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Since I have a less than good reputation for dealing with accuracy in regard to wood working, (just a joke guys).

I recall several years ago when I first became interested in table saws, I read about the importance of such things as having the arbor on motor turn to very a very tight tolerance. The issue of getting a saw getting so perfectly tuned up just sort of went on and on. Due to these articles I was led to my attempts to get the accurate cuts that laterl on I was so politly informed that such accuracy was not part of wood working and of course in time I learned that for myself.

Now along the way I have heard from time to time the term "an accurate table saw".

This has led to wonder, "what is an accurate table saw", perhaps a better question is "what is an incaccurate table saw".

I have only had experience with one saw, the one that I have now of course, I have atttemped to line the blade with the miter slot using a Woodpecker Dial Indicator, and lwhild I can, after some puttzing around, get the error down to zero, however, I have been able tighten the table down and retain that setting, the best I have been able to get is to about .002" which is, as I understand it, very exceptable.

When I make a rip cut that is say 30" in length in one inch thick stock, the difference in the width of the material being cut from one end to another is usually within about .005". That's seems to be just fine to me.

My question, is this, If I had a high end saw such as a Unisaw or Saw Stop, could I expect more accuracy? Of course this is a ridiculeous question in that nobdy needs accuracy great that what I'm able to get with my cheap $700 Craftwman saw.

Now, the only thing that I can see and I assume that I'm right is that the Unisaw for example is made to operate 24/7 for years without much more that general maintenance.

So, would most knowledgable woodworkers say that my saw is "an accurate tble saw or not"?

If so, and of course I'm sure that everyone will say that the saw is just fine, then why all the writing about turning the arbor and putzzing with the set to a inth of a thousandth of an inch? Just wondering and thinking back about all of "Hdey Jerry, You Can't Accomplish The Accuracy With Wood That you, Jerry, are ltalking about"

Jerry
 

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I think .005 in 30”s is doing pretty well .
I have a General table saw and it’s arbor is .0002 , and I have the fence set .05-.08 run out on the far end of the fence in order to not get binding .
Works for me , although I can’t remember how accurate the outcome was. I noticed when I ran my woodpecker dial gauge along the Miter slot to fence , that there was a .02 discrepancy in the straightness of the fence .
So I think we’re overthinking this lol
 

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I've had a Unisaw for about 20 years and the answer is no. While the accuracy stays within certain limits more so than say mid model saws it still will not dial in to zero. Other factors apply in the equation such as saw blade sharpness, saw blade plate thickness, grind type according to the milling action, bearing free play, feed speed and especially whether a constant feed speed can be maintained which is only possible with a power feeder, and last but not least on my list is grain change in density and direction as you saw.
 

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If you can't see the difference with your eye after it is cut and when it is put together then the saw is fine. Don't worry about the small stuff.
 

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My question, is this, If I had a high end saw such as a Unisaw or Saw Stop, could I expect more accuracy? Of course this is a ridiculeous question in that nobdy needs accuracy great that what I'm able to get with my cheap $700 Craftwman saw.
Considering that my saw was bought new for around $75, a lot of years ago, I do not consider a $700 saw 'cheap'. I can probably get accuracy close to what you get, but it does needs tuning to do it, frequently. I always leave a tad for sanding tho, so it doesn't really matter, it's a case of close enough is good enough. What does matter is, it still works, and is still used.
 
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If you can rip your stock from same material for all similar width stock at the same time . Cut all same dimension stock to length with same stop block. Things should turn out alright.
 

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That's a great question, Jerry. I understand that it's theoretical in nature so using analogies works well.
I can carry a pallet load of bricks in my van, no problem. Would doing it for long runs, on a daily basis be good for the vehicle? I'm guessing not, and I'd live to regret punishing it in that way.
I think if you ran 40 or 50 sheets of 3/4" plywood through your saw, every day, you'd soon notice not nice things happening to it.
It's just not built for extreme use, whereas the built-like-a-tank commercial saw is.
 

