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8 setup steps to ensure absolute accuracy

Align your tablesaw blade, fence, and riving knife for maximum accuracy.

Submitted by WOOD community member WOOD Magazine StaffSubmit a Shop Guide
  • Align your blade to the miter slots

    Using a dial indicator, align your saw's miter slots parallel to the blade, checking the same tooth at the front and back of the blade. Strive to get any discrepancy within .002".

  • Try this with a combination square

    If you don't have a dial indicator, you can also do this step with a combination square. Set the blade to touch a tooth in front, lock it, and then check the same tooth at the rear.

  • Secure the aligned parts

    Once you've aligned the top to the blade, tighten the mounting bolts securely. On cabinet saws the top mounts to the cabinet, providing easy access for adjustments.

  • Truing the trunnions

    On contractor-style and most hybrid saws, the top attaches directly to the trunnions that hold the blade assembly. To align the blade, loosen the trunnion-mounting bolts and tap the trunnions side-to-side, then retighten.

  • Align the rip fence next

    Now align the rip fence so it's parallel to the miter slots, again within .002". If it's not exactly parallel, any slight discrepancy should toe away from the blade at the outfeed end to avoid pinching boards during rip cuts.

  • Finding the sweet spot

    Adjust the fence by tightening or loosening the setscrews in the fence's T-square bracket. This also affects how tightly the fence locks and slides on the rail, so plan on trial-and-error fitting to find the sweet spot.

  • Now for the riving knife

    Align the riving knife or splitter with the blade. Hold the rule against the plate of the blade so it doesn't touch any teeth. Do this
    for both sides of the blade.

  • Trim as necessary

    If the riving knife isn't aligned with the blade, adjust its fit by placing thin shims in front of or behind the knife as needed. If you ever remove the riving knife, make note of the shims so you can replace them later.

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