Exactly and as I mention in another post, I seldom need to address cut edges
other than to bring them to the same smoothness as the other project when
LOL, "definate maybe", the earliest that I recall using that comment was
in the Fall of 1972 when speaking to the store district manager. I was in
my first year of college and the "definate maybe" answer to his question
brought a "College Kid Answer" from him. ;~)
LOL, Ed I was just seeing if you were paying attention. ;~)
Good idea. Like cherry, maple is prone to show scorch marks and any
closed grain wood will make blade marks more obvious.
That will do the trick for blade and fence alignment.
I'm wondering why you think the alignment is this close. See my
Is the "Ray Vojtash" of the Wood Mag article the same as "RayV" of
this posted message? I'm not sure why you think the technique is
special or better than any other "feel the rub" technique. It doesn't
matter if you hold the stick (or bevel gauge blade) against the miter
gauge or screw it onto the bar, it's the exact same technique.
It is a bit high, but not outrageous. It's probably not the silver
coating on the blade (unless this coating is thick paint). This
brings up the alignment question I mentioned above. How can you be
sure of your alignment accuracy when the blade runout is three times
higher? Did you mark a spot on the blade and make all your
measurements on that spot (rotating the blade)? Or did you just run
the indicator stylus along the surface of the blade?
Yes. In general, anything less than 0.005" is good enough. I've done
a lot of testing with various blades and woods. Even with
magnification, I could not detect any improvement in the quality of
the cut surface for alignment error below 0.005"
It means that your cut surface will have ripples in it that are 0.003"
deep. The size and shape of these ripples will depend on how high you
raise the blade and how fast you feed the stock. This sort of defect
can easily be seen and felt on exposed surfaces so expect it to
require some extra cleanup. Good quality modern glues don't generally
have any trouble filling 0.003" gaps between mating surfaces.
You need to determine if this runout is due to blade warp or an arbor/
flange problem. You can easily use your setup to check both the arbor
and the flange. You will want to tilt the arbor so that the dial
indicator can meet the surface of the flange at 90 degrees. You will
want to leave the arbor at 0 degrees to check arbor runout. Hopefully
there is a spot along the surface of the arbor where you can avoid the
threads. You should see less than 0.001" runout on both of these.
The best practice is to keep the dial indicator plunger at 90 degrees
to the surface being measured (zero degrees tilt). When the dial
indicator is tilted at an angle it introduces error into the reading.
The error is going to make the reading look higher than actual changes
in the surface being measured. It will also exaggerate any
instability in your dial indicator fixturing.
You can calculate the actual geometry from the dial indicator
reading. It is equal to the dial indicator reading times the cosine
of the tilt (away from 90). The cosine of zero degrees is 1 (best
situation). If you are tilting your indicator by 30 degrees, then
multiply your readings by 0.86 to see what it would read if there were
Tilting the indicator is a better alternative than using one of those
flat blade replacement plates. Apart from the monetary savings ($40
or more), and the time you save not needing to swap out your blade,
you won't be introducing a reference surface with unknown errors. The
specs on one popular plate seen in catalogs and online are +/-0.003".
You could think that you've aligned your saw properly when all you
actually did was align it to match the warp in the blade replacement
Feel free to ask questions.
Home of the TS-Aligner
I'm going to check it by rotating the blade and then checking the
arbor and flange. I suspect that this $30 blade is warped because
when I've ripped with a good 80T blade I've nearly finish ready
Thanks. I'll see if I can modify my jig to get it closer to 90deg so
I don't need to look for my calculator.
The indicator I have does have a pin 180 from the working end but I
would have to grind the lug off of the back to make using that
worthwhile. I might be able to get the back lug to go below the table
if I measure from the left side of the blade.
Your point about the blade runout equaling depth of hash marks on the
wood makes sense to me so I will investigate that further.
Looking at your site just made me realize that I don't need the
indicator near the table to check blade runout. I can do that up
high. I just need to get it close to 90deg near the table to check my
I also check the blade for parrallism to the miter slot with the blade
all the way out ( but not on the stop) and down as far as you can and
still get a measurement. The main thing is to not have the blade cut
wood on the back side at any depth of cut .
Returned the 'Silver' coated Avanti blade and ordered a 50T Frued
Diablo. Probably not as good as a WWII but half the price. I am also
very happy with the 80T Diablo I have, cuts great and will easily rip
3/4" Maple even though it is not made to do so.
