Techniques to adjust trunnions on contractor saw?

I've completed the assembly on a new Grizzly G0444Z contractor saw and am working on the blade alignment to the miter slots. This is my first contractor saw so I'm flying by the seat of my pants (and my common sense). Is there a technique to moving the trunnions? I can get the rear trunnions to move back and forth, but the blade is still about 1/8" off. I know I need to move the front trunnions, but (1) the bolts are nearly impossible to reach, and (2) after I got them loose the trunnion didn't move at all. Is it possible that the hand cranks are preventing any movement in the assembly?
The instructions say to "flip" the 300 lb saw on it's top to make the adjustments. I don't "flip" anything that just cost $600 and weights 300 lbs. Should I enlist SWMBO and do this or keep contorting to get under the stand legs?
TIA
Jeremy
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Jeremy,
I'll let you do the research but if the Griz has two parallel tie-bars that connect the trunnions, then the Delta procedures for the 34-444/5 will probably be worth a read.
I have copied a couple of posts that I made several years back that may be helpful.
First Post...............................
Delta Blade Alignment Procedures - Contractor's saw models 34-444 and 34-445Z Series
Just thought I'd pass this along to those that have been having difficulty in aligning the blade parallel to the miter slot on these particular contractor saws. They may also apply to other Delta series saws as long as they have two tie-bars as part of the undercarriage.
I installed a new blade the other night and checked alignment using my TS Aligner Jr. and found that it was off by nearly 5 thousandths (front to rear - using same tooth on blade as ref). Decided to align and while doing so, managed to snap a trunnion bolt !
Well, the saw was due for a good cleaning and lube anyway, so I pulled out the whole undercarriage mechanism. It was a fairly simple process actually and not nearly as difficult as I was anticipating. Luckily, the bolt I snapped was left with a few threads exposed and was easily removed. There is no printed spec for these bolts in their literature so I called Delta tech support and finally got connected with a very knowledgeable and helpful individual (Ron as I recall).
He said a grade 5 bolt (same size) will do - but add lock washers to each of the four trunnion bolts as long as I have it apart. These will help maintain the alignment. There also is no spec for how tight these bolts should be but "good 'n snug and not over-tightened" is all that's needed he said. The trunnion bolts are not marked with a grade number and using a grade 5 means that I probably will never be able to snap the bolt again, it will most likely strip out the threads in the base before it breaks. So a word of caution - tight enough is one turn before it strips or snaps - wherever that is !
Considering that I was using a 6" long 1/2" box wrench and was not leaning on it when it snapped, the original bolts are definitely not grade 5.
Now for the interesting part. Delta faxed me a two sheet procedure that describes how to do this alignment. It's called "Blade Alignment Instructions for Original Contractors-Type Saws (when the saw has two Tie-Bars)". Pages are marked CS07 and CS07a and are not in the manual. I've included the instructions below but since binaries are not appreciated in this ng, I didn't scan the diagram.
Here's the procedure (minus diagram) as faxed to me: (unplug the saw first)
I've added a note or two to help which are denoted by (My note....).
.......................................Delta Procedures.................................
Initial Measurement:
1. Raise the sawblade to it's maximum height and mark one tooth, at the front of the blade as a reference. 2. Using a combination square, measure from the left edge of the right-hand miter gauge slot to the sawblade tooth that was marked in step 1 (Note this measurement). Then rotate the blade to the rear and measure from the same marked tooth to the miter slot. (Note this measurement).
IF the two measurements are NOT the same, proceed with step 3.
Note: refer to parts diagram on the following page for part locations.
(My note...this is the step I never knew had to be done, nor have I ever heard anyone mention it before.)
3. Remove the sawblade. (Remember, it is still at it's maximum height) 4. Place a flat plate (or similar flat object) on top of the two tie-bars. (The size of the plate should be at least 6" by 8", and the flatter the better). Depress one corner of the plate and if it rocks, the tie-bars are not parallel. This must be corrected as it will affect the alignment of the blade.
To make the Tie-Bars parallel: 5. Loosen the tie-bar locknuts (2ea. ref #245) located at the rear of the saw. 6. Grasp the motor bracket (ref #244) and move it left and/or right. Check the rocking of the flat plate and when it can no longer rock, the tie-bars are parallel...re-tighten the locknuts.
