Re: Forrest WoodWorker II



I have the same problem, and I would bet that as the piece leaves the back of the saw blade, the loer corner of the piece has blade marks. If that is what you are saying, I will bet a donut that the rear of your fence is closer to the blade that the front, as is mine. I am ordering a new fenc with adjustability to cure mine. If I pass wood through on a sled, and not use the fence, it never does this.
Digger
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"Digger" <DW> wrote in message

This is dead on. If you're seeing blade marks like this, it's definitely that your fence is too close to the plane of the cut at the back of the table.
Get Kelly Mehler's _The Table Saw Book_. It has a lot of great info about tuning up a saw, and diagnosing problems like this. He advocates actually toeing the fence *away* from the blade as much as 1/64" since the fence pushing the kerf closed can cause not just blade marks but kickbacks as well. Of course, you don't want to go too far the other way, as that'll result in cuts not square.
Thomas, based on your postings I'm guessing you're putting together a home shop for the first time. I did this myself about eighteen months ago, including purchasing a number of machines I'd never even used, before. Maybe my experience can help you a little bit. If I'm wrong, maybe it'll help someone else.
As far as I can tell, for no machine does any manufacturer sell you a *machine*. They sell you a kit. You have to put it together, and that includes setting it up properly. Unfortunately, they don't give you a lot of information about how to do that. If your previous experience was in someone else's shop, or, worse yet, if your view of woodworking comes from watching television shows (as mine did), you probably don't have an appreciation for how darn fiddly these things are, and how much setup they require. Even better, you now get to set up all of these machines while not actually knowing how to use them, so you'll not know whether the problem is one of technique or setup. Based on my experience, as a rule of thumb, it's probably the setup.
In general, these machines need to be set up to *at least* 1/64" tolerances. And that's a bear minimum, you really want to do more like 1/128" or better if you can. The problem is that seemingly insignificant errors compound over the length of an eight foot board to cause things to not work properly. Don't expect that, when you uncrate a machine, it'll basically work. Maybe it will, maybe it won't, but you need to check it. The only machine in my shop that didn't require significant fiddling to get satisfactory results out of was my DeWalt planer.
You need to buy a basic set of machinist's setup tools. First, you need a dial indicator. This is *not* a plastic ruler with caliper arms on it and a dial readout which you get at Home Depot for $9.95, as I thought it was ;). This is a dial with a spring-loaded feeler which tells you exactly how far away something is. You can get one, with a much needed magnetic base to hold it steady, from Lee Valley:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?SID=&ccurrency=3&page2525&category=1,43513
Second, you need a set of feeler gauges that go down to at least .007" (which is 1/128). Lee Valley has a good set for $11.50.
Third, you need a straight edge. Again, this is not just a ruler (as I thought it was) but a milled piece of metal which is straight across its length to a very fine tolerance. You can use this to check if tables are flat, and to verify that your jointer infeed and outfeed tables are coplanar.
Finally, to set up the table saw properly, you probably want a gizmo that will let you put your dial indicator in the miter slot so you can measure how well your slot is aligned with the blade and the fence. A lot of people swear by the TS-Aligner at www.ts-aligner.com, and I know the manufacturer posts here. I bought a similar product from Woodcraft (and read about TS Aligner like the next day, of course).
With these tools you now have some hope of actually setting the tools up. Don't assume that just because the manufacturer says something is adjusted at the factory that it's still correct when you get it. I spent the first month of my new shop trying to get my Delta jointer to work. My wife started referring to my new hobby of "fiddling with the jointer." It turned out the outfeed table was not in the same plane as the infeed table, but I didn't know that until I bought a real straight edge.
Best of luck with your machines...
-BAT
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Brett,
Thanks for the lengthy message. :)
Yes I'm putting together a home shop. Been working at it for the last four years, little by little, until recently when I've been adding a new piece of machinery every few months. While I agree with you that machines likely don't come out of the box set up perfectly, I've found that most of them are set up well enough to be used until one gets picky. :)
When I set up the table saw a few years ago, I went through the set up process listed in the manual, checking the blade alignment against the mitre slot and table top. Things looked good at the time based on the tools I had, an engineering square for 90 degrees and one of those "squares with a sliding stop" to check the distance of the blade from the mitre slot. The manual shows a picture of someone using it to set up the saw. While I regularly check the blade being square to the table top, I haven't checked the blade alignment with the mitre slot. Probably the issue.
I bought a set of digital calipers from Woodcraft a while ago. The one I bought only goes down to hundreths instead of thousandths and while that issue didnt matter much when I got the calipers it's annoying now as 5 thousandths of an inch makes a big difference to me these days. A new set of calipers is already on the list of necessities. My point is that part of the issue is that as I develop my skill set I'm expecting better results from me and the tools so what might not have mattered earlier is starting to make a difference.
I use an Incra TSIIIa system which is aligned with the mitre slot instead of the blade so I'll have to read the manual to see if I can readjust the fence to the blade. I'd prefer realigning the blade to the mitre gage but that sounds like a pain. I'll check alignment of the blade first.
Thanks for the suggestions and the book recommendation. I'll look for it on Amazon.
Thomas

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?SID=&ccurrency=3&page2525&category=1,43513
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That is the problem with digital calipers. On the analog ones the 0.005 mark is between the 0.00 mark and the 0.01 mark, usually in invisible ink, but you can find it easily.
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A friend said that his analog actually read thousandths.
me wrote:

