TS-Aligner Jr. & PALS, possibly a drive-by gloat.


Hello there,
I just bought a Jet 10" contractor style TS and I'm thinking about alignment. Seems that everyone here (save one) says that the TSAJr. is really the bees knees, but I guess I'm sort of having trouble justifying an alignment tool that costs close to one third of what I paid for the saw. Does anyone here have one that they hate or don't use that I could buy? Does anyone here even have a rational reason to dislike the tool at all?
Also, I had been reading good reviews of the PALS system until I came across a thread here in the Wreck that indicated it might be more of a band-aid than a panacea. However, for $20 I'm fairly inclined to take a flyer - although I don't like the idea of "forcing" something into place. Any thoughts?
On a related note, I also picked up a Porter Cable router with fixed and plunge bases (693LRPK). Tossed in were an Oldham 8" carbide tipped dado stack (unopened) and a 12-pack of Hickory brand router bits. The guy bought everything two years ago and said the saw's been used maybe 6 times. I believe him. He also said the router was "tried out" but never used. There's not a mark on it. I got the lot for 540 bucks how'd I do?
JP ************** Mobile.
PS - I'll most likely buy the TSAJr new if I have to, but I'm willing to do a public service by not letting a good tool go unused.
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The aligner is a very well made tool, the best of it's type that I have seen. Worth the money. I saw that post about the PALS too. wondered what he ws talking about. The only thing they do is let yoiu adjust the trunnion precisly by screw instead of using a mallet. Their not going to force anything anywhere.

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Seems that everyone here (save one) says that the TSAJr. is really the bees knees, but I guess I'm sort of having trouble justifying an alignment tool that costs close to one third of what I paid for the saw. $20 bucks? Not bad. If you're happy, great. But I'm "save two": Happy with a combo square and feeler gauges. Tom
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Jay Pique wrote:

Nothing to dislike - good set up tool for several of the power tools you have or will eventually have. But on a contractor's saw you could probably get alignments close enough with a sliding square (?) - the edge of the base in the miter/mitre slot - rule slide out to just touch the edge of a tooth on the square's side. Mark the tooth with a felt tip pen, rotate it to the back and check the distance from the miter/mitre slot to it. If the two distances are the same you're done with that set up. Repeat for the fence.
Now when you get a jointer and planer you can do blade set ups with a stick and a pencil. Getting the tables coplaner AND paralle to the knives is trickier - you'll probably want a dial gauge for that -(the TSA does the job nicely)
When you get really anal retentive and want to check the run out on your saw's arbor, or on your drill press the TSA will do the job.
For now you probably don't need a dial gauge level of set up. Later you probably will.
charlie b
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wrote:

Nope.
Not me.

I have a serious problem with the "PALS" system. I find that my "pals" keep asking if they can borrow my TS-Aligner...
Why not ask Ed if he knows of any going second hand?
I have used the TS-Aligner Jr on my TS, DP, BS and jointer, plus as I hinted above, a few more tools in the neighborhood too.
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As an option, you can get the TS Alignment Junior Lite, for $70, and upgrade later.
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Bruce Barnett wrote:

Just my two cents worth. You would think after spending $1000 or more on a tool it would not require any alignment. Well we all know during transit it can get out of alignment but after spending all that hard earned $ they would at least provide you with cheap, simple tools to get their product properly aligned . They can charge me an extra $10 it still cheaper than spending 1/3 of the cost more on alignment tools. Nooooooooo too simple of a solution.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com writes:

Well, it's not just the basic alignment. Suppose you want to tilt the blade 30 degrees? or 45?
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Bruce Barnett wrote:

How do you correct for that error? Many tools would need to be replaced, so it's not like you'd check other than 90 all that often.
Barry
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You adjust the blade tilt.
To say it another way, when you set your blade at an angle, you can either use the saw's built-in dial, use a precision reference block, or use an angle gauge, or a dial indicator, or perhaps some other technique. I would think the dial indicator can give you a much more accurate setting that the saw's dial.
The page
http://www.ts-aligner.com/tsalignerjr.htm
shows the device setting the blade to 45 degrees.
I think that to use the TS-Aligner Jr, they suggest you use a reference block to calibrate first. Let me check the user's guide.
Hmm. To set the blade angle to 30 degrees, I think you have to use the gauge and look for 0.423 on the dial.
There may be other ways. You could re-calibrate it with a different angle block, or use the gauge to measure the blade with an angle block added. They sell angle blocks on the same site.
I don't have one, but I have been thinking about getting one when I can afford it.
Well, If you want to set it at exactly 30 degrees, and the dial on your saw is off slightly, you can use the TS-Aligner Jr to adjust the angle to be exact - ignoring the gauge on your saw. At least - that's what I understand it can do. You do need an accurate angle block for the degree you are setting.
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On 6 Aug 2005 17:33:34 GMT, Bruce Barnett

