Steel City 35990 granite top - setup - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Default Steel City 35990 granite top - setup

I just got this saw yesterday. This isn't so much a review as it is a tip for anyone setting this saw up and getting all the table pieces and miter slots and everything to line up, be flat, and slots the right width. The 35990G (granite top) and 35990C (cast iron top), have the same type of setup, so while I have the granite, I'm certain the following will also work for the cast iron.

These saws (except for the 35990CS with stamped steel wings) have the miter slot partially in the main table and partially on the adjacent wing. When done setting up you get a seamless top, but I've seen so many people struggling with these miter slots, I thought I'd write this up.

The wings go onto a pair of locating pins and they sit on top of large height-adjustable bushings. The bolts that hold the wing to the saw go up THROUGH those hollow bushings. Instructions tell you this is all set at the factory. All I can say is..... bull.

Don't even try to use the miter slot until you first get the wings flush with the table and flat. You'll only get it jammed and start swearing at it. You need to get these wings level first. Before you move on to anything else. So set both wings on there and get ALL of the bolts into each one. There are 4 bolts for each wing. Finger tight is fine until you get them all in. OK, now the wing won't fall off on the floor while you level it. Each bushing has a set screw. Loosen all of the set screws. Most of mine were loose, but back them out a full turn or so.

Work on one wing at a time. Now tighten the 2 bolts closest to the seam (miter slot). Run a straight edge across the main table and slide it (gently) onto the wing. Check the front and the back. Is the wing higher or lower than the table? Then you need to adjust the bushing at those 2 bolts closest to the seam. USE THE BLADE WRENCH. It fits the bushing perfectly and it's flat and easy to use in the space available. In order to adjust the bushing, you have to loosen the bolts first. Loosen the bolt, adjust the bushing, tighten the bolt. You absolutely need to do the bushings next to the miter slot FIRST. Get that transition from table to wing as flush as you can. Once you have it, snug those 2 bolts up tight and move to the outboard pair of bolts. You don't need to torque these bolts down hard. You need to collapse the lock washer and snug 'em up tight. Not crank on 'em. Work the outboard bushings the same as you did the ones near the miter slot. Only on these outboard ones, you can leave the bolts kind of loose and just adjust the bushings to get the wing flat in the same plane as the main table. This is because the cantilevered wing will keep some weight on the outboard bushings. Once you get the outboard bushings adjusted so it's flat, you might see those inboard ones sneak away from you. If you lower the outboard bushings the edge near the miter slot may want to rise up. It shouldn't if you have the bolts tight, but it might. So you might jump back and forth between the inboard pair of bolts and the outboard pair as you make finer and finer adjustments to the flatness of the table and wing. Sounds tedious, but once I figured out the sequence of which bolts and bushings I should be working on, I only had to adjust the inboard bolts twice and the outboard ones twice.

So the very first thing you're doing is getting those wings flat and flush. You're adjusting the BUSHINGS so that if you have to remove a wing, you can put it back and it will be in the same place in terms of elevation. When you have the wings flat, tighten all of the set screws on the bushings.

Next post.... miter slots....
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Default Miter slots

One of the biggest complaints I've seen regarding this model (both cast iron and granite) is that the miter slots are binding on the miter gauge. And people have a really hard time adjusting the fit. In order for what I'm about to tell you to actually work, YOU HAVE TO LEVEL THE WINGS FIRST!!! (see the previous post)

Typically the miter slot is too tight. It's adjustable. That's one of the cool things about the way this table and wings go together. HOW to adjust it seems a matter of some speculation because the instructions are just horrible. Here's what I di and it worked VERY well and didn't take long at all.

First thing that needs to be done is LEVEL THE WINGS. See a trend here? Leveling the wings is the foundation on which everything else is built.

When checking to see if your miter gauge fits, don't FORCE it. You'll almost surely flake the granite top near the miter slot. (ask me how I know)

Since you've already adjusted the bushings for the wings and you know they're level, you can actually loosen the 4 bolts for each wing to adjust the miter slot width. This assumes you tried to put your miter gauge in and found the slot either too sloppy or too tight.

Too tight is most common, apparently, so I cover that first as that's the problem I had on the right wing. Loosen up all 4 bolts holding the wing. Loose like you can turn them with your fingers. Now standing at the side of the saw, put your foot against the bottom rail so the saw doesn't slide and with a hand on the front and one on the bacl of the wing, give that sucker a good hard tug straight toward you. No up and down... pull it straight horizontal.

Did it budge? You may see a small gap between the table and wing if you look at the front edge and back edge where they come together. If you got a little gap, then go ahead and snug up those wing bolts again and check your miter gauge for fit.

If it's a sloppy fit, skip the next step. If it's still too tight, then do this:
Under the wing, find the nut for each locating pin. Loosen it. Good and loose. Now give that wing a good hard tug again. That's all it took on mine to get a little bit of a gap. Apparently there's just a little "play" in those locating pins and it's enough to open that miter slot just a bit.

Now snug up those wing mounting bolts again. Make sure that little gap isn't closing when you do it. Check your miter gauge again. Should be a sloppy fit. Now you want to tighten it up slowly until it's a good fit. With the inboard wing bolts just broke free, not tight, but not too loose, you can hit the outer edge of the wing with a soft deadblow mallet. No glancing blows off the corners now. Pay attention. Nice straight, direct hits. Doesn't take much. You don't have to hit it too hard. If you go too far and tighten it up too much, just loosen those wing bolts and pull it away again and start over. We aren't talking about a big gap here.

You want the miter gauge to slide from front to back with equal tension, equal free play side to side. If it's a little loose, you can use the set screws in the miter gauge itself to snug it up but it needs to be even from front to back.

I know this sounds like a lot but believe me it took much longer to write this than to actually do it. 10 or 15 minutes at the very most to get the miter slots adjusted for width.

Last edited by reikimaster; 02-21-2012 at 11:07 AM.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 12:27 PM
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Well its noon, is it running yet
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 12:42 PM
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I'm feeling warm and fuzzy about my old Craftsman contractor saw right know.

Learning is an exciting adventure
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommyt654 View Post
Well its noon, is it running yet
Oh yeah. It runs beautifully. Quiet and smooth. In fact it passes the PENNY test (I didn't have a nickel... hehehe). With the stock blade it cuts VERY cleanly. Almost no tearout at all on a piece of 3/4 birch plywood. I can't wait to see what it does with one of my new Onsrud blades and a zero clearance insert. I'm too embarrased about the mess I made in the shop right now, but I'll take pictures after I clean up a bit. Hey, at least I admit it.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by paduke View Post
I'm feeling warm and fuzzy about my old Craftsman contractor saw right know.
The whole leveling/spacing deal took me about an hour and 15 minutes and honestly, a good portion of that was me crawling around looking at exactly how to approach it (the old millright in me coming out). Once I figured out what ORDER to do things in, it was fast. The second wing only took me about 10 minutes if that gives you some idea.
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