t keep it inline even if you do get it set up.

- rwe2156


I agree with this , Adjust the blade to the miter then worry about the fence. Other wise you will chase it forever.

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

111 posts in 1202 days


#11 posted 08-24-2015 03:49 PM


I agree with this , Adjust the blade to the miter then worry about the fence. Other wise you will chase it forever.

- Richard

Right. The miter slot doesn’t move. Everything else needs to be adjusted relative to it.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7224 posts in 2843 days


#12 posted 08-24-2015 03:52 PM

I would try to get it within 0.003”. If that’s not possible, tweak the fence a little to narrow that gap.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

2149 posts in 1640 days


#13 posted 08-24-2015 04:10 PM

Make sure that tightener is loose. I tried for years and couldn’t get blade in alignment with miter slot. Loosened the tightner up and it came right in. I would try for .000 and be satisfied with anything under .005.
Once the blade is square to the miter slot,
I see you have a good fence. Get that blade aligned to the miter slot and you will have a good saw.
I never had a problem with the blade moving in height.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

111 posts in 1202 days


#14 posted 08-24-2015 04:17 PM

It seems some of you aren’t familiar with the PALS system and don’t quite understand what I’m talking about.

The idea is to replace the rear bolts holding your trunnion (and the blade) to the table top. The PALS has set screws (in the pic above, the user has an allen wrench in the right set screw – there is another on the left) that is supposed to move the rear of the trunnion (and blade) left or right to make the blade parallel with the miter slot.

The idea is to get your blade perfectly parallel to the slot. On my saw, the left set screw is pushing the trunnion as far to the right as possible and my blade is still not parallel. It needs to move 0.015” farther to the right to make the blade parallel with the miter slot. And my right set screw isn’t even touching the trunnion, so it’s not preventing it from moving.

Once the blade is set parallel to the miter slot, the fence can be set parallel as well using the fence manufacturer’s instructions. Then miter gauge can be set off of either the blade or fence for the desired angle.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

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Tony1212

111 posts in 1202 days


#15 posted 08-24-2015 04:20 PM



Make sure that tightener is loose. I tried for years and couldn t get blade in alignment with miter slot. Loosened the tightner up and it came right in. I would try for .000 and be satisfied with anything under .005.
Once the blade is square to the miter slot,
I see you have a good fence. Get that blade aligned to the miter slot and you will have a good saw.
I never had a problem with the blade moving in height.

- johnstoneb

I’ll try that tomorrow night and report back.

I don’t know how my grandfather used that original fence for so long. It is utter crap. I put a Vega Pro 40 on and it is much better. You can slide that thing back and forth all day long and, once you lock it down, it is parallel with the miter slots. That’s why it became so important to get the blade parallel too.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

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