I just bought a Jet 10" contractor style TS and I'm thinking about
alignment. Seems that everyone here (save one) says that the TSAJr. is
really the bees knees, but I guess I'm sort of having trouble
justifying an alignment tool that costs close to one third of what I
paid for the saw. Does anyone here have one that they hate or don't
use that I could buy? Does anyone here even have a rational reason to
dislike the tool at all?
Also, I had been reading good reviews of the PALS system until I came
across a thread here in the Wreck that indicated it might be more of a
band-aid than a panacea. However, for $20 I'm fairly inclined to take
a flyer - although I don't like the idea of "forcing" something into
place. Any thoughts?
On a related note, I also picked up a Porter Cable router with fixed
and plunge bases (693LRPK). Tossed in were an Oldham 8" carbide tipped
dado stack (unopened) and a 12-pack of Hickory brand router bits. The
guy bought everything two years ago and said the saw's been used maybe
6 times. I believe him. He also said the router was "tried out" but
never used. There's not a mark on it. I got the lot for 540 bucks
how'd I do?
PS - I'll most likely buy the TSAJr new if I have to, but I'm willing
to do a public service by not letting a good tool go unused.
The aligner is a very well made tool, the best of it's type that I have
seen. Worth the money. I saw that post about the PALS too. wondered what he
ws talking about. The only thing they do is let yoiu adjust the trunnion
precisly by screw instead of using a mallet. Their not going to force
Seems that everyone here (save one) says that the TSAJr. is really the
bees knees, but I guess I'm sort of having trouble justifying an
alignment tool that costs close to one third of what I paid for the
Not bad. If you're happy, great. But I'm "save two": Happy with a combo
square and feeler gauges. Tom
Nothing to dislike - good set up tool for several of the power
tools you have or will eventually have. But on a contractor's
saw you could probably get alignments close enough with
a sliding square (?) - the edge of the base in the miter/mitre
slot - rule slide out to just touch the edge of a tooth on the
square's side. Mark the tooth with a felt tip pen, rotate it
to the back and check the distance from the miter/mitre slot
to it. If the two distances are the same you're done with
that set up. Repeat for the fence.
Now when you get a jointer and planer you can do blade
set ups with a stick and a pencil. Getting the tables
coplaner AND paralle to the knives is trickier - you'll
probably want a dial gauge for that -(the TSA does the
When you get really anal retentive and want to check
the run out on your saw's arbor, or on your drill press
the TSA will do the job.
For now you probably don't need a dial gauge level of
set up. Later you probably will.
I have a serious problem with the "PALS" system. I find that my "pals"
keep asking if they can borrow my TS-Aligner...
Why not ask Ed if he knows of any going second hand?
I have used the TS-Aligner Jr on my TS, DP, BS and jointer, plus as I
hinted above, a few more tools in the neighborhood too.
Just my two cents worth. You would think after spending $1000 or more
on a tool it would not require any alignment. Well we all know during
transit it can get out of alignment but after spending all that hard
earned $ they would at least provide you with cheap, simple tools to
get their product properly aligned . They can charge me an extra $10 it
still cheaper than spending 1/3 of the cost more on alignment tools.
Nooooooooo too simple of a solution.
You adjust the blade tilt.
To say it another way, when you set your blade at an angle, you can
either use the saw's built-in dial, use a precision reference block,
or use an angle gauge, or a dial indicator, or perhaps some other
technique. I would think the dial indicator can give you a much more
accurate setting that the saw's dial.
shows the device setting the blade to 45 degrees.
I think that to use the TS-Aligner Jr, they suggest you use a
reference block to calibrate first. Let me check the user's guide.
Hmm. To set the blade angle to 30 degrees, I think you have to use the
gauge and look for 0.423 on the dial.
There may be other ways. You could re-calibrate it with a different
angle block, or use the gauge to measure the blade with an angle block
added. They sell angle blocks on the same site.
I don't have one, but I have been thinking about getting one when I
can afford it.
Well, If you want to set it at exactly 30 degrees, and the dial on
your saw is off slightly, you can use the TS-Aligner Jr to adjust the
angle to be exact - ignoring the gauge on your saw. At least - that's
what I understand it can do. You do need an accurate angle block for
the degree you are setting.
Sending unsolicited commercial e-mail to this account incurs a fee of
$500 per message, and acknowledges the legality of this contract.