Aligning the saw undercarriage: 7. Remove the flat plate and re-install the sawblade. 8. Loosen the front trunnion bolts (2ea. ref #207) and the rear trunnion bolts (2ea. ref #243). 9. Move the entire undercarriage around while measuring as in step 2. 10. When the two measurements are the same, re-tighten the front two trunnion bolts (ref #207). 11. Before tightening the rear trunnion bolts, push forward on the rear trunnion bracket to allow the undercarriage to snugly fit between the two trunnions. 12. Re-check the blade to miter slot measurement and if they are still equal, re-tighten the rear trunnion bolts (ref #243). 13. If the blade to miter slot measurements have changed, repeat steps 8 thru 12.
.........................................End of Delta Procedures............................
Without a diagram to look at this may be confusing but I suspect most of us never thought about the tie-bar alignment steps 5 & 6. If these are not parallel to each other then you can tap / hammer / move / and swear at it until the cows come home and it will never align correctly. Move the blade (up / down) then recheck alignment and you will find that you're out of alignment again ! You must keep the trunnion brackets tight to the rest of the mechanism.
I'm off to find some grade 5 bolts, lockwashers and a flat plate (glass maybe if I can't find a steel plate of some sort). I'll be reassembling and aligning tonight. If I find a better or easier way, I'll make a follow-up post and let you know what I did.
If you try to contact Delta tech support, (800) 438-2486 you'll most likely get a busy signal like I did for two days. Finally contacted HQ at (901) 668-8600 and they paged tech support for me and he was on the line in less than a minute. Course I was nice to the sweet young thing that answered the call, told her I'd been trying for two days and could she help - sure 'nuff !
I'll ding Delta for not including these procedures in the manual or at least posting them on their web site but tech support (Ron) was very helpful and friendly. He also gave me a few tips on how to adjust the blade height (worm-gear) mechanism since mine is a bit to tight when raising/lowering the blade.
The worm-gear is pinned to a shaft that goes thru another guide-shaft that has an off-center hole bored thru it. By loosening the nut near the worm-gear end, the shaft (with the off-center bore) can be rotated which adjusts the gear meshing clearance between the worm-gear and the gear-height mechanism. Confusing explanation but when you look at the mechanism, it will be clear to you.
Hope all the above is useful to someone and provides a better explanation on why we're having problems when making the blade to miter slot adjustment.
Bob S.
2nd Post............ Follow-up to Delta Blade Alignment Procedures........
Said I would follow-up if I had anything more to add to my original post.
Just finished aligning the saw - the Delta procedures work as advertised - follow them exactly.
I know I'm being a bit anal over 5 thousandths but it was more of a curiosity of "why" it couldn't be adjusted out. No matter what I had done previously, it would come out close but never dead-on. Was it me, or just the machining tolerance ?
The problem was the adjustment of the tie-bars not being parallel. I used an 8" sanding disk (minus the sanding paper of course) as the flat plate they want you to use in the alignment procedure - see original post above. The lock nuts on the tie-bars are 15/16th's and they sure are on there tight. Had to use an 18" strong-arm bar to break them loose. Did exactly as the procedure called for and the alignment came out dead-on. Surprised the hell out of me too !
Now when you do the alignment (blade parallel to miter slot), you truly can loosen all 4 trunnion bolts (leave just slightly snug) and move the undercarriage around to make the adjustment. No more 2x4's as levers and whacking the hell out of the undercarriage to coax it into alignment. Simply tap (rubber mallet or use your fist if you like pain) the undercarriage and when front and back measurements are equal, snug 'em up good but don't over do it (as I did which has lead to this whole diatribe).
Ran the blade up and down, changed blade angle, made some saw dust and remeasured - still dead-on ! Never even came close to getting repeatable measurements before this, so I'm a real happy camper.
May as well align the fence to the miter slot while you're at it too. I have the TS Aligner so it's easy and accurate but the procedure in the manual works well also.
Will it improve my cuts any - Yes ! Ripped a piece of maple and no burn marks at the end anymore. Could be the new Freud blade but I tend to think it was the alignment that made the difference.