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As accurate as you can get the setup is the starting point. Because of all the variables mentioned, the wood, the moisture content, blade deflection depending on the blade, perfect will never happen. In part you compensate for all those little errors by measuring a planing interior pieces in place and sneak up on the fit with sandpaper or block plane. If you got something that goes together well, then you're accurate enough. Relax Jerry, you have that Woodpecker tool, you're far ahead of the game.

I think the one place you want absolute accuracy is the blade being 45.000 or 90.000, and that's the job of a Wixey. Having that cut angle off will mess your projects up big time. Happily the new Wixey angle gauge now uses aaa batteries and even has an illuminated readout for us vision challenged old farts. Making face frames with pocket screws works badly unless your end cuts are exact 90s. That will also require either a good miter gauge or a precise TS sled (which depends on blade/miter slot alignment).
 

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Your saw is just as accurate as my Unisaw. I am .001 or .002 on blade to slot and about .005 to .007 out on the miter slot to the fence for the full length of the fence. I had to add a piece of European Baltic birch to my fence to get it that close. I was over .015 out without the birch as I had a bow in the middle of the Unisaw fence. I have an old USA made Biesemeyer fence which I need to rearrange to be able to use so I can't tell you have good it is or not. I assume you need to use a full kerf blade to maintain accuracy.

What I notice about my Unisaw over my old contractor saw is how much more power and easily it cuts since the Unisaw has a Blador 3HP motor over my contractor Baldor 1 1/2HP . It is also heavier and has less vibration.

PS
You are lucky as my Delta contractor table saw would not tune this well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I've had a Unisaw for about 20 years and the answer is no. While the accuracy stays within certain limits more so than say mid model saws it still will not dial in to zero. Other factors apply in the equation such as saw blade sharpness, saw blade plate thickness, grind type according to the milling action, bearing free play, feed speed and especially whether a constant feed speed can be maintained which is only possible with a power feeder, and last but not least on my list is grain change in density and direction as you saw.[/QUOTE


Charles,

Perhaps I did not phrase my question correctly. What I meant, is the accuracy that I can get with my relative cheap saw for hobby use about as accurate as I should expect. I think think that it is, and I know that it is close enough for me.

I just have not been on the forum for some time and wanted to get some new chatter going which I have and do appreciate the posts to my question.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Considering that my saw was bought new for around $75, a lot of years ago, I do not consider a $700 saw 'cheap'. I can probably get accuracy close to what you get, but it does needs tuning to do it, frequently. I always leave a tad for sanding tho, so it doesn't really matter, it's a case of close enough is good enough. What does matter is, it still works, and is still used.
Theo,

I should have said "relatively cheap saw compared to a Unisaw or a Saw Stop". You mentioned before that you did not think that a $700 saw was not cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
And if you use the fence tube as a 'handle' when moving the saw around the shop, you might need to do a quick alignment check when you're done...

The saw weighs 400 lbs.. stripped, that is before adding the router table, lift, router, two Incra LS systems and a Wixey 700R to it. So fortunately with 3200 square feet of floor space I don't need to ever move the saw, but I sure understand what you are getting at Doug,

By the way, thanks for the items that you sent to me several years ago, you may have forgotten them already, but I have not.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Your saw is just as accurate as my Unisaw. I am .001 or .002 on blade to slot and about .005 to .007 out on the miter slot to the fence for the full length of the fence. I had to add a piece of European Baltic birch to my fence to get it that close. I was over .015 out without the birch as I had a bow in the middle of the Unisaw fence. I have an old USA made Biesemeyer fence which I need to rearrange to be able to use so I can't tell you have good it is or not. I assume you need to use a full kerf blade to maintain accuracy.

What I notice about my Unisaw over my old contractor saw is how much more power and easily it cuts since the Unisaw has a Blador 3HP motor over my contractor Baldor 1 1/2HP . It is also heavier and has less vibration.

PS
You are lucky as my Delta contractor table saw would not tune this well.
Lee,
Yeah, it's that 3 hp motor that appeals to me, I can only imagine how lnice that would be. My saw, like your does work well enough with the material that I use. And yes, I use a full kerf Forrest blade most of the time. I have three thin kerf blades that I bought just to try them out.

