on my Delta table saw 36-979 it offers the following advice for
aligning the miter slots to the blade.
On page 24 of the delta manual for table saw model 36-979 the
adjustment for the blade parallel to the miter slot is not working for
In figure 68 it says to loosen 2 hex bolts B that hold the rear
trunnion C and pound trunnion C until the blade is centered in the
table insert. I pounded that thing for 10 minutes and it did not budge
once. The front of the blade is skewed inward slightly (1/32 to 1/16)
compared to the rear of the blade and it is nowhere near the center of
the table insert. What am I doing wrong that I cannot budge this
trunnion? Please offer help if you have had this problem before.
On 25 Oct 2006 23:11:41 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
I guess you should be OK if what you are doing is described in the
However, FWIW, the blade should be aligned to the fence and then the
slot to the blade.
Do not align the blade to the slot (as in your subject line)
Maybe its just the arrangement of terms.
How do you align the slot to the blade since the slot is fixed in the table
top iron? Everything should start with the most difficult to align to the
easiest. So in order, it goes slot (which is fixed) then align the blade to
be parallel with that slot, then align the fence to be parallel to the
If there's some other method then please tell me, I'm all ears.
Well, it seems you use the factory insert - I don't. I have a variety
of inserts - all shop made to provide riving knife, zero clearance,
etc But even if I did use the original I would set my saw up
Fence-Blade-Slot. The slot is a default position (it ends up where it
ends up) after the fence-blade is correct.
IMO, you should start with alignment of the fence parallel to the
table...then fence to blade ...then the slot is defaulted.
However, in any well made machine there should not be too much
adjustment of the slot required if you follow the above.
I'd suggest that the slot is nothing but a hole that belongs where the
blade come up after proper alignment of the critical parts.
I'm referring to the mitre slot that runs the width of the table saw, not
the insert with the slot that the blade comes through. The insert has
absolutely nothing to do with the alignment of the blade other than sitting
properly without touching the blade.
Are you sure this is what you meant, "> However, FWIW, the blade
should be aligned to the fence and then the
the trunions and blade relative to it. Any fence sytem should then be adjusted
to the blade, or to the slot, since the slot is the reference point of blade
By the way to Rugby17, are the slots paralell? I hope there was not a
machining error at the factory but it won't hurt to check this detail.
Align the blade to the slot.
Most fences are attached to the table. When making the second
adjustment you propose (aligning the slot) the fence will no longer be
in alignment. Also, the fence is not a precise alignment. I believe
the offset is about 1/64 to the right (away from the blade) at the rear
of the table. Yes, this does cause the potential for kickback when the
fence is used on the left of the blade so adjust accordingly.
To align my blade to the slot, I used two drafting triangles with a
square steel insert in the slot. Works great
I would beg to differ. As the manual describes, the blade and the
fence should both be aligned parallel to the miter slot. The miter
slot is long and machined, making it a good alignment reference. As
you have described it, the blade would be the alignment reference.
This would be OK except for the fact that the blade is short and
usually warped. It's like the small rudder being used to turn a large
ship. A small warp in the short blade will be magnified by the long
length of the fence and the miter slot. This is more important than
most people realize since as little as 0.005" of misalignment can
adversely affect the quality of the cut.
Reading through other responses I recognize yet another problem.
Whenever possible, you want to make sure your alignment proceedure is
"order independent". In other words, you don't want one step to
adversely affect the accuracy of another step. For example, if you use
the blade as your alignment reference, then your blade/slot alignment
will adversely affect the accuracy of the blade/fence alginment. So,
you are forced to do the blade/slot alignment first, then the
blade/fence alignment. If you use the miter slot as your reference,
then the blade/slot alignment is independent of the fence/slot
alignment. Changing one will not adversely affect the other.
Finally, I also noticed someone recommend adjusting the fence "about
1/64 to the right (away from the blade) at the rear of the table".
This is not a bad idea if you are using a subjective ("feel the rub" or
"hear the scrape") method for alignment. It gives you some safety
margin to avoid misalignment which could cause kickback. Be careful
though, the 1/64" (0.015") refers to a slot/fence alignment ("at the
rear of the table"). NOT a blade/fence alignment. If you align your
fence so that it is 1/64" away at the rear of the blade it will create
a very dangerous misalignment. Another precaution with this
recommendation - if you notice a tendency for stock to wander away from
the fence during a rip cut then you have adjusted it way too much. Of
course, if you use a dial indicator for alignment then this practice is
Joe Bemier wrote:
I made an error in reading the original message. For some reason I
thought the OP was talking about the insert slot.
Thus you are correct and sorry for the confusion.
On 28 Oct 2006 13:31:55 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Forget about the trying to line up with the table insert. You want the
blade parallel to the miter slot and the fence. That said, I had a
similar problem with my Jet contractors saw. The instructions said to
loosen the back trunnion and adjust 'with a block of wood' and a
hammer. It wouldn't go far enough so I had to loosen the front
trunnion and move it in the opposite direction.
On 25 Oct 2006 23:11:41 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
1/16" is a lot to be out.
1. With small C-clamps, Clamp each end of the carriage to the trunnion
brackets so that the carriage is locked between the brackets.
Alternativly, use along bar clamp to clamp the entire trunnion
carriage mechanism together. The idea is to not end up with the
carriage assembly loose between the trunnion brackets.
2. Loosen each hex bolt individually, remove, throw away the flat
washer and replace with new (the clearance hole in the trunnion
bracket is relatively large, the washer may be deformed and have
"memory", going back to the same place when you tighten). Snug up the
HHMS (but don't fully tighten) with the new washer in place. Do each
of the four, one at a time so you don't lose what you have.
3. Tap the carriage assembly until you achieve alignment and are in
the center of the insert. Tighten all four screws. Raise the blade
to full height and hand spin to check insert clearance, side to side
and front to back. Tilt the blade all the way over to 45 degrees
and spin it again to check insert clearance.
4. In the event that you do not have enough clearance in the trunnion
bracket holes to both align the saw and maintain proper blade
clearance, the parts are dimensionally defective. Call Delta.
I represent no one but myself
You have to also slightly loosen one of the front trunnion bolts so the whole
mechanism can pivot about the remaining tight bolt.
I'd also suggest strongly that you get the PALS alignment attachment. Makes
the whole thing a lot easier.
First, you need ALL the trunnions to be loose-ish. In addition to the
remember that you have a locked-vertical tilt that is adjusted with a
to the handwheel; you have to make sure that handwheel is loose (i.e.
that the backlash of the handwheel is NOT taken out) or that shaft acts
a strut to keep the trunnion fixed.
Avoid pounding if possible; a rawhide hammer or prying with a wood
are usually enough.
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