Adjusting Fence Parallel with Miter Slots - Router Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Default Adjusting Fence Parallel with Miter Slots

Setting up the new table saw. Adjusting the fence for parallel to the table/miter slots. Instructions are clear enough on HOW to do it (loosen this screw and then adjust with that screw), but are silent on just how close to parallel the fence should be.

Out of the box, it was slightly closer on the outfeed side. I've adjusted it to where it is about 0.010" further away on the outfeed side. My rationale is that it should be either perfectly parallel or slightly wider on the outfeed side to lessen the tendancy to bind.

My method is to secure precision parallels against the miter slot on the near and far side of the table, by expanding adjustable parallels in the slot between the precision parallel and the opposite side of the slot. The precision parallels do not move at all. Then use feeler gauges to measure how far away the fence is from each parallel. This is a jobsite model table saw, so its fence is not nearly as secure as on larger saws, so there is some give and take when it comes to consistency of clamping/position. Taking that into consideration, I loosen and re-tightened the fence several times, resulting in slightly different positions each time and consequently, different thicknesses of feeler gauges come in to play, but the difference is consistently about 0.010" between the two positions.

Is this a suitable method and what differential should there be, if any?

Thanks,

Rick
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 07:10 PM
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Did you check if the blade is parallel to the slot? It's important to check that first.
If the blade is parallel, then I'd try to get the fence a little closer at the back end, maybe .005"?
You want to make sure the back of the blade doesn't rub against the wood after it's cut.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
Did you check if the blade is parallel to the slot? It's important to check that first.
If the blade is parallel, then I'd try to get the fence a little closer at the back end, maybe .005"?
You want to make sure the back of the blade doesn't rub against the wood after it's cut.
Yes, the blade is parallel. Checked that first following the instructions, which were to set an adjustable square to just touch a tooth on the front, mark that tooth, rotate the blade to where that tooth is at the rear and check again with the square. The tooth just scrapes at both locations.

Rick
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 07:12 AM
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I agree with Gerry. Try to set the fence as parallel as your patience will allow. If it has .005" clearance at the outfeed end, call it good...for safety, you don't want it at an angle that pinches your wood on the outfeed end, resulting in kick back. I like your setup. Occasionally re-check your fence, to be sure it stays that way.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 10:51 AM
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You don't really want the back of the blade scraping either side of the cut but the worst scenario is having it too close on the fence side as that both traps it and binds and increases chances of a kickback.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 11:06 AM
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Your idea should work, but personally I’d buy a cheap dial gauge . I think my run out was around .01-.008 also . Tried less but found it was binding with harder woods

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Your idea should work, but personally Id buy a cheap dial gauge . I think my run out was around .01-.008 also . Tried less but found it was binding with harder woods
Not sure which idea you are referring too. But, I do have indicators and I was working on this setup when I took the time to look here. This is a test dial indicator on a Noga magnetic base, sliding on a 3/4" precision parallel in the miter slot. During a traverse, I am holding it firmly against the close side and the bottom of the slot.


I am a little troubled with the readings I've been getting, on both sides of the fence (without moving/releasing the fence). I want to work things out a bit more before reporting on anything.

Rick
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 02:56 PM
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I'm not sure that a gauge is as good as just looking at the cut it just made as when you push a board in there are possibilities of things flexing and bearing free play removed which the gauge won't show you. If the fence is on the right side and you have heel marks from the blade on that side then the fence needs adjusting away from the blade. If the heel marks are on the off side then fence needs adjusting inward. If you have intermittent heel marks on both sides then you might need to use blade stabilizers.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 08:43 PM
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I keep mine at about 4 one thousandths out at the far end. I have a different T type fence, but I've found I need to keep the track it ruins in clean. Sawdust buildup will push the alignment off slightly. Sounds like you're doing the best you can and it seems to be right. A couple of years ago we had a string on here about precision, with finally petered out with Hey, it's wood, not metal. It moves with humidity, with internal stresses, with inflexible glued joints. You can only be so precise in your cutting. The other side of that discussion was that why NOT go for the maximum precision possible.

The proof is in the cutting.

Some of this has been covered, I just forgot to post when I wrote it.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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I keep mine at about 4 one thousandths out at the far end. I have a different T type fence, but I've found I need to keep the track it ruins in clean. Sawdust buildup will push the alignment off slightly. Sounds like you're doing the best you can and it seems to be right. A couple of years ago we had a string on here about precision, with finally petered out with Hey, it's wood, not metal. It moves with humidity, with internal stresses, with inflexible glued joints. You can only be so precise in your cutting. The other side of that discussion was that why NOT go for the maximum precision possible.

The proof is in the cutting.

Some of this has been covered, I just forgot to post when I wrote it.
Yes, I agree, there is only so much that we can do in the way of precision since it is wood. I think I've done about as much as can be done with this fence. I also think, that while I really like the saw, the fence is the weakest part of it that I've found so far. I've cut several pieces of 1/2" Baltic birch plywood for the crosscut sled and all seems to be working right. Not seeing any blade drag marks, cuts are very clean, straight and uniform, so I'm just going to work with it. Got projects stacking up waiting for this sled, so I just need to get on with it.

Rick

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