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What is good enough on an old 8" table saw?

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Forum topic by Odiferous posted 03-24-2013 11:22 PM 1058 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Odiferous

100 posts in 938 days


03-24-2013 11:22 PM

<edit>Sorry for the confusion: I never actually clarified that “square” below should have been “square to the miter slot”.</edit>

I have an old Craftsman 8” saw that I never use because the fence is garbage, but a new saw just isn’t in the budget right now. I’m thinking about making a sled for it so that I have something in the shop that can make a square cut, but first I’ve got to square up the blade.

When I started, it was about a 1/16” out of square over a 7 1/4” blade. I’ve tried to adjust it, but moving the adjustment bolts to their opposite limits, it’s still 0.024” off. I know this is woodworking, not precision machining, but I don’t know where the threshold lies to acceptable tolerance. I don’t want to “call it good enough” if I’m going to be constantly frustrated because every single cut is just wrong.

So is this good enough to actually get some work done, or should I not waste the effort and materials in a sled?


15 replies so far

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Odiferous

100 posts in 938 days


#1 posted 03-25-2013 01:11 AM

Google seems to be telling me that 0.005 might be acceptable, but 0.024 really isn’t. Add in the fact that the offset would be into the fence (or whatever I might clamp in the place of one), and this is sounding like it might actually pass frustrating and enter the realm of dangerous.

After blowing out the dust and clamping the saw up on one side (I guess there are some things you can’t do with a bigger saw), I think I can see what happened. As the bevel adjustment hits 90°, the motor hits the side of the cabinet. Any additional torque on the screw pulls on the front of the mounting plate, which must have bent enough to cause the issue.

I’m tempted to brace the motor at 90° and turn the screw against it, to try to push it back into shape, but with my luck, it’ll just break the plastic “nut” instead. So now I don’t know if I should try to get some slack by adjusting the table mounts, or if the (slightly) bent motor mount plate is still going to cause issues.

I guess the only other thing I can think of is to leave the cabinet bolted to the table, but completely remove the motor and mounts, and try to beat them back into shape. Suggestions?

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hairy

2108 posts in 2279 days


#2 posted 03-26-2013 12:01 PM

I could be totally wrong, but that hasn’t yet stopped me from replying.

As I understand it, your blade is not square to your miter slot? If you build a sled, only the sled needs to be square to the blade. Of course, it’s a different story when not using the sled.

“My old 8 saw.

-- in the confusion, I mighta grabbed the gold ...

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dhazelton

1268 posts in 1043 days


#3 posted 03-26-2013 01:50 PM

The tilt angle won’t go fully to 90 degrees? It sounds like you need to loosen up the trunnion bolts and shim one side.

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Odiferous

100 posts in 938 days


#4 posted 03-27-2013 12:38 AM

It gets just to 90, (or pretty close anyway—calibrating that was next on my list after the parallelism). I think it just got forced too much. The way it all hangs off of a rod (#5 below), I’m not sure what I could shim.

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dhazelton

1268 posts in 1043 days


#5 posted 03-28-2013 05:26 PM

Oh, direct drive. I thought it was an older belt driven. And it doesn’t look like a buildup of sawdust anywhere. There still must be some adjustabilty built in to it. You would think so, anyway…

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JustJoe

1554 posts in 785 days


#6 posted 03-28-2013 05:45 PM

What’s not aligning? Is the blade not sticking up a perfect 90 degrees from the table, or is it not perfectly parallel to the miter slots or fence? If it’s the first one, then really just a paperweight. You can sell it to someone on CL for twice what you paid for it – just remember to tell them you’ve only used it once (and that’s not rust, it’s valuable patina.)

If it’s the second one – not parallel to the slots, then like Hairy said, that doesn’t matter – you make the sled with the front edge perpendicular to the blade and life is good.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

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dhazelton

1268 posts in 1043 days


#7 posted 03-29-2013 12:57 PM

No, you can’t do what ^ said – if the miter slots aren’t parallel to the blade all you will accomplish is binding the blade when you try to push wood through. Nasty things will ensue.

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Odiferous

100 posts in 938 days


#8 posted 03-29-2013 02:35 PM

Yeah, with the sled riding in the miter slots, I can’t see it working well to push into the blade at an angle. I figured it’d just hog out a wider kerf in the sled, and it might work for small stuff, but for anything a few inches wide, I think it’d keep binding.

So last night I kept looking at it, and could definitely tell that the carriage plate (#70) is bent. Figuring it’ll cause issues even if I can manage to square the blade, I could only think of one way to get enough access to the plate to straighten it out:

This is not a happy state for a table saw.

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Odiferous

100 posts in 938 days


#9 posted 03-29-2013 05:52 PM

I straightened the plate out, and managed to put it all back together. I got it square to about 0.005”, so I called it good enough. I even had enough slack in the adjustment to move it past square, so hopefully I’ll be able to keep it in the acceptable range for a while.

During all this I noticed that the extension wings were not entirely level, so next I started looking at how they needed to be adjusted. Then I discovered the crown in the back of the table. I can’t see myself grinding this back to true. I don’t think it’ll bother a sled, but being able to do anything actually on the table of this saw is looking less and less likely.

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Rick M.

4488 posts in 1127 days


#10 posted 03-29-2013 06:04 PM

Sounds like you’ll really benefit from a sled. Your post reminds me that I need to get into my saw and do some maintenance.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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dhazelton

1268 posts in 1043 days


#11 posted 03-29-2013 07:36 PM

And the pieces that the acme screws run though to adjust things are made of nylon? What were they thinking? Never mind, I know what they were thinking – $$$.

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RiverWood

115 posts in 1507 days


#12 posted 03-29-2013 09:30 PM

I like the idea of you refurbing the saw. I look forward to the end result. As far as ” being able to do something with this saw” Look at the home made saws on here. Ask yourself if you would rather start with your saw or theirs. I am very proud when I take something someone else would put in the trash and make it useful. Okay, now to reply to some of the questions. Aligning the blade to the miter slots is the “right” thing to do. Unless, of course you never use the miter slots. If you don’t , as in use a miter slot guided sled, it doesn’t matter. Align the fence to the saw blade and you are good to go. The preferred way is to choose something stationary, such as the table saw top and align everything to that. I don’t want to hi-jack your post but hope I have answered a few questions. I look forward to the reassembled picctures

-- My favorite projects were firewood bound

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dhazelton

1268 posts in 1043 days


#13 posted 03-29-2013 10:12 PM

No, you can NOT do that. It doesn’t matter if the back of your sled is at a right angle to the blade if you are pushing it through slots that are few of degrees off of parallel. You will bind the blade – simple as that.

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Odiferous

100 posts in 938 days


#14 posted 03-29-2013 10:42 PM

RiverWood: Unfortunately, building a sled that rides the fence instead of the miter slots is a lost cause on this saw. The fence for this thing is a bent piece of sheet metal that waggles all over the top as you tighten it down. Frustration from trying to use the fence is what led me to abandon using this saw a few years ago when I first inherited it.

I’m going to keep banging on this thing until I can make it do—I’m in the middle of building a router table, but it’s kinda rough when my dad’s table saw is two hours away.

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RiverWood

115 posts in 1507 days


#15 posted 03-29-2013 10:45 PM

I think we are saying the same thing. If the blade is not aligned to the miter slot then nothing riding in the slot works. If the blade is off by a mile and the fence is off by the same mile then you can cut a board. Wouldn’t be much fun though

-- My favorite projects were firewood bound

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