Table saw adjustments

Cuprousworks

Mike
User
Today when ripping some boards I noticed a gap between boards and fence at the end of the table. A quick check showed the fence face significantly (maybe 3/16ths?) Out of parallel with the miter slot. I adjusted it to be parallel, but I wonder:

1. How often should a table saw setup be checked? I can't remember the last time I checked it. I take off the the fence often to used the top as table, I don't know if I knocked it out of square or something else caused it? The screws seemed to be tight when I adjusted it.
2. I tried to adjust the fence to be parallel to the miter slot and I notice that I now get burn marks at the tail end of ripped maple. Should I 'toe out' the fence away from the slot to give relief? At this point there's minor scorching but no kickback.

Thanks for your advice!
Mike
 

Oka

Oka
Corporate Member
I check mine once a month, shouldn't need to but I always double check everything. You might have hit the blade on one side so it is not cutting evenly.

If the fence parallel is wonky check the blade with a straight edge to the miter slot, make sue that is good, then go from there
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
I believe the gap between board and fence might be operator error.
The table should first be adjusted so the miter slot is parallel to the blade. First check that there is no run-out on the blade, then use a dial gauge.
Next step is to adjust the fence. Most adjust parallel, I always toe out my fence 1/16”
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
My blade is parallel to the table slots within .001 inch.

I set it 15 years ago and check it when I think about it, maybe 3-5 years.

The rip fence is about .005 away from the blade at the exit.

I check it 2-3 times a year And usually have to adjust.

Fences get knocked around and most are not robust enough to begin with.
 

Ed Fasano

Ed
Senior User
My adjustments/tolerances and frequency of measurement mirror Mike's. I use a TS Aligner JR dial indicator, which is quite accurate and takes the guesswork out of it. There are a number of alignment/adjustment rigs on the market. As long as the dial indicator can sit solidly in the miter gauge slots (e.g. the TS Aligner's opposing ball bearings or the simple and effective Woodpeckers design), both the blade-to-slot and fence-to-slot can be measured and adjusted as needed. Some rigs provide for setups for machines other than table saw measurements.

A decent dial caliper (digital or analog) can, with a miter gauge slot adapter, serve as a make-shift dial indicator.

I saw the Wood Whisperer suggest using a combination square set against the wall of a miter gauge slot to gauge the parallelism of the fence to the slot. Better than nothing I suppose, but this seemed a bit like a solution from 1961.

Btw, I'm not sure if the TS Aligner JR is still being made.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
My adjustments/tolerances and frequency of measurement mirror Mike's. I use a TS Aligner JR dial indicator, which is quite accurate and takes the guesswork out of it. There are a number of alignment/adjustment rigs on the market. As long as the dial indicator can sit solidly in the miter gauge slots (e.g. the TS Aligner's opposing ball bearings or the simple and effective Woodpeckers design), both the blade-to-slot and fence-to-slot can be measured and adjusted as needed. Some rigs provide for setups for machines other than table saw measurements.

A decent dial caliper (digital or analog) can, with a miter gauge slot adapter, serve as a make-shift dial indicator.

I saw the Wood Whisperer suggest using a combination square set against the wall of a miter gauge slot to gauge the parallelism of the fence to the slot. Better than nothing I suppose, but this seemed a bit like a solution from 1961.

Btw, I'm not sure if the TS Aligner JR is still being made.
All good points.

I also see some crazy methods of trying to check precision alignment with less than accurate measuring devices.

The saw blade being the most common. Get yourself a
Freud® 10" Calibration & Sanding Disk
$29.95


But, NEVER use it for sanding. I keep mine in the original sleeve and only use it for checking table saws.
I treat it like any of my precision measuring instruments so it will remain accurate.
 

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