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Miter Slot uneven

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  • Miter Slot uneven

    Hello, I have been trying to get my new 3660 dialed in and the trouble I'm having is that the miter slot is quite uneven. I would say about 0.010 depending on where you check it. I found this by thinking i was bowed on the fence since I was sliding the dial indicator back and forth and that was the swing I was getting no matter what i was doing with the fence. I tried to cut some blocks that would fit a bit tighter in the slot and found that dropping the block in the middle would jam completely as i slid front or back. I did a forum search and read about sanding the slots but these seem to be out pretty far. Is sanding the slots standard fare for a table saw? If so how much sanding is normal? By the videos and info I have seen it seems standard to be within .001 or .002 for blade and fence squareness to the slot . I guess the question is , am I within normal range of manufacturing tolerance on these machines? Obviously this is not a normal issue or I would have heard more of this reading these forums or is it and everyone is sanding the slots because that is a normal thing to do? I would probably be willing to have a go at taking the main section to a machine shop to get these slots machined to be at least even and equal distance apart if I was looking at sanding a new one anyway. This is my first table saw so I really have no comparison. Thanks for any input. Curt

  • #2
    Re: Miter Slot uneven

    If I am understanding correctly your miter slot is bowed, not jsut off, and it is off by 1/100 of one inch, and this is over a distance of 30 inches or so? (I am not saying it should not be tad better, but if I am understanding correctly I do not think it is really bad either,

    (IF I milled a slot with my Bridgeport mill 30" long and it was with in tolerance of .010 I know I would be happy with it. yes my mill is 40 years old and worn).

    I have done wood working for a good many of years and yes you want things done right and good, but wood is not precise, it will not hold tolerance, IT moves, why do you not glue wood panels in paneled doors? So it does not rip it self apart when it moves.

    you could (and I doubt if you can cut wood to 1/100" tolerances) but if you could and lay that board down and then come back a day or two later and you have the tools to measure it my guess is it will not be the same as you cut it the day before, either by temperature or humidity changes in the air.

    I know ever body wants there tools perfect, and with out flaw,

    but if the blade is as parallel to the miter slots as you can get and the fence, or (in my instance I have a little clearance in my the tail of my fence is a tad wider on the tail end side), your saw should preform well,

    IF you think that the top is not correct, I suggest you return it and take the tools to check out the replacement unit before bringing it home,

    and who knows your fence may have some bow in it or flaw as well that could be multiplying the reading some,
    with a machinist straight edge (one guaranteed to be straight to with a few thousands,) it will be very hard to measure or see that 1/100 of an inch in some other manner,
    here is a lower cost unit
    Last edited by BHD; 07-31-2008, 10:23 AM.
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    • #3
      Re: Miter Slot uneven

      What I'm trying to say is this. The miter slot closes in and then opens up in a couple of places along the length of it. One part is loose then another is snug then loose again all within the distance from just in front of the blade to just past it. I cut a block of wood to fit snug in the slot. It will fit in the slot but I cannot slide it more than about an inch or two either way before it gets stuck. It seems the casting was not cleaned up very well and that is where i think I'm getting the variation. I got some sand paper and am going to have at it. My main concern was trying to get the blade to slot fence to slot adjustments close enough so I'm getting a clean cut and that is proving more difficult then I had hoped. I thought it was dialed in then testing proves otherwise. It would be impossible to make a crosscut sled with the slots like this that was not just as wobbly as the miter gage either could I use a adjustable one since snug in one part of the slot will not pass through the rest of it. I was just asking if I'm wasting my time since there is no way to square a blade to a slot that is not square by that much. I checked the fence with a straight edge and i do not get any light gaps so it is pretty straight so far as i can tell. I have a machine shop that can square this thing up and get everything nice and chamfered etc given the cost of this saw it might be worth a small investment to have the table cleaned up a bit I would still be ahead of the cost of powermatic etc...


      • #4
        Re: Miter Slot uneven

        OK after some file work and sanding i got the block to travel all the way through ONE slot...will work on the other one later. further checking showed i had the rear of the blade tapered into the fence about .07 and the fence was surprisingly pretty good with a taper away about .03 so that is where i was getting the pinch on the material....this saw works much better when the material doesn't want to fly out at me..LOL Now it looks like i need a little more sanding to get it dialed in and smoothed out then i can work on the other slot which is almost as bad as the first one. Me and my saw are bonding...