Having issues with Aligning Blade to slot on Craftsman TS 315.228490

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Forum topic by Scott Oldre posted 09-14-2016 11:18 PM 960 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Scott Oldre

1087 posts in 3609 days

09-14-2016 11:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw alignment pals trunnion contractors saw craftsman 315228490 question tablesaw

So I’ve noticed more burning and jumping of the blade (when it jerks after being wedged too tight) recently on my Craftsman TS I bought new in 2004. Previously I’ve aligned using the Big Hammer and block method on the back trunnion (near motor). I’d loosen the two bolts on the rear trunnion and the left front side looking from motor towards the front of the saw, and smack it till it succumed to my power.

Well, it’s just not succumbing anymore, so I heard so much about the PALS, and the cost, I thought I’d give it a try.

1. Got the PALS and proceeded to install per instructions and found the small 5x.80×25mm socket head screws would and could not reach the trunnion itself.

2. Went to Lowes to get new 5x.80×30mm socket head screws.. The had the. GREAT. Got home and started screwing them in when I realized that there was an un threaded section on the top of the shaft, making the total length of the threaded section identical to the supplied screws. I was screwed.

3. Went to Pop and Son hardware store closer than Lowes..found after much searching a pan head screw with hex with threads all the way to the top. Just to make sure I also picked up a set of stainless screw with (bolt heads w/flats) Tiny flats. The pan heads fit and I started with just the left rear side since I had to push the trunnion to the right to stop the burn. I was out about .012 from rear to front of the blade. So I cranked the left PAL screw in tight against the trunnion as hard as I dared without stripping the aluminum PAL with the SS screw. I got about .0015 from that endeavor.

So now I believe my only option is to loosen the ever elusive front right trunnion screw and manually push/jack/jam/shoove the front trunnion to the left while facing the blade from the rear. I even went out and bought 3 extra extensions for my 3/8 ratchet.

My thinking is that I’m at the limit of the trunnion movement from the back and the only way to get it into alignment is to work the other end first as far as I can to the left, tighten the left front trunnion bolt, and pivot off of that. And of course attempt again from the rear.

So after that long story, has anyone else ever come across this issue, and am I headed in the right direction with the plan to move the front trunnion left when facing it from the rear. I have a lot of wood I want to cut up this weekend, and I’m tried of getting that little bit of twist at the end of the board as it exits the pinch between the blade and fence.

FYI, I am using an Incra TS-LS fence on this contractor saw, and the fence is set perfectly with respect to miter

Thanks for any advice you can give. I’ve watched all the PALs videos and read as many LJ’s and other website forums, but just thought I’d bring this subject up again, since the issue is going beyond the PALS videos.


-- Scott, Irmo SC

6 replies so far

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2273 posts in 1241 days

#1 posted 09-15-2016 12:52 AM

Hate to sound silly and elemental about it, but, when I have trouble keeping my blade on my Sawstop vertical I find that cleaning the dust out from the stops usually takes care of it. I do not know what a PALs is.

-- Mark

View MrUnix's profile


7009 posts in 2376 days

#2 posted 09-15-2016 01:13 AM

Did you follow the procedure described in the manual on page 30)? With table mounted trunnions, it’s a bit of a PITA and mostly trial and error – but shouldn’t be needed often (usually just once).


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

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1087 posts in 3609 days

#3 posted 09-15-2016 03:07 AM

Mr Unix:> head +30 /dev/manual | grep ‘align’ | grep ‘trunnion’ | cat -n | more

I honestly hadn’t even thought of the man pages.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View runswithscissors's profile


2874 posts in 2203 days

#4 posted 09-15-2016 03:13 AM

Maybe align the fence with the blade rather than the miter slot?

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1087 posts in 3609 days

#5 posted 09-15-2016 03:23 AM

After three moves, I was able to take 5 minutes, go out to the garage and find my manual still in plastic. Amazing. The fence is an Incra TS-LS, and it’s perfectly aligned, it’s the blade to the miter slot that is off. If I start shimming the fence away from parallel to the miter slot, then I’d lose the one solid reference, which is the miter slot. I think I’ll take Mr Unix advice and follow the steps on Pg 31 of the manual which does suggest loosening the front trunnion as well.

Thanks All, I’ll keep you posted.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1087 posts in 3609 days

#6 posted 09-15-2016 12:45 PM

Success .002 front to back on the blade to miter slot alignment.

2 Things to think about if you are also having issues.

1. There is a 5th bolt to loosen. Unlike all the videos which lead you to believe there are only 2 trunnion bolts in front and 2 bolts in back. In fact, there is a 5th bolt smack dab in your face on the rear trunnion center. How did I miss that?

2. I did in fact have to loosen the front trunnion and once that was done, it came right in close. Also to help nudge it over while I tightened the first rear trunnion bolt, I used a pipe wrench on the rear blade housing to tweak it over with my right hand, while I reached to the rear trunnion bolt with my left hand and the ratchet.l

Lastly, why on earth did PALS find it useful to use a 1/2” nylock nut and a 12mm nut to snug up the PAL. Were they out of 1/2 snugging nuts?

Anyway, thanks to MrUnix for suggesting I go to the man pages. Had I not done that, I wouldn’t have noticed the 5th bolt.

Can’t wait to test it out and hope it cuts like brand new again. I think the thing that bothered me most was having a Forrest WWII on it and having all that burn.
Thanks again to all for thier comments.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

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