tune up 40 year old table saw

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Forum topic by John S posted 01-18-2012 04:28 AM 1559 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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John S

18 posts in 1816 days

01-18-2012 04:28 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question trick tablesaw blade

I have a Craftsman 10” table saw that is about 40 years old. I bought a dial indicator to help me get the blade aligned to be straight and parallel with the miter slots.. When I first checked it was out by about .011 inches on the same tooth from front to back. Coming from a mechanical designer background that seems to be a bit much. Anyhow I cannot get it any closer and I am not quite sure if that is acceptable for woodworking or not. If not what are your suggestions for making it better. The trunnion just won’t move. Yes I had the bolts loosened. I thought about taking it apart and filing the mounting holes out to be a bit oblong but I am not sure about that. It has 6 bolts holding it to the table.

Thanks for the help

3 replies so far

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 2489 days

#1 posted 01-18-2012 04:54 AM

Yeah, that’s too much variation. When I had a Craftsman, I would loosen all six bolts to the point where the trunnions could rattle. Then, I snugged up the center bolts while getting my alignment as dead-on as possible. Once I had the center bolts snugged up (and the blade aligned), I cross-tightend the other four bolts. Another sheck on the alignment and tighten them all.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View dmorrison's profile


150 posts in 2683 days

#2 posted 01-18-2012 04:58 AM

I just went through this with my 1988 Powermatic Table saw. Who knows they may have been built in the same factory. I aligned the blade to the left miter slot.
I removed the trunnions and drilled them out. My saw was out about the same amount. I increased the size of the hole with a drill and re-assembled the saw. Tried to align it again, it would not quite make it and had to disassemble it again to drill the holes larger. The saw now is in very good alignment, .002 and the fence is .003
A debate could arise over drilling or filing the holes. The holes were drilled the first time, incorrectly, but drilled. I chose to drill the holes instead of filing. I did not have any problems. I used a large drill and did it by hand. I considered using the drill press, but a jig would have to have been built to hold the trunnion. Doing it by hand was easy. It only took 2 times. I did have the drill auger in on one hole. That hole is slightly oval, much like filing the hole would produce.
I completely cleaned the saw and lubed the gears with paste wax. You could use white lithium grease, any graphite spray lube or as I used, Johnson’s paste wax. A Google search will cover this discussion.

Also align your fence to the left miter slot or blade if you choose. That way 99% of the cuts you perform are aligned. If you use the right miter slot you may have an alignment problem depending on how parallel the 2 slots on your table top are.


View IrreverentJack's profile


724 posts in 2264 days

#3 posted 01-18-2012 08:05 AM

Check out PALS. The trunnions don’t move a lot, but check to see if there is rust or crud around the trunnion bolt threads. IMO the PALS are worth getting. -Jack

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