I got a new table saw (Powermatic 64 Artisan) and I'm having a tuning
problem. When I push the lumber past the blade, the piece starts to
turn away from the fence toward the blade. As a result, the back of
the piece can be 1/16" of an inch narrower than the front. I can
"correct" this problem with a feather guide, but I'd prefer to tune it
correctly. I assume the problem lies with a slight misalignment of
either the fence or the blade. With my primitive measuring tools -
namely a combo square - both the blade and the fence seem aligned with
the table. Any thoughts?
BTW: The Accu-fence rocks! I can dial up 3" and it cuts 3". With my
old saw, I could never trust the stupid guide. I measured each cut
from blade to fence with my combo square.
This actually sounds like a feed technique problem or bad material that may
be case hardened such that it bows after being cut. To eleminate that
possibility og bad stock try cutting MDF or plywood.
As a result, the back of
The only place that you want to use a feather board is in front of the
blade, NOT the back side.
I assume the problem lies with a slight misalignment of
You can easily check the blade to slot alignment with your miter gauge.
Attach a piece of wood to the miter gauge so that the end of the wood is
about 3/4" from the blade. Screw a screw into that end of the board so that
it just comes in contact with the side of a tooth on the front of the blade.
Rotate the blade so that the "same" tooth is at the back side, slide the
miter gauge back and compare the measurement again. For the most accuracy
raise the blade to its full up position and be sure to have the saw
unplugged during this process.
Once you are happy with that adjustment adjust the fence to be dead on
parallel to the same miter slot used to align the blade to the miter slot.
You can simply use a piece of wood, thinner than the miter slot, to slide
down the face of the fence into the slot. Check the clearance at several
points if the fence is not parallel the piece of wood should hit the table
surface and not go down into the slot. Make a test cut and adjust
That's certainly possible but I could rip straight without a feather
guide on my last saw (a considerably crappier piece of machinery...)
You can almost set your watch to the path each piece takes as it runs
past the blade.
In the same vein...
Lots of times, the little things can add funky issues.
For instance, a bowed fence can show itself to varying degrees, based
on the length of stock being ripped. Multiple rips from the same
board can get really funky, especially if the board is short. On the
other hand, a board of the right length will bridge the bow and come
out skinnier in the middle. The short and long boards may exhibit
You might want to seriously consider upgrading your 'primitive measuring
tools'. There is an easy way to get your fence dead on balls accurate and
you can then eliminate that as a potential cause of your problem.
If you pay the bucks for a high quality tool, why not spend a fraction of
that to keep it operating at the peak of perfection? If you're really
serious about woodworking, it's indeed a valuable instrument to have in the
For high quality tools that hold their setting, probably not that often "per
tool", but over the range of tools in the shop that benefit from tweaking
for best performance, probably more than you think. (It's amazing how often
a tool can take an accidental blow in a shop environment, necessitating a
tweak, here and there, for even the best of equipment).
It's also a good feeling, when starting a new project, one you've been
planning for months and just bought the wood for, to spend the time getting
everything tweaked just right in anticipation of milling that new stack ...
sort of a good karma, Zen, ying and yang, up your project chakra, kind of
Hint: if you have a choice of dial indicators, consider upgrading to the
highest quality one you can afford ... when you start dealing in ten
thousandths of an inch, you'll probably be glad for extra little bit of
I think it is worth it's weight in gold. I use it before every project
session to check for alignment of various tools. My EB3 miter gauge
usually hangs on my peg board. Before I use it I can check for square
without making a single test cut.
I also make sure my jointer fence is square before squaring leg blanks.
You will be surprised how often you use it. For your case now it would be
a huge asset. You could check your fence front to back and know how far
out of wack (or not) it is (quickly and accurately w/o a single test cut).
| > "Garage_Woodworks" wrote
| >> "Jones" wrote
| >>>> You might want to seriously consider upgrading your 'primitive
| I guess you're another one of these guys who feels he needs to have
| tolerances within a few ten-thousandths.
| Tell me: Does NASA really buy that many items made of wood?
Well, the Russians used oak for heat shields instead of the fancy stuff the
US used.... maybe he should make an offer for shuttle panels?
Early on the Russians used oak for some RVs. I don't think that that
is what they used on Vostok or Soyuz though. Some sort of wood
composite was used on the Polaris RV, so it wasn't just the Russians.
Trouble with oak is weight. Ever see a Shuttle tile? Set it on a
table and blow on it and it will blow away. Hold it by the corners
and apply an oxyacetylene torch to the center and you don't get
burned. If oak was used then there wouldn't be a whole Hell of a lot
of payload left and it would all have to be replaced after every
flight (oak works by charring--it's a one-shot for reentery).
As for wood inside the spacecraft, there is going to be as little
flammable material as possible--they learned that lesson in the Apollo
| >>> "Garage_Woodworks" wrote
| >>>> "Jones" wrote
| >>>>>> You might want to seriously consider upgrading your 'primitive
| >> I guess you're another one of these guys who feels he needs to have
| >> tolerances within a few ten-thousandths.
| >> Tell me: Does NASA really buy that many items made of wood?
| > Well, the Russians used oak for heat shields instead of the fancy
| > stuff the US used.... maybe he should make an offer for shuttle
| > panels?
| Early on the Russians used oak for some RVs. I don't think that that
| is what they used on Vostok or Soyuz though. Some sort of wood
| composite was used on the Polaris RV, so it wasn't just the Russians.
| Trouble with oak is weight. Ever see a Shuttle tile? Set it on a
| table and blow on it and it will blow away. Hold it by the corners
| and apply an oxyacetylene torch to the center and you don't get
| burned. If oak was used then there wouldn't be a whole Hell of a lot
| of payload left and it would all have to be replaced after every
| flight (oak works by charring--it's a one-shot for reentery).
| As for wood inside the spacecraft, there is going to be as little
| flammable material as possible--they learned that lesson in the Apollo
Clearly I should have put a grin on that.... ;~)
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