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Jerry-Rig
Woodcarving Tools, Technology & Sharpening

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  #1  
Old 01-15-2006, 12:27 AM
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Default Straight cuts on Table Saw

Hey everyone,

I am having a really hard time getting straight cuts off of a table saw. I line up the guide, measure the distance from the front of the blade to the guide, and the back of the blade to the guide to make sure they are both equal. Then I power it on, and run the wood through but I never seem to get a perfectly straight cut. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do? Could there be something wrong with my table saw? Would quality of the wood or tablesaw affect this? Am I even using the right type of saw to get precise cuts? Thanks.

-Dan
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Old 01-15-2006, 12:40 AM
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Default Re: Straight cuts on Table Saw

If your alignment is true, have you tried a feather board?
http://www.woodzone.com/tips/featherboard.htm
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Old 01-15-2006, 12:44 AM
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Default Re: Straight cuts on Table Saw

Some table saws, more specifically their fences, are drastically off. That, in my opinion, is the difference in saws, the fence system. Fence systems have drastically improved in the last 4 or 5 years. Take a mediochre saw and add a great fence system and you'll have a pretty good saw that will do a great job! A good saw with a great fence system will do an incredible job! An incredible saw with an incredible fence system...there went
Three grand!!!! Maybe later!
Wade
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Old 01-15-2006, 12:47 AM
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Default Re: Straight cuts on Table Saw

Featherboard? Dog-gone-it!!!!! Now I've got to start learning all over!!!!!!!!!!!!
If wood working was as advanced as my Wife's sewing machines...Her Viking Quilt Designers do things that i could only dream of doing in wood...then we'd all be incredible geniouses!!! By the way, I sold my pool table to buy her the best machine I could find...money well spent on the best person I've ever known!
Wade

Last edited by wade clark; 01-15-2006 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 01-15-2006, 07:30 AM
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Default Re: Straight cuts on Table Saw

Dan, check an see if your blade is bent. Rotate the blade by hand a little at a time and check the distance to the fence front and back as you work your way around the blade. It should be the same all the way around. Oh yes unplug the saw first! Good luck.
Roger
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Old 01-15-2006, 07:56 AM
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Default Re: Straight cuts on Table Saw

Dan, what you have gotten so far is good advice. One other thing I would suggest you check is the front (away from you) end of the fence. One of the biggest problems with fences is their ability to lock tight at the front end. To check, take you hand and put some slight pressure against the front. If it gives a little, that may be your problem.

Chuck
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Old 01-15-2006, 08:08 AM
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Default Re: Straight cuts on Table Saw

Dan, A practice that I got used too a long time ago was to follow up measuring the distance from the blade to the fence, by measuring the distance between the fence and the miter gauge guide/slot or the edge of the table. I do this at two points, front and back. They must be exactly the same. If not readjust the fence until they are. I especially do this when operating a strange saw. Old habits never die, LOL TOM H
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Old 01-15-2006, 08:29 AM
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Default Re: Straight cuts on Table Saw

The big question is, what kind/brand of saw is it? Some of the cheapies willnever line up right!
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Old 01-15-2006, 08:39 AM
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Default Re: Straight cuts on Table Saw

Another thing to check.....on the saw blades, every other tooth, or every third tooth if there are rakers, is "set" to a different side of the blade. Make sure you are measuring from the INSIDE tooth, on the fence side, when taking your measurements, and make sure you get a tooth with the same set on the front AND the back of the blade, and as close to the table surface as possible. Getting the opposing teeth as reference points can cant your fence over 1/16" front to back of the blade.

Al
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Old 01-15-2006, 09:08 AM
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Default Re: Straight cuts on Table Saw

I measure from the fence to a table slot at the front and back.
Check for a warped blade by laying on a flat surface (table top)
If your fence is square to the table and you have a good blade and still are not getting a good cut, your table has gotten out of square with the trunnions(sp) check for misalignment by measuring from a blade tooth to a table slot, rotate blade and measure the same tooth to the slot. These measurements should match. If they don't, look under the table for the 4 bolts that bolt the carraige to the table. Slightly loosen and tap the carriage until it is square to the table, again measure same tooth to slot, front and back.
If your carriage is not square to the table, you will always have trouble getting your fence parallel to the blade. This also creates a kick-back situation.
If you have a manual for the saw, it should explain this adjustment.
Hope this helps.
Jeff
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