Tablesaw Tune-up Tips
Whether you're preparing to buy a new tablesaw or putting off some much-needed maintenance on your existing saw, it's critical to get your machine dialed-in so your cuts will be flawless. WOOD® magazine tool-testing expert Bob Baker mastered the process and developed a shop full of shortcuts and tips to help you assemble a new saw or simply give your old one some overdue TLC. Although many of the photos in this article show Bob setting up a 220-volt cabinet saw, nearly all the steps apply to lesser-powered 110-volt contractor-style and hybrid saws as well, with some tips specific for each of those types.
Install the wings flush to the tabletop in 6 simple steps
If your saw has one, add the extension table and level it with the top
To save bending down, assemble the extension table, support legs, and frame on your saw's tabletop.
Align the mating table surfaces by clamping directly on the seam or using a board with a straightedge and clamps. Bolt them together. Some extension tables bolt only to the fence rails, not the extension wing. For those, install the fence rails first, and then mount the extension table.
Finally, using a long straightedge that reaches from the extension table corners to the cast-iron top, raise or lower the adjustable feet to level the table surface. Tighten the table-mounting nuts when the two surfaces are level.
Align long, beefy rip-fence rails easily with a couple of tricks
OPTION 1: Use two adjustable-height work supports to hold a rail in position while you insert bolts and set the correct height using the template that came with the saw.
OPTION 2: If you don't have adjustable work supports, simply let one rail end rest on the floor while you loosely secure the other with a bolt; then do the other end.