I've read in a thread or two, that you should take a "day or two" to
align your table saw. Are they talking 8 hour or anything near 8 hour
days? 16 hours to align a saw?
Just wondering how long people in the group spent alinging their saws.
I spent less than 2 hours, checking spindle runout, blade runout.
Aligned miter slots to blade, aligned fence (Beis clone) I used a dial
indicator, magnetic base, feeler gauges and a straight edge.
End result was a great cutting saw.
This was with an old Uni. I guess a contractors saw might take a bit
longer to align the miter slots to blade, but 2 days??
I just did this for the first time on a used Powermatic contractor saw. In
all it probably took me 8 hours spread out over a couple of days, most of
the time was spent leveling the table, aligning the blade to the miters is
also took a while. If the saw had been in better shape initially and it
hadn't been my first attempt I can see 2 hrs being possible.
The one tip I'd pass on relates to shimming the table, I ended up buying a
couple of sets of feeler gauges, remove the pivot bolt so you've loose
shims. Play around with different shims placed above or below eachbolt,
insert the feeler until it touches the bolt so get repeatable results.
You'll end up with a flat table with six feelers (three bolts for each wing)
sticking up or down. What I learned was not to bother trying to cut the
feeler and reinsert but rather to simply fold it forwards and backwards,
it'll snap flush wth the table, and you're done. In my case there were no
pieces of feeler standing proud, if there was I'd clean it up with a Dremel.
IMO the saw cuts well, feeds smoothly and produces good results. There are
still slight patches where the wood shows burning but I think that's more my
feeding technique than the saw.
I don't know about others here but it seems that at least you and I are on
the same page when it comes to aligning a table saw. After I moved I wanted
to recheck the saw and spent about 2-3 hours doing so. If you have the right
tools for the job and little distraction it takes very little time.
I built a queen sized captains style bed in a weekend including stain time!
Others may take a week to do the same thing.
It takes me about an hour to do my old Unisaw, I use a master plate
and my HTC fence. I do check my work with a dial indicator error is
generally less than .002, with + or - .001 on the master plate.
(sixoneeight) = 618
I aligned and cleaned up an old Craftsman Model 100 in around 3 hours.
Having done it and knowing what quirks to be aware of I can now align it in
much less time. In fact I aligned the blade on an 8" Craftsman from the
60's for a friend, in well under an hour including time to take the top off
the shell. I agree with you that there really is not that much to it.
Well...if you look at a new saw you've got:
1) verify mitre slot parallelism, table flatness, arbour runout
2) align wings to main table
3) align front rail support to table/wings
4) mount back rail
5) align extension tables to front rail support and wing
6) mount extension table legs
7) mount front rail
8) mount switch
9) align motor/arbour pulleys
10) align fence with mitre slots
11) align 90 degree bevel stop, angle indicator (if possible)
12) align blade with mitre slots (at 90 degrees)
13) align 45 degree bevel stop, angle indicator (if possible)
14) verify blade alignment with mitre slots (at 45 degrees). If this is
off, shim the table and go back to step 10.
Interesting question....I had a Powermatic Artisan for about six years that
I never did get aligned....the problem was getting the blade parallel to the
table slots. I would get it ok (by making the hold-down bolt holes egg
shaped) and all would be fine until the tilt mechanism was touched. It
would pull the trunion assembly relative to the table top and .....here we
go again. That is why I finally bought a General made in Canada.
It takes me a couple of hours to check the alignment of my table saw. If
you want a really accurate and fast way to align your saw (and other power
tools) check out the TS-aligner Jr. It is well worth the money.
I have a review of it here:
Also check out my L-cheapo TS alignment jig.
Your two hours is about right for the first time
you do it to a saw and if you don't run into some
awful condition. It took me about that amount of
time the first time I did my saw, but I was just
poking along looking at how everything fit.
By the way, one normally says you align the saw
blade to the miter slots, even if the reverse may
be technically true.
There is a major difference between a contractor saw
That single difference is that on the Unisaw,
you are only dealing with a top.
The contractor saw requires a great deal more screwing
around to get correct.
I have both and have done it several times on both.
I can do the cabinet saw in well under 2 hours using a
TS-Aligner. The contractor saw can take 5-6 hours easily
depending on what has to be done.
Two days is a rarity and would be someone who has never
done it and does not have the proper tools.
Why rush ? My first cabinet saw aligment took a full day. I never owned a
table saw before this. I did spend the time to read the manual from Grizzly
on the aligment first. I also made sure I had the tools I needed before
starting. This did include aligning the extension table I built that
attached to the right wing of the saw. The time was well spent,as the saw
works better than I had ever expected. Since all the major issues had been
addressed, later aligments checks take little time. Good luck and enjoy your
My contractor's saw took about 5 hours, from removing it from the
boxes through assembly and alignment. Depends on what your general
work habits are, I suppose. If you stop for a coffee after each step
or have some back problems or similar that prevent a guy from spending
too much time hunched over in one go, it might reasonably take longer.
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