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  • rip fence adjustment

    hello everyone! i would like to thank everyone responsible for this invaluable forum, most especially those who take their time to answer questions and share knowledge.

    i just recently bought the ts3650 and have been happy with it so far. that is until i started "fine tuning". could not leave well enough alone. i am getting a ts aligner soon but until then i am stuck with my try and miter squares that are not so square. anyway i am trying to get my fence parallell to the blade and i am having the most difficult time. i noticed recently when cutting stock, the blade kicks up a lot of dust from the rear. after checking blade alignment i noticed the trunion bolts were not tight enough. only then did i remember reading something about that in one of the threads. well that's taken cared of but that prompted me to check the fence. first of all i noticed that the fence is not square to the table. i shimmed it with paper but i wonder if there is another way to do it. i remember seeing some thin sheets of brass and aluminum at the hobbyshack and i'm wondering if those will work. also since i don't have a micrometer yet i wonder if i could just put factory cut mdf or even laminate flooring against the blade, butt the fence right next to it then tighten the screws? i wonder if i should loosen all four bolts of the fence or just do the three when aligning (a la trunion bolts)? now when checking for squareness of the fence to table, how do i do it if the fence is not perfectly flat? just eye it? i've read that artists triangles are pretty accurate, can anyone reccommend a brand? how about an engineer's square? any particular brand i should look for at rockler's? okay i think i'm gonna stop right here for now. i do have more questions but will save them for another time. thanks again!

  • #2
    Re: rip fence adjustment

    I assume when you say the fence is not square to the table, you mean that the vertical surface of the fence is not square. Mine may be but I do not know for sure. I installed an auxiliary fence the 2nd day I had it. It ended up vertically square without shimming, but an aux fence is easy to shim. I made mine a couple inches taller than the stock fence which allows me to run a variety of jigs on it and makes it easy to clamp featherboards, stop blocks, etc to it. It also saves wear and tear on the fence as well as stiffens the aluminum extrusion form the occasional mishap when removing and reinstalling it.
    As for front to back square (parallel to the blade), I have had the best luck loosening three screws and then just slightly loosening the fourth one so that it acts as a snug pivot point. You should be aligning it to the miter slot and not the blade. The blade is then aligned to the miter slot. I retighten the screws hand tight first and then a quarter turn each until they are all tight to avoid the screws from torquing it out of alignment. The first screw I tighten is the one diagonally from the "snug" pivot screw.
    If you have a straight board 3/4" thick x 2+" wide as long as the table that fits tight (on edge) into the miter slot, you could try holding the fence tight against it while tightening the screws which should get you quite close. Butting it up to the blade is not advisable because: #1 - most blades will flex some with side pressure, and #2 - its only a 9" wide surface at the base, and you want it parallel the entire length of the table for best results.
    Also, check to ensure the two nylon tabs on the "T" part of the fence are tight. This is what the base of the fence aligns on when you push down on the lock lever (they fit down in the slot of the front rail when the fence is installed). Flip the fence over and you will see the screws/tabs on the bottom of the "T". If either of these is loose, the fence will not lock consistently square to anything.

    Hope this helps. If not, please reply.

    Go
    Practicing at practical wood working

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: rip fence adjustment

      thanks for replying and for all the tips! sorry i took so long to reply - i forgot my login name and password. good thing my trash (email) hasn't been emptied. i did realign the fence to the miter slot as you suggested and it's no longer kicking up dust from the rear. i am wondering though, since it will be a while before i get an auxilliary fence, don't the rails need to be parallell to one another for the fence to stay parallell to the miter slot/blade? what about rail height on the front and back? what are your thoughts on these? and yes i will be getting an auxialliary fence soon!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: rip fence adjustment

        If the rails aren't parallel front to back, the fence may be looser where the rails are closest together. If they are canted up or down, it can cause the fence to drag where the rails are low. If one is low and the other high, it could clause a minor squareness problem unless there is a big difference( ie bent rail), but the main irritation is that your fence or aux fence will drag at one point or another. If the front and rear are parallel, but not at exacly the same heighth, it will not be a problem as long as the fence clearance to table is adjusted correctly. Both must be below the bottom of the miter slots or they will cause a problem with the miter guage.
        Summary: as long as the rails are not bent or distorted by improper installation of the spacer rod at the end, and as long as they are below the miter slot, they should not cause a lot of problem. The mount bolt holes don't allow much lee way for major misalignment.

        Go
        Practicing at practical wood working

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: rip fence adjustment

          thanks again! whew! if all goes well then i guess i won't have to spend for an aftermarket fence. have you by any chance worked with bamboo? i want to build a tea box using bamboo chopping boards but i was told bamboo flakes and shreds when sanded. i'm thinking how they got it to be nice and smooth in the first place. will also post at tips and techniques. again, thank you!

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