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  • Another alignment thread...

    What would cause a piece of 3/4 ply about 15" x 70" to not cut straight down the long side? Meaning I want the piece to be about 14.5" x 70", so I locked my fence in at 14.5", double checked the distance from the fence to the blade with a tape measure and proceeded to rip. This is after I checked the alignment of the miter slot to the blade and the fence to the miter slot. I did notice that as I was running the piece, when it would reach the end of the fence, after it passed through the blade, it would start showing a gap away from the fence, almost like something was pulling it to the left. I had the guard/splitter attached and was using a featherboard in the miter slot. Am I missing something? I had the pieces cut at the lumber place on their sheet cutting machine. I guess it's possible that their machine could have not cut it straight. Would there be anything on my TS that would cause it not to cut straight if everything was aligned? TS is 3650 with stock fence. Blade is a pretty new Ridgid 10" 50 tooth combo blade.

    I'm making a built-in and the pieces are going to be used for the sides of the bookshelf above the cabinet.

  • #2
    Re: Another alignment thread...

    First check your panel with a square to see if the original cut is square, however even if it isn't it should stay tight to your fence. I had the same problem when I first assembled my table saw and found that the back end of my blade guard was adjusted slightly left of the front part and was pulling whatever I cut away from the fence. A minor adjustment and it solved the problem.

    Chuck

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    • #3
      Re: Another alignment thread...

      Charles had a very good idea there. To check my splitter, I used a 4' level (anything over 2' would work) and another very straight edge, which I think was a 3' piece of maple that I jointed on one edge to get a straight edge. You just need 2 straight edges to hold up against both sides of the blade (since you know your blade is straight to the miter slot), and extend out beyond the back of the splitter.

      Line both pieces up with the blade, and see how your splitter is at the back. If it's off, loosen the 3 bolts that hold it and with the straight edge held tight to the blade, align the splitter front to back. This method, while it seems troublesome and pesky, works very well. Once aligned, the splitter can be removed and replaced time after time and will stay right on.
      I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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      • #4
        Re: Another alignment thread...

        I hate to say it but it sound like your feed technique could be the problem here. I could be wrong but it sounds like you maybe didn't keep the work piece firmly pressed against the fence all the way through the cut.
        ================================================== ====
        ~~Don't worry about old age; it doesn't last that long.

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        • #5
          Re: Another alignment thread...

          If you are using an outfeed roller and it is not set parallel to the saws tabletop, it can steer the board away from the fence.

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          • #6
            Re: Another alignment thread...

            Thanks for the responses guys...

            Originally posted by Charles Seehuetter Panama View Post
            First check your panel with a square to see if the original cut is square, however even if it isn't it should stay tight to your fence. I had the same problem when I first assembled my table saw and found that the back end of my blade guard was adjusted slightly left of the front part and was pulling whatever I cut away from the fence. A minor adjustment and it solved the problem.
            Chuck
            Didn't check the panels initially...just assumed they were square. Won't make that mistake again. I have to get 2 more panels cut for the other bookshelf, so I will definately be checking them this time. I will also be checking my splitter. Thanks...

            Originally posted by VASandy View Post
            Charles had a very good idea there. To check my splitter, I used a 4' level (anything over 2' would work) and another very straight edge, which I think was a 3' piece of maple that I jointed on one edge to get a straight edge. You just need 2 straight edges to hold up against both sides of the blade (since you know your blade is straight to the miter slot), and extend out beyond the back of the splitter.

            Line both pieces up with the blade, and see how your splitter is at the back. If it's off, loosen the 3 bolts that hold it and with the straight edge held tight to the blade, align the splitter front to back. This method, while it seems troublesome and pesky, works very well. Once aligned, the splitter can be removed and replaced time after time and will stay right on.
            Thanks for the explanantion... Will be checking the alignment before any more cuts are made.

            Originally posted by BadgerDave View Post
            I hate to say it but it sound like your feed technique could be the problem here. I could be wrong but it sounds like you maybe didn't keep the work piece firmly pressed against the fence all the way through the cut.
            I guess I have to question what is the correct feed technique. I'm still a rookie, so I'm willing to learn from whoever is willing to teach. I basically setup a featherboard in the left miter slot with the tips of the feathers up against the board about 1/2-1" behind the blade and then pushed the piece through the cut. I stand behind the blade, a little to the right. Are there any videos of the correct technique anywhere? Thanks...

            Originally posted by jbateman View Post
            If you are using an outfeed roller and it is not set parallel to the saws tabletop, it can steer the board away from the fence.
            I'm using basically using 2 saw horses with a 3/4 panel of ply as my outfeed table. Should I be building a better system? Thanks...

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            • #7
              Re: Another alignment thread...

              The sawhorses and ply may cause a problem if your board is catching at all or dipping when it transitions from TS top to the outfeed. I use the Ridgid Fliptops (they go on sale at HD from time to time) right now for outfeed even with ply panels, as I haven't made an outfeed table yet (yes...I'm that lazy!!).

              I think from your description you have the featherboard set and that should keep things aligned. I'm betting it's the tail of the splitter kicking the panel out, or it's the outfeed table shifting slightly. Just for future reference, I've always placed my featherboards slightly ahead of the blade. Should they go after the blade?
              I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Another alignment thread...