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mark
but
Of course there are dial calipers that read thousandths. I'm only guessing here, but I think the point was that if you have a set of calipers that only reads hundredths, at least with an analog set you can estimate the thousandth's place.
todd
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Right. I get it. I made a decimal to fraction excel spreadsheet the other night as the CAD utility I have spits out dimensions in decimals. So I was thinking concrete as in things have to be .0625 etc. You're right with an analog you could at least see that it's not exact and an estimate. When I use the digital I can sort of tell as well by how hard I have to push the caliper together to get it down 1/100th of an inch. The next set will be analog measuring to 1000ths.
todd wrote:

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FWIW, there is a handy little .gif conversion chart on my website, jigs and fixtures page, that can be printed out and posted in various places in your shop. Just save it to your harddrive and go from there.
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Now you tell me after I made my own... :) Nice chart though.
Swingman wrote:

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On Fri, 08 Aug 2003 11:25:40 -0400, Thomas Mitchell

A good place to get decent quality calipers would be any shooting/reloading catalog, like Sinclair International (www.sinclairintl.com) or Midway (www.midwayusa.com). A decent set of steel calipers can be had for $20-30. I didn't know they *made* calipers that went less than thousandths (i.e. hundredths, 64ths) until I started woodworking. A *nice* set of digital calipers from Mitutoyo or Starrett will set you back ~$150, but are well worth it if you use them regularly. My digital Mitutoyo 6" calipers are accurate to a thousandth, and indicate down to 5/10,000th. The 1" digital Mitutoyo micrometer goes down to 0.0001". Life starts getting interesting when you are trying to maintain those kind of clearances!
Point of all this: Don't sell digital calipers short because of one crappy pair. Get a good set from a reputable dealer, and you will probably love them.
HTH,
nuk
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I believe the way it works is (this is the way it works on my saw), you align the blade to the mitre gauge, then you align the fence to the mitre gauge.
By the way, there are other ways to do it than purchasing the TS Aligner, but they're a bit more "fiddly." I think an experienced craftsman can use them because he knows how a tablesaw *should* feel, and knows when it's not quite right and needs some adjustment. I didn't, so I found that equipment to be very helpful to at least get things set up the first time.
Oh, one other tip from my experimentation - don't test your setups on softwood. There are problems that don't show up with softwood that do show up with hardwood. I thought I had my TS setup fine with pine, but found problems as soon as I cut my first piece of maple.
-BAT
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After much debate with a friend here at work, I'm going to align the fence with the blade. If the fence can be aligned with the mitre slot, it can be aligned with the blade. I was thinking of doing that from the start but decided to follow directions for a change. I may even follow someone's suggestion and have the backside of the fence taper out slightly from the blade. Just seems it would be the easiest way to get things into alignment. From what I understand about the table saw I'd have to loosen some bolts and then try to move the blade into the correct position and then retighten the bolts. Seems to me that tightening the bolts would throw everything off again, at least in my case it would.
I hear you about the pine... that's why I tried four woods last night.
Brett A. Thomas wrote:

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Thomas wrote:>After much debate with a friend here at work, I'm going to align the

That'll work whenever you use the rip fence, but what if you want to use the mitre gauge? Tom
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That was part of the debate. I primarily work with pieces under 6" width and use the mitre saw for crosscutting. I seldom use the mitre gauge on the ts. If the need arose, the current cut isn't bad enough to worry about. I'd just have to sand the saw marks out of the wood. :)
Tomeshew wrote:

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If you have a saw of any quality, you should be able to adjust the fence, itself, without moving the motor around. Moving the motor the teeny tiny amounts we're talking here is going to be a terrible excercise in frustration (although sometimes necessary on some saws). Generally I think it's more difficult to align the blade and miter slot on most saws, which is why you get those two dead even, and then align the fence to the miter slot (which, since it is dead even to the blade, is equivilant to aligning to the blade, and easier since you can simply check the fence at the begining and end of the slot).
I have my fence out a little bit from my blade and think it makes cutting very easy. But remember we're talking just a tiny tiny amount out - absolutely no more than 1/64". Too much is as bad as not enough in this case.
-BAT
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Set your fence to the blade DEAD parallel. Not slight outward drift to the outside of the blade. No more than 1 /64 away from the rear of the blade. Use a GOOD miter gage and u should have no problems.

:)
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?SID=&ccurrency=3&page2525&category=1,43513
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Looks identical to the one Lee Valley sells. Can you let me know how well it works? Thanks for the link to the DeWalt video. I agree with you. I bet DeWalt has a lot of stuff on the site, but it's hard to get to it at times.
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    I set my Blade dead parallel to the mitre slot and then set the fence dead parallel to the same miter slot in order to reference point I use the tool post holder in the Starrett Dial indicator set to do this with. The holder is 3/4"x 3/8" x 6" and will fit in the miter guage slot of my table saw perfectly. I did have to use a flat mill bastard file in the miter slot the first time I used it to clean up some machining marks in order to get the holder to slide in the groove, but now it slides smoothly and is very accurate. I can get my saw blade to within .001" or better parallel of the miter slot and do the same with the fence. I takes a little patience but the quality of the cut is worth it when it is all done and you know your saw is dead on. Of course a WWII is also in the saw. :-)
    If you look in http://www.mcmaster.com/ and enter the following part numbers in the search box you can come up with the tools I use for setting up my machines. Part # 20725A67 is a magnetic base $116.00 Part # 2217A11 is the Dial Indicator set $153.43
snipped-for-privacy@baz.com (Brett A. Thomas) wrote in

&cate
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