Checked the runout on my arbor, barely perceptible ~0.00015. Good.
Checked the runout on the flange and at first it was ~0.0015! Then I
noticed that even touching the belt caused the needle to jump
(contractor saw). So I took the belt off and the flange runout is
~0.0003 after a little touch up with emery cloth, good enough for me.
Put the original 28T Jet blade on that made maybe three cuts in its
life and the blade runout was 0.005! WTF? Spun it 180 and now the
runout was 0.001. Spun it back and runout was 0.002? Took the blade
off to see that it was scratched/smutzed up. Emery clothed it and now
the runout is around 0.001 in any position (without the belt). I'm
satisfied the saw is OK and the Avanti blade was a POS.
OK, so is all this checking worth it? I think it is, it takes maybe
five minutes to check the runout of a newly mounted blade. Well worth
it to find out that an errant wood chip got stuck between the blade
and the flange making a smooth cut nearly impossible. I plan to keep
the dial indicator in a much handier spot. That way I can check a
blade that has been lying around for a year with an Allen wrech under
one side and a stacked dado set sitting on top of it ;-).
Enough measuring, I need sleep so I can make some sawdust tomorrow.
Do any PM 66 owners here know the tolerances of their
saws? I aligned my humble Delta contractor's saw with
that jig, and it cuts easier than any 66 I've ever seen. I
think I got the blade parallel to the slot to within 0.002".
I don't happen to have a PM66 handy right now, but I'm very familiar
with it. It's a fine machine. I wouldn't mind trading in my Unisaw
for one. I wouldn't trade one for any contractor's saw. If it isn't
aligned properly, the best table saw can perform much worse than an
everyday humble contractor's saw. I know for a fact that there are a
lot of real cheap junkers out there outperforming high end cabinet
saws. Alignment does make a difference.
When I look at comparative reviews of machinery, the first thing I
look for is a description of how the machine was prepared. Most
reviewers ignore alignment completely. Some check the "factory"
alignment in a misguided (ignorant) attempt to judge the quality of
workmanship. I don't think I've seen a reviewer pay attention to
setup and alignment since Kelly Mehler's table saw review in the April
2003 edition of Woodworker's Journal. You can't make valid
comparisons between two machines until they are both properly setup
and aligned. Glad to see that Kelly understood this - wish more did.
Home of the TS-Aligner
An insulting and misleading statement. Leads the reader to consider
that there is no basis for quality judgement and comparison from the
alignment done on the assembly line by the manufacturer.
The truth is unless the component parts are just terrible, all saws
can be "set" to very close to zero at 90 degrees and I suspect that
most manufacturers have assembly procedures that achieve that using
rather sophisticated set up tools. I know one does at least. As the
blade is tilted, it is exactly the "quality of the workmanship" of the
component parts that determines the reading at 45 degrees and the
difference between the two figures is an excellent indicator of the
quality of workmanship when comparing different units. The flatter
the table, the more parallel the boss plane to the top, the flatter
the cabinet top plate plane, the more accurate the trunnion/brackets,
yoke assembly and arbor assembly, the closer that 45 degree figure
will stay to zero out of the box. While there are certain things you
can do to offset the tolerance stackup of some of those parts if
others are bad "you got what you got".
I don't know why anybody would take offense Frank. I really don't
think it's reasonable to expect a machine to maintain proper alignment
after riding around on forklifts, trucks, and rail cars. The
vibrations and thermal changes virtually guarantee that alignment will
be lost during shipping. If I were personally responsible for
aligning and testing table saws at the end of a production line I
would not be surprised or offended to learn that 99.9% of the machines
that I so carefully aligned arrived completely out of whack. It's
just physics. My Unisaw needed alignment, and it came with a bunch of
"shock watch" tags on it.
I think a manufacturer cannot verify that a machine is defect free
until they properly align and test it. And, the quality can be
clearly judged inferior if a machine cannot be properly aligned. But,
the state of alignment as delivered "out of the box" is pretty much
I agree, there are certain aspects of alignment (like the tilt axis
parallelism to the table top that you mention here) that are dependent
on quality of manufacture. It would be incredibly easy (and
inexpensive) to implement in-process 100% inspection of every single
casting that gets machined. And, the use of the Meehanite casting
process would significantly reduce (eliminate) post machining
warpage. I suspect that only an exceptional manufacturer would do
such things. And, if they really did, then I would expect that none
of their saws would require shimming under the trunnions or between
the base and the table (or, such a small number that you would just
never hear about it).
