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Table saw blade alignment issue

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MichaelM

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I am in a bit of a quandry with my TS-200 and was hoping someone more experienced in such matters might help put me straight. I bought it used some time ago with a particular job in mind but unfortunately have only been able to fiddle with it on occasion. I gave it a bit of a service, cleaning, lubricating etc and then set about resetting everything. Being a fussy b*gger I noticed that the table was out of alignment with the body so sorted that out. I then carried out a few of the usual mods i.e. elongating the little slot for the rise and fall mechanism so that at the lowest setting the blade carriage had a nice positive stop. After that I made a wheeled base and of course the obligatory dust hopper including modified lower blade guard, magnetic back blanking panel and a slightly modified version of the perspex front banana slot cover as kindly provided on this forum. Following all that I bought two new Freud blades and set about aligning the mitre slot to the blade. I found that with such a small diameter blade it would be very useful to get the dial gauge as close to the table surface as possible so I made an oak runner, attached an aluminium plate and drilled it to suit the screw pattern on the dial gauge once the bulky back cover was removed. I wound the blade up to full height so as to have the maximum length with which to work accurately and managed to get it as close to spot on as makes no difference (about 0.005mm). Pleased as punch, I fitted the rails, adjusted the crude fence (I see now why it is unloved) and set up the sliding table for maximum travel in front of the blade which itself I managed to get down to a decent accuracy of 0.02mm.

Happiness is a fleeting thing though, isn't it? I did something I foolishly hadn't considered before; I lowered the blade somewhat and took a reading. I lowered it again and so on until the blade was so low and so short in length that no further readings were useful. It would appear that as my blade goes down, it increasingly shifts over to the left, veering over more so at the rear (roughly twice as much as the front). Once at the lowest point I can get a reading at, there is a difference of 0.5mm between the front of the blade at full height and the back of the blade at lowest. It is worth pointing out that at this low height, the available length of measurable blade is very little thus the difference across the full blade were I able to measure it, would be quite a bit more. I should say also that the deviation is consistent in that once returned to full height, the needle returns to zero or thereabouts. The reason I first noticed something was wrong was when making a zero clearance insert, the blade when being lowered back down, was now widening the slot it had just cut. Wondering if there was possibly an issue with the angle mechanism which was affecting the blade as it went down, I attached my Wixey bevel gauge which showed absolutely no change whatsoever thus ruling that out as the source.

Would you consider this an issue or am I being too particular with it? It is my first table saw so I am uncertain as to what is acceptable and what is not but am mindful that I do prefer things that can be quantified and are dependable. Would a complete new saw carriage fix the problem or is it as I suspect down to the fact that the whole mechanism pivots on what is in actual fact a very small pin and is consequently bound to be less than perfect, not to mention the potential effects of several years wear and tear to boot? I would be most grateful if anyone who has done a similar test would post their findings because at this moment in time I am really leaning towards selling it on and looking out for something better.

Thanks,

Michael
 

Noel

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Hi Michael, put the dial gauges Wixeys and stuff to one side and rip and cut some timber. This is assuming fence/mitre gauge are suitably set up. Do cuts at various heights and check the cut edge for square. If all is ok, wouldn't worry about it. As you alluded to it's not a super accurate TS but should be adequate for most needs. And I wouldn't worry too much about the problem when the blade is low, often no real need to cut with the blade really low.
 

MichaelM

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Noel":28jvxjdo said:
Hi Michael, put the dial gauges Wixeys and stuff to one side and rip and cut some timber. This is assuming fence/mitre gauge are suitably set up. Do cuts at various heights and check the cut edge for square. If all is ok, wouldn't worry about it. As you alluded to it's not a super accurate TS but should be adequate for most needs. And I wouldn't worry too much about the problem when the blade is low, often no real need to cut with the blade really low.
Thanks Noel. That's good to know. I'll set about it with a better idea now and all being well I'll get a sufficient use out of this saw to tide me over until I get something more akin to what I at least now know I want.

Thanks again,

Michael
 

SammyQ

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You did WHAT?? :eek: :eek: Wow!! That wee 200 doesn't know how cosseted it now is! Certainly didn't get spoiled like that with me..! :D

Michael, I totally agree with Noel. The vast majority of your cuts would be with the blade up high. Some 'Authorities' (wind bags?) advocate that ALL cuts are made so that the blade is as near as dammit coming straight down onto the work. This, they say, holds the work more firmly on the table.It also - allegedly - makes for a cleaner cut of any chosen tooth on the surface of the wood, cleaner finish, yada, yada...

Sam

PS That wadkin is putting up some fight. Every bl**dy surface is rusted/frozen solid on the spindle housing. Only got the bearings out into daylight last night after weeks of diesel, heat, WD40, Plusgas, brute force...now the Woodruff key is stuck tight as a tick in the shaft. ](*,)
 

MichaelM

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SammyQ":1ffzvhzn said:
You did WHAT?? :eek: :eek: Wow!! That wee 200 doesn't know how cosseted it now is! Certainly didn't get spoiled like that with me..! :D
I'm a perfectionist, ...and it's a pain in the a*se! Much as I'm sure I am once I lock on to something. :oops:

Michael, I totally agree with Noel. The vast majority of your cuts would be with the blade up high. Some 'Authorities' (wind bags?) advocate that ALL cuts are made so that the blade is as near as dammit coming straight down onto the work. This, they say, holds the work more firmly on the table.It also - allegedly - makes for a cleaner cut of any chosen tooth on the surface of the wood, cleaner finish, yada, yada...

