any advise on aligning tablesaw blade/fence?

Hi everybody... Recently got a tablesaw (general) and bought a WWII blade to go with it. At first the blade kept burning wood, then i read the instructions that came with the blade, they specify that the back of the fence should be about .0001 further away from the blade than the front. Since i dont have anything that precise to measure with, I set the fence as parallel as i could get it (using a combination square, again, i'm just setting up shop and dont have any fancy tools). I then ran a piece of 3/4 plywood thru. Yep. It burned. so i did 1/8 turn on the fence adjustment screw and ran again. Burned again, but not as much. Repeated process until no burning. Then I ripped a piece of 1x8 pine. no burns, but if you examine the cut by running your finger along the edge, you can feel a 'hump' near what would have been the part to get cut first. and when you place the joint back together and slide the wood to a different location, the opposing sides are not completely flush. i'm feeding the wood slowly and then using a push stick. is it my technique that could be causing this, or is the blade/fence still unaligned. it seems as though it's harder to push the stock thru after it gets halfway cut. i've tried differnt blade heights, etc and still have yet to achieve the 'smooth as glass' results that everyone on amazon talked about. i'm afraid this may hinder gluing up panels, etc. perhaps if i had better measuring/aligning tools it might be easier...
any and all advice will be appreciated.
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Buy a cheap dial caliper. I use a caliper to adjust my saw when it needs it.
BTW, 0.0001 is a tenth of a thousandth, not many home shops are going to be able to measure that close.
The blade should be parallel to the miter gauge slot, the blade should be vertical, and theoretically at least, the fence should be parallel to the blade. In practical terms, my blade is parallel to the slot, but the fence is slightly away from the blade at the rear. The WWII will provide a very smooth cut.
While using a combination square should work fine, even a cheap chinese dial caliper will be more accurate for the task. If you can't find one at the store, go to www.enco.com and take a look at what they've got. The cheap chinese stuff all the way to Starett. I personally like Mitutoyo brand tools. I'm not a tool and die maker, the quality of a Starrett would be lost on me.
wrote:

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Ken, Misaligned panels, burning, etc., can be the least of your problems. Improperly aligned fences relative to the blade is the number two cause of kickbacks which can be really MEAN (number one is poor feeding technique)! Shortly after I got my first saw, I had a small piece of ply come up on the back of the blade and come flying right back at my crotch!! Problem, poor alignment . . .coupled with poor feed. Since that time I have invested in a good set of alignment tools (there are several on the market . . . mine is the TS Aligner JR. http://www.ts-aligner.com/tsalignerjr.htm . Granted it was expensive, especially when you consider you should only need to align periodically but is an excellent tool. I lend my set to several woodworking friends in my area during the interim to align their equipment. . . spreads out the cost.
-Verne

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Keep in mind that you must also use flat and straight wood for the best results.
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You don't need fancy alignment tools. Just a tri-square and feeler gauges. Do the saw/miter slot alignment first, then the fence to the miter slot. I hope the fence is good 'n flat. Tom Someday, it'll all be over....
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Until the more experienced folks answer, here is my unqualified $0.02
DAGS for table saw tuning and you'll be able to compile a good idea of what it takes. I have yet to "fine tune" my saw, but have aleviated my burning problems by:
1. using a featherboard 2. not leaving the wood motionless against the moving blade too long
Also remember that some species are more susceptible to burning than others.
I'm just kind of guessing here, but I think not using a featherboard could result in .001" or more of misalignment easily, depending on the length of the rip. Also, shallower hooks (or teeth?) in the blade (finish versus general purpose blade) mean more metal and carbide surface area on the side of the blade as well as more teeth in the wood -which means more friction. Generally it's "cooler" to rip out big chunks than file away bit by bit. So you can probably get away with less alignment error with the more finishy blades.
-Chance Casey
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The "hump" has me puzzled. Does it look like a mirror of your sawblade? If the blade flexes left as you begin, then settles, you'll get a broader beginning until you get past the teeth. Twisted lumber tipping can contribute to this, as can a non-straight fence or opposite side of the board.
You sure you don't have blade heel? Do your setup with touch gages. As someone else already mentioned, a combination square works well. Touch/no touch, and light/no light are all you need for adjustment, the rest just tells you how far.

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hi george it does, the hump is curved just like the blade...
bear in mind, everyone, that i'm using pine from the borg. it's right off the shelf, as i dont have a jointer (yet, i'm thinking about getting a yorkcraft yc-6j. it got good reviews from fine woodworkings 2004 tool guide). i don't feel the hump on plywood. i'll try cutting into a piece of mdf i have 2nite. that's pretty flat as is, so if i dont get it with the mdf, and the plywood isnt burning, then maybe it's just the lumber i've been using. and it could be my technique, as i'm just learning....
thanks everyone for your responses. i'm going to pick up a dial indicator as well.... ken

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well, i just did some measuring using my combination square.. i think there is a "combination" problem here. i dont think the blade is aligned to the miter slot, AND, i think the blade is warped. AFTER i unplugged the saw...starting at the front of the saw, i put the edge of my combo square in the slot, and slid the rule over to the blade, locked it down. i was able to freely turn the blade past one complete revolution (i left a tiny gap to avoid that horrible scraping sound). i moved the combo square to the back of the blade, kept the rule in the same spot. the blade was actually touching the rule. that tells me that the blade is off a little bit to the slot. then i figured i'd lock down the rule at the back of the blade and then move it towards me to the front of the saw, and use a feeler guage to see how far off it was (distance between blade and rule). in the process of doing that, i decided to turn the blade by hand again. to my suprise, i made 3/4 revolution with the blade and then it scraped up against the rule. for a lenght of about 7 or 8 teeth, the blade scraped against the rule, for the rest of the 32 teeth, it didnt. that tells me the blade is warped. guess it's time to call forrest.
thanks everyone for your input.

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ken blais wrote:

Ken, have you checked the run out of the arbor with the blade off? You could use the arbor flange to check for run out. You may have a good flat blade and unacceptable run out of your arbor and or the arbor flange.
Hoyt W.
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One more thought: I don't know what type of fence facing the general has, but could it be slightly out of flat?
This would make the fence parallel in some spots but not other.
As other have pointed out, is your stock straight and flat? That is, was it jointed prior to ripping?
Check both with a good quality straight edge.
-Steve

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Look at my post on 3/15/04 ts aligning on abpw newsgroup, or let me know and I will send you pics. Worked just like the ts aligner.
dave

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