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Calibrating My First Table Saw

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Forum topic by joshuam39 posted 08-23-2014 03:24 PM 699 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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joshuam39

62 posts in 136 days


08-23-2014 03:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi, Everybody. My first post here. I’m new to woodworking as a hobby. I’ve built some basic projects in the past like workbenches and basement storage shelving. I’m looking to get into finer projects and techniques.

I purchased a Bosch 4100-09 the other day. I chose it because of my limited work space and it was highly rated among portables. Someday I’ll get a proper cabinet saw when I get a better work space and become more seasoned at my craft. The Bosch seems like a good beginner saw.


Putting it together was pretty easy. I just had to put the stand together for the most part. The blade was already installed. Everything else goes on real nice and easy.

So, that brings me to calibration. The front of blade is slightly pointed toward the fence. Not much. With my digital caliper, as best I can tell, it’s about 16-20 1000ths off. Is this enough to worry about? Should I try to adjust it closer to zero. Or leave it be?

The fence seems pretty good. Sometimes when I lock it down it’s not perfect, but I’ll unlock and lock it again and it will be square. I’ll adjust that too, and get it more consistent. hopefully.

Any advice for calibration would be appreciated. The instructions are a little vague. Any upgrades I should consider? I plan on getting the left, and out feed extensions. They are cheap enough.

-- Let's go Pens!


21 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

1031 posts in 240 days


#1 posted 08-23-2014 03:39 PM

Yeah that’s a bit too far out. Typically you want to measure from miter slot to blade and fence. I’m not familiar with that saw but I’d suggest looking up “table saw alignment” on YouTube. There are many videos that will help you understand.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View toolie's profile

toolie

1774 posts in 1382 days


#2 posted 08-23-2014 05:21 PM

Is this enough to worry about?

yes, it is too much. +/- .001 is certainly possible with a little patience. all three of my TSs are within that tolerance.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View endgrainy's profile

endgrainy

146 posts in 642 days


#3 posted 08-23-2014 05:57 PM

Welcome to Lumberjocks, and to woodworking! I’ve been doing this about 2 years now – a great hobby with limitless potential for growth.

When setting up machines, I’ve found the website www.thewoodwhisperer.com to be very helpful and beginner friendly. Marc’s video about tablesaw setup seems to address your question:

http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/tablesaw-setup-tuneup-pt-1/

Hope this helps!

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endgrainy

146 posts in 642 days


#4 posted 08-23-2014 06:01 PM

To your question about upgrades: I’ve found an outfeed table to be very helpful at feeling in control with the tablesaw. Additionally, adequate dust collection, a riving knife, Grr-Riper push blocks, and a crosscut sled have become essential for my operations in the shop.

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1100 posts in 178 days


#5 posted 08-23-2014 06:05 PM

Welcome to LJ’s and congratulations on your new saw.

I too am not familiar with this particular saw but as other have said, lots of YT videos showing you how.
You may find one specific to your saw.

If you can get within +\- 0.002 from one end of the fence to the other, you are doing good for a bench saw IMO. Measure from the miter slot to the fence and also from the miter slot to the front and back of the blade. I also rotate the blade to check for a straight blade.

Hopefully you will not have to make any adjustments to the assembly that holds the motor to the frame but it can happen. Be patient and set it up right and you will be able to make great cuts. Fudge on setup and it will be reflected in all your work and could make it less safe to operate.

Upgrades would be a quality combination blade, a miter gauge like the Incra or Osbourne, and feather boards for the miter slot and\or the fence. 8” Dado blade set if that is also something you will need.

And if you have the space, build a workstation. It will make your work far more stable and give you storage. I am sure there are lots of youTube videos, on these, as well.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

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endgrainy

146 posts in 642 days


#6 posted 08-23-2014 06:12 PM

As timbertailor pointed out, checking your blade is smart. I forgot to mention in upgrades, but most people replace the stock blade with a higher quality aftermarket table saw blade. This is a relatively small cost differential that can dramatically improve your cuts.

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

871 posts in 799 days


#7 posted 08-23-2014 07:59 PM

The Bosch has table mounts which is a test of patience to calibrate. I recall seeing them in the instruction manual, and it usually goes in the order of
  1. Align the blade to the miter slots
  2. Align the fence to the miter slots

For the record, I didn’t enjoy calibrating my Dewalt table saw, which is in the same class and would be a similar experience.

-- paxorion

View joshuam39's profile

joshuam39

62 posts in 136 days


#8 posted 08-23-2014 08:42 PM

Thanks for the responses, guys. I have not had a chance to align the blade yet. My day got hijacked by the kid and my lady. I should be able to get to it later.

endgrainy, I watched the Woodwhisperers video. Although the method of adjusting my saw is different, seeing his different measuring techniques was helpful. Btw, I’m a big fan of his Youtube channel.

