table saw cuts - not smooth at all

I have a Craftsman 10" tablesaw. If I cut a piece of wood, and then examine the two pieces, I can see that the cut is no where near smooth. The edges are rough and if I put the cut faces back together, I can see repeating gaps that almost look like teardrops. Upon further examination, asI watch the blade cut through, I can see the kurf (hope I'm using the term correctly) almost periodically widen and thin as it moves through the wood. I can hear the blade whine a little bit louder when the kerf widens, and then it quits down as it thins. Going extra slow through the wood does not really help things.
I'm using the stock blade that came with the saw and wonder if the problem it that its a POS and I need to spend some $$$ on a decent blade. The other thing I was condering was maybe vibration - the saw stand is made from fairly thin steel, so I'm sure it's not the most stable thing in the world.
Can anyone confirm the problems and/or advise me on a solution? Thanks
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Hmm... Before you spend a cent on the thing, you should do a bit more research:
- Search on the web for a table saw tune-up how-to page. You have to see if your saw is worth saving. There are tests you can do without expensive equipment, although they are easier to do if you have the right equipment.
- Your problem might be the blade or the saw itself. See how much runout there is without the blade on (refer to the aforementioned web pages). If there is runout without the blade even on, then a new blade will not help.
- Make sure the blade, table, and fence are aligned (again see the web pages). Misaligned table saws can make really awful cuts.
- The vibration is a second problem, but see the first problem first. The vibration can be dampened greatly with a link belt instead of the normal belt.
--
gabriel

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Greg Bonawitz wrote:

This is not good. Is the saw a belt drive or direc drive? Are you seeing this on cross cuts, rip cuts, or both? How straight is the fence and how well is it aligned to the blade?
If the fence is crooked, you are pushing the wood through at an angle to the blade. Aside from being inaccurate, other problems can occur, even pinching the wood and causing a kickback.

It would be good to invest in a better blade once the real problem is fixed.
The other thing I was condering was maybe vibration - the saw

Stand should not cause the problem you are seeing.
Check the alignment and report back. Measure the distance from the blade to the fence, both front and back and see if there is a difference.
--
Ed
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Isn't most stock blades 24 tooth? I changed from the 24 tooth to the WW2 and smooth as snot.

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Greg,
Do you have the owners manual? If not, check the Sears website as they may have a manual for your model that you can simply download. (model number for a Sears _anything_ is a big, long number) The manual will (ok, should) have clear step-by-step alignment procedures. Even if you got it all tuned up by-the-book when it was new, one afternoon's use by the BIL, Junior (when you weren't looking) or the guy down the block is all it takes to knock it out of alignment. Once you have it all checked out and are sure everything is square, try it out and see if you still have problems. If so, then maybe you do need to look into a new blade.
For $35-60 you should be able to find a good one. Oh sure, you can spend lots more but if you are like me and are not making museum grade stuff, a $45 blade does just fine. When I get REAL good and save up some big $$$, I'll buy a nice, big cabinet saw and several REAL expensive blades. For now, keeping everything square and true yields results SWMBO and I are quite pleased with.
What sort of wood are you using, BTW? I once got ahold of some nice cheap wood. Nice crappy wood it was. Once through the saw, binding all the way and it took on a wave with a little twist. Cutting it had released some stress or tension in the board. I don't know if the wood has been dried wrong or what. But that cheap wood was totally useless for anything other than the fireplace. I'm not even sure it burned very well!!!
One last thought, is the board you are cutting flat, straight and smooth on the edge you place against the fence? If not, that waviness will be telegraphed to the blade.
Let us know what you end up doing that corrects your problems.
Good luck,
DexAZ