                Originally posted by sawhorse75 View Post
                I'm using basically using 2 saw horses with a 3/4 panel of ply as my outfeed table. Should I be building a better system? Thanks...
                I use craftsman ball bearing roller stands. They are great because a panel can roll front/back and right/left on them so they won't pull it on you. They can also flip to be regular rollers or just stationary.

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                • #9
                  Re: Another alignment thread...

                  Originally posted by VASandy View Post
                  I use the Ridgid Fliptops (they go on sale at HD from time to time) right now for outfeed even with ply panels, as I haven't made an outfeed table yet (yes...I'm that lazy!!).

                  I think from your description you have the featherboard set and that should keep things aligned. I'm betting it's the tail of the splitter kicking the panel out, or it's the outfeed table shifting slightly. Just for future reference, I've always placed my featherboards slightly ahead of the blade. Should they go after the blade?
                  I second (and third) the recommendation on the Ridgid Fliptops outfeed stands. I used one as my primary outfeed support for a long time, until I built an outfeed table a couple months ago (pics to come someday...). I still use the Fliptops for infeed support for long board and just bought another the other day to use as my dedicated planer outfeed (I'm getting lazy and tired of adjusting the height for table saw use or planer use...) Unless roller stands, they dont' take the wood in any direction. Roller stands, once they start rolling, take the wood in the direction of the roller. So if you don't have them perfectly parallel to your feed direction, that can cause some problems. The ball bearing style are better... but the fliptops are the best, IMHO.

                  Anyway, this definitely sounds like splitter mis-alignment. Just recently I screwed up a bunch of long rip cuts because my splitter had gotten a tad off kilter (sitting around on a bench for a while...) and kept pulling the boards leftward as they exited the blade. 15 minutes of careful alignment and re-setting the splitter and all is well now. One important thing of note (IMO) regarding the splitter: The splitter is a tad narrower than the blade. So you should make sure the proper coplanar alignment is ON THE SIDE OF THE BLADE YOU NORMALLY CUT. I make 99% of my cuts on the right side of the blade. So I needed to adjust the splitter to line up on the right side of the blade. If you normally cut on the left side of the blade, align the splitter on the left!

                  Finally, you definitely should have the featherboard in front of the blade... (e.g. on the same side of the blade that you stand at the front of the saw) about 1"-2" in front of where the blade starts to cut the wood. If you put it behind the blade (where the cut board comes out on the other side) you stand a VERY good chance of pinching the board around the blade and you'll be in for a very unpleasant introduction to "kick back". You won't like it. Your face, ribs, eyes and workshop windows won't like it...
                  But, from your description I think you might be okay, you just got your terms backwards, 'cuz you also said you "... stand behind the blade, a little to the right." I hope you're not really behind the blade.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Another alignment thread...

                    If the blade is damaged or the set of the teeth have been knocked off of one side, could also cause the problem
                    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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                    • #11
                      Re: Another alignment thread...

                      Well it appears that the issue was with......the splitter. Took my framing square and lined it up against the blade and sure enough, the splitter tailed out to the left about a 1/8-3/16 of an inch deflection from the front of the splitter (closest to blade) to the back. Took a few minutes to readjust and it was lined up flush with the right side of the blade. I then proceeded to cut a 6" x 48" piece of 3/4 ply down the long side and it not only cut smoother, but it also cut straighter (didn't pull away from the rear of the fence) and without some of those pesky burn marks that seemed to show up before.

                      Thank you to all that responded. This forum has been a tremendous help..

                      And to Wood Junkie...yes, my terms were a little mixed up. I keep the featherboard about an 1" in front of the blade..., not behind...

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                      • #12
                        Re: Another alignment thread...

                        I guess I have to question what is the correct feed technique. I'm still a rookie, so I'm willing to learn from whoever is willing to teach. I basically setup a featherboard in the left miter slot with the tips of the feathers up against the board about 1/2-1" behind the blade and then pushed the piece through the cut. I stand behind the blade, a little to the right.
                        I am slightly confused by the discription of your technique?
                        I am assuming that you are cutting with the rip fence to the right of the blade....by your discription of the featherboard in the left slot.
                        So, how are you standing "behind the blade, a little to the right"?
                        Your workpiece should be between you and the fence....all to the left of the fence. Most people push foreward with their right hand and toward the fence with the left.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Another alignment thread...

                          Originally posted by LONGHAIR View Post
                          I am slightly confused by the discription of your technique?
                          I am assuming that you are cutting with the rip fence to the right of the blade....by your discription of the featherboard in the left slot.
                          So, how are you standing "behind the blade, a little to the right"?
                          Your workpiece should be between you and the fence....all to the left of the fence. Most people push foreward with their right hand and toward the fence with the left.
                          I may just be mixing up terms here. I mean I stand in front of the table saw, so the fence it to the right of the blade and the featherboard attaches to the miter slot on the left side of the blade. I stand slightly offset to the right of the blade and push the stock through the cut slow and steady, with either a push block or push stick.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Another alignment thread...

                            Sawhorse,

                            You might try standing to the left of the blade. With your featherboard in the left slot if you're right handed, you can push the workpiece through the blade with your right hand, using a push stick or block and guiding the piece toward the fence with your left and the feather board. This way you're not directly behind the blade and if anything bad happens you're out of the way. I put my right foot slightly behind the left one to help maintain a steady push. The power switch should be on the left side in my opinion so that it's in easy reach of your left hand if it's needed.


                            There's more than one way to skin a cat but this one works for me.

                            Blind Bill

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