For upgrades, I have a tight budget. I still have other essential tools to get. I need good value for my money. I think a blade will be a good call. I’ve seen some good blades for a reasonable price. An Incra or Osborne miter may be out of my budget for now. A dado would be great. I think I read my saw will only accommodate up to a 1/2 inch dado. I’ll have to verify that. A dado is an item I will have to get a good value out of.

Well, hopefully aligning everything goes well. I’m not really looking forward to doing it. If I have problems, I be back on here looking for answers.

-- Let's go Pens!

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paxorion

871 posts in 799 days


#9 posted 08-23-2014 09:35 PM


endgrainy, I watched the Woodwhisperers video. Although the method of adjusting my saw is different, seeing his different measuring techniques was helpful. Btw, I m a big fan of his Youtube channel.

- joshuam39

The biggest challenge you’ll have is how much the “trunnion” swings back as you try to adjust it. I used a combination square and a clamp as a third arm to hold the “trunnion” as I pivoted it into place. My Dewalt DWE7491 has an open frame design which made it possible to do it when it is in it’s normal position (unplugged of course!). If I had to do it again, my wife is going to help in tightening the bolts once positioned. I haven’t used a dial indicator to check, but with the combination square check, it seems pretty darn close to me. Fence alignment is even easier thanks to the Dewalt fence design.

-- paxorion

View BamaWill's profile

BamaWill

2 posts in 146 days


#10 posted 08-24-2014 05:35 AM

I have the same TS, but removed it from that nice but goofy and wobbly stand and bolted it on a workstation. Now it is rock solid and can accommodate my height and needs better. It also allowed me to close the bottom and use weatherstripping and expandable foam to get outstanding dust collection.

Believe me, it is an outstanding and very accurate TS. (It does Dados to 13/16) Why else would it consistently receive 5star, excellent reviews by everyone that test it? And it has for years. Bosch is German. Germans know how to build things of high quality that last.

When you get a chance upgrade the not-so-good factory blade to a Forest WoodWorkerII thin kerf (.100”) and/or Freud glue line (another high quality blade). Those new blades made the biggest difference in quality of cuts.

Buy the left and back extensions or build them yourself. They will be needed for larger stock. Buy a good feather board. And a well made, accurate sled is a must.

My only complaint is I wish I had 4”-6” more table space in front of the blade. The lack of space there is why I personally can’t use that huge blade guard that the saw comes with. It made it seem more dangerous. all I use is the riving knife and a huge dose of common sense and safety awareness. I am constantly aware of where my fingers are at all times.

View skatefriday's profile

skatefriday

177 posts in 236 days


#11 posted 08-24-2014 06:48 AM

I purchased my first real saw, Grizzly 1023, a few months ago and
had to take the table off for a repair. Took me about three hours
but I was able to get it back on within about 0.002”

Crucial to this was a dial gauge riding in the miter slot, measuring
against the blade.

On the subject of blades, I have both a CMT crosscut and rip blade and
am happy with them.

And yeah, I use a crosscut sled that I built based upon the Wood Whisperer’s
design and that precludes the use of the blade guard, but I consider
the sled a huge safety improvement as it allows me to really get my
hands out of the way and of course allows me to cut panel stock that
would be impossible otherwise. The most used jig in my shop. Thanks WW!

Note that the one big safety improvement I made was a hold-down clamp
addition from Rockler living in a routed channel. This allows me to remove
the hands entirely from the job of securing the workpiece.

View joshuam39's profile

joshuam39

62 posts in 136 days


#12 posted 08-25-2014 02:48 AM

Well, that was easy. I loosened the bolts under the front and back of table. Checked the blade alignment, and it was almost dead on. Weird. Tightened it back up. checked it again, still within 1 or 2 1000ths. The front bolts were torqued on very tight. I thought the hex wrench was going to break when I was trying to loosen them. I wonder if that’s why the alignment was a little off. The rear bolts were snug but not nearly as tight. Anyway, made a couple test cuts. They looked good to my beginners eye. Now time to learn how to use this thing to it’s potential.

-- Let's go Pens!

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

1031 posts in 240 days


#13 posted 08-25-2014 03:05 AM

Because it’s aligned when the blade is 90 degrees doesn’t mean it’s aligned when the blade is tilted. Keep that in mind.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View joshuam39's profile

joshuam39

62 posts in 136 days


#14 posted 08-25-2014 03:09 AM

Ok. I guess I’ll check that too. The angles checked out, but I only checked alignment at 90% as per the instructions.

-- Let's go Pens!

View splatman's profile

splatman

83 posts in 153 days


#15 posted 08-25-2014 05:22 AM

When you put a better blade on your TS (or any other tool), save the stock blade. Put it back on when you cut old wood. That way, if you hit one of those sneaky old nails and ruin the blade, no big loss. A hand-held metal detector is handy for preventing such an oops.

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