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Drift in my cuts?

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  • Drift in my cuts?

    I am new at this table saw thing so I would guess my problem probably has a name and a easy resolution.

    Problem: When I make a rip cut the part of the sheet I have already cut is drifting/pulling away from the fence. I am pretty sure that my blade is near perfectly aligned with the left t-slot, at least it was when I started.

    Does this mean my fence is not aligned with the blade? I used the eccentric lever to align my blade with the left t-slot. does using the eccentric lever have to do with it?

    Sure would appreciate your help.

  • #2
    Re: Drift in my cuts?

    You have to align the fence with the blade. It shows how to in the manual. Don't use it until you get this solved as you could suffer serious consequences. Aligning the blade with the slot has nothing to do with aligning the fence with the blade. They are two separate adjustments. Again, this is all explained in the manual.
    Last edited by Ray Dockrey; 04-27-2009, 02:23 PM.


    • #3
      Re: Drift in my cuts?

      Sorta sounds like it could be a case of operator error to me. If everything is aligned properly this should not happen. Are you sure that when you're moving the stock along through the blade that you're keeping it pressed against the fence? It doesn't take much to have your stock start to drift on you.
      I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


      • #4
        Re: Drift in my cuts?

        If the blade is properly aligned to the T slots then one should be able to (quick check) the alignment of the fence by the slot, line up over the edge of the slot and look and see if it is parallel or in line,

        your blade may be the fault as well if it hit a knot or nail and took the set off of one side your have fun trying to cut straight,

        is the cut right?
        is it parallel, say your wanting a 2" wide board, is it 2" wide
        or is tapered, narrower or wider at one end?

        many will say this is wrong but I set my fence with a touch of clearance on the back side or is set a little bit wider than at the front,of the saw, in respect to the blade,
        I seem to have more trouble if I have it exactly parallel with the blade.

        it may be an alignment Issue, (blade to table, or fence to table)

        a control issue, how your guiding the material through the saw,

        or a blade Issue, damage dull or not set or ground correct, or some thing else,
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
        attributed to Samuel Johnson
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        • #5
          Re: Drift in my cuts?

          Check the alignment of the splitter behind the blade too.


          • #6
            Re: Drift in my cuts?

            I use the same methods as BHD:
            - Align blade with the miter slot. After all, the slot is the *one* fixed, non-adjustable thing on the whole table saw! You want to use a dial caliper or something VERY precise for this. You only have about 8" of blade exposure to get this right.
            - After the blade is aligned with the miter slot, align the fence with the same miter slot. If you already have a precision tool for this (like, for doing the blade!) then this is a good time to use it again. Like BHD, I like a touch of clearance at the back. No more than 0.003" - 0.005".
            This allows a tiny bit of wood movement behind the blade without inviting kickback every time.

            I don't know what others use, but after a few test tries of different instruments, I've settled on the Aline-it basic. It works in any standard miter slot and I've used it to check my disc sander, bandsaw, and even the splitter since the bar is long enough to extend out past the miter slot.

            Now, here is a tip, and I'm also interested in otherss opinions on if they do this same or differently:
            Choose the miter slot you are most likely to use with an actual miter gauge, and align everything to that one.

            For me, I do miter cuts on the left of the blade (including with a sled) and I do fence cuts on the right. Because of this, I use the left side miter gauge for all alignment purposes.
            So, align your blade based on the left hand slot. *Align your fence* based on the left hand slot, as well. If the slots happen to be parallel, great, but this negates any discrepancies between your miter gauge cuts and fence cuts.