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Forum topic by TMcG posted 03-09-2010 06:13 PM 1653 views 1 time favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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191 posts in 2998 days

03-09-2010 06:13 PM

Greetings all,

I’m brand new to the forums and to woodworking in general but have been accumulating a number of tools over the last few months, all very low end craftsman, which I suspect is a large part of the issues I’m having but thats where I am for now.

As to the table saw, I am having great difficulty getting it to cut accurately and can’t be sure if it’s a) Me B) the fence c) the saw alignment

I’ve seen the 5 cut tutorials etc but I think I’m a step before that, is there a general or specific guide for how to ensure your table saw is aligned anyone could point me to ?

Glad to be hear and look forward to the moment when I can actually contribute.



31 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3072 days

#1 posted 03-09-2010 06:21 PM

Check this out – -

I’ve not viewed the entire thing myself but I know that WoodSmith does some very good videos that are easy for anyone to follow.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View NewPickeringWdWrkr's profile


338 posts in 3011 days

#2 posted 03-09-2010 06:50 PM

I also have a craftsman saw, I found the fence to be pretty good, but the mitre gauge is crummy (2-3 degrees wiggle in the slot). I would definately recommend a cross cut sled. Here’s a forum post I did and the responses I got.

-- Mike - Antero's Urban Wood Designs

View knotscott's profile


8013 posts in 3373 days

#3 posted 03-09-2010 07:40 PM

Hi Tony – Since Craftsman offers, or has offered many different types and models over the years, it’d be good for us to have some idea what model/type of saw you have, as the alignment procedures and fence can be very different from model to model. Gotta a pic, file pic, or model for us?

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

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4095 days

#4 posted 03-09-2010 07:45 PM

I think others have covered the topic, but I vote that it is the saw. I started with a similar saw and after trying to rip some 2” maple for table legs and having the saw lift up on its legs, I went out and bought a new saw.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

716 posts in 3616 days

#5 posted 03-09-2010 08:11 PM

Tony…do a Google search for the manual using the model number for your saw. Most manuals will give you instructions to align your saw.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View BreakingBoardom's profile


615 posts in 3079 days

#6 posted 03-09-2010 08:39 PM

A good thing to check is to make sure all your alignments are good. If you have minimal tools, The Wood Whisperer did a great tutorial on how to set up your table saw. It’s a 2 part video series from when he got his new Powermatic and went through the setup. Very good start for anyone. Check it out. Here’s the link to the first video and I think the link for the second video is on the page of the first one. Hope this helps.

Table Saw Tuneup

-- Matt -

View TMcG's profile


191 posts in 2998 days

#7 posted 03-09-2010 08:54 PM

It’s tha absolute bottom end version
Sears link

I have the manual, is there more “extended” versions online, the one that came with it doesn’t really talk about alignment at all


View Padre's profile


930 posts in 3486 days

#8 posted 03-09-2010 09:11 PM

When you say cut accurately, do you mean length? Width? Angle? Thanks. And welcome to LJ’s!

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View Radu's profile


330 posts in 3041 days

#9 posted 03-09-2010 10:20 PM

I am working on my TS tuneup (Craftsman 113.298762). I didn’t get to the fence yet. I watched the video (link posted by Rich) and there was a question there, that never got answered. How do you lock the 90 (or 0) and 45 deg lock set screws. I got them out all the way, cleaned them up, and put some lube on them before I put them back. But now when, say the blade is in between them, they can turn from vibration. Do you recommend using a drop of blue loctite? Any other thoughts?

I am also looking at a Craftsman XR2424 fence & rail system. Does anybody have any experience with it?

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3462 days

#10 posted 03-09-2010 10:35 PM

take a look at what josh did with the same saw.

even if you dont do that, I would highly recommend doing two things:

1) make an auxiliary fence out of some nice flat material, like MDF, and shim it in the right places so that it’s both square to the blade and square to the table.

2) make a crosscut sled kind of like this one that straddles the entire table. that rids you of the need to use the miter gauge for 90º crosscuts (and probably 90% of them). your cuts will be much more accurate, as well as much safer.

I have a similar TS and have done these things. it has improved the performance many times over the stock setup.

View TMcG's profile


191 posts in 2998 days

#11 posted 03-09-2010 11:47 PM

I’m sure you’ve heard this before but this forum is amazing !

Thanks for all the input, will work through all those suggestions and report back.

My accuracy issues are primarily width, I seem to have anywhere of 1/16th to an 1/8th varaition on cuts made against or using the fence. I haven’t tried any angle cuts yet as the miter is just clearly non-useable and was going to make a jig.

As a bit of further explanation, my initial projects are all, pretty much, jigs to allow the building of more sophisticated projects but the task of cutting a 9” x 9” square in 3/4 MDF is proving problematic.

I have built a nice workbench as the initial exercise so all is not completely doom and gloom :-)

On the sled that straddles the entire table, are the rails fixed and sled sliding against those rails ?

Thanks again


View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3462 days

#12 posted 03-10-2010 04:04 AM

1/16 to 1/8 is a LOT. Fortunately big differences are usually easiest to eliminate. it’s the last 1% that’s the hardest to achieve!

I understand your problems – that’s pretty much how i started out too. The absolute first things you will need are a moderately good straightedge and square – basically, a good combination square. So just make sure you have those and that they’re close enough to accurate.

1) make sure your blade is screwed in tightly on the arbor.
2) make sure your fence is parallel to the blade.
3) make sure that when you rip, the piece is held firmly against the table and the fence. usually the first is not a problem, but feather boards help with holding it to the fence.
4) use a push stick! 9×9 is about the smallest i’d go without a push stick.

a square (ie, 9×9 – not just 90º corners) piece can be difficult though, since really you shouldnt be using the fence for that final crosscut. you should be using the miter gauge or a sled… so again, you should really build a sled :-)

about that sled, the rails are fixed to the SLED, and the rails ride against the sides of the table. with the one linked above (and my own) the rails actually ride between the main table and extension wings. Clamping the wings in tightly adds to the stability. but you’ll be able to do just fine without the wings.

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3462 days

#13 posted 03-10-2010 04:07 AM

btw, its also really good to have some hand tools to complement your power tools. For example, using a shooting board with a handplane allows you to sneak up on the cut line to get a square, super smooth crosscut.

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4095 days

#14 posted 03-10-2010 04:38 AM

Is the fence deflecting during the cut?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3462 days

#15 posted 03-10-2010 05:00 AM

good point wayne. the fence on mine deflects 1/32 to 1/16 in the center when applying pretty high pressure. enough for bad cuts and a dangerous situation.

screwing on an auxiliary fence helps, as does reinforcing the fence internally, since it’s just a thing piece of sheet metal.

showing 1 through 15 of 31 replies

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