Oh, sorry. I thought you meant that you were checking the angle of
the blade to the fence / miter slot, while changing the blade tilt.
That error is very hard or impossible to correct on some saws.
As far as tilt, I'm good with a good quality sliding bevel, and
occasionally, a Bevel Boss.
executive summary: I made a flat surface to run a dial indicator
against, and I love my pals
For test surface on my tablesaw, I had a local jet cutter create a
circle from a 12"x12" piece of glass to the same diameter of my 10"
blades. He created a hole at the same time for the arbor in the exact
middle. A tiny bit of work opended up the hole enought to actually get
the glas son the arbor.
Since the glass is 3/8" of an inch, and therefore float glass. It is
at least within .001 of truly flat over the 10".
Woodhavens because I was being cheap. I put the chisel through my
first knuckle, took a trip to the emergecy room, got 2 internal
stiches, and 4 acros the top. Jig I was duplicating, $29.00, trip to
emergency room at 10:00pm on a school night with wife and two kids,
$42.00. Respect for chisels, priceless.
Getting the trunion adjusted on my Jet Contractors saw was an excecise
in frustration PRIOR to the pals. As the web says, when you tighten
either bolt you cause the whole assembly to torque a few thousands.
Necessitating that you over set the fence, and hope that as you tighten
the fence stops where you want it.
After my pals arrived, AND I made a trip to the hardware store to buy
the proper studs as the ones they sent did not fit into my trunions, I
was able to set the fence EXACTLY where I wanted and it might have
moved .001, but I don't think it did.
I emailed the creator, but never heard back about the stud issue. Mine
is a generation back from the last Jet table saw model.
There was also a story out there about a fellow who took his top off,
and discovered that the four flats where the trunions bolt on where not
in the same plane. This caused trunion misalightment, and a dishing
affect on his top. If I recall he used a large piece of float glass to
SS them to the same plane. Felt the effort of disassembly, cleaning,
inspection, replacement and repair greatly improved his saw.
On Wed, 03 Aug 2005 20:49:43 -0700, Jay Pique wrote:
I use the A-Line-It System. They look pretty similar and are similarly
priced. Both have smaller versions available for $60-$70, though.
PALS doesn't force the saw into alignment any more that beating on it with
a hammer or prying on it with a tubafor. That said, the PALS I installed
on my Griz contractor saw didn't work out quite right. They weren't quite
long enough and didn't have enough range of adjustment. After fooling with
them for a while, I just made my own with angle iron and a couple of cap
Thanks for the drive-by. That's either a Grade-A neener, or a Class-C
gloat. I'm leaning toward gloat, but I'll wait for the final judgement of
You're an upstanding citizen, you are.
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents--except at
Get the "basic" model for $70 and pay up for the PALS
system. They are both worth it.
I was in that thread about the PALS system and I still
contend that the PALS system works quite well for contractor
Trying to use a saw out of alignment should not be wished on
Jay Pique wrote:
I've already ordered the PALS system. It's only 19.95 (incl. S/H) if
you get it direct from the mfr.
Still thinking on the TSAJr. I'm actually sort of thinking I might go
with the dial indicator on a stick so that I can really learn the
physics and really appreciate the TSAJr. when I can afford it.
Thanks all - I appreciate the help.
Usenet - Use it.
IMHO the TSA jr is a fine tool, but I don't own one and probably never
will. You can do a fine job of alignment with just a $10 import dial
indicator. In fact, I aligned my saw with just a combination square.
When I later recheced it with a DI it was less than .005 out, too
close to mess with for me.
Get the TS-Aligner Jr. It's worth every penny. After you've used it
for awhile, you'll see the advantage of using dial indicators (about $15
each) on 'home made' jigs for all of your tools. Before using the
TS-Aligner Jr., I used the A-Line-It tool. Both worked fine, but I sold
the A-Line-It tool.
One other comment: After spending the time and money to properly align
my tools, I get much greater accuracy (which means less wasted wood).
Even though I have a JessEm router table with Mast-R-Lift, I use a home
made dial indicator to measure bit height and fence distance. It
particularly helps in getting dadoes exactly right. My horizontal
boring machine has a home made dial indicator jig to quickly and
accurately find the exact center of the piece to be bored. I use a dial
indicator on my Shopbot to align the Z-axis. And the list goes on . . .
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