Table Saw Alignment Part II

I went to rip some 2" strips to make a new drawer to replace the one that molded on my shop floor.  Since I didn't have to be ultra accurate I set the rip fence using the indicator on the fence scale.  I decided to double check the distance to the fence anyway.  It was off by almost a 1/16".  Then I remembered that I had just realigned the fence and hadn't reset the indicator.

The first thing I did was set the fence 2" away from the blade using a tape measure.  To do this properly you have to understand the blade you have mounted in your table saw.  The particular blade I use most of the time has teeth that alternate from one side of the kerf to the other, in other words the blade has an alternate set (check out this site for some good graphics, yes I know they are talking about band saw blades, but the concept is the same).  So to get an accurate width, I measured from a tooth set towards the fence.

With the fence set, I loosened the screws holding the scale indicator and moved the indicator so it was exactly over the 2" mark.  When I tightened the screws, the indicator had a tendency to wander, so I had to loosen the screws again and reset the indicator.  I finally found that I couldn't just tighten one screw, then the other.  I had to turn one screw a little, then tighten the other screw a little, going back and forth until the screws were snug.

To test the scale I left it at 2" and ripped a piece of plywood.  When I measured the cut piece, the width was almost exactly 2".

Now the scale on the rip fence is set about as accurately as I can get it.  For most work this is accurate enough.  If I really need to be sure, I'll set the cut up a little wide and sneak up on the setting in a few passes, ignoring the scale and measuring the width of the cut piece.

Tools: benchtop tools, table saw

Tags: alignment, DeWalt


Michael's picture

I setup off of known stock. I'll put the stock between the fence and the blade and rotate the blade and move the fence until I hear the teeth tinging from contact with the stock. I'll lock the fence and then set the scale indicator.

I never really put any thought in to the best way to set the scale indicator. My process developed off of setting up the saw to cut stock to reproduce hand cut moldings. I got better results dimensioning of the material I wanted to reproduce than from measuring what I wanted to reproduce and then trying to set the saw to the measure.