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On Mon, 16 Feb 2004 16:40:42 -0500, Greg Bonawitz
|I have a Craftsman 10" tablesaw. If I cut a piece of wood, and then |examine the two pieces, I can see that the cut is no where near smooth. | The edges are rough and if I put the cut faces back together, I can |see repeating gaps that almost look like teardrops. Upon further |examination, asI watch the blade cut through, I can see the kurf (hope |I'm using the term correctly) almost periodically widen and thin as it |moves through the wood. I can hear the blade whine a little bit louder |when the kerf widens, and then it quits down as it thins. Going extra |slow through the wood does not really help things. | |I'm using the stock blade that came with the saw and wonder if the |problem it that its a POS and I need to spend some $$$ on a decent |blade. The other thing I was condering was maybe vibration - the saw |stand is made from fairly thin steel, so I'm sure it's not the most |stable thing in the world. | |Can anyone confirm the problems and/or advise me on a solution? Thanks
It's "kerf".
It sounds like either/or your blade is warped or some teeth have lost their set.
The first thing I recommend is to unplug the saw then crank the blade to full height. Did I mention *unplug the saw*--- then crank the blade to full height. If you have a dial indicator, fix it to the table so it's in contact with the side of the blade just behind the teeth. Now rotate the blade by hand and see how much runout you have. I have a 15-year old Craftsman with a Freud combo blade that runs out 0.004" doing this test. Fine Woodworking Magazine did a test of top of the line contractor saws and measured similar runout using a precision test disk, so I think this is a decent number.
If, as I suspect you don't have a dial indicator, clamp a stick, pencil or similar object to the miter guage so that it just touches the blade at closest approach. Then rotate the blade to open the gap and estimate the runout. An ordinary playing card is 0.010" thick. Frankly I don't know what an acceptible number is but if it's under 0.010" I would think that would be just fine as a practical matter.
If you fail this test then I recommend dismounting the blade and checking to see that the arbor flange is clean and free of nicks. If you find a nick, dress it off and repeat the test. Check the blade support washer (on the nut side) for the same problem.
If you've ever run into a nail or something similar then you likely have bent and dulled some teeth. Close visual inspection should uncover this problem.
If you think you have a warped blade, the most cost effective thing do would be borrow one from someone else just to rerun the test and to make a couple of trial cuts. If this improves things then you can break out the credit card.
Good luck,
Wes Stewart
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wrote:

I've been reading this thread for the past few days and there is another possible cause that I didn't see mentioned. If there is a lot of end play in the arbor/shaft the blade could be wandering "in and out." This despite negligible "blade" runout as measured without a load on the blade. I ran into this end play situation with a circular saw. When running the saw base along a straight edge--the cut wandered despite holding the saw tight to the straight edge. I also experienced it with an inexpensive bench saw--there was so much end play I could feel the shaft move in and out when I pulled and pushed on the blade.
John
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What kind of wood are you cutting? Does it happen to every board? Does the thickness matter?
I wonder if your board is not flat -- if it wobbles as you push it through the saw, you are going to all sorts of problems and it could look like what you describe.
Alternatively, is the side that rides against the fence straight? If it is very uneven, the board effectively gets moved sideways every time you slide a "bumpy" part against the fence as it moves forward.
Adriaan

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Thanks to all of those who responded to my post. As it turns out, when I checked the alignment, the back of the blade was toe-out a decent bit. Plus, I noticed that 2/4 casters that the table rolls on were engaged.
Realigning the blade and disengaging all 4 casters seemed to do the trick. The cuts are smooth, and I can rotate the one piece 180 degrees and the joint looks really good.
Thanks again.
Adriaan Sachtler wrote:

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All - Thanks for the info. I found out that the blade was indeed toe out, and also 2/4 casters on the legs were engagged.
After adjusting the blade and making sure all 4 legs were solidly on the ground, the cuts are now fine.
Thanks again.
Adriaan Sachtler wrote:

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<snip>
Greg:
I know there's been a lot of good advice already--I'll throw in my two cents. I had a Craftsman as my first saw, and had the same problem you are experiencing. I switched from the stock blade to a DeWalt--I think it's a 40-tooth--and the problem almost completely went away. YMMV...
Jim
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