Old Rockwell Model 10 and blade tilt

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Forum topic by bwaslo posted 09-12-2016 07:23 PM 1453 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13 posts in 770 days

09-12-2016 07:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: contractors saw blade alignment tilt tablesaw

I recently bought an old Rockwell Model 10 contractor’s saw off Craigslist, after the fence for my old, cheap, direct drive saw was stolen. The new saw is a major upgrade to me, anyway, for the most part (40” extension, linked belt drive, cast iron top, and an amazingly stable and accurate Paralock fence).

However, one of the things I had to do in tuning up the saw was to straighten the mechanics to get the blade parallel to the slots and to the fence. That was REALLY difficult to do (did someone once have the job of figuring out the most inconvenient location possible for the bolts that had to be loosened to align the blade)? Anyway, after aligning, the saw now cuts as true as I could ever want—for now, and with the blade tilt set at 90 degrees.

But I’ve read that if I tilt the blade, the alignment won’t likely be good anymore (a disadvantage of Contractor’s-type saws). Does that mean that the alignment won’t likely come back correct again if I tilt and then restore back to 90 degrees, or does it only mean that the alignment won’t be true WHILE tilted to other angles? I’m afraid to tilt it for any bevel cuts now, since aligning the thing was such a major pain in the youknowwhat to do!


18 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile


6949 posts in 2348 days

#1 posted 09-12-2016 07:58 PM

Never heard of that problem on those Delta saws… of course, there is one sure way to find out :)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View knotscott's profile


8129 posts in 3524 days

#2 posted 09-12-2016 08:12 PM

Some contractor saws are prone to heeling or twisting out of alignment when tilted, but certainly not all. Most that “heel” a bit, come right back when set back to 90. If yours truly gets twisted out of alignment because you tilted it, you’ll probably want to track down the issue anyway…, as Brad suggested, try it and see.

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

View smitdog's profile


404 posts in 2254 days

#3 posted 09-12-2016 08:36 PM

Hi bwaslo, welcome to LJs. As long as your trunnion bolts are nice and tight you shouldn’t have to worry about your alignment changing after it is set. What you are probably reading about with alignment at 45 degrees is that you may need to shim either your front or rear trunnion and the table to get the alignment dead on parallel to the miter slots for both 90 and 45 degree cuts. Some have trouble imagining the 3D relationship but if you can imagine the front of the blade fixed like a hinge to the table and the back of the blade assembly rotating up and down in relation to the table. At 90 degrees the rotation wouldn’t change anything but at 45 degrees where it crosses the plane of the table will move closer or further from the miter slots.

-- Jarrett - Mount Vernon, Ohio

View bwaslo's profile


13 posts in 770 days

#4 posted 09-16-2016 02:33 AM

Thanks everyone for the replies. Guess I’ll have to try it, maybe learn some new cuss words if it shifts!


View toolie's profile


2144 posts in 2777 days

#5 posted 09-16-2016 12:49 PM

There was an absolutely scholarly write up about this done by a poster over at It described how to calculate the amount of misalignment caused when a blade is tilted to 45 degrees. This phenomenon usually, according to the aforementioned write up, occurs in cabimet saws where the trunions are mounted to the saa cabinet. It is less problematic in contractor saws where the trunions are mounted to the underside of the table. With two contractor saws in my shop, i ran the. Umbrella using the calculation described in the write up and the variance was not worth pursuing.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View bwaslo's profile


13 posts in 770 days

#6 posted 09-16-2016 04:20 PM

Thanks. I thought it was the other way around!
So, given thst, what is the advantage of cabinet saws that people seem to want? I.e., what’s the disadvantage of a contractor’s saw?

View bwaslo's profile


13 posts in 770 days

#7 posted 09-16-2016 05:05 PM

I tried to find the blog you mentioned but comes up as an ‘available’ (dead) url…

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 2654 days

#8 posted 09-16-2016 05:14 PM

Advantages of cabinet saw:
Heavier, more stable.
Smaller foot space footprint with enclosed motor
More power.

