Need help aligning table saw

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Forum topic by Alster posted 08-08-2009 03:16 AM 2759 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Alster's profile


99 posts in 2632 days

08-08-2009 03:16 AM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw alignment

I recently purchased a very lightly used Jet contractor’s saw, and plugged it in today for the first time. When I checked, the blade was skewed to the miter slot by about 1/16 of an inch front to back. So I spent some of the afternoon loosening the trunnion bolts, installing a PALS kit, and trying to get things lined up.

At the end of the afternoon, I still couldn’t get the blade parallel to the miter slot. I’ve got the front of the trunnion all the way to the right, and the rear of the trunnion all the way to the left, and it still needs just a shade more—about a 32nd of an inch. And I think I’m out of room to adjust it any further.

So here’s my question. Or questions. 1) Is it possible that Jet produced a saw with a blade that can’t be set parallel to the miter slot? 2) Or am I doing something wrong? And 3) If your answer to either 1) or 2) was yes, your suggestions on how to fix this problem are VERY much appreciated.


10 replies so far

View ajosephg's profile


1878 posts in 2979 days

#1 posted 08-08-2009 05:44 AM

Alan -

I had a similar issue with another brand contractor’s saw, and the ultimate solution was complete dissassembly of the saw and drifting the trunnion slot holes with a rat tail file. (I couldn’t get my saw any closer than about 0.015 before, after the modification I have the alignment at 0.002.)

I assume you removed the trunnion bolt washers before you installed the PALs kit. If you didn’t that could be the problem as the original washers may be hanging up in the slots.

I wrote a paper on everything I went through with photos. If you want to see it, send me a PM with your email address.

-- Joe

View Jimmy's profile


44 posts in 2758 days

#2 posted 08-08-2009 06:06 AM

i went through a similar issue aligining my delta contractor. one thing that helps is pick up a 10 inch abrasive wheel and use that as the alignment blade. is is more uniform all around and worked great for me. good luck

-- 20 year old new woodworker. advice and tools much appreciated.

View knotscott's profile


7145 posts in 2793 days

#3 posted 08-08-2009 01:31 PM

Alan – Assuming this saw has connecting rods, it’s possible that the rods have twisted within the brackets and are causing this problem. To check that, set the blade at 90 degrees and lay something perfectly flat (like a small pane of glass) across the rods….if the plate rocks, the rods need to be loosened and adjusted before you can align the trunion brackets.

Elongating the holes is another possibility of the alignment is really whacked. It’s possible it’s been that way since the saw was new. If you go to that much trouble, make sure the mating surfaces between the table and brackets are smooth and flat, and you might as well upgrade the bolts and washers to a better grade of steel while you’re at it…at least that way you’ll be eliminating possible alignment causes down the road.

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

View ajosephg's profile


1878 posts in 2979 days

#4 posted 08-08-2009 03:32 PM

Knotscott is right about replacing the bolts.

I replaced mine with studs and used threadlocker to hold them in place. That removes any wear and tear and the table top threads – which if stripped will cause great grief.

-- Joe

View Maknsawdust's profile


6 posts in 2627 days

#5 posted 08-13-2009 05:11 AM

Anybody want to buy a powermatic 64 with stripped threads in the table. No. 5 bolts ripped the threads right out…but the zine bolts would not tighten.
I think it’s time to buy a R4511 so I can saw wood and not rebuild saws. Good Luck.

-- Round tuit's don't do it, just get a round toit, avaiable where buckets of steam are sold.

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

540 posts in 2899 days

#6 posted 08-13-2009 05:33 AM

You can see if the table top can be twisted any. I’m not sure how it’s attached, but if there’s some room for adjustment that way, you might look into it. Just a thought.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View TomHintz's profile


207 posts in 2816 days

#7 posted 08-13-2009 08:34 AM

I had a Jet contractor-sthyle saw and the trunnions are mounted directly to the table (as are most saws in this class) so that would eliminate moving the table itself.
I have heard of people elongating the holes in the trunnion slightly to get the blade aligned correctly. If you are out by a full 1/16” over the length of the blade that would mean that a bit over 1/32” on each trunnion should give you enough room with a little fudge factor as well.
Also, make sure that you are measuring it correctly and accurately. I have seen a few saws that the owners had gotten some comfusing instructions on measuring this alignment. We later found on each of them that it was much closer than they thought. Sometimes taking a day off and coming back at it with fresh eyes helps a bunch.

-- Tom Hintz,

View ajosephg's profile


1878 posts in 2979 days

#8 posted 08-13-2009 02:25 PM

FYI – the stripped out holes in your saw table top can be fixed with Helicoils.

-- Joe

View JJohnston's profile


1614 posts in 2709 days

#9 posted 08-13-2009 04:49 PM

If you decide to remove the trunnion assembly from the table, it’ll be easier if you have someone help you turn the entire saw upside down so you’re not fighting gravity. I once overloosened the bolts on my contractor’s saw, just enough to allow the the trunnion assembly to fall out of the brackets. I ended up having to turn the saw over, by myself, to get it back together. If you do turn it over, pick it up – don’t let the weight of the saw rest on the legs as it’s going over, or as you right it.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View drbob's profile


31 posts in 2834 days

#10 posted 08-27-2009 12:03 AM

The following post on my website can provide with complet table saw tune up instructions including alignment

-- drbob at

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