Having heard of this problem from owners of all the most popular
brands, I suspect that they really aren't doing anything substantial
in this area. My 80's vintage "Proudly made in the USA" Unisaw needed
shimming (among things) before it would operate properly. So,
whatever Delta did before shipping my machine, it didn't help much.
This might be how I "got what I got" with my Unisaw. If the
tolerances stack up so that the product (when fully assembled) can not
be properly aligned (without shimming, filing, or other
modifications), then any mechanical engineer will tell you that the
manufacturing process is poorly designed. Tolerances are *supposed*
to define the range of variability for which no defect can occur.
Unfortunately, too many manufacturers define their tolerances as the
range of variability for which an affordable amount of warranty
expense occurs. I'm in the "zero defect" camp, not the "acceptable
warranty liability" camp - which never made me very popular with the
bean-counter types. They were always glad that I only did the
numbers, not the decisions.
Home of the TS-Aligner
My mistake Ed. I should have assumed you would not see the offense.
But the mistake was mine. I should never have reacted. It offered you
another chance to extend your not so subtle spam campaign. Won't
I still don't see it Frank. Why don't you explain it? The comment
wasn't directed at any particular person, company, or machine. It was
a comment about some who do machinery reviews without any technical
expertise. Did you author such a review article?
Why does a guy who proudly declares that he has never checked the
alignment of his saw get offended when someone says that it's pretty
ignorant to judge the quality of a machine by the accuracy of it's
Why does a guy who says "just make sawdust" to someone who wants to
correct misalignment in their saw get so offended when someone says
that it's pretty ignorant to judge the quality of a machine by the
accuracy of it's factory alignment?
I think my Unisaw is a great machine. I have been real hard on it for
about 20 years and it's still amazingly accurate. I didn't expect it
to be well aligned "right out of the box" and it wasn't. If I had
been so misguided, I might have concluded that it was a poor quality
machine. That would have been a big mistake on my part. Ya, it took
some filing and some shimming to get it fully aligned but It was a one-
time event so I didn't make such a big deal out of it. I share that
info here with the hope that I can steer others clear of making such
an ignorant misjudgement of quality.
If there's real cause for offense, then you know that I will
appologize - and it won't be one of those backhanded "...if there was
something I said.." BS appologies. And I'll do it without any
expectation of reciprocation (in spite of the "spam campaign" comment,
which was intended as an insult).
Just explain why you are personally insulted when someone says that
the quality of a machine should not be judged by the accuracy of its
Home of the TS-Aligner.com
: Just explain why you are personally insulted when someone says that
: the quality of a machine should not be judged by the accuracy of its
: factory alignment.
And more to the point, the accuracy of its factory alignment as affected
by its post-factory experiences being shipped across the ocean and
loaded/unloaded on any number of conveyances. Then hauled into
a shop, uncrated, and possibly rolled around out of its crate during assembly.
-- Andy Barss
I think you should has said "alignment when received by the customer."
In Frank's case, the poor alignment was not the fault of the factory,
which Frank was personally involved with. Yet your phrase appears to
place the blame squarely on the factory.
Hmmm... I suppose I can see your point...sort-of. I have been using
"factory alignment" interchangably with "out of the box". I didn't
think that there would be any confusion - especially since I explained
in great detail how the factory alignment gets disturbed. And, since
I also explained why factory alignment is important (to properly test
the machine) I'm still left wondering how he could have taken offense
- especially since he's made it pretty clear that he thinks alignment
is not worth bothering with.
I pretty much want to stick to the statement that Frank quoted and
find out why he felt that it was so "insulting and misleading". It
was a commentary about people who do a poor job evaluating the quality
of a machine, not on the company or the employees that produce the
machine. Would he prefer that I conclude that my Unisaw, and the saws
of 99% of my customers are low quality just because they didn't arrive
with good alignment? I think that would be much more misleading and
insulting (not to mention ignorant).
There really was no insult intended in my statement. I cannot imagine
the connection between Frank and reviewers who judge a machine's
quality by it's "as arrived" alignment. If he does take it as an
insult to his work and the company that he works for, then maybe he
should consider how his intentionally insulting comments have affected
Home of the TS-Aligner
Clearly, because he interpreted as a dig at the manufacturer and has a
long past with one which unfortunately, ended up quite badly.
Nevertheless, he has a lot invested and can't let that go...
Just let it be, please...
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