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Aligning my table saw: The fence is getting further out of square the further from..

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  • Aligning my table saw: The fence is getting further out of square the further from..

    Well, I am at my wit’s end (almost) with getting my saw aligned. The good thing is that I have learned a lot and have made my own jig to help out with the task.

    I noticed a problem when I started to notice a rooster tail putting a lot of dust on the table. No big deal so I aligned the blade using a stick with a screw in it. Thanks for the link on that Pat. Got that corrected and then I noticed that I had made the problem worse. Checked the fence and sure enough, it was out bad. Corrected the fence and still had a rooster tail.

    I start looking at the alignment every night and finally buought a dial caliper and attach it to a stick that is attached to my miter gauge. I decide to trash my stock blade in place of a new 80 tooth Frued blade.

    I get the blade dialed in to within 0.001" by finding the tooth the furthest out and then zeroing out my gauge, then rotating that tooth to the other side and moving the gauge to the other end to measure. The gauge moves ~0.001" or less so I figure that is good. I have tried to get this to zero and it is getting close. I feel that maybe I have a small amount of tilt in my blade but I have checked this and rechecked this using a square and everything looks good.

    I then align my fence using the dial caliper. Keep in mind I aligned it relatively close to the blade, maybe 4" out from the blade. I go to cutting wood (7/8" maple) on it and it does almost perfect.

    The further out I go from the blade I start getting black burn marks on my stock. At 7" I am out pretty good but by 24" I am out about 3/32". Holy crap. What causes this? The fence closest to the front of the table is further in than fence on the back side of the table.

    What can I do to correct this problem? I am totally clueless on what to do. This makes me want to purchase an aftermarket fence system. I have aligned and aligned on this thing to the point I am not getting anything done.

    Thanks for any help,


    [ 08-10-2003, 08:37 PM: Message edited by: wizkid ]

  • #2
    Eric, just to make sure I understand, are you ripping with an 80-tooth Freud blade?

    Also, if I understand, you are concerned about the fence being parallel to the blade far away. Try putting the dial gage on a piece of wood and clamp it to the miter gage. Make sure the miter gage bar is on one side of the channel or the other (not cocked) and read how much out of parallel your fence is at 24" or so. How much out of parallel is it?


    • #3
      Sounds like maybe the fence rails (front, back, or both) are slightly off from perpendicular to the table. This which would account for the problem getting worse the further you go out. A small angle off would cause only a very small error when the fence is close to the blade, but it would get consistently worse the further out you go. Try placing a good straight edge along the front of the tablesaw and make sure that the fence is aligned with it all the way out. repeat with the back edge.


      • #4
        yes, I am cutting with an 80 tooth Freud blade. TK806 I was just putting that in for the sake to say I have swapped the blade out to rule out a bad blade.

        Th further out I go the worse out of paraelell the fence gets with the miter gauge. I just realigned it again 3" out from the blade and had it within 0.001". Moved it to 22" and watched 0.050" roll off on the guage out of parraelell from one end of the fence to the other.

        I looked up under the table and noticed I had put two gold shims in the last bolt in teh table on the back rail guide on the back right side. I am going to pull the out and report back. Placeing a 24" straight edge against the front of the table just above the front rails it was even steven with the rail as it left hte table.

        The rear rail was a little out (toward the rear) when I put the straight edge on it.




        • #5
          Well, check back tomorrow please. I have it all ready to come apart but one 3/32" hex wrench to get the end rod off. $h!t! This is killing me.

          I have had a love/hate relationship with table saws all my life and most of them were hate and that was directly toward the fence system. I hope this solves my problems and thanks for the ideas. I had thought the rails may be a problem but could not think of a way to test it out until you mentioned the straigt edge against the table. Thank you!

          Will report tomorrow night most defintely!!



          • #6
            UPDATE: After having a good nights sleep and not thinking about the table at all today, yeah right, I got back and removed the rod and rear rail assembly.

            I then rechecked with a straight edge on the front and rear of the table. Oh man! I have a problem. The front of the table is out bad. The right wing tuck's inside a full 1/16" if not 3/32". Ouch!

            The rear side of the right wing tuck out about 1/32" to 1/16". The wing is flush with the table where they meet so I am stumped. I guess I will shim this nightmare with the included gold shims till it works out right. I may even adjust that wing a little toward the rear.

            Anyone have any thoughts on this? Could this really cause my fence to lock out of parallel?


            I am getting there!!


            [ 08-11-2003, 10:19 PM: Message edited by: wizkid ]


            • #7
              I would say it's definetly in the fence rails. Just to let you know, I deliberatly shimmed the last 24 inchs of my fence, to the right of the blade farther away from from the table in the infeed side. Why you ask? In cutting solid stock, it's most generally ripping on my table saw. The fence is perfect for nearly 3 feet right of the blade. beyond that, you might as well say you'll be cutting sheet goods, cross wise.

              It's my experience, that when ripping sheet goods, it's a trick to lean the fence, just every so slightly away from the blade on the exit side. If I have to cross cut a long solid board, it's done either on the CMS or the RAS.

              I know this is not common practic, but it works for me. I have nearly 6' of rails to the right, and over 2 1/2 feet of rails to the left. With the RAS and CMS, I find no need for a sled or sliding miter table. Though a decent miter gauge, like the in Incra 1000SE would be really really sweet to add. Just funds are not there right now for me.

              On the stock 3612, I would say you would want the rails in perfect harmony alignment with the blade all the way. If your making cabinets, and using sheet goods, it's a must. That's the reason for the first 3' on mine is in perfect harmony with the blade.

