What the heck is wrong with my table saw???

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Hugh Anderson posted 08-08-2011 05:01 AM 2790 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Hugh Anderson's profile

Hugh Anderson

49 posts in 2933 days

08-08-2011 05:01 AM

Hi all,

so, I have made myself a saw station, got my Porter Cable table saw that I bought a few months ago off of the wheeled base and onto my own custom (and six inches lower!) base.

I then added the Vega Pro 50’ fence system, a zero clearance insert, and a Micro Jig MJ Splitter. The blade is a pretty new WoodWorker 2. So far so good.

I then used THIS rig to set up the saw, and it tells me that the fence, blade and miter slot are perfectly aligned. So what’s my problem?

Well, in trying to rip a 2×4 yesterday, around 4 feet in length, around half way into the cut there is resistance, enough that I feel I can’t push any further through, and simply turn off the saw mid cut.

While ripping some 3/4 ply I noted that the same thing happens, there is a tightness once I am a foot or two into the rip. I am leaning towards the MJ Splitter as being the problem, but I need it to keep the kerf open with the WoodWorker 2 (the PC splitter is a little too thick for the WW2 Thin Kerf)

Anyone have any issues with the MJ Splitter? I’m using the thinest splitter in the kit.



28 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4459 days

#1 posted 08-08-2011 05:30 AM

I have had this happen with the MJ splitter. You are aware that it makes a difference which way you put it in, right? If you are getting binding, turn the splitter around 180 degrees.

(If you want to verify that the splitter is the problem, try taking it out and making a cut.)

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

View MLK's profile


84 posts in 4052 days

#2 posted 08-08-2011 05:47 AM

To me a spliter is a big pain, I havent used one in years and never have any problems.

View Luke's profile


545 posts in 3535 days

#3 posted 08-08-2011 05:57 AM

If it’s happening two feet in I’d say your not aligned correctly. If it’s the splitter you might notice it sooner. I’d do the obvious thing and re-check the alignment of everything. You can easily put a straight edge up next to your fully extended blade and check both sides to the splitter.

-- LAS,

View TheKingInYellow's profile


233 posts in 3771 days

#4 posted 08-08-2011 03:09 PM

Check your blade alignment at different heights. The PC is the same as the Craftsman and Ridgid and people have reported problems with the blade alignment changing as it is raised and lowered.

-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2934 days

#5 posted 08-08-2011 04:54 PM

I gave up on my splitter for this reason. Unless there’s some tension in the board, I’d blame the splitter.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Hugh Anderson's profile

Hugh Anderson

49 posts in 2933 days

#6 posted 08-08-2011 07:16 PM

Hey, lots of replies – thanks everyone.

@Bertha – you gave up on your splitter for this reason? You mean that the wood was binding?

It’s interesting, I went with the MJ Splitter because of it’s size – everything I read told me that a splitter was the minimum requirement to avoid kick back, so I didn’t argue the point.

I thought about testing without the splitter, but wondered if that would skew the result. By that I mean that some closing of the kerf might get the wood through without binding, but not tell me if there was another issue.

I was one of this questions where I wondered if someone would jump in and say something like “Damn MJ Splitter, had EXACTLY the same issue and solved it by …..”

Ok, so how many of you guys use absolutely no splitter???? Maybe that is the way to go.


View Lou_S's profile


17 posts in 2751 days

#7 posted 08-08-2011 08:14 PM

I’ve had issues with 2x HD lumber and the kerf pinching the splitter. The boards I was trying to rip had huge internal stresses causing the kerf to immediately close and the board would not move further. I had to stop the cut, place a wedge in the kerf and continue. I never tried ripping 2x HD lumber with a thin kerf blade. I think this would make this type of problem worse.

I don’t believe internal stresses would account for plywood which should have almost net zero internal stress.

I also would recommend using the splitter as much as possible. It sounds like it is doing its job here.

-- Lou

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4459 days

#8 posted 08-08-2011 09:01 PM

My answer was based on the fact you said the binding happened with plywood, so I pretty much ruled out tension in the wood as a cause. That is why I suggested first rotating the splitter.

If it isn’t the splitter, the most likely culprit would be the back of the fence angling slightly toward the blade.

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

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2934 days

#9 posted 08-08-2011 09:21 PM

^yeah, I realized that, Charlie, as soon as I typed it. I’m going to get punched in the stomach by something tonight but I’ll say it outloud, “I haven’t ever really had a problem with kickback”. Oh man, that’s going to hurt. I got the splitter where one’s fixed, and the other will detach & leave with the board holding open the kerf. That got old, so I just went with the fixed splitter. I’m just not terribly convinced that it was needed in my situation (Vintage JET, stock fence, WW2). I got so tired of taking it off to use my crosscut sled that I eventually gave up.

I also don’t have a blade guard, so I’m probably not the guy to be getting safety advice from. I think at a minimum, your splitter needs to be EXACTLY the width of your kerf or smaller. Check it with a caliper against your blade. I trust you that your fence is square to the blade, so the splitter is the only thing I can come up with.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3164 days

#10 posted 08-08-2011 09:36 PM

I’m with Charlie. I noticed mine was binding a little the further I pushed thru, checked the fence front to back and it turned out to be out a hair in the back. Redid it and no problems. Was only out about a 32nd.
I don’t use a splitter. If I have a long board that I think may be a problem I have my wife insert a simple wooden wedge in the kerf after about 3 feet.

-- Life is good.

View gabriel's profile


9 posts in 2847 days

#11 posted 08-08-2011 09:52 PM

if i weren’t deathly afraid of the karma rebate I’d admit to also having removed my splitter and blade guard sometime ago. nothing i can in good conscience recommend but i haven’t missed either of them in the last 15 years.

View higtron's profile


247 posts in 2918 days

#12 posted 08-08-2011 11:18 PM

Splitter ? We don’t need no stinking spitter! But check that fence.

-- A friend will help you move, a good friend will help you move a body

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3310 days

#13 posted 08-08-2011 11:30 PM

Lay a straightedge along your fence and look for gaps. If you’re binding up at the same distance every time, that suggests a bowed fence.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 4028 days

#14 posted 08-09-2011 03:44 AM

The splitter has to be equal to or less than the blade kerf. If it is wider, buy a thicker blade. The splitter is not supposed to act like a froe or wedge.


-- Go

View Hugh Anderson's profile

Hugh Anderson

49 posts in 2933 days

#15 posted 08-11-2011 03:58 AM

So, my saw has not been switched on since I asked the question – been busy with other stuff. But as soon as I experiment, I will post back the results.



showing 1 through 15 of 28 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics