More Adjustments on the Sliding Table Saw

Yesterday, I continued setting up my saw. First, I had a 7′ power cord installed. With power to the saw, I performed the test run, ensuring that the saw started and ran smoothly in the right direction and stopped, and checking that the three off switches worked.

There is one mushroom off switch under the fence rail, one in the magnetic switch below the slider facing the front (in the manual, the front of the saw is actually what I normally think of as the side), and one micro switch in the blade cover that is opened when changing the blades or adjusting the riving knife. Everything worked smoothly and the saw sounds powerful. Very nice.Using a dial indicator, I checked the sliding table for parallelism with the blade.

Finding it to be within a few thousandths of an inch, I checked the fence for parallelism with the slider. I found it to be out by over a tenth of an inch, so I spent about half an hour aligning the fence parallel to the blade (actually toed out by a few thousandths.

Unfortunately with this fence system, there is not adjustment for parallel within the fence body. Adjustments are made by adjusting three sets of nuts that hold the fence rail to the front of the table saw. It took about half a dozen adjustments to get the fence where I wanted it. Next, I squared the miter gauge on the slider to the blade. That was an easy task, involving a square. I set the stop – a set screw and a nut that locks it in place.

Next, I installed and set the riving knife. I set it at a height that would allow the blade guard to sit almost above the teeth – the Freud reps advised me that they recommend setting their blades 1/2 a tooth above the stock. I checked that the riving knife was aligned with the right side of the blade and it was.

One thing I had noticed when I had a look at the saw in the showroom was that the front of the blade guard rested on the table and caught on the miter gauge – it would stop dead until the blade guard was manually lifted. I solved that problem by simply tightening down the bolt that locks the blade guard to the riving knife. The other thing that I didn’t really like was that a pin through the guard behind the mounting bolt prevented the blade guard from pivoted back out of the way, as is necessary when changing blades. I drove out the pin with a punch, then lengthened the slot that fits over the riving knife with a hand saw. With the modifications, the blade guard now swings up about 100 degrees.

Scoring blades are small blades located ahead of the main blade. They rotate the opposite direction and are set about 1/8″ or less above the table. Their purpose is to make a cut in from the bottom to eliminate tearout. It should be just a shade wider than the main blade. Too narrow and there will be tearout on at least one edge of the cut. Too wide, and there will be a shoulder in the cut.

Some scoring blades are two pieces and, like a dado blade, their width is set by adding shims between the blades. The scoring blade provided with my saw however, is one piece. So how do you adjust the width of cut made by a single cutter? The teeth are tapered, that’s how – narrower at the top, wider at the base. By raising the scoring blade, the width of the cut is increased.

The other adjustment is lateral alignment with the main blade. I set the lateral position using a straight edge, referencing off the left side of the saw plates and avoiding contact with the teeth which would affect the alignment. To set the blade height (and thus, the width of cut) of the scoring blade, I started by lowering it further than I though would be necessary so that it would take too narrow of a cut, the end result being tearout at the bottom side of the stock.

I did a test cut and found exactly that. I raised the blade a little and tested again, finding that one adjustment to be all that was needed. It sure is a pleasure seeing clean cuts, top and bottom.