Thursday, 27 June 2013

table saw

Table saw blade & Fence alignment.

Checking  blade alignment 

While finishing the set up on my mitre guide, I decided it's time to check the alignment of the saw blade with the mitre track for parallel to each other, plus while doing this I had better check to see if the table saw fence was also parallel with the blade, calibrating the saw table  top.

I tried using a micrometer I found this very fiddly to deal with  although I did get readings of within 0.25mm, but  the difference could have been me while fiddling.   I needed something to be accurate with out any doubt at all, I didn't want to  spend a fortune on other measuring equipment  it had to  simple, easy to set-up and cheap, so mulling things over and doing some web searching came up with this.

First simply  Colour mark  one tooth on the leading edge of the blade do this on  both sides of the  blade reason being  Ill show you a little later on.


It's just an off cut of timber it can be any length you choose it to be, I have screwed into the end  but off centre a small screw, as I wanted the measurement to be as near the table saw bed  as possible, The screw head  will be just touching the edge of the front tooth of the saw blade, now you can check you blade for  alignment with  the mitre  guide  by sliding it forwards to align with the back tooth on the saw  blade  while  at the same time ROTATE the blade  by hand  aligning the marked tooth  with the screw head when it's in  position at the rear of the blade, if it just touching the tooth , yippee , then your blade is fine, if not then your  saw blade is out of alignment.

I'm not going to try and explain how you go about re aligning you saw blades as I'm sure each manufacturer will possible  recommend  it's done differently as shown in there own  manuals.

I found this method to be simply in expensive and much  easier to use  than fiddling with a micrometer, lucky for me  my blade is spot on parallel  to the mitre track.

Checking  fence alignment

The preparation of your materials  is very important, it's no good preparing stock which is not cut parallel , it just is as important  to get this spot on as well as the mitre track being parallel  and your mitre fence being also square  to the blade. 

I'm using the same jig and the same method of checking  for  alignment it's primarily a repeat of what you just read to check the alignment of the  mitre gauge, only a slight difference I used a small steel square to keep the jig square to the fence as I checked it, seen here at the front  of the blade using the same marked tooth, now repeat at back of blade. 


Lucky for me  I can adjust my fence as seen here  with the four  Allen screws/bolts,  two either side of the fence , my fence was indeed out,   not by an enormus amount  but to much  to be ignored.

To make  adjustments slacken all four Allen screws, I simply used the jig  to align  the fence first at the back of the blade, by  placing  the screw head against the marked tooth  then slid the fence to touch the other end of jig  and mark a pencil line along the bottom edge of the fence onto the table saw bed then, I moved the jig to the front of the blade  rotated the blade  and moved the jig to the front of the blade placing  the screw head against the marked tooth, I slid the fence up against the other end of the timber jig ,  keeping it touching the timber  I then slowly move the  far end of the fence to line up with the pencil line I had made earlier and then tightened all four Allen screws.  I moved the fence in and out a few times and repeatedly checked it positions to double check for accuracy, all is fine. I removed the jig and left the fence in that position so I could cut some test pieces to double the test I had calibrated the saw correctly and no fine tuning would be needed.


I planed one edge of some old white melamine chipboard  then rip cut it  and then cross cut at exactly the same length  as it's width  to get a square.  All four sides 210mm then as seen above marked the diagonals  both measured 296mm, spot on.

Now that I'm satisfied the  mitre  guide is square with the blade and the table saw fence is aligned with the blade  as well  it now time to try a cut  at 45 degrees,  Simple set up the 45 angle and hey presto. enjoy. hc 

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