Only addition to the procedure I would make is to be sure the blade is at 90 deg to the table when doing the alignment which isn't stated in their procedures.
I did make a slight modification to the front trunnion bolts that you may be interested in doing to make life easier. If you ever tried loosening / tightening the front trunnion bolts then you know how difficult it can be to get to them - not to mention the skinned knuckles.
While I was at the nut's and bolts place looking for a replacement bolt for the one I snapped, I came across a bin of couplers, 2" long which accept 5/16" thread.
Idea came to mind. Why not get a short section of threaded rod (5/16th's) and two couplers and make "extended stud bolts" for the front trunnion ? Bought a section of threaded rod, some inside star-washers and some flat washers.
I cut two sections of the threaded rod 2 5/8" long to for the studs. I wanted the threaded rod to go into the table as far as possible (5/8") and 2" into the coupler to help stiffen the whole thing.
If you have the entire undercarriage out as I did, you need to put the undercarriage in-place first, then insert the stud bolts (threaded rod sections). If not, then simply replace the front bolts one at a time with the "extended studs". Put a flat washer and a star washer on the stud and run the couplers on up till they're good 'n snug.
Now it's a simple matter to use an open-end 1/2" wrench to get at those front trunnion bolts. No more fiddling with a socket and an extension and finding the bolt heads. You can now see them and get to them easily. Delta - ya listening ?
I was initially worried that the right front coupler would interfere with the blade tilt mechanism by using a 2" long coupler, there is still plenty of clearance and clears the trunnion by a good 1/2" or so when the blade is tilted the full 45 deg. The left coupler - no problems on clearance.
As I mentioned in the original post, my blade height adjustment was a bit to tight compared to other saws I've tried. Adusted the "off-center" shaft about 1/8th of a turn and that blade now goes up and down real nice and smoothe. You'll know when the adjustment is right cause it "just feels right". You don't want it to loose or there will be to much slack in the gear mesh - just play with it a bit and you'll know what I mean about feeling right.
So ends the story... and on a happy note too. Now I can get back to making sawdust and stop playing mechanic. Have to make 3 double-hung windows for my shed (the place where my lathe is going to be....8>)
G'night all,
Bob S.
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Since the Grizzly is a "slight" copy of a Delta, I would follow their instructions at their web site.
http://www.deltawoodworking.com/index.asp?e 0
Look under "Contractor type-saw blade alignment".
You might as well go to Woodcraft and order the tune up kit for contractor saws....
http://www.woodcraft.com/Woodcraft/product_family.asp?family%5Fid 2&giftlse&0pt%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D10000%26Tree%3D%2CDepartments&1pt%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D1046%26menu%5Fid%3D%26Tree%3D0%2CPower%20Tool%20Accessories&2pt%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D2165%26menu%5Fid%3D%26Tree%3D1%2CMotor%20Accessories&Giftlse&mscssid636E7CB3BA4F48A9F05E2A79EE9870
and while you are there order the "alignment kit" or PALS for $23 ....
http://www.woodcraft.com/Woodcraft/product_family.asp?family%5Fid 5&giftlse&0pt%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D10000%26Tree%3D%2CDepartments&1pt%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D1046%26menu%5Fid%3D%26Tree%3D0%2CPower%20Tool%20Accessories&2pt%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D2167%26menu%5Fid%3D%26Tree%3D1%2CAlignment%20Tools&Giftlse&mscssid636E7CB3BA4F48A9F05E2A79EE9870
and you will also need a TS Aligner:
http://www.ts-aligner.com/tsjrlite.htm
My experience with contractor saws tells me that it CAN NOT be done upside down. The PALS kit will allow the neccessary adjustments you need to make. It is a ROYAL pain in the ass to align a contractor properly.

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Jeremy wrote:

This job was a serious bitch on my new Crapsman contractor's saw. It took me forever and a day to get it there. Every time I adjusted it, it kept moving back after I snugged everything up.
The solution was to make some custom washers out of 1/8 bar stock. The stock washers were caving in and getting pulled into the little conical depression at the end of the bolt hole castings.
I blathered about this at some length here back in about February or March. I finally got it lined up to some obscenely close tolerance, using a dial indicator. So far, so good.
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