HELP! With tablesaw straighness.....

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Forum topic by jgoeden posted 03-20-2013 08:44 AM 1144 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jgoeden's profile


23 posts in 1318 days

03-20-2013 08:44 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw blade

Guys, first time posting here, tons of reading though..

Ok so I have a Dewalt DW744x (??) construction table saw and I make endgrain cutting boards, so I cut a lot of 8/4 hard wood (sugar maple, cherry, purpleheart).

Anyways, after some scary moments on the saw over the last few weeks, it’s starting to scare me a lot to even use it. So, I finally broke down and bought a Gripper push block and that’s helped me, and the other night I was working for about 6 hours, cutting TONS of wood, no problems, smooth as butter.

Here’s my problem.

I don’t have a splitter or riving knife on the saw, so I took off the throat plate to put the riving knife on, and realized it’s too tall for my Gripper block to pass over, so I took it off. This is literally the ONLY “adjustment” I’ve done to the saw since using it 3 days ago (and running wood perfectly).

Now it seems if my blade is out of alignment. Is that possible just by messing with the 2 riving knife bolts? My saw bogs down, is burning wood, and wood is getting jumpy and scaring the shit out of me. It’s doing this with both the fence and my sled (which is about as perfect of a square as you can get).

I make an approximately 8” cut, the blade bogs down, so I shut off the blade and measure, and in 8”, we’re off about 0.0025” – 0.004”, on both the sled and the fence. Do you think my blade is out of alignment just from tinkering with the riving knife? How can I get it aligned?

Looking for some advice/encouragement. I’m scared to death something is going to happen, so worried that I’m comtemplating selling all of my tools and stopping woodworking. I’m an RN, so if I go losing fingers or hands, my career is over. I’m finally getting to the point where I’m making good money off of my boards, and business is starting to pick up, and now I can’t even make cuts…

I know I’m long winded, but I’m just honestly scared of my saw and desperately need any kind of advice or help. With a new baby, and a busy busy career, I don’t have 8 hours a day aligning my tools, I need to be cutting wood, not aligning blades all day….

Also, once I get my blade aligned (praying to God that this is “only” the issue here), I’m considereing getting a Biesemeyer or Vega fence.

-- Never use a Lancelot woodcarver on an angle grinder. Pictures upon request.

10 replies so far

View svenman's profile


7 posts in 1725 days

#1 posted 03-20-2013 11:51 AM

+1 to Scotsman….Don’t push it. If you’re not comfortable with any operation, there’s that small item of ‘wait a minute’ that needs to be addressed.
Quick and Dirty… Do you have another blade you can throw on the arbor and see if that makes a difference? I can personally tell you that my brother in law once put my saw blade back on without the matching arbor washer, and that imparted a real nice wobble to it and wouldn’t cut worth beans! Unplug the saw, and place a scrap block of wood to the right of the saw blade at the front. Then slide the fence till it just kisses the block of wood. Remove the block of wood and replace it at the rear of the saw blade. Does it hold the same distance, or out of alignment? To really line it up, you will need some sort of a dial gauge, but this will at least point you in the right direction. Is there another woodworker or user’s group in your area? I know if I was any where nclose to your shop, I’d be happy to stop over and give it a look over. Just having another set of eyes there with you might be enough to identify the culprit. I know the local Woodcraft by me has offered to stop by and lend a hand when I’ve had problems with my Drum Sander. Another person may have a different approach to the cutting operation that might give you a safer approach as well.

Good Luck, and take it slow. Sven

Good Luck!

View jgoeden's profile


23 posts in 1318 days

#2 posted 03-20-2013 12:26 PM

Thanks for the advise guys. I definitely have stopped now that I know something is off. That’s why I’m here!

The fence is hit or miss on alignment. It’s been that way since I had it, it’s a Dewalt construction saw, the fence was never really that good.

But the thing is that it does this too with my sled, which I literally just dialed in a week ago and was using it flawlessly the other night. It has a margin of error of about 0.004” over 96”.