              One thing you might consider is, alot of posts have realated to the cast webbed extension wings are not square. Prime indicator for such a flaw like on yours. Mine on my 2424 is as well. Shimming, solved that though. Nothing is perfect in this world that's mass produced. If it was, it would cost as much as a Lexus.
              John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


              • #8
                If your rails are not perfectly perpendicular to the table, it would definitely cause this problem. Sounds like you have some shimming to do which is not out of the ordinary.


                • #9
                  Well, no progress besides getting it torn down in the rear. Spent the last two evenings getting my driveway ready for a concrete pour. [img]smile.gif[/img] It will be nice to finally have a nice driveway.

                  Then I had to perform a few PDA upgrades so I can be productive at work.

                  So hopefully, tomorrow night, I will get a few minutes to get the rear rail setup correctly with the shims. I think I am going to need some extra shims, I can tell you that. The shimming part seems very clear to me know. At the time I put the saw together I could not understand why I needed to shim. I guess I got confused reading the directions somehow. Thanks for the straight-edge comment because that put it all together for me.

                  Will check back in a day or two to give an update.

                  Thanks again,


                  [ 08-12-2003, 11:30 PM: Message edited by: wizkid ]


                  • #10

                    I had the same problem with the fence getting further away from the blade as soon as my fence crossed over above the webbed wing.

                    With a straight edge on the front of the center table, the corner of he webbed wing bolted to the main table was right on the straight edge and then the far end was about 1/32".

                    When I had posted the problem the moderator at that time hooked up with me, got my address and sent me a new wing.

                    If your problem seems the same, contact the parts group and ask for a new wing.

                    good luck

                    Currently posting from Sydney in wonderfully cool winter weather.
                    <a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


                    • #11
                      Well, I went downstairs and spent some time removing my fence system totally. That sucked!

                      I will be calling the parts department tomorrow for sure and asking for a new wing because it is out a 1/16" at the edge of the wing. (Tucked toward the center of the table. That is really not a problem since I can shim that no problem.

                      ----> The problem is that on the back side of that wing it is out 1/16" away from the table!! Now that throws a kink in my plans!! If I can't get a new wing I am going to take it to a machine shop and have it belt sanded down 1/16" on that back side to fix this problem.

                      The opposite wing is identitcal (because it is onthe other side the front is out and the back is in. Good thing I don't use the fence on the left side of the blade so that don't matter in the BIG scheme of things I guess.


                      [ 08-13-2003, 09:47 PM: Message edited by: wizkid ]


                      • #12
                        I had same problem. It truned out that the extension wing was not milled with 90* corners, so when I bolted on the fence, the fence was pulled out of alignment. It was very bad on mine, but with the addition of some shims in front, I was able to make it correct. Once I get teh shop set up teh way I like it and clean, I'll probably disassemble and take the wing in for warranty replacement because you are not supposed to have to shim the front fence (clamping surface)


                        • #13
                          I am calling them tomorrow. I sent an email a few days ago pointing to this thread and telling them my problem and no response. They will hear from me Monday on the phone. I am really put out with this but will calm down once I have square extensions on my table and can cut hardwood without realigning my fence EVERYTIME I move it to cut without leaving black marks on my wood.

                          I have shimmed and it takes the fence being 1/16" off the table to get theeven and that sucks. My corners are out of square as described above so they will replace me to extensions and hopefully they check them before they leave. I am stuck in the middle of a project right now and can't do anything until I get this corrected. Then my cabinets are waiting on me.


                          [ 08-16-2003, 09:31 PM: Message edited by: wizkid ]


                          • #14
                            The shims should be able to correct a 1/16" error. The problem I had was the ridgid instructions on where to place the shims. The manual says to place them to the bolt closest to the gap/error, but what if the gap is equidistant between 2 bolts?, what if the gap is caused by a shim or lack of a shim on a further bolt? You might want to start over and think it through again before installing the shims, I did and I was able to square everything in less than 20 minutes.
                            btw, this was the only place in the instructions that I thought was poorly done. The ridgid instructions are excellent. I just installed an incra 5000 and those instructions were terrible, it was as if they rewrote instructions from some other product. The 5000 is nice, but the instructions suck.


                            • #15
                              Long story short, I finally got replacement extension wings for my 3612 for those of you remember my ordeal about my wings being out of alignment. It was an ordeal but I got them, thankfully.

                              After 3 nights of assembling and aligning, I have the fence and rails lined up as well as I can get them.

                              When I saw hardwood, maple, I still get a few burn marks on the wood. Something is still out of wack and I can't for the life of me figure out what it is.

                              My Freud blade seems to be dead on.

                              The fence is out 0.001". Running my dial caliper the length of the fence I find that the fence is not exactly straight. It moves back and forth varying about 0.015" from center in some places.

                              Here is the latest deal. I get burn marks, at least what I have noticed so far with a few test cuts of real expensive maple, that the burn marks are on the end that is fed into the saw blade first.

                              Also, after sawing a piece I can run it back through, in the exact same position, and it will recut the piece on the back side of the blade. Now how does that happen?

                              Suggestions please. I am burned out and don't know what to do at this point. I have over 40 hours in aligning this saw since it was first put together and the only noticeable improvement is from getting new table extensions which helped a lot but not totally taking care of the problem.

                              Would purchasing an Inca fence/rail system fix my problems? <-- I mean, would the alignment procedure on the Incra system be any more accurate and easy to get totally parallel to the blade when compared to my current setup? As you can see, I am totally bummed out.