Table saw blade will not stay aligned even with PALS

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Forum topic by one19 posted 09-28-2016 06:04 PM 1066 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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65 posts in 1025 days

09-28-2016 06:04 PM

OK, I realize there are about a thousand threads on Lumberjocks’ forums about the virtues of and problems with Craftsman contractor saws. I’ve read through most, if not all, of them. I’ve also contributed to many. I’m starting a new thread on a familiar topic because of the degree of my particular problem.

I own a 113.299315 contractor saw, manufactured in 1995 in the US by Emerson for Craftsman. I’ve spent considerable time (if not money) tuning this saw up. This is my second such saw—I bought this saw specifically when it was time for a new one because I had such good experiences with my first one.

I’ve upgraded the fence, rails, and switch, among other things. I built a custom outfeed table and enclosed the cabinet and leg set to control dust. I even replaced the cabinet with a new, perfect edition because the original was a little bowed out and dented.

I’ve also installed the PALS system to help align the blade to the miter slots and there’s my problem… no matter how much I tighten the trunnion bolts and PALS fasteners, the blade eventually goes out of alignment. I’ve spent countless hours getting everything lined up to near perfection, but over time, it’s all out of whack again. I’m sure I’ve installed and adjusted the PALS components correctly and I’ve watched YouTube videos from the manufacturer as well as users. Again, I can get the blade aligned to parallel with miter slots. But it won’t stay that way. It always shifts to the right, from the perspective of the motor end of the saw.

Should I start looking for another trunnion/arbor assembly? I changed it out once because the original was damaged when I bought the saw. Perhaps there’s an issue with the replacement that I didn’t detect.

Am I forgetting something? Is there anyone here who has experienced the same kind of thing?

Before anyone makes the suggestion, I can’t go buy a new Powermatic or Jet or even the Delta that Lowe’s sells for $600. I’m on a limited budget. I’m also the kind of guy who likes to fix things and make them last for years. I’d really like to figure something out here but I’m at a loss.


Thanks, people! I always appreciate your advice…

8 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


7697 posts in 3099 days

#1 posted 09-28-2016 09:44 PM

I wonder if maybe you’ve got a burr under one of the trunnion brackets, or if a washer is gauled and pulling the whole assembly back out of alignment.

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

View one19's profile


65 posts in 1025 days

#2 posted 09-28-2016 09:58 PM

Maybe, knotscott, but I just had the whole machine apart and I didn’t notice anything like that. Perhaps I missed it… I’m wondering now if the pulleys are aligned adequately. Could that be a factor?

I’m thinking now that I’ll pull everything apart again—for the umpteenth time—and try again, this time looking for worn or misshapen nuts/bolts/washers, whatever. I may have to consume two or three Sam Adams Octoberfests first, though. This has been frustrating and a test of my patience. Still, compared to cash, patience is something I have a lot of… :)

View Aj2's profile


1053 posts in 1521 days

#3 posted 09-28-2016 10:13 PM

Well you don’t mention how much out it goes.
It might be as good as it gets.
My saw is about 60 years old and I will not align better then .004
A combination of the blade and slots and my equipment plus the saw is worn.
It’s a good as it gets


-- Aj

View one19's profile


65 posts in 1025 days

#4 posted 09-28-2016 10:22 PM

The amount of misalignment varies… it’s a matter of how long I wait to correct it. Yesterday it was out by a thirty-second of an inch, after setting it right just one week before, and after making only a half-dozen cuts. It’s been out by as much as twice that in previous weeks. Thanks, AJ.

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 1176 days

#5 posted 09-28-2016 10:38 PM


-- Madmark -

View HokieKen's profile


3673 posts in 862 days

#6 posted 09-29-2016 01:01 PM

I know you don’t want to hear it, but I’d tear the whole thing down and start over. Reinstalling the trunions to the table will give you an opportunity to find damaged bolts or washers and file all the mating surfaces to make sure they’re flat. Are you tilting the arbor between alignment and when it goes out? If you are, there may be some twist in the trunion mounting.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View JIMMIEM's profile


40 posts in 565 days

#7 posted 09-29-2016 01:17 PM

Are you using bolts or studs (threaded rod) with nuts to secure the trunion? I used studs with a nut and a nylock nut on top of the first nut. What type of washers are you using? Arbor bearings are ok…no wobble?

View one19's profile


65 posts in 1025 days

#8 posted 09-29-2016 02:24 PM

Thanks for the ideas, fellas. I will tear it down again, this weekend if I can get to it, and I’ll inspect the pieces you’re talking about, Ken.

Jim and Mark: I’ll consider your suggestions about studs, new washers, and even Loctite.

Thanks for giving me something to go on…

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