Burning wood on table saw

Excuse me if this is an elementary question but I'm really new to table saw adjustments. I have a Craftsman 10" table saw and it seems to burn the wood on the fence side of the saw. Is this an indication of a misaligned blade to miter slot or is the fence too tight at the far end. The fence is funky and I measure distance of the front and back of the fence to a miter slot before each cut (yeah, big pain in the ---) to make sure it's even or slightly wider at the far end. I try to feed the wood as fast as it seems it wants to be fed (without forcing or hearing the engine bog down) but it still wants to burn. Is there a way to check blade alignment to miter slot without expensive gauges?
Thanks for any info you might have for me!!
Gary
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Gary wrote:> Is there a way to check blade alignment to miter slot

Yep, with just a combination square and a set of feeler gauges. Raise the sawblade and set the square so its blade just misses a tooth when the body of the square is tight against the miter slot. Mark the tooth with a pencil or something. Measure the span from the blade to the tooth. Roll the sawblade over 'til the same tooth is at the other side of the table(fore or aft), slide the square up or down and repeat the measuring process. Be patient! HTH. Tom Work at your leisure!
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Gary Stephens wrote:

There are 2 basic steps to tuning your saw, the first is to make sure the blade is parallel to the miter slot. A cheap and easy way to do this is to clamp say a 1/2" square piece of wood to the miter gage, which should be set approximately square to the blade. Power on the saw and cut the wood, then, with the saw off, check the cut face with against the front tooth of the blade, it should be a dead lenght, if it isn't then you know the blade isn't parallel. You can use a set of car feeler guages to measure how much the error is. If the cut face is exact with the front tooth, mark that tooth and rotate it manually until is is just rising from the insert and move your test piece to check against the same tooth. Again if the blade is parallel it will be the dead length. Using feelers it is quite easy to check to within a couple of thou. Adjustment is normally made by loosening the bolts holding the saw spinsle assy and giving it a tap with a plastic mallet.
After setting the blade parallel to the miter slot, check the fence, a cheap way of doing this is to use a square and the feeler guages. Holding the square againt the fence adjust the fence until the blade of the square is a couple of thou from touching the front tooth of the saw blade, measure the gap. Mark that tooth of the blade and rotate it to the back, move the square and remeasure the gap. Depending on the make of fence there should be some method to adjust the parallelism. Some workers prefer to have the blade parallel to the blade, others prefer to have the back of the blade to 'toe out' slightly, the normal figure is between 1/32 and 1/64", i.e. between 15 and 30 thou. The thinking behind having this offset is so that the wood won't get jammed between the blade and the fence, personally I set mine dead parallel.
Hope this helps.
BernardR
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If you are cutting maple of cherry, burning is more likely. Is your blade CLEAN and Sharp? A new fence, would probably help greatly especially if your clamps at the back also. Typically the older Craftsman fences that clamp at the back tend to readjust when you tighten them down. As for measuring, you should be measuring less than .005" difference from front to back. And IMHO that is too much. Dead on parallel is what I shoot for. As other have stated you want to get the miter slot parallel to the blade then simply drop a board into that same slot and adjust the fence until it has no gap between it and the board from front to back.

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What are you cutting? Cherry is tough to cut without burning. Any wood can burn on a long cut when you change hands to feed it. So if it is a long cut or cherry, I wouldn't worry too much about it.
If you are burning a short cut on oak, then you have a problem.
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Above are several versions of the blade parallelism adjustment using a feeler gauge. It works (woodworkers have been using this method for decades) but takes a while and may not be quite as accurate as using a dial indicator. I bought mine at Harbor Freight for $13.00, if I recall correctly.
I attach the dial indicator to the end of a narrow square-cut board and clamp it in my miter gauge so the plunger is pre-loaded (partially depressed) against the blade. I mark a tooth near the front of the table as was previously described, set the plunger on that tooth and zero the dial indicator. Then I hand rotate the blade so the marked tooth is at the back of the table and check again with the dial indicator. There should not be more than about +/- .004 inch of difference. If it measures more than +/- four thousandths, the probability is (in this order) you have 1) a misaligned blade, 2) a warped blade, or 3) a bad arbor bearing.
Consult your owner's manual for the procedure for truing the blade with the miter slot. For a warped blade, if it is a good one (carbide tipped, laser cut disk, etc.), send it back to the manufacturer for sharpening and truing. If it is a cheap blade, discard it and get a better one. If the problem is the arbor bearing it will require someone with tool repair experience. It is not a do-it-yourself job unless you are mechanically inclined and have some experience with precision machine assembly.
I also use my dial indicator to set my fence parallel to the miter gauge slots. For this I use the board and dial indicator assembly clamped in my miter gauge. With the dial indicator zeroed against the fence near the front of the table, I exert some sideways pressure to assure there is no "slop" in the reading and push the rig toward the back of the table while observing the dial indicator reading. I have mine within .005 inch total error, front to back.

saw
wood
funky
slot
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Chuck Hoffman wrote:

I second this suggestion. It's more accurate, and it's faster too. Move the thing, watch the needle, boom. One of the best little pieces of back pocket gadgetry I ever picked up.
I mount mine to the miter gauge head with a piece of steel bar I cobbled up for this purpose. I would also add to your suggestions that you can get wild measurements from a sloppy bar-to-slot fit. Mine only had a tiny amount of play in it, but it was enough to be extremely obvious at this resolution of detail. I stuffed some paper in there to make the fit as tight as humanly possible while still allowing it to slide. It helped keep me from chasing the needle.
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Using one tooth for the measurement eliminates the variations you would get with a warped bade. It could be nearly folded in half and it wouldn't make any difference to the measurement.

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There are numerous books on table saw tune ups. They have step-by-step procedures. One (or more) things are obviously out of whack on your table saw.
On Tue, 21 Dec 2004 20:52:15 -0800, "Gary Stephens"

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On Tue, 21 Dec 2004 20:52:15 -0800, "Gary Stephens"

If you find that it's still burning after everything is aligned properly, it's not a bad idea to try raising your blade, especially in thick or very hard stock. It sure seems like that gives the teeth a much greater opportunity to cool off, and it eliminates pretty much all burning for me, though your results may vary.

Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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wrote:

saw
wood
blade
funky
seems
it
slot
Perhaps your blade is misaligned. Try measuring from the guide to the blade as that's what matters.
John
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