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Back in Business

After taking a weekend off to recover from the IWF in Atlanta, I took a few minutes on Labor Day and got one 220-volt outlet wired from my subpanel. That means I can finally get to work on the Powermatic PM2000 I bought used last winter. (The rest of the rewiring can wait until the fall camping season is over.)

Because it was “preowned,” the saw was already fully assembled, but after hauling it across town on a trailer in pothole-riddled streets, I thought a quick alignment check and adjustment would be in order. (For the saw, if not for my truck.)

First order of business: Parallel the blade and miter slot. This is my first cabinet saw, so I was looking forward to simply loosening three of the four table-mounting bolts and pivoting the table until the slot and blade were parallel. A quick check with my dial indicator showed it out about .030″, so I loosened the bolts and made the adjustment. Worked like a champ–within .001″ front to rear.

So, I happily snugged the bolts up and confirmed that nothing had moved. Ooops. Back to 30-thou out. My bad–must have accidentally shifted it. Loosened the bolts, pivoted, checked: perfect. Tightened the bolts again, this time being careful not to shift the tabletop. Checked again: 30 thou out again. What the #%(<…?

No matter what I tried for the next hour, I couldn’t bring it into–and keep–that alignment.

I removed the extension table, thinking maybe its weight (I hadn’t reinstalled the outboard legs yet) might affect it. Nope. Removed the tubular steel fence rail. Still had the alignment problem. After another hour of futzing, I finally loosened the rear angle-iron fence rail. Voila! The table now pivoted freely. Got the alignment right, snugged the table down, and checked again. Still perfect. Hooray! Snugged the rear fence rail: 30-thou out. Argh!

Apparently, the rear rail was keeping the table from pivoting correctly, so I loosened it again, shifted the entire tabletop back a fraction of an inch, and tried again. This time everything held perfectly.

Whipped by a 2-hour problem that should been a 5-minute adjustment (and after compeltely reassembling the saw), I packed it in for the night.

This weekend, I hope to finish dialing in this saw and get to work. My church’s Fall Festival is coming up in a few weeks and I have another cross to make.

Nothing’s ever easy, is it?

dc

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