TableSaw Alignment

On my tablesaw the workpiece tends to drift away from the fence during the cut. I have done the usual checks on alignment of the blade and the fence, but the problem persists. Questions:
1) I have heard there is a flat disc which replaces the sawblade, specifically for use in precise alignment checking. Can someone point me to where to get such a disc (std 10" blade)?
2) What specific type of misalignment would cause the condition I describe? (Ie. what should I be looking for?)
3) Is it possible/likely that this is caused by shaft/blade runout as opposed to misalignment of the blade and/or the fence?
Ideas/input appreciated. Thx, Gus
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
gus wrote:

They exist, but are kind of pricy. Rockler sells one under the name "Master Plate". A saw blade works fine though...just rotate the blade so that you measure from the same tooth front and back.

Back of the fence further away from the blade. Of course, it could also be bad technique.

No. That would "wobble" the blade slightly, giving a wider kerf and poorer edge quality. You can check for this type of runout with a dial indicator and magnetic base.
Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
gus wrote:

...
Possibly, if you either have only one blade or only use one blade, the set isn't uniform.
Otherwise, other response so far covers the basics. Is it really difficult to keep a piece against the fence or do you typically simply try to run a piece through with only a push from the rear? It takes at least _some_ lateral force to keep a piece in contact w/ the fence...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi,
    I assume that you are not using a splitter behind the blade. This can help keep things going straight. It is also possible that you are pushing to hard against the fence. It is possible to flex the fence so that even though it is aligned with the blade without any pressure, with the feed pressure it is no longer parallel.
Thanks Roger Haar
****************************************** dpb wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Whenever I make a cut on my table saw, I move the fence toward the blade with the gap between the two, is the cut I'm going to make. Then I measure from the fence to one of the table saw's slots at the saw blade. Then I make sure the front & rear of the fence is the same distance to the slot as the middle I just measured. That way, the fence will be paralell to the saw blade. Is this clear ?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That is only true if the blade is parallel to the slot.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I agree - assuming the saw is setup properly, blade to slot is parallel - fence to slot/blade is also parallel. I've seen a bad blade set do that same thing, similar to bandsaw blade drift. Replace the blade or have it checked and sharpened.
Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Are you using a featherboard to apply lateral pressure?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
gus wrote:

A feather board would help to keep workpiece against the fence. Here's a site that explains how to make and use one.
http://www.woodzone.com/tips/featherboard.htm
Inline Industries sells an A-Line-It Kit at the following link.
http://www.in-lineindustries.com / The users manual can be found at this link.
http://www.in-lineindustries.com/a-line-it.html
Good Luck Frank
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mon, Oct 16, 2006, 7:33am (EDT-3) gus snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (gus) doth mumbleth: On my tablesaw the workpiece tends to drift away from the fence during the cut. <snip>
That sounds to me more like non-use of pushsticks, or featherboard, rather than an alignment problem.
JOAT It's not hard, if you get your mind right. - Granny Weatherwax
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
gus wrote:

test discs are (mostly) unnecessary gimmick. here's what looks like a good writeup: http://www.thewoodshop.20m.com/calibrate_sled1.htm

too much toe out- the space between the blade and the fence is greater at the back than the front. a bow in your fence could also do it- have you checked the fence for straightness?

unlikely. runout will give you a wider kerf and make the machine shake if it's real bad.

one very likely culprit is operator technique....

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The disc is not necessary, but if you really want one check the usual suspects, woodcraft, Rockler, etc.
Now, I assume you are talking about a normal ripping operation on the saw. You said the workpiece "tends" to drift away from the fence. How is the quality of the rip cut, though? Is it straight and smooth as you would expect for the balde you use?
Anyway, the first thing to do is just the basic TS alignment procedure. Align the saw blade so it is parallel to a miter slot by loosening the trunion bolts on a contractor's saw, or the table bolts on a cabinet saw. Next align the fence parallel to the miter slot. (some would say align it to the blade & that is OK too, but the blade needs to be aligned parallel to the miter slot first, or you may have trouble with crosscuts using the miter gauge or anything else that rides in the slot)
Another item often overlooked, is to make sure the splitter is in the same plane as the blade, i.e. directly in line with the blade and not angled away from it.
There are lots of ways to do this alignment using lots of different tools. Any good tablesaw book will present a few of them. I like Kelly Mehler's book myself.
--
No dumb questions, just dumb answers.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hey gus,
My saw did the same thing (and it still would) until I bought a set of "board buddies" from rockler and now it doesn't happen when I'm using them. They are nice because they have the no kickback feature and their size helps to remind me to keep fingers away from the danger area... You can find them all over the internet for sale.
--
Rick Nagy
Johnstown, PA
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.