FWIW, I have a 1996 Sears Craftsman Contractor saw 113.298762

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13 posts in 770 days

#9 posted 09-16-2016 05:39 PM

Ah, I spelled Ridgid wrong! Found the site, but not the article.
Does anyone have the link to that write-up?

View Woodknack's profile


12370 posts in 2529 days

#10 posted 09-16-2016 08:05 PM

I think you are overreacting. Just because someone says it or writes it, doesn’t make it true. I’ve never heard of any alignment issues with Delta/Rockwell saws. Ridgid/Sears and some Grizzly saws did have (still?) an alignment problem that carried on for a decade before they supposedly fixed it. Best thing to do is go try it on your saw. You’re probably afraid of losing alignment after all that work but a saw that you can’t tilt the blade is of limited use anyway. But I would be surprised if you had a problem.

-- Rick M,

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13 posts in 770 days

#11 posted 09-19-2016 01:52 AM

Well, I had to cut some bevels to make some minimum contact stands to hold a cabinet off the surface when doing a finish on the veneer. So, I went for it. Then set the blade back to 90 degrees.


the blade went out of parallel with the slots again, enough to notice when just ripping an 8” long panel. So I loosened up the bolts and pounded it back to parallel again.

Guess I’ll just be using this saw for 90degree cuts, unless someone has an idea for a (cheap) fix. Not a big deal, I don’t need bevel cuts all that much anyway.

View Woodknack's profile


12370 posts in 2529 days

#12 posted 09-19-2016 02:37 AM

Unless I’m mistaken it uses the same arbor trunnion that Delta/Rockwell used from the 70’s – early 2000’s. They can get knocked out of alignment but not from moving the blade—unless something is bound up really bad. Are the cranks really hard to turn or do they become more difficult as you go around? Could also be you didn’t tighten the bolts enough.

-- Rick M,

View bwaslo's profile


13 posts in 770 days

#13 posted 09-19-2016 03:43 AM

The height crank turns about like I’d expect. The angle crank was a little more difficult, but not notably hard. I did tighten the bolts to about what I think they were before (but then, the alignment had gone out before, too). The two bolts in the back aren’t too bad to get to after removing the motor cover. The ones in front aren’t easy at all, and one of them is almost inaccessible without taking the top cast piece off the stand (I didn’t go that far, managed to loosen it enough to be able to knock the thing parallel again). I’m tempted to cut an opening into the stand to give me better access to that one bolt, though.

If it matters, the lock knob is missing on the height crank (someone replaced it with a 3/8” nut).

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12370 posts in 2529 days

#14 posted 09-19-2016 06:30 AM

To tell a secret I’ve never loosened that one front bolt when adjusting alignment, too difficult to get too. I think Delta recommended flipping the saw upside down, pfft. I loosen the other 3 and give it a few taps.

I knocked mine out of alignment after adding an outfeed table. I was cranking the blade to an angle and the motor hit the outfeed. I thought I had enough space to clear but was wrong. I tried forcing it and knocked the whole shebang out of alignment. Dumb.

-- Rick M,

View unbob's profile


810 posts in 2052 days

#15 posted 09-19-2016 09:55 AM

I have 2 Rockwells, a 12”-14”, and a Contractors 10”. The big and the small.
I have had the Contractors 10” for nearly 30yrs. First, it may seem small, replace the four 5/16” bolts that hold the saws works to the underside of the table with 5/16” grade 8 studs locktited to the table, with nuts and washers. This will make all adjustments much easier and they will hold.
Since the contractors model has the rods to support the trunions there is always going to be some twisting from gravity when tilting the blade, so it will never be perfect.
To get the blade reasonably straight with the miter slots when at 90 and 45 will probably take some shimming under those mounting bolts. My own saw is pretty bad off when tilted at 45, the blade out about 1/64” from the miter slots. Enough to cause some burning of the wood. I shimmed the mounts and got it to around .007” true to the miter slots when tilted at 45. Now when you do this, you have to also keep adjusting it to keep it true at 90, going back and forth.
There are those PAL adjusters available, but, I have got by without them.

I live in a small town, not alot of parts available, for the table studs, I sawed the threads off 5/16” Allen bolts.

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