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TS Alignment Tools

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  • TS Alignment Tools

    I have a TS3660 tablesaw, and like to keep things accurate (and safe). Are tools such as the TS-Aligner ( overkill, or...? The basics are in the TS3660 manual, but really, just how good should TS alignment be, and what tools will suffice? The TS-Aligner product is nice, but at over $150 with dial indicator, it is pretty pricey. Is it necessary? I plan to get a Starrett combination square, and have an old dial indicator now. I am a rookie, so have no other wood working tools just yet.


    - Phil

  • #2
    Re: TS Alignment Tools

    You could get away with using a brass screw and a stick. Just set the stick in the miter slot and use another to make a cross that ends an inch or so from the blade. Thread in a brass (less likely to dull blade teeth) screw so the tooth on the lead edge of the blade just touches the screw then rotate the blade to the back and check the gap to the screw (use the same blade tooth). You could also pick up a set of digital calipers for about $30 that would work just as well and has many other useful applications after setting up the saw


    • #3
      Re: TS Alignment Tools

      Hi Phil

      I will tell you what is my opinion...I'm not a pro so you can take or leave it but, that's the way that I set my table saw blade and it works fine for me.

      All you want is the blade to cut a straight line and not pulling or pushing the wood during the cut so, the blade must be as parallel as it can be - to the miter slot and to the fence.

      While adjusting and checking the blade-to-miter slot, you must take into account:
      *"Arbor runout"....than means, that the Arbor is not running (turning) at perfect round (kind of a little bit eccentric) usually because of production inaccuracies.

      *"Blade runout"...that means that the blade is not turning on the same plan...kind of wobbling like a wobbling dado blade or in simple words, the blade disk is not perfectly flat.

      Excessive runout of both the arbor and the blade, can lead to excessive tear-out of the workpiece and larger than normal (1/8") saw blade kerf.

      There are many "Super-duper" checking jigs/instruments but all of them will tell you only one thing - the "Static alignment" and ....they want to take your money of course

      I divide the check into two:

      *Static check....and Wbrooks advise is very good for that

      *Dynamic check...this check already takes into account the "arbor runout" and the "blade runout" under normal operating condition and centrifugal forces involved.

      Actually, you can go directly to the "Dynamic check", skipping the "Static check" but if the blade is too much "out of alignment" the static check will save you some time.

      The "Dynamic check" is just a very fine adjustment of the blade to perfect parallel with the miter slot. do you make this "Dynamic check"......very, very simple...

      Clamp (I repeat, Clamp...not just holding by hand) a scrap (strip) of say, 1/2" x 1/2" to the miter gauge (actually, any dimensions of scrape will do).

      Now, start the table saw and push the scrape all the way pass the rear teeth of the blade BUT...when the scrape comes close to the rear teeth, go slowly and listen to the noise....

      *If you hear "Cutting" noise, you blade is too tight (or closed) at the back and should be turned clock-wise.

      *If you don't here any noise, your blade is too "Open" at the back side and should be turned counter clock-wise.

      *If you hear a "Scratching" hit the jack-pot....

      The "Dynamic check" should be done with the blade at "full height" position (so it will take all the wobbling into account), please be careful and use the blade guard.

      After you finish with the miter slot check (with the miter gauge), do the same check with your fence but this time, you have to adjust the FENCE till you hear the "Scratching noise"...please use a piece of wide board that you can easily control.

      As I said, it only my opinion and the way that I do it.

      I have somewhere the pics.....I just have to find them...



      • #4
        Re: TS Alignment Tools

        Originally posted by Phil3 View Post
        Are tools such as the TS-Aligner ( overkill, or...?
        I use to work In a machine shop so I have several dial indicators & layout/inspection tools. I did buy a Master Plate that helped out a lot when I aligned my 3650 TS.
        I was really surprised in how well aligned my 3650 was right from the factory! I even checked the arbor runout which was under .002 using a Swiss Made Interapid indicator.

        Since you already have a dial indicator all you would really need is a good quality blade & something to hold the indicator snugly in the miter channel!


        • #5
          Re: TS Alignment Tools

          i use a combination square on the blade (ride the base in the miter slot and extend the scale until I get the "Tick-Tick" sound on the same tooth of the blade. (I rotate the blade backward to prevent dulling the corner of the tooth.) WBrooks tip on using a brass screw is a better idea. I then align the fence by putting a 3/4" wide board on end in the miter slot and align the fence to it. (I do not put any kickout on my fence, but using a feeler gage as a shim, this method could be used for that alignment as well.
          As for Niki's dynamic check, I pretty much do that every time I start cutting wood. When I quit getting the "scratching" noise, I know its time for an alignment check.

          As for if the super tools (price wise) are worth it, that depends on what works for you and what you feel is trustworthy.

          Practicing at practical wood working