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Table saw / fence question

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Forum topic by TBar posted 02-19-2009 07:52 PM 4276 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TBar

10 posts in 2847 days


02-19-2009 07:52 PM

Hi all,

I’m new here and hope that this is an appropriate post and an appropriate place to post. I have a question regarding my 1980s Craftsman table saw (Model No. 113.298031). I have owned it for a few years, and I have always had burning problems with my cuts. I followed the manual’s instructions to align the fence to the blade, but still had trouble. I have read some opinions that say this is simply a fact of life with Craftsman saws and the stock fence.

I am looking for suggestions. Do I just need to do a better job with alignment? Can this be solved with an aftermarket fence? How do aftermarket fences attach to a wide variety of saws?

Thanks and regards,
Trevor


9 replies so far

View brianinpa's profile

brianinpa

1812 posts in 3186 days


#1 posted 02-19-2009 08:25 PM

Trevor,

Are you sure that the blade is aligned to teh table top? It sounds like the fence may be sqaure to the table top, but the blade is off alignment which could be casuing the buring. Check the distance from the leading edge of the blade to the miter slot and the trailing edge of the blade to the mitor slot. If this distance is off by even the slightest distance it could be contributing to your problem.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View ajosephg's profile

ajosephg

1878 posts in 3024 days


#2 posted 02-19-2009 08:26 PM

Tell us more about your problem

Is it burning ripcuts, crosscuts, or all cuts?
What kind of blade/blades?
What kind of wood/woods?

-- Joe

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TBar

10 posts in 2847 days


#3 posted 02-19-2009 08:56 PM

Brian – not certain. It has been a while since I double-checked, but I will verify that. I presume this measurement can simply be done with calipers (or finely graded steel rule)?

Joe – all cuts. I’ll need to double-check my blade, but I think what I’ve been using lately is a Freud multi-purpose blade. Something like their LU84 combination blade. I have experienced this problem with KD dimensional lumber (2×4s, etc), maple boards, and plywood (both maple veneer and standard stuff).

I’ll try to gather more data tonight.

-Trevor

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ajosephg

1878 posts in 3024 days


#4 posted 02-19-2009 09:13 PM

Ok – the problem is not your fence, it is the blade to miter slot alignment. My opinion is that you should shoot for the alignment to be within 0.005 inches. That is, the front of the blade to miter slot distance should be the same distance as the back of the blade to miter slot distance within 0.005 inches. (With the blade at maximum height.) I don’t think you can accurately make this measurement with a steel rule or calipers. There are some work arounds that you can use, but a $30.00 dial indicator and a home made jig would be a good investment. You can also buy a PC Junior Alignment fixture (Edward J. Bennett Co.) which I highly recomend.
I have a PDF file that I’d be happy to send you (or anybody) on how to make the measurements and fix the misalignment. Send me a PM with your email address and I’ll forward it to you.

-- Joe

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3285 days


#5 posted 02-19-2009 09:43 PM

Trevor, the fence on a Craftsman saw is really not a good quality fence at all. The biggest problem with them is that the front and rear of the fence travel somewhat independently. Here is a picture of my saw with the “fine adjusting tool” (to the left of the fence) that I use to align my fence while using a steel rule to measure the distance from the fence to the miter slot, which I have made sure the blade and miter slot are parallel.

The fence’s design is poor at best since it relies on pressure to lock it in place and this pressure causes the fence to bow when it is locked down. I have thought about replacing mine but I am simply going to upgrade to a cabinet saw later on this year.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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Woodchuck1957

944 posts in 3227 days


#6 posted 02-19-2009 10:29 PM

A bow in the board could do it too.

View Bureaucrat's profile

Bureaucrat

18337 posts in 3115 days


#7 posted 02-19-2009 11:44 PM

I own one of these saws too. That vintage came standard with angle iron glides for the fence (the upgrade had pipe for guides). I have done all of the alignment stuff that’s been recommended and it generally works fine. But if I’m using my good blade on good material I set the fence and measure its distance at the front of the blade and the back. With the way the fence is designed, especially as its aged, the back of the fence doesn’t always clamp down where the front thinks it ought to. It’s a PITA but worth the extra step not to ruin good stock.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

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TBar

10 posts in 2847 days


#8 posted 02-20-2009 12:05 AM

Hi Gary,

Thanks for the input. What do you use for measurement? Ruler, caliper, dial indicator?

Thanks,
Trevor

View brianinpa's profile

brianinpa

1812 posts in 3186 days


#9 posted 02-20-2009 02:13 AM

Trevor,

I have done it with a steel rule and it is do-able, but… Soon after, I bought a dial indicator and that was the best addition I could have made to my tool line-up. I also read an article in a woodworking magazine on this topic. I’ll take a look through my stash and see if I can locate it. Once the table is aligned with the blade you should not have too many problems unless the fence is flexing/moving whiule cutting, and like Loe mentioned above, .005 is a good measurement to shoot for: hard to measure that on a ruler.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

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