It took less than half an hour to diagnose and fix a minor alignment issue
with my table saw. The combination square indicated the blade was parallel
to the miter slow, and the fence was out slightly.
The initial sign of trouble was that the rising teeth would throw up quite
a bit of sawdust. If I stopped pushing the wood through, there would be a
circular "rainbow" left where the blade was.
After adjusting the fence the cuts are much smoother, the rising teeth
aren't throwing up as much sawdust, and there's no more unwanted "rainbow"
effects. The difference is like going from an ok blade to a good one.
Why did I wait so long?
Never teach your apprentice everything you know.
Yes, it truly makes a big difference having your tools tuned up. I was
away from woodwoorking for many years. Though I had my tools, they were
in storage. Then, with a new house came a new shop.
I began setting up my tools, a PowerMatic table saw among them. I began
alligning it, and took great pains to get the slot parallel to the
blade, and the fence parallel to the slot, and thus to the blade.
A week later, I was ripping a small piece of plywood and the rising
tooth caught the edge closest to the fence and flung the plywood into my
belly. dropping me to the floor. Bruising, but no internals damaged,
I say this all to point out that, IMHO, the fence should not be
absolutely parallel to the slot/blade, but should veer away from the
blade by a few thousandths of an inch so as to relieve the possible
binding described above.
ER visits are expensive!
And a hold down. The smaller the piece the more attention to
restraining movement on cut piece and off-cut. The ol' F=MA shows up
on those small pieces, and small pieces tend to enter you instead of
bruising or breaking.
with great humility and humbleness, for myself, I have to disagree...
...If for no other reason that the fact that I work on BOTH sides of
the blade, so that means that if I kick the back of the fence out by
.003" on the right side of the blade, that puts me at double that if
I'm on the LEFT side.
I firmly believe that by setting the fence with NO induced variation
and then followed by using the correct riving knife/splitter/hold
downs is the proper way to handle a fence on a table saw.
Your mileage will vary....side effects include lots of bad things like
your willy may fall off and you may go bald...in areas that you don't
WANT to be bald.
The double comes from the faces of my fence are parallel...as are any
I've ever used....granted, that would actually only be 3 others, but
that makes for 4 and when you get down to it, that's enough for
me...which means that if you move the fence OUT of parallel by 3 thou
to the right and your fence is ON the right, the outfeed end will be
further away then the infeed end.
If you then move the fence to the other side of the blade and make
adjustments, it will be three thou CLOSER to the outfeed as compared
to the infeed.
SO....you have positive 3 on the right and negative 3 on the
left.....that makes for a total of 6 thou difference
I have....it does....YOU think about it....
....draw it up sometime....
....if the fence is skewed to one side by one degree to the right when
it's on the right side of the blade, that will put the end of the
fence farther away by X amount...
...move the fence to the left side of the blade but leave the skewing
the same, it'll be CLOSER to the blade by the same amount....in effect
doubling the difference.
What that gives me is 3 thou or so of EXTRA space between the saw
blade and the fence on the right side....
....then when I go to the left, there is 3 thou of interference....
...for a total difference of....SIX thou which is double
Feel free to draw it up sometime
I believe that I have found the problem...
....you are looking at the deviation from nominal...
...whereas I am looking at the total deviation...
in other words, both are wrong and both are right.
We do, however, agree that the BEST way is to set the fence parallel
with the blade.
Luck and all that...
Keep in mind that when you move the fence to the other side of the blade you
are no longer using it on the right side. Basically the error does not
double in use because you are not using the fence on both sides at the same
time. The total amount of error is the same on both sides providing both
sides of the fence are parallel.
CW's right. If you had a sled which was 0.003 off and you cut both
sides of a panel with it without flipping it, it would be 0.006 off.
But you're referencing the fence on your saw BUT the splitter holds
the board/panel inline. It might bind and burn just a wee bit on the
second cut, but there should be no 0.006" difference.
Know how to listen, and you will
profit even from those who talk badly.
For a while, I had a zero-insert that I cut a short slot into in-line
with the blade and the same thickness of the blade. I took a thin piece
of cherry and glued it into the slot. This made for a very nice
splitter, until I snapped off the cherry one day by sliding a board
I would be interested in hearing of any improvements to this technique.
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