Table saw side wing alignment

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Forum topic by Stoli posted 03-25-2014 04:28 AM 3880 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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57 posts in 3362 days

03-25-2014 04:28 AM

I am putting together a newly purchased table saw and having an issue attaching one of the wings. The first wing went on fine, and I was able to get it flush and flat with the main table. But I am having an issue with the other wing. I can get it flush, but when I tighten the bolts, it is noticeable not flat with the main table (I am using a 48” Lee Valley straight edge). I gave up for the night. I plan to remove the wing and check the mating surfaces for burrs or junk, and also for square. Any other ideas or things I should check?

20 replies so far

View Paul's profile


721 posts in 1560 days

#1 posted 03-25-2014 04:39 AM

The table saw and model and even I pic would help more.

Table mounted or cabinet trunnions make a big difference on the advice.

Knotscott is the resident TS expert.


View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2441 days

#2 posted 03-25-2014 04:58 AM

I have an old table saw with one wing/extension,the way I attached it :I used two long angle irons,clamped them to the table top(one on the left,one on the right) then clamped the wing to them,by doing it this way you can see if the wing is properly aligned with the top of the table ,if not ,just tap it in place.

Once the wing is in the right position,I marked the holes for the bolts,removed the wing,drilled/tapped the holes,put the wing back on the same way (clamped to the angle iron bars) and fastened it to the table saw using the bolts,the angle irons will keep everything lined up.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View TheGermanJoiner's profile


847 posts in 1632 days

#3 posted 03-25-2014 05:10 AM

You can slice up a soda can and use the thin aluminum for shims. If that’s to thick tin foil or even paper will do

-- Greg - Ferdinand and Son Construction: Do it right the first time. Like us on Facebook

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2572 days

#4 posted 03-25-2014 09:04 AM

^ What Greg said. That’s how traditional side-attached table saw wings are leveled. If you want to get fancier, get some brass shim stock from a hobby store or online.

Some will recommend masking tape as shim material, but IME it compresses over time.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View knotscott's profile


8008 posts in 3371 days

#5 posted 03-25-2014 09:05 AM

It sounds like your doing the right things….check the mating surfaces for burrs. I assume these are cast iron wings? It’s very common to shim the wings of a saw….as Vertigo mentioned, soda can material works well. It’s also common to give the wings some persuasion at certain points with the bolts lightly snugged, then tighten them fully as you go. There’s no single sure fire method because each scenario is a little different, but keep working at it, and usually you get to a happy medium.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Stoli's profile


57 posts in 3362 days

#6 posted 03-25-2014 12:27 PM

The saw is a Sawstop PCS, and has 2 cast iron wings, one of which went on fine. The wings attach with bolts directly to the main table.

When I snug the bolts up on the troublesome side, I create a 10 mil gap across a 36” straightedge. The wing itself is flat, as is the table and other wing. I’ve been using my persuasion mallet successfully to get the wing flush with the table—it is just the angle I am trying to adjust now.

If I were to shim the wing, I’d have to place the shim above the bolt holes to get the angle to come down. Wouldn’t this leave a gap between the table and wing as wide as the shim? Is this common?

View johnstoneb's profile


2914 posts in 2168 days

#7 posted 03-25-2014 12:45 PM

The key is to get the wing level with the table top. The small gap a shim caused is not going to cause any problems. It’s the nature of the beast.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View bonesbr549's profile


1546 posts in 3062 days

#8 posted 03-25-2014 01:11 PM

If the wing needs to come up, use layers of masking tape on the bottom edge below the attachment bolt. A layer will add about 3-5 thou of lift. Tighten the bolts and see if its enough. If not then add a layer of tape till you get close. That was the method from the Grizzly 1023 manual for leveling the wings.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2441 days

#9 posted 03-25-2014 01:26 PM

+1 to johnstoneb.I used Aluminum Duct tape,you can stick as many layers as needed but as long as the extension pieces are level with the tabletop,uneven gaps are almost unavoidable.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

546 posts in 2373 days

#10 posted 03-25-2014 01:42 PM

I just put together my SS PCS this past weekend and ran into the same exact problem. The right wing would not go level and it was driving me nuts. I decided to keep going after getting it as close as I could and then got to installing the rails. Read the manual for the rails as it says that installing the rails will help level the wings as well. Lo and behold I installed both rails and had a friend sit on the right wing while I tightened down the bolts to the rail on the right side and it got extremely close to level, at least I’m happy enough with it.

Leveling everything was by far the hardest part of putting this saw together and once you’re done with that it’s pretty smooth sailing. This baby purrs like a kitten!

-- Matt, Arizona,

View Stoli's profile


57 posts in 3362 days

#11 posted 03-25-2014 02:09 PM

Thanks everyone. This is my first “big” saw, so I don’t know what is expected (I am upgrading from a 20 year old Ryobi BT3K that served me well). I do have some aluminum tape that I used for leveling a router plate, so I can use that.

Thanks for the note. Coincidentally, it is the right wing that I am having trouble with as well. I did not “read ahead”, so didn’t know that the rails could also be used to help align the wings, but can see how that is possible.

I’ll check back in tonight if I get shop time.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2966 days

#12 posted 03-25-2014 03:17 PM

I had two 7 ft long pieces of 2” square, extruded aluminum tubing I laid across the top of the saw and then clamped the wings to the square tubes just snug, not tight.
Then I could tap the wings into place and know that they are co-planer and level with the table.
I kept the tubes clamped on till after I got the rails attached and tightened.
This worked very well for me. Everything stayed flat and level after I took the tubes off.

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2572 days

#13 posted 03-25-2014 03:54 PM

The aluminum tape will work great. I used it to fix the slop in a cheap miter gauge.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

546 posts in 2373 days

#14 posted 03-26-2014 01:14 AM

I hear you, I didn’t read ahead either, I just got so fed up with trying to level the wing that I said F it and moved on then saw the note for the rails during the fence install and breathed a sigh of relief :)

-- Matt, Arizona,

View AlanWS's profile


19 posts in 3553 days

#15 posted 03-26-2014 01:18 AM

A gap of .01” over a 36” span is little enough that any stock you put on will probably conform. But you might as well see how flat you can get it.

Assuming the error is over 18” because the gap is in the center of the 36” rule, and that the mating edges are 1.5” tall, you would need a shim only .0008” thick at the top edge. That’s what you want as the difference between top and bottom, so it may be simpler, if you really do this, to sand an aluminum beer can shim (or aluminum tape) a bit thinner toward the bottom.

Carefully cleaning the mating surfaces can easily make this much difference, or as mentioned, bolting to the rails may bend it enough.

-- Alan in Wisconsin

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