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Tablesaw Height Adjustment Issues

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Forum topic by Tim Elley posted 03-13-2015 06:26 PM 1057 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tim Elley

6 posts in 638 days


03-13-2015 06:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw

Hi,

I have just bought a new tablesaw. It’s an Ascent SA250 – probably something you won’t see in the States, but here’s a link to it http://www.jacks.co.nz/products/saws/bench-saws/3.

I am having an issue with height adjustment that I didn’t expect. Here’s what’s happening:

When adjusting the height of the blade, when I reverse direction, the blade moves over at a slight angle before going in the desired direction (up or down). If I’m winding it down, having previously wound it up, the tip of the blade swings to the left a tiny bit before starting to move down. And having wound it down a bit, when I start to wind it up the tip of the blade moves to the right before starting to move up.

I hope that makes sense – it’s very difficult to explain, but quite simple when you see it. I attached a digital angle gauge and I would say the movement is about 0.7 of a degree. The angle adjustment happens at any point through the extent of blade’s travel, so long as I reverse direction.

To demonstrate it I set the height at maximum and ran a piece of pine through that was taller than the blade, so it cut a slot. I then lowered the blade about 5mm and ran it through again slightly to the left of the first slot. This produced 2 slots next to each other that should be parallel. But they are not. There is 6.3mm between them at the base, and 7.4mm at the top. So a difference of 1.1mm over a length of 68mm.

I’ve been back to see them about it and was basically told it’s a feature of all saws with that type of height adjustment. We looked at a number of saws they had in the shop and they all do it. They said that you should always end a height adjustment by winding it up a bit.

Which makes sense, but this is the first I’ve heard of such a thing, and it seems quite disappointing. Are they right? Is it something I have to put up with, or is it something that can be fixed?

Tim


14 replies so far

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DrDirt

4169 posts in 3210 days


#1 posted 03-13-2015 07:17 PM

I think others have this issue with the grizzly 715 table saw. Is the motor/trunion bolted to the bottom of the table?

Check out this thread (only a week old) and the video he made – I think you both may have the same issue – he returned the saw. The photobucket video shows the movement that I think you describe.

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/85266

http://vid287.photobucket.com/albums/ll148/lthompson94/Grizzly0715P_01_zpsfnhljd1a.mp4

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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Tim Elley

6 posts in 638 days


#2 posted 03-13-2015 08:09 PM

Thanks, that does look similar. But at the same time slightly different. Maybe. It looks a little to me like his blade moves sideways, rather than pivots. Mine is almost like someone is winding on the angle adjustment.

I’ve loaded a video of mine – I’d really appreciate your thoughts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1aOOkSINjQ

I’m fairly new to woodworking – did some at school as a child, and now found it again in my 50’s :-). I don’t know how much of an option returning the saw is for me, but the first thing I’d like to establish is whether what they are telling me is BS.

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knotscott

7225 posts in 2843 days


#3 posted 03-13-2015 08:18 PM

Does the alignment end up back where it’s supposed to be once you move the wheel back a partial turn?

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

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Kazooman

628 posts in 1420 days


#4 posted 03-13-2015 09:15 PM

Wow! That looks really bad. The stats from your “kerfs in the pine” test are terrible. I don’t think that this is a “feature” of all saws of their breed. I think it is a “flaw” in their design and or construction. My advice is to return the saw. If you can examine other copies of the saw to convince yourself that they do not share the problem, then you might consider a replacement. I can’t imagine trying to do quality work with a saw like that.

BTW…. My wife and I spent another wonderful three weeks in New Zealand a a month ago. We specifically planned a stop in Christchurch to see the impact of the earthquake for ourselves. Such a heartbreaking experience. We had spent some time in your city before the quake and were awed by the cathedral, the square, and all the surrounding area. The damage is tragic, but I know that Christchurch will rebuild. Something about “Kiwi Spirit”. We look forward to future visits to see the progress that is made in the recovery.

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Tim Elley

6 posts in 638 days


#5 posted 03-13-2015 09:34 PM



Does the alignment end up back where it s supposed to be once you move the wheel back a partial turn?

- knotscott

Yes, it does. Which is basically what they told me to do.

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Tim Elley

6 posts in 638 days


#6 posted 03-13-2015 09:52 PM

Thanks Kazooman, that’s what I have been thinking, but I don’t know enough to be sure that what they are telling me is nonsense. Good to hear that I’m not crazy to expect better :-)

Unfortunately the availability of tablesaws here in New Zealand is nothing like the States, and especially so here in Christchurch. Jacks are pretty much the only game in town here in Christchurch. I don’t know that returning it is going to be an option, but it’s definitely something I will explore. I have found an Auckland firm (Carbatec) that sell a similarly spec’d & priced machine – I will ring them on Monday and specifically ask if it’s a “feature” of their saws.

Great to hear you enjoyed your visit to NZ & Christchurch. The earthquake was an incredibly stressful time, but we were fortunate and didn’t lose anyone, and my house has only cosmetic damage. My brother’s house was destroyed however, fortunately no-one was home. But like all things we move on, and we will end up with a great new city, it just seems to take forever :-)

Did you get to Kaikoura? We have a holiday house there and I get there whenever I can.

