Tablesaw "swirl marks"...

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Forum topic by ChrisCarr posted 06-28-2010 03:40 AM 5030 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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196 posts in 2895 days

06-28-2010 03:40 AM

For the last year since I started doing woodworking weather it is a circular or table saw, I often often get “swirl marks” on the edge of my board. Since the table saw has been my main saw (6 months ago i kicked the portable crap and bought my table saw) I still get those marks. I now am using a higher quality ridgid thin kerf blade (combination) but i get these marks. How would I eliminate these marks so i don’t have to router-joint the edges? Is my feed rate a factor in the marks?

My table saw cut edges are never the final edges i always joint + sand them very thoroughly, but it would be nice if I didn’t have to.

9 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4214 days

#1 posted 06-28-2010 03:49 AM

This is a typically a symptom of blade and fence not being perfectly parallel. I’m thinking it might also be blade deflection since you are using a thin-kerf blade. Have you tried slowing down your rate of feed?

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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196 posts in 2895 days

#2 posted 06-28-2010 04:06 AM

i have but i can’t be much slower than i already am. I don’t have a “real” fence, I bought my saw used and it didn’t come with one. I use a clamp n’ guide as my fence (i manually square it with a speed square then lock it in.) Fence systems are too expensive for me , even the cheapest at $150.

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3132 days

#3 posted 06-28-2010 04:17 AM

As Charlie said, is-alignment can cause this if the work piece isn’t clearing the teeth on the back side of the blade. If you feed the work smoothly and a bit slow you should be able see that happening if the blade guard doesn’t obstruct your view.

However, I also think blade vibration will do this. I get it a lot less since I’ve switched from a contractor-style saw to a cabinet saw. Having a much heftier arbor helped a lot, I’m sure, but I think other things also helped. A good quality standard kerf blade, maybe even with stabilizers (never used them myself) is probably a good place to start. I think it also helps that work slides over my new saw’s table and outfeed table much more smoothly than my previous saw so its easier for me to keep a more consistent feed rate and also keep the work against the fence or miter gauge more consistently. I also plan on trimming less than 1/16” when I make the last cut on an edge that I care about.

-- Greg D.

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788 posts in 3132 days

#4 posted 06-28-2010 04:22 AM

If you are manually setting a fence like that it might help if the distance between the fence and the saw blade teeth is just a smidgen larger at the back of the blade than the front. If the fence isn’t quite straight, that might also be contributing.

-- Greg D.

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196 posts in 2895 days

#5 posted 06-28-2010 04:43 AM

thank you for the input, If a heftier arbor makes things better how can a festool portable plunge saw make flawless cuts when its so small and light?

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3757 days

#6 posted 06-28-2010 04:46 AM

Charlie and Greg are right on the money. Your fence is not parallel to the blade. I like to have just a few thousandths “fall off” at the back end of the fence.

I use a dial indicator to get my miter slots parallel to the blade, within about three thousandths. Then I turn the dial indicator around and parallel the fence. I’ve never regretted the investment in the precision measuring tools that enable me to properly align my power tools.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

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8009 posts in 3372 days

#7 posted 06-28-2010 05:39 AM

In addition to checking alignments, be sure your throat insert is rigid and not flexing.

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

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3709 days

#8 posted 06-28-2010 06:18 AM

A quick pass with a hand plane should remove the saw marks without changing the dimension to much.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3282 days

#9 posted 06-30-2010 05:14 PM

In my 45+ years in woodworking, I’ve never tried to get rid of those marks. You can get rid of most of them with the right adustment as others have mentioned, and by using a good blade. This is important no matter what kind of cut you want.The quality of your saw will also play a big part.

Then, I agree with Mark above—-use a plane


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