Aligning your table saw blade on the table for various wood projects or tasks is the key to getting finely sawn wooden planks or pieces with good accuracy.
This accuracy is needed all the time since the wood from tree trunks will not always have perfectly straight lines for you to follow along as you saw the wood.
Knowing how to align a table saw blade is one of the tricks of the trade. If you want to survive in a woodshop department and show off your talents as an efficient carpenter or artist, then you need to know about this.
Steps on How to Align a Table Saw Blade
When you are about to start a project, you obviously have lined up your table saw fence properly. You need to give the same importance to aligning the blade of the table saw. Or else, you could face problems with the wood-burning or causing kick-backs.
If you follow the steps below, you will know how to align a table saw blade all by yourself –
Step 1: Disconnect Power Source
Before you do anything, you need to turn off the table saw machine by disconnecting it from its power source. It would be very dangerous if you start to position the table saw blade and it suddenly begins to rotate.
When you are excited to do a new project, it is natural that you may forget to turn the table saw off. This is exactly why disconnecting its power source is the first step.
Step 2: Get the Right Tools
The best way to get a table saw blade to be aligned in a parallel way with precision on the table is by using a miter slot tool. You should have one around, but in case you do not, you need to buy one. The miter slot will align your saw blade perfectly and help you avoid kickbacks and burn marks on the wood.
Step 3: Checking Out the Assembly of Table Saw Parts
If your table saw is new, or if you are moving your table saw from one place to another, you need to make sure all the parts of the saw are in place. On the trunnion brackets, your table saw blade and motor should be mounted. Depending on the kind of table saw you have, assembly of the trunnion brackets should either be on the table’s underside or mounted to the base of the saw blade.
So, when you transport your table saw to another place, this exact assembly of parts can end up losing their correct alignment slightly, because of the movement from the bumps on the road it is being transported on.
To know for sure if there has been a misalignment, you should measure the positions of all the parts before it is transported. After it has been set down after transportation, measure them again.
This way, you can compare the differences. If there are no differences, then luckily nothing on your table saw has been repositioned or misaligned.
Step 4: Understanding the Use of the Miter Slot
The safest and most accurate way to know if your blade has been misaligned is by comparing its position from the miter slot that you have fixed on the table. This technique is easier than using a scale or measuring tape and measuring twice to see the differences before and after transportation.
That technique may work for other table saw parts, but for the blade itself, you need to be extra careful and extra accurate.
Here, all you need to do is measure the distance of the blade from the miter slot. You need to compare the back parts of both the blade and the miter slot. And then, compare the front parts of the blade and the miter slot.
If the distances of these two are equal, then the saw blade and the miter slot are parallel and perfectly aligned. Raise the saw blade all the way up to its highest position, and check to see if it is perpendicular to the table. If it is truly aligned, then it should be perpendicular.
Step 5: Using the Miter Slot
When you are about to use the miter slot, you need to have a combination square with you. Place that combination square inside the miter slot, and make sure it is positioned tightly somewhere closest to the saw blade.
Slide it all the way up till it is lined up side by side with the saw blade’s front side. Make sure to extend the ruler or scale to the point it touches the edge of the blade or its sharp teeth.
The sound of a single tooth of the blade rubbing against the blade can be heard when you move the blade to and fro. You need to mark the tooth and move on to the next tooth, and measure & compare the second tooth with the first one.
Continue to rotate the saw blade until the first tooth is all the way at the blade’s backside. If the distance around the backside is less or shorter than it is on the blade’s front side, then the blade’s backside is closer to the miter slot.
This way, the blade will end up pinching the wood piece you are working on and cause a kickback accident. That is why you need to align the table saw blade following the measurements and comparisons with the miter slot tool you have.
As long as you follow the above techniques on how to align a table saw blade with the help of the miter slot tool, you will not have to worry about sloppy results on your woodshop projects.
You can also avoid accidents from happening because of a misaligned table saw blade. Hopefully, this process will help you align your saw blade and keep enjoying your woodshop work.