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Kazooman

628 posts in 1420 days


#7 posted 03-13-2015 10:16 PM

Kia Ora, Tim,

We have been through Kaikoura, but only in transit from one stop to the next. Our first visit to NZ was the usual whirlwind trying to catch all of the high points. Auckland, Rotorua area, friends near Wellington, ferry to the South Island, glaciers, Milford Sound, Hermitage, Christchurch, etc. The recent trip was more relaxed with five nights each in four stops (with the one night stand in Christchurch added).

All I can say is that you are one lucky man to live in such an awe inspiring country. I hope that you can resolve the table saw problem.

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Shadowrider

183 posts in 677 days


#8 posted 03-14-2015 12:01 AM

Wow! That does look bad. And it appears to be a similar issue with the Ridgid/Craftsman and Grizzly hybrids.

What you need to determine is that 1) your blade alignment to the mitre slots repeats and 2) if the trunnion assembly held firmly while cutting if you always end the adjustment in the up direction. I’d be scared to cut an expensive board without knowing these. It almost makes me wonder if the weight of that portion of the trunnion that incorporates the blade arbor and the motor weight are the only thing holding the adjustment.

It may well be OK depending on it’s design. Metal cutting machines are like this, you always have to take the slack out of the screws when moving them for a cut or they will drift a whole lot. They have a lot of slack in the screws because they just have to with the type of thread they are. Just the nature of the beast with those machines.

View nicksaunders's profile

nicksaunders

4 posts in 327 days


#9 posted 01-18-2016 10:47 PM

Hi Tim

Not sure if you get this as it has been almost a year since your post, but am interested knowing how you got on with purchasing another saw bench.

I too live in Christchurch and have been looking at the Ascent saw benches, but after reading your post am thinking I give them a wide berth. I would prefer to buy locally and they (Jacks) also have the Holytek saws, but the same sized saw (as the Ascent) is twice the price.

In the past I have got a lot of my tools from Carbatec and was looking at the Jet 10” Sliding Tablesaw with Outrigger as an option. I have a work trip up to Auckland next month and was going to check them out and see what they are like.

How did you get on in the end?

Cheers
Nick

View Tim Elley's profile

Tim Elley

6 posts in 638 days


#10 posted 01-18-2016 11:10 PM

Hi Nick,

There’s a bit of a story to the whole thing, but in the end I bought a Jet 10” Proshop from Carbatec. It’s fantastic, and the guys at Carbatec were awesome too. Had to spend a bit more than I was spending at Jacks, but the difference in quality is phenomenal! You could really see the difference in fit and finish as I put it together.

I was a little worried about the drop in power, but I really haven’t noticed it.

Anyway, here’s the rest of the story – I really should have posted it here:

As I wasn’t getting anything coherent from the CHCH Jacks guys, I called the Auckland branch and pretended to be someone looking to buy. I described the behaviour I was seeing and asked if the Ascent saw exhibited it. The guy I spoke to said something along the lines of “that’s crazy, I’m sure they don’t do that”. I then said “Well, you might be interested to know…” and explained all that had come to pass at that point, including what the CHCH staff had told me. He passed me onto their support staff, and they set up the saw they had in the showroom, and in the end determined that it is indeed just the way they are.

They explained that the saws are intended for general construction, not fine woodworking or cabinet-making, and just weren’t fit for the purpose I’d bought them for. Absolutely poppycock of course – they aren’t fit for construction either!

Anyway they were decent about it and took the saw back and gave me a refund.

Good luck, and I’d be interested to hear how you get on.

Cheers,
Tim

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nicksaunders

4 posts in 327 days


#11 posted 01-18-2016 11:21 PM

Nice quick response. Thanks :)

After my last post, I called the guys at Carbatec and discussed the Jet and the other option. As always, they were fantastic and very informative so will head in there when I am up in Auckland and see how I go… And let you know.

He did make a point of mentioning the Saw Stop saws as well which seem to have an excellent build quality and the obvious safety feature, but I don’t think my budget can stretch to them (at twice the price). That said, I am sure I would save that $ several-fold if I lost a finger!

Cheers
Nick

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Tim Elley

6 posts in 638 days


#12 posted 01-18-2016 11:30 PM

No problem :-)

Have heard nothing but good about Saw Stop – fantastic quality. But also price. I rationalised that I’m far more likely to get kick-back than touch the blade, but in reality the decision was all about the money! But if money was no object I’d probably get one.

Do you watch any YouTube woodworkers? Jay Bates and Paul Jenkins have both posted reviews on their Saw Stops recently.

Cheers,
Tim

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nicksaunders

4 posts in 327 days


#13 posted 01-18-2016 11:42 PM

I haven’t seen it yet, but will take a look.

Cheers
Nick

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nicksaunders

4 posts in 327 days


#14 posted 01-18-2016 11:46 PM

Good reviews and good videos of projects etc. Jay’s workshop looks very well set up.

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