can't get a straight cut.

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Forum topic by dozuki posted 03-04-2011 07:41 AM 1535 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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103 posts in 2997 days

03-04-2011 07:41 AM

Well I have 10 in delta contractors saw and I am try to make a “somba” puzzle and it requires a lot of little 3/4 square pieces and I can’t seem to adjust it to make a cut that doesn’t bind on the fence. I made sure the blade is 90deg to the table and I tighten the fence so it doesn’t wiggle when I clamp it down. I even tried to adjust the blade so it is parallel to the blade, it seems to be as close as i can get it.
So I did all that and there are still some burn marks on a couple of the cubes I made and some are just not right. The ones that are off are just a little proud on one side.
so does anyone have any ideas on how to improve the acuracy of this saw. Or is it just me not being able to adjust it properly, which wouldn’t surprise me. Is there a better fence that can be had for this saw. Would it help if I made a zero clearance blade guard thingy.
All help will be greatly appreciated. Paul

-- Couldn't think of anything clever. I LIKE WOOD

11 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10381 posts in 3644 days

#1 posted 03-04-2011 07:52 AM

What type/brand of blade are you using?

Some wood is just burn-prone too.

View dbhost's profile


5710 posts in 3228 days

#2 posted 03-04-2011 07:52 AM

Have you tried aligning your fence to the blade? If you are misaligned and pinching on the back of the blade, you may overcompensate and cause your cuts to be off.

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View dozuki's profile


103 posts in 2997 days

#3 posted 03-04-2011 08:27 AM

Loren-At work right now and cant remember off hand. All i remember is that it is a narrow cut blade with offset teeth. I know that by getting up close and personal with it while trying to measure the distance from the blade to the fence over and over.

dbhost-I have tried to alighn the fence to the blade and when I lock it down it is off , usually at the back, by a 16th sometimes. So I try to adjust the back without moving the front. I noticed that when I lock it down the end of the fence toward the rear of the saw will twitch a little if i dont turn the screw at the front of the fence to tighten it all down. and its still off most of the time.
would it be feasable to just put something I know is 3/4 against the blade and then put the fence on the other side of the piece and then lock it down. (just thought of that)??

-- Couldn't think of anything clever. I LIKE WOOD

View IppoJ's profile


28 posts in 2656 days

#4 posted 03-04-2011 05:19 PM

You’ve probably tried this but I thought I’d throw it out there anyhow; when you tighten down the fence push the sled towards the back when you do it. That should ensure that the fence is uniformly square with the rails each time you tighten it.

View Loren's profile


10381 posts in 3644 days

#5 posted 03-04-2011 06:44 PM

There’s a jig on the market you can buy that helps set the fence
perfectly parallel with the blade. It’s kind of out of style these days
because the fences on most modern table saws don’t have a
parallel problem, but older fences that had to lock at the back
would hop out of parallel easily and the jig helps with that.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2681 days

#6 posted 03-04-2011 08:54 PM

is anybody else cringing about cutting 3/4” blocks on a table saw using the fence? or is it just me?

there has to be a safer way to do this. either use a sled (omit the TS fence) or clamp a piece of scrap to your fence that will give you the desired distance but stops short of when the board is ready to hit the teeth so the cut-off pieces don’t get the “pinch” you are seeing. or try a miter saw. in any event I would plan on a little extra material so you have something to hang onto as you move through the cuts. wood is expensive, so are band-aids.

View dozuki's profile


103 posts in 2997 days

#7 posted 03-04-2011 09:21 PM

teejk—You are so right fingers are way more expensive than wood. I do use a sled to cut the wood into the little blocks. My problem is cutting the wood in 3/4 strips that I then put on the sled to cut the blocks.

Loren- I just knew there had to be a jig i couldn’t find. Could you tell me what its called or where I could get a look at the jig. Thanks.

-- Couldn't think of anything clever. I LIKE WOOD

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2681 days

#8 posted 03-04-2011 11:48 PM

doz…good to hear that! (I started bleeding just from reading that thing).

you have Delta contractor saw. Burn marks across the entire cut edge suggest an out of aligned fence or a blade in need of sharpening. What kind of fence? The Delta Unifence can be fine tuned to allow for micro swing adjustments (although in 10 years I have never needed to touch my Unifence and it has been “rode hard and put away wet” more than a few times). I assume Bies has the same.

If the burn marks are only at the top or bottom of the cut, then you might want to check your blade vertical. You don’t say your saw model but if it matches mine and you don’t have the manual, post back and I’ll see what I can do. It is VERY good on alignment steps.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2686 days

#9 posted 03-05-2011 04:58 AM

I use a thin strip jig from Rockler or easily shop made.The stock goes next to the fence which is MUCH safer and you will get perfect width strips all day with these simple jigs.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Resurrected's profile


671 posts in 2688 days

#10 posted 03-05-2011 05:06 AM

Hmm now you mention it teehk. Using the fence to cut these would be a tad dangerous. I’d go with the table sled with a stop block. Or a miter saw with a stop block, Or a RAS with a stop block. Quick and fast.

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View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3155 days

#11 posted 03-05-2011 06:10 AM

A couple of thoughts…

I’d rip the board by making sure the 3/4” strips fall off the left side of the blade. This means that the bulk of the wood being cut is between the blade and fence, giving you the ability to push the board through without a push stick, which can lead to the board wandering a bit through the blade. By trying to cut your strips with the blade so close to the fence you will have a hard time pushing the board through without the pressure of the outside board pressing in on the blade and closing the back of the kerf. A splitter behind the blade would help as well.

But before you do anything, make sure your blade is in line with the miter slot first…then set your fence to the miter slot. If your fence doesn’t lock down correctly, then you might try running your miter gauge through it with a board clamped on, the right side of said board butting against the fence…then slide the miter gauge through to assure that fence is true across its length. This does assume the blade is parallel to the miter slot, but it should be anyway.

Once you have the strips, bolt on a long sacrificial board/fence to the miter gauge (a long piece of straight oak is what I use) so as to extend your reach through the blade. This means that you create zero clearance and the ability to push the smaller piece beyond the blade during the cut. It’s a safe, clean way to do it and you can mark your sacrificial miter fence at the right side to align you cuts for consistency…or you can simply mark your boards and use the zero clearance kerf in the fence to judge exactly where the blade will cut.

-- jay,

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