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Table saw maintenance

7953 Views 61 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Nickp
Noticed my table saw blade mechanism was harder than normal to lower today, like I was cranking through resistance. Looked underneath it and saw a lot of sawdust buildup on the mechanisms. I’m thinking this is what I felt, the gears cranking through excess caked on dust. So I’m going to clean all this off and see if it helps. My question is what do I lubricate the gears with? Do I use anything at all? It seems this will just make dust stick to it even more.
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Yes I’m OCD like that. It might be 1/32. I know it’s less than a 1/16, and looks like less than half of a 1/16.

I got my manual and read it. The four adjustment screws I was turning was the way to do it. I also might have the adjustment nut too tight. I’ll look again when my back feels better. I did try the square between the fence and the blade with it in the miter slot. Blade to slot is perfect, but to the fence it is not. Sliding it with the fence unlocked it is perfect but when I lock it it gets loose towards the rear of the blade as I slide the square from front to back. If the square is in the rear position when I lock the fence then I am unable to slide it forward. Definitely a fence problem.
Ok, I messed with it some more and found out which two of the four screws in the fence are causing me an issue. My Aleve hasn’t worn off yet but I can feel my back aching some anyway. But I had to know. As you read this I apologize for all the confusion in this thread. I’m sure my back pain has contributed to me not seeing things or doing things just right.

Thinking the blade and miter slots are perfect I tried again to align the fence to one slot. I figured this is easier than fussing with measuring off of the same saw blade tooth throughout the process. So I loosened the fence screws, then locked the fence down flush to the edge of the miter slot. Tightened one screw at a time and checked it each time. Outer two screws were fine but tightening the two middle ones forced the fence out of parallel to the slot. Nothing can be done here, they’re either loose and it’s parallel or they’re tight and it’s crooked. From end to end of the fence across the table it looks about 1/16 off compared to the slot. I didn’t measure this but it’s easy to see. But in the area of the blade the fence is DEAD DEAD DEAD square to the same saw tooth, front and back. So how can this be if the blade is parallel to the slot?

I decided to check the blade/slot alignment one more time. I also realize I’m using a steel ruler freehand and just eyeballing the lines but I took great pains to do it as precision as possible, even checking the end of the ruler for squareness so I could rely on it against the fence and slot. I got a super bright LED light and put another metal ruler in the slot on end, straight up and down to reference the edge. I used my ruler to measure against this back to the same saw blade tooth in front and back and as best I can see the blade is off literally only 1/64. I say that because it measured between 3 inches and 29/32 to 30/32 in back, and right at 3 inches and 30/32 in front. My ruler is 1/32 marked and the tooth was between marks in the back, so that’s 1/64 difference. I know I left room for error doing it this way but it’s all I have to work with. Previously I had put a combo square in the slot and let it touch the blade as I slid it. It seemed to be perfect, but maybe 1/64 off lets it move ever so slightly and I didn’t see or feel it. I don’t know. Also this had shown clearly before that the fence was off to the blade, but after this last adjustment it came out just right somehow as far as the fence and blade alignment.

So considering I observed about a 1/64 difference in the blade to the slot this last time, can I conclude that if I had a line drawn along the axis of the blade that it would possibly be around a 1/16 off compared to the miter slot as it crosses the table? I think so. That’s just 4/64 in about a 2’ width, and I’m measuring 1/64 in less than a 10” width (blade is not at full height so I’m nowhere close to its center). And even if I adjusted this out of it with the trunions, as I observed tightening the screws in the fence I cannot fix the fence unless something else is done. So I may as well let it be. I can rip nice straight pieces now with precision. I don’t use the miter slots and never have. I like the idea though, and a 1/64 difference seems negligible as you cross the blade, but since it may be a full 1/16 end to end, would this be a problem if I ever made a sled? Or am I just fretting too much? 1/64 does feel sort of picky but I read all the time where people shoot for even tighter tolerances.
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