Have any of you with left tilt saws found the fact that the flange reference
is on the left side vs right side a problem?
I guess this would be an issue with using dado blades or when switching from
regular kerf to thin kerf. You'd have to dial in the fence for each blade.
In the case of dadoes maybe you just reference the left cutting edge---mmm..
but that's actually going to be an 1/8" off assuming your using a regular
kerf blade or 3/32nd for a thin kerf. That starts to get ugly.
I guess the tilting might also need to be taken into account, though I'm not
sure it makes any difference if it's right vs left tilt. I don't do enough
beveled cuts to remember if on my right tilt saw if either the short or long
edge of the cut is referenced to my fence reading.
It kinda seems to me with a right side extension table and fence
measurements, a right tilt saw is best (from a consistency of measure
> Have any of you with left tilt saws found the fact that the flange
> is on the left side vs right side a problem?
> I guess this would be an issue with using dado blades or when
> regular kerf to thin kerf.
I almost never use thin-kerf blades, so it isn't really an issue. Dado
sets get measured to the fence or buried in a sacrificial fence.
> I guess the tilting might also need to be taken into account, though
> sure it makes any difference if it's right vs left tilt. I don't do
> beveled cuts to remember if on my right tilt saw if either the short
> edge of the cut is referenced to my fence reading.
For bevel cuts you generally want the blade to tilt away from the fence
for safety, so you have the same measurement issue with either tilt
Regarding the safety point: As an example, imagine the kickback that could
be generated from the following:
Second bevel cut on a board on the opposite edge of the first bevel cut.
First bevel cut begins to slip under the rip fence
Now the board is trapped on three sides, left, right and top, as the blade
is tilted toward the fence, and to finish the cut, the back of the board
needs to move out from under the fence and toward the blade.
Nastiest case of kickback I could imagine and I wouldn't even want to be in
the room if it happened.
With left tilt saws dado/thicker blades become wider in the direction
towards the fence. This throws off the fence measurement. Typically right
tilts stack away from the fence and do not affect the fence scale.
I have a left tilt and this measurement situation only comes in to play when
I use a dado set. I NEVER use thin kerf blades any more. The left tilts
have several small and big advantages that out weigh this situation IMHO,
especially if you are right handed.
What seems error prone on a LT w/ dado is the fact that your fence is
referencing the right side cutting edge of a regular kerf blade. 1/8" of
cut is to the left of that point. Now when you stack on the dado, you are
widening the cut to the right of there. So your fence reference point is
actually 1/8" from the left side of the groove/rabbet. Basically I guess
the rule to remember on a LT w/ dado is the cut line begins 1/8" to the left
of where the fence reads.
With a RT, you know the fence is reading true to the right-hand side of the
groove. In a LT situation you have to account for the 1/8" and thickness of
I guess if one does a lot of dadoes either 1) they opt for RT or 2) they
learn the procedure to adjust
Another poster resolved one issue by saying use only reg kerf blades. I
wonder if Forrest will swap a new reg. kerf blade for the thin kerf one I
still have in the box.
Best not to do any"accounting" at all ... that would be error prone as all
get out, especially when you start adding shims to a dado stack. :)
Good habit to get into with any table saw cut, regardless of left or right
tilt, is to ALWAYS verify the blade to fence setting with your project tape
Besides verifying the correct width of cut, it also verifies that you indeed
set the fence correctly ... something the resident shop dummy here has been
known to do, without any help whatsoever.
... funny how the air turns blue whenever that happens on that last piece of
figured, high dollar wood!
Ladies and Gentlemen, We have a winner!
I ___NEVER___ use the scale for anything other than getting
sorta-kinda-inakissin'cousin-kinda way close. Then I actually measure from
the blade to the fence.
I got into this habit as a kid because the saw that my father had had about
the worst POS fence that sears ever put on a saw...but dad never figured he
needed more...or that there was better out there, so I couldn't trust the
scale at all.
In fact, couldn't trust the thing to clamp straight, either.
ding dong? You need a better fence. I measured for some 13 or so years
and could not wait to simply depend on the fence scale. For the last 10
years I have been using 2 different Jet fences, Bies clones. Both were
repeatable accurate. I only use the tape measure when using something that
cuts wider than 1/8" or when cutting bevel cuts.
I HAVE a better fence now...it was Dad that was too cheap to buy a different
I don't have a Tee-square fence, but the one I have now is good and the
price was right. The fact that I still measure each cut is a habit I've
tried to get away from, but I just can't seem to do it...a little bit OCD
about it, I guess.
Folding rule. Amazing how a convenience - having a tape on the fence - has
become a necessity, what? The most important thing to remember with either
tilt is to make sure your measurement to the inside is not identical to the
measurment on your drawing for the outside of the dado.
So why do we have tape measures on the fence guide?
I rarely use a tape measure on my tablesaw. That's the whole point of
having a Biesemeyer style fence with integrated rule. Set it once and
forget about it.
For the folks still using a rule to setup their saw, then this discussion
does not apply.
What next? Should I check the front and rear measurements of the fence?
C'mon.. There's only 2 reasons to have a t-square type fence:
1) parallel to the blade at all times
2) integrated ruler
I always have considered the tape on the fence rail to be a
convenience, not a precision measurement.
I don't consider using a tape measure to check the distance to be a
precision measurement either, but generally better than reading from
the scale on the table saw.
I felt that way too until I got a Biesemeyer fence. Its tape and
hairline cursor are MUCH more precise than a tape or rule, and faster
& easier to read too. I've checked the width of ripped pieces with a
dial caliper and consistently found them to be within 0.01 inch of the
intended width. Maybe you can do that with a tape, but I can't.
"I'd rather expect the best of people and be wrong than expect the
worst and be right."
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