Anyways, that’s why I was leaning toward blade being out of alignment, since it’s both the fence and the sled.

Scotsman, I’m actually just thinking of selling it and getting a Grizzly cabinet saw. The Dewalt is brand new, just bought it a few months ago, which is why this is all so frustrating. I think I convinced myself overnight after writing the post to sell the DW and buy a Grizzly cabinet.

Any thoughts on this?

-- Never use a Lancelot woodcarver on an angle grinder. Pictures upon request.

View jgoeden's profile


23 posts in 1318 days

#3 posted 03-20-2013 01:21 PM

I think it is. If I had a saw that I could just make cuts, and not have to screw around with not trying to lose a finger, one that cuts smoothly, I would probably cut up 8” wide pieces of 8/4 maple, into 1.5” pieces every few days.

I definitely can’t afford a sawstop, though I would love one, I’m thinking of going with a Grizzly, or God help me, if I have the patience to search for a month, a nice Unisaw or something similiar used.

I can spend up to about $900-1000. I know that’s not much in the TS world, but gotta start somewhere. Thanks again for all the help!

-- Never use a Lancelot woodcarver on an angle grinder. Pictures upon request.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3642 days

#4 posted 03-20-2013 01:44 PM

Alignment issues aside, I would strongly advise against using the saw extensively with no splitter or riving knife attached. It’s easy enough to either buy or make your own zero clearance insert and splitter that would be short enough for your Grr-Ripper to pass over.

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

View unbob's profile


699 posts in 1327 days

#5 posted 03-20-2013 01:48 PM

Just only my opinion! I think the small consumer saws are dangerous. I have been there and done that. When worked too hard, those saws actually distort and throw themselves out of alignment. I found, if a saw even bogs down alittle, its much more likely to toss a board at you. I solved my problems with this saw, a Rockwell 12-14”. I know, not for everyone, but, often found very reasonably priced. The CL photo- $800 with alot of stuff included.

View popmandude's profile


109 posts in 2444 days

#6 posted 03-20-2013 02:04 PM

For large quantities of 8/4 hardwood I would want a 3 hp motor min. 5 hp even better.

View jgoeden's profile


23 posts in 1318 days

#7 posted 03-25-2013 11:20 AM

Hey guys, thanks for all your advice. I ended up finding a steal of a deal (well, I feel like I got a good deal) on a Steel City cab saw for $600, came with 2 Freud blades, the mobile base, and a brand new zero clearance throat plate. It’s in the garage now, waiting for its first cuts, gotta go buy some wood!

Very excited, ran some strips through before buying and it ran smooth as can be.

Wondering though if I’ll ever want to throw a 3HP motor in it, they’re about $400 new, wonder if I could find any used for cheap…

-- Never use a Lancelot woodcarver on an angle grinder. Pictures upon request.

View jonwright's profile


68 posts in 1361 days

#8 posted 03-26-2013 03:33 AM

with all that cutting don’t forget to keep your blade clean…...

Glad you solved this the way that was right for you. Cut on, muh man….

View nwbusa's profile


1017 posts in 1710 days

#9 posted 03-26-2013 03:38 AM

A well-tuned 1.5 hp saw with a good blade can handle most 8/4 hardwoods. That said, it never hurts to have more power.

-- John, BC, Canada

View bannerpond1's profile


397 posts in 1322 days

#10 posted 03-26-2013 01:27 PM

jgoeden, I’m glad you found the Steel City saw. You were wise to seek help and quit using that other saw. Nwbusa is right when he says that saw should cut your 8/4 stock. Just slow down the feed rate if it tries to bog down on you, but don’t stop the feed or it’ll burn. Sounds like your problem is solved.

For those of you who are considering buying one of the benchtop hobby saws, listen to unbob’s advice. Don’t buy a toy to do a job which it’s not meant to do. You say you’re “on a budget?” What are your fingers worth?

-- --Dale Page

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