Oh, sorry. I thought you meant that you were checking the angle of the blade to the fence / miter slot, while changing the blade tilt. That error is very hard or impossible to correct on some saws.
As far as tilt, I'm good with a good quality sliding bevel, and occasionally, a Bevel Boss.
Thanks! Barry
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executive summary: I made a flat surface to run a dial indicator against, and I love my pals
normal story:
For test surface on my tablesaw, I had a local jet cutter create a circle from a 12"x12" piece of glass to the same diameter of my 10" blades. He created a hole at the same time for the arbor in the exact middle. A tiny bit of work opended up the hole enought to actually get the glas son the arbor.
Since the glass is 3/8" of an inch, and therefore float glass. It is at least within .001 of truly flat over the 10".

Woodhavens because I was being cheap. I put the chisel through my first knuckle, took a trip to the emergecy room, got 2 internal stiches, and 4 acros the top. Jig I was duplicating, $29.00, trip to emergency room at 10:00pm on a school night with wife and two kids, $42.00. Respect for chisels, priceless.
picture:
http://alan.firebin.net/images/chisel_stiches.jpg
Getting the trunion adjusted on my Jet Contractors saw was an excecise in frustration PRIOR to the pals. As the web says, when you tighten either bolt you cause the whole assembly to torque a few thousands. Necessitating that you over set the fence, and hope that as you tighten the fence stops where you want it.
After my pals arrived, AND I made a trip to the hardware store to buy the proper studs as the ones they sent did not fit into my trunions, I was able to set the fence EXACTLY where I wanted and it might have moved .001, but I don't think it did.
I emailed the creator, but never heard back about the stud issue. Mine is a generation back from the last Jet table saw model.
There was also a story out there about a fellow who took his top off, and discovered that the four flats where the trunions bolt on where not in the same plane. This caused trunion misalightment, and a dishing affect on his top. If I recall he used a large piece of float glass to SS them to the same plane. Felt the effort of disassembly, cleaning, inspection, replacement and repair greatly improved his saw.
http://www.woodcentral.com/cgi-bin/readarticle.pl?dir=powertools&file=articles_478.shtml
Alan
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On Wed, 03 Aug 2005 20:49:43 -0700, Jay Pique wrote:

I use the A-Line-It System. They look pretty similar and are similarly priced. Both have smaller versions available for $60-$70, though.

PALS doesn't force the saw into alignment any more that beating on it with a hammer or prying on it with a tubafor. That said, the PALS I installed on my Griz contractor saw didn't work out quite right. They weren't quite long enough and didn't have enough range of adjustment. After fooling with them for a while, I just made my own with angle iron and a couple of cap screws.

Thanks for the drive-by. That's either a Grade-A neener, or a Class-C gloat. I'm leaning toward gloat, but I'll wait for the final judgement of the committee.

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Get the "basic" model for $70 and pay up for the PALS system. They are both worth it.
I was in that thread about the PALS system and I still contend that the PALS system works quite well for contractor saws.
Trying to use a saw out of alignment should not be wished on anybody.
Jay Pique wrote:

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Pat Barber wrote:

I've already ordered the PALS system. It's only 19.95 (incl. S/H) if you get it direct from the mfr.
Still thinking on the TSAJr. I'm actually sort of thinking I might go with the dial indicator on a stick so that I can really learn the physics and really appreciate the TSAJr. when I can afford it.
Thanks all - I appreciate the help. JP **************** Usenet - Use it.
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on 8/3/2005 10:49 PM Jay Pique said the following:

<snip>
If the $540 included the Jet saw then I'd say you had a bell ringer. If it didn't - and your post leaves open that possibility - you get a gong!<g>
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IMHO the TSA jr is a fine tool, but I don't own one and probably never will. You can do a fine job of alignment with just a $10 import dial indicator. In fact, I aligned my saw with just a combination square. When I later recheced it with a DI it was less than .005 out, too close to mess with for me.
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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Get the TS-Aligner Jr. It's worth every penny. After you've used it for awhile, you'll see the advantage of using dial indicators (about $15 each) on 'home made' jigs for all of your tools. Before using the TS-Aligner Jr., I used the A-Line-It tool. Both worked fine, but I sold the A-Line-It tool.
One other comment: After spending the time and money to properly align my tools, I get much greater accuracy (which means less wasted wood). Even though I have a JessEm router table with Mast-R-Lift, I use a home made dial indicator to measure bit height and fence distance. It particularly helps in getting dadoes exactly right. My horizontal boring machine has a home made dial indicator jig to quickly and accurately find the exact center of the piece to be bored. I use a dial indicator on my Shopbot to align the Z-axis. And the list goes on . . .
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