Accurize Your Tablesaw Rutland VT
West Rutland, VT
Fair Haven, VT
Accurize Your Tablesaw
Accurize Your Tablesaw
Super-tune your saw for absolutely straight, smooth and burn-free cuts.
by Richard Tendick
When my contractor’s saw was new, it cut perfectly. Over the years, it gradually went out of whack. I’ll show you what I did to accurize it so that my blade cuts true again.
Precisely aligning your saw’s blade doesn’t require any special tools, but it sure helps to have a dial indicator. An inexpensive one costs only $20. Some special hardware is also a big help when you make small adjustments under the table (see “PALS Simplifies Alignment", below). You don’t need this hardware to follow my procedures, but I guarantee it will save you time and frustration.
Have You Had These Problems?
Accurizing your saw should solve one or more of these aggravating problems. With the blade set at 90 degrees, your rip cuts may be burnt (A). On the other hand, your boards may pull away from the fence (B). Wide crosscuts may tail off, out of square (C). But even if those cuts are perfect, you might have similar problems with the blade set at 45 degrees (D).
Before you begin the accurizing procedures, make sure your fence lines up perfectly with the miter-gauge slot. In addition, check your miter gauge. It should be exactly set to 90 degrees and shouldn’t wobble in the slot. These fixes could solve all your problems right away.
Trunnion Brackets are the Answer
The mechanism under a contractor saw is relatively simple (see photo, right). Two trunnions, connected by long tie rods, allow the blade to tilt. The trunnions have semicircular raised ridges that ride in grooves in the trunnion brackets. This mechanism allows the blade to tilt.
The trunnion brackets are bolted to the table through oversized holes. Loosen the bolts and you can move the brackets back and forth more than 1/8 in. Vibration can cause the rear bracket to move, which skews the blade out of alignment. The solution to this problem is to move the bracket back to its proper position. That only solves half the problem, however.
Your blade can be perfectly aligned at 90 degrees and still be off at 45 degrees. How does that happen? When you tilt the blade, you also tilt the motor, which is cantilevered off the back of the trunnion tie rods. Over time, vibration and the motor’s weight may cause the rods to twist in relation to each other, so they’re not in the same plane. This shifts the rear trunnion and skews the blade. Moving or lifting the saw by the motor may have the same effect.
If you could look through the table of a contractor’s saw, here’s what you would find. The trunnion brackets are bolted to the underside. Loosening these bolts allows you to move the brackets, which realigns the blade to the miter slot.
You can solve the 45-degree alignment problem in two ways. I prefer to lower one or both trunni...