Sam
That is somewhat the reason I placed so much emphasis on having the blade just so. As I said, this table saw is my first and my lack of prior experience soon became evident as I struggled with unrealistic expectations for what is really only a couple of steps up from a DIY machine. I had read several articles on how important it is for finish quality to have the gullets on the blade just clearing the workpiece and since the majority of the material I need to cut is 18mm you can see where the thought process went askew. Now that you gentlemen tell me that it is not as important as made out, I will leave the blade at full height and go from there.

PS That wadkin is putting up some fight. Every bl**dy surface is rusted/frozen solid on the spindle housing. Only got the bearings out into daylight last night after weeks of diesel, heat, WD40, Plusgas, brute force...now the Woodruff key is stuck tight as a tick in the shaft. ](*,)
I'm sorry to hear that Sam but I do believe that despite the problems you have an inherently good saw there and you are of course heading in the right direction. Tell you what; give it a female name. That way when it's foibles become unfathomable, you'll know the reason why. :D

During the days when I thought I was having a bout of bad luck with the TS-200, I had been perusing Ebay daydreaming about all those solid old machines and the overriding and sobering thought in my mind all the while was that not one of them would have as little wear as yours. I can't imagine there are too many like that, most having led an industrial life so you are quite fortunate to have fallen in with it. Anyway, seeing that brute in the flesh and the way it was put together is the first thing that came to mind when I saw the little pin the TS-200 hinges on thus making me hanker after something similarly built like a tank. In the meantime I'll keep my eyes open and who knows what might turn up.

All the best,

Michael
 

SammyQ

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Thanks MichaelM. Good Luck with the search. Mine took me three years and I wish I could find the original Ebay photos...she were a heap of rust and in four pieces, just outside Cambridge. A good mate saw me space on his truck to get it back to Norn Iron....

Sam
 

Steve Maskery

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The blade should ideally protrude above the workpiece just so that the tooth clears the surface. If you cut relatively thin material with the blade high, then there may be too few teeth in the wood to maintain a clean and continuous cut. By keeping the blade low more of the circumference of the blade is inside the wood and so the cut is smoother. At the extreme, where the timber is thinner than the distance between the teeth, you will get a bang-bang-bang as each tooth comes along in turn and hits the workpiece. 3 teeth in the workpiece is a good rule for any blade.
S
 

SammyQ

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Steve, much as I normally yield straightaway to your advice, may I say that in this case the tooth geometry has a lot to do with it too? The 'hook' of 'multipurpose' blades and some vaguely titled blades can be such that you have to play around to get a good cut. In my experience, higher yielded better. My only Freud blade - a rip, few teeth - seemed to labour less in the TS200 when it too was raised. That led me to wonder if sawdust clearance from the kerf was a factor in the TS200, as lots got spat into your face, even when a vacuum was on board. Fragments = friction; higher blade = better clearance of dust= less friction/better cut?

Sam
 

Steve Maskery

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Well yes,it will labour less at high position, because it is cutting "thinner" material that way. And yes, tooth shape does make a difference. ATB is becoming more popular for rip blades as well as x-cut.
But that said, ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, 3 teeth in the workpiece is going to give a smoothe cut than just one or two.
I don't think our opinions here are mutually exclusive, BTW!
S
 

Noel

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I kinda agree with Sam on this, not too high but not too low either.
I read something about it years ago in a book, think it was Ian Kirby (just had a search, it was him):

“Everybody wants to know the correct blade height, but there isn’t any. Test it for yourself. Start with the gullets a little above the surface of the workpiece and make a cut. Then raise the blade to full height and cut again. Compare the two cuts and decide which is better … The cleanest and most efficient cutting occurs with the blade raised to its maximum height. However, having that much blade exposed above the workpiece might make you nervous. The correct blade height is somewhere in between. For the cleanest cut, raise the blade; if it rattles you, lower it.”
 

SammyQ

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Thank you Steve and Noel; to paraphrase myself, I think I was saying "there are too many variables acting on this to rigidly stick to accepted wisdom - sometimes modern manufacturing and styling of tools confounds time-honoured practice. Experiment".

For the saw, the TS200 MichaelM now has, that was mine, I found a high blade exposure worked. If I ever manage to get my AGS finished - I'm on the arbor bearings now - I might find the extra gravitas and horsies might give a different performance? As a cheapskate - three kids at University simultaneously - I always bought cheaper blades. P'raps if I treated myself to a decently badged and historically admired brand, three teeth might be enough?

Or, Ian Kirby might prove right. :D Variables, as every scientist knows, are there to be optimised.

Sam
 
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