I want to replace my TS, but I just don't have the money for some time to
come. I've gotten the bug again, and really want to make some stuff now
that my shed is 100% shop and has real power.
However, my TS is my Achilles heel. It just doesn't cut worth a damn.
While I've never had the pleasure of using anything better, I'm sure it
can't be a simple matter of bad technique.
So I'll describe some symptoms, and see if I can get some direction as to
what the most likely problems are, and how I might wrestle some incremental
improvement out of this thing until I can afford to throw it in the trash.
It's a complete POS Skil tablesaw. Direct drive. You know, the cheapass
one that doesn't have a crank wheel for angle adjustment. I _have_
that it's perpendicular to the table on both sides of the blade, and I can
see no gaps. Getting it there was a delicate matter, and I hope never to
change its angle again.
For starters, I know the table is warped. I've managed to level it some,
but it's obviously still not right. I'm sure that doesn't help matters a
bit. The adjustment I just mentioned for example... It might not _really_
be perpendicular because of what I have to measure against, but since both
sides came out with no gaps against the good square, I think it's OK. The
warpage is from front to back more than side to side.
I made a cheap sort of fake crosscut sled today by taking a table-sized
width of really straight birch plywood, attaching one side to my miter
gauge, and the other side to a poplar outrigger anchored to ride in the
When I ran it through with the blade fully extended, the kerf came out
looking like this:
I could feel it cutting again on the far side of the centerline of the
blade. I guess that means the blade is not parallel to the miter slot,
though it _seems_
to be so.
Playing with height, higher means more irregularity, and it's definitely
much worse in the last third of the height range.
I don't have a dial indicator. I've tried measuring the distance from blade
to slot with a ruler graduated in 32nds, and I don't see any difference.
However, I can't think of any other reason for this. Up to the center, the
kerf is pretty much straight, but once I go past that point, it digs in
again, and I get what looks like a second, overlapping, angled kerf.
When ripping, if I stop feeding and hold a piece in place against the fence,
it gets gouged badly enough that it takes a lot of belt sanding to remove
Wobble? Could both effects be due to wobble? Anything I can do to remedy
The gouging isn't happening regularly enough for it to be a tooth out of
whack, I don't think. I don't see any reason to think it's the blade,
though it _is_
the factory original combination blade that came on the
thing. I know practically nothing about saw blades, but the Complete Guide
to Sharpening or whatever it's called shows a picture of a "good" carbide
blade and a "bad" carbide blade. This looks like the "good" one, with
expansion slots and securely-attached teeth. I'm sure it ain't a Freud,
but my gut is that I have worse problems than the blade.
I've checked that when I lock the rip fence down, it stays parallel to a
miter slot, and to the edge of the table, and to a square. However, when I
push work through, it has a strong tendency to pull away from the fence as
I get into the cut. Everything I rip on this, no matter how many
hold-downs and featherboards and whatnot I use, comes out crooked.
I won't even get into the impossible miters and other problems. If I could
get it to actually rip a board straight and crosscut a board at 90 degrees,
I could make some stuff.
As it is, the more I think about it, the more I'm coming to consider that
maybe I should just throw it away anyway, and do without a TS until I can
afford a new one. I might have better luck with clamps, straight edges and
my circular saw. Though in spite of the number of times we tell people to
make do with such stuff, the fact it that it's rather tricky to keep a
straight edge clamped straight, and to make sure not to let the saw deviate
from the edge, and to set the edge exactly far enough away from the cut
line to make sure the kerf is in just the right spot. It's a pain in the
ass. I'd rather get the TS working better. (Or maybe I should just buy
stock in the widths I need and go back to my trusty miter box and
Bad as it is, it's OK for knocking stuff together that doesn't really need
to be perfect. My trebuchet, for example. Even though the compound angle
thingies on the sides show some light in spots, it's taken a hell of a lot
of whacking and hasn't fallen down. I've built lots of birdhouses and such
like with the thing, but I'd like to do something more interesting and play
with some joinery.
Anyway, blah blah blah. Basically I'm asking if anyone is of the opinion
that I can make this thing less useless.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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