Need Some Table Saw Help

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Forum topic by Ripthorn posted 01-13-2011 05:07 AM 1144 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1454 posts in 2947 days

01-13-2011 05:07 AM

Hi LumberJocks. I was just out in the shop ripping some lumber on the table saw and all was going well until I ripped some thin strips. While doing so, I was experiencing burning and what felt like some drag or other resistance to pushing the stock through. This was not happening with the wider pieces. A few days ago I made sure my fence was parallel to the miter slot, but I do not have a dial indicator to check to make sure the blade is parallel to the miter slot. The saw was moved cross country by commercial movers about a year ago and has not had a real serious tune up since. I am wondering what links or tutorials you guys like for table saw tune ups and what other possible causes there could be for this burning only on ripping thin strips. I do have a pair of digital calipers I could use to try to test the parallel-ness of the blade. Would those give me enough accuracy?

While I’m at it, anyone have any good tips for making your own zero clearance inserts? I appreciate all the help.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

8 replies so far

View Gator's profile


383 posts in 3638 days

#1 posted 01-13-2011 05:26 AM

As far as my zero clearance inserts.. I take my original, turn it upside down on a piece of hardwood that has been thicknessed to match the original, trace it.. cut it out and sand it to fit. Then install it with the blade lowered, and with the saw running, raise the blade up through the insert. I clamp a long board from front to back across the saw and insert so it will not move as I raise the spinning blade throug it.

I saw a very kool way to cut thin strips on Hal Taylors website.. a block of wood and a strip of tape.. stick the tape to the edge of the board, and on a cross cut sled rip the narrow strip, pulling the taped side of the board away from the blade with the tape… very simple..


-- Master designer of precision sawdust and one of a kind slivers.

View Kevin's profile


462 posts in 3167 days

#2 posted 01-13-2011 05:30 AM

Just a vid, pretty simple.


-- Williamsburg, KY

View Loren's profile


10241 posts in 3610 days

#3 posted 01-13-2011 05:32 AM

Use a splitter almost as wide as the blade for ripping thin strips. Also
use an auxiliary fence that ends just behind the rear of the blade. This
will eliminate significant causes of burning when cutting strips.

View cabmaker's profile


1717 posts in 2771 days

#4 posted 01-13-2011 05:32 AM

Ripthorn, if your burning wood your more than likely a little closed at the outfeed edge of the blade. If this condition changes with width settings you may have slop in your fence guide and locking mechanism. Hard to know what to tell you with out more information. What saw do you have and is it a stock fence? What blade,etc.?

View ChrisCarr's profile


196 posts in 2860 days

#5 posted 01-13-2011 06:39 AM

The back of your saw blade is most likely closer to your fence than the front.
Do 2 things to fix this…

1. Align your fence parallel to your miter slots.
2. If after number 1 you still have this problem align your blade to be perfectly parallel to your miter slots. You can do this by loosening the back trunnion bolts very slightly and aligning the blade to the miter slot then retightening them carefully not to twist the trunnion back out of position.

I myself do not use a splitter, but if you have one it is possible it isn’t perfectly straight behind your blade and that can cause resistance which leads to burning.

Your zero clearance insert must be perfectly level with your cast iron top. You should have set screws in it to adjust its height.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2933 days

#6 posted 01-13-2011 07:17 AM

To check if blade is square to miter slot:
Only tools needed are combination square and a 3/4” square strip of good straight hardwood about 16” long.

1. Un plug the saw.
2. Put the hardwood strip in the miter slot, be sure it fits snuggly.
3. Raise the blade to max height, and place the combination square’s 90 degree sole aganst the hardwood strip and slide the square’s blade out till it just touches the edge of a blade tip near the front of the saw blade and then lock the setting on the square. Be careful not to change the square’s length when tightening the set screw.
4. Mark that tip with a marker, or white-out or a paint pen. Then, roll the saw blade back till that marked tip is near the back of the saw blade.
5. Now slide the square along the hardwood strip to the new location of the marked tip. It should be the same clearence as when it was at the front of the saw. If not, your trunnion has shifted and is out of alignment with the miter slot.

This method is better than a dial indicator because it does not depend on human interpretation of a number. It will tell you the blade is perfect, or not, and that is all you need to know. It’s irrelevent whether the blade is out by .001” or .100”; you just want it to be the same from front to back.

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3069 days

#7 posted 01-13-2011 07:33 AM

If you need a dial indicator, Good Old Harbor Freight has one for 10 bucks. Works great. If you want to see how mine is set up, PM me.

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2885 days

#8 posted 01-13-2011 01:47 PM

Make sure your blade is sharp also

-- Life is good.

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