aligning table saw blade

housenewbieSeptember 15, 2011

Greetings experts!

I've been using my table saw a lot lately to trim floating cork flooring and whatnot. That part is done now, but I need to rip the baseboards to fit over the new floor. Trouble is, the saw started misbehaving--wanting to kick, cutting crooked. I finally determined that the blade has become crooked--it's 1/16 off front-to-back. (So, the back of the blade is 1/16 closer to the right side of the table than the front of the blade is.)

Now, I went and got the instructions and they tell me to adjust a screw-and-nut combination that's located right above the blade up-down handle. But there's no such thing there! My husband also looked for it and couldn't find it.

This is a Craftsman that I've had for several years. I'd call it a 'contractor saw' as it's light enuf to be portable. (I'll have to look up the model number later)

Anyone have any idea how the confounded blade is supposed to be adjusted?? Seems like this is the sort of thing one would have to do relatively often, so it should be easy!


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My 10" Craftsman has a spring-loaded handle just under the table, above the height adjustment crank. I've never had to use it since I got it second hand over 20 years ago, but it seems reasonable that it would be there.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 5:32PM
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I adjust the fence not the trunnions.
It's easier. The fence should have a couple of bolts for the purpose.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 6:06PM
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The blade may be dull and bent.

Make the measurements again, then rotate the blade 1/2 turn(unplug the machine first!!).

That will tell you if the blade is bent.

If it is not bent, I'll wager 5 internet$$ the teeth are dull.

The easiest thing is to buy a new blade. Probably a ten inch model. You can buy a rip blade, a cross cut blade or a combination blade.

Ripping a lot of wood is best done with a rip blade---about 30 teeth of less. Cross cutting(making boards shorter) blades start at about 60 teeth and go up.

Combination blades have about 50 teeth.

There are several brands--DeWalt, Freud, Ace(Ace hardware) and many more.

I favor Freud blades for inexpensive models. You can pay up to $170 for a ten inch table saw blade from the high end manufacturers.

A good Freud blade will be about $30-$50.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 6:36PM
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"(So, the back of the blade is 1/16 closer to the right side of the table than the front of the blade is.)"

The alignments that matter are the blade to the miter gauge grooves in the table for crosscutting, and the blade to the rip fence fir ripping.

The blade to the edges of the table is not important.

The trunnions that hold the blade arbor under the table are are normally bolted to the bottom of the table to allow for adjustment.

On some inexpensive saws the trunnions are attached to the saw stand, and then the table is attached to the stand.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 1:03AM
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Thanks everyone! I'll definitely check things out this weekend.

I do have some spare blades that I can swap in and see if they work better. We had to cut down a couple doors too so that may have dulled the blade.

This is definitely a lower-end saw. You have to be really careful w/ the rip fence and the miter thing because they have a decent amount of play in them. So, I should be able to coax the rip fence to sit crookedly like the blade. Guess I should have upgraded for this project. But it seems silly to do it now, when I'm almost done.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 8:48AM
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Googling "Tune up my table saw" will give you links to several articles on squaring up your saw.

Here's one from Fine Woodworking.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 9:22PM
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What was the final outcome of the saw work?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 10:16AM
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Sorry not to get back to y'all before now. In the end, I wound up upgrading to a new saw--a portable contractor saw w/ a gravity rise bench. I didn't have much luck getting the blade and fence to align w/ each other, and the saw was making a sort of clanging noise like something was loose or hitting somewhere so I decided the heck w/ it. Of course, it was raining nonstop for weeks so I haven't been able to do much anyway. (I don't have an indoor workshop)

The new saw has the ability to adjust the alignment--that was one of my requirements for purchase.

Again, thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 10:23AM
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Wait til the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) gets done with proposed regulations.

The attorneys that invented the 'saw stop' system have petitioned for a higher safety standard, no doubt wanting their patented system to be required.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 1:47PM
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SawStop cannot be done on portable saws---the direct drive type---which is the one that injured the person listed in the story.

The technology also cannot be added to an existing machine. It has to be built in.

It also can be disabled to use wet wood.The technology also does nothing to stop or minimize kickback, which is often the cause of those injuries.

Point is that using proper technique and proper existing guards, that kind of injury will not happen anyways.

And the inventor did NOT offer the technology to other manufacturers at a decent price point. He demanded way too much money/control to allow using manufacturers a decent profit.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 6:05PM
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