I notice that most of the folks keep saying that they set their fence to be a few thous wide at the out feed end. In my ignorance I did set my Incra fence to zero run out a few months ago just to see if I could do it, I doubt if it is still at that setting now even though it has not been used for at least six months. I have always kept the fence close to zero and have not had experienced any binding, maybe I've just been lucky. I do have a MJ splitter have learned about kick back enouth to have pretty well eliminated the chance of having another one, sure hope so anyway.

Jerry
 

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you may have forgotten them already...
Jerry,

These days I am lucky enough to remember what I had for breakfast! Wait, did I even have breakfast this morning?:smile:

Someday I hope to have a little more elbow room in the shop so things can stay put, but I am grateful for the room I do have!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That's a great question, Jerry. I understand that it's theoretical in nature so using analogies works well.
I can carry a pallet load of bricks in my van, no problem. Would doing it for long runs, on a daily basis be good for the vehicle? I'm guessing not, and I'd live to regret punishing it in that way.
I think if you ran 40 or 50 sheets of 3/4" plywood through your saw, every day, you'd soon notice not nice things happening to it.
It's just not built for extreme use, whereas the built-like-a-tank commercial saw is.
Sure have to agree with that, the little "relative inexpensive" saw that I bought and and used tor just short of three years was just right for my short time at wood working. I say short time as it appears that my woodworking days are behind me due to my health now, but they sure were fun days of learning and driving a lot of the folks kinda nuts with problem with accuracy. I might get well enough to get back to it someday but for now, it is not looking very good.

My brother from Oregon is coming to visit us this month and he likes to work in the ship, maybe he will clean it up for me and that would be nice as things have been setting for so long. He has offered to buy all of my tools from when the time comes. He is going to get a good deal too, I have about $15,000 in them and I offered to sell them to him for $8,000, if and when I want to or Vesta needs to after I'm gone.

Jerry
 

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I have a Powermatic 66, a Unisaw and a "cheap" old Craftsman from the 1980's. I wouldn't trade the Craftsman for one of today's newer saws. Well maybe I'd trade it but if I was going out to buy a new saw I would chose an old used Craftsman cast iron saw over anything on the market. As far as accuracy the fence isn't that good but other than that I've never had a problem with accuracy. Why anyone would spend hundreds and hundreds on a contractor style saw when you can pick up a used Craftsman for around a hundred bucks is beyond me.
 

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I have an old Rockwell 10" that I bought for $100 and I would agree with Art. I switched the original fence for a good aftermarket one and with a good blade it will do most things the Unisaw will. The factors I listed in post #2 are usually more important than the saw is. At least until you get down below about $500.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have an old Rockwell 10" that I bought for $100 and I would agree with Art. I switched the original fence for a good aftermarket one and with a good blade it will do most things the Unisaw will. The factors I listed in post #2 are usually more important than the saw is. At least until you get down below about $500.

Chuck,

I think that what you pointed out about wood in post #2 is a must to keep in mind. That along with understanding that wood is, as pointed out in an earlier post is mostly empty space, not a solid substance, grain and twisted grain along with all that you listed, when considered, should make us appreciate how fortunate we are that we can do as well as we can with it.

Jerry
 

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I just went out and measured my Unisaw again. I have run several hundred feet just from my kitchen remodel of maple and 3/4 inch old plywood through it. I don't remember how much before the kitchen remodel but it was last year when I last measured my Unisaw.

I am at .002 on the blade to the miter slot using my Woodpecker gauge. My fence was .026 out. It turns out I was able to tighten the screws holding the Baltic birch as they were a little lose. I don't know if it was weather or use. I will need to watch them. I tighten the screws holding the Baltic birch on and my fence and it is now .013 out for the full length of the miter slot.

PS
I just got my fence down .008 out playing with the back fence tensioner. This is the best I have seen. I guess you learn something every day.
 
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