tuning up a used table saw for safety - Jet JTAS-10XL-1

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Forum topic by piersonjc posted 01-14-2019 11:37 PM 638 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 35 days

01-14-2019 11:37 PM

I am a DIYer, mostly remodeling type stuff, and I’m a recent empty-nester looking to start woodworking as a hobby. I purchased a used Jet JTAS-10XL-1 cabinet saw recently after I realized that a jobsite saw isn’t necessarily ideal for woodworking.

The saw is used and is about 10ish years old. It’s the 3hp, 1PH motor, 240v. I got my 240v outlet installed today and finally turned the saw on for the first time. It seems to run smooth. I cut one board just cuz, and here I am.

Here’s where I’d like to lean on you, my new friends here at LJ, to make sure I’m safe and have a saw that lasts a long time.

What would you do, given this saw, to make sure it’s tuned up, safe, and ready to use?

-It came packed with sawdust in the cabinet, all the way up to the motor. I vacuumed out the cabinet.
-It came with the blade guard detached and there is no longer a bracket on the cabinet to hold it. I assume the off-feed roller system conflicted with it so the previous owner removed it.
-It has no splitter, riving knife or guard installed. I’ve been searching, but don’t know what to buy or install.
-It has a mobile base on the bottom, with the long extension table out to the right.
-The cast iron top seems to have some stains in a couple spots that don’t seem like rust, but hard to tell. It’s in pretty good shape and just needs cleaning.
-The blade raises and tilts but I haven’t checked to see if it goes to the stops easily or is binding up with gunk.
-It has the blade in it that came with it so I don’t know the blade history or quality.

If you had just purchased this used saw, what would you do to treat it properly and respectfully prior to putting it into service? Thanks for any input, big or small, long or short. I’m a newbie who knows enough to know this thing is dangerous. I’ve watched a lot of youtube videos to start getting oriented, but this is my first cabinet saw.

1. How should I clean the various parts?
2. What should I test, measure, adjust or look for that might be out of whack or need attention?
3. What’s the simplest way to get a safe splitter or riving knife on it without spending more than $50-75 if I don’t have to? I don’t believe the stock splitter mount moves with the blade.

Looking forward to reading your replies and guidance.


-- --Jason

9 replies so far

View ocean's profile


141 posts in 1101 days

#1 posted 01-15-2019 01:30 AM

I think you are moving in the right direction. Try some fine steel wool on the stain to see if the stain is rust. After you get it clean, get some Johnson paste wax and buff the top down. As for the most important part – the splitter, it is important to know that most splitters / riving knives are particular to the model you are talking about. I would contact Jet to see if a replacement is available. While it may cost more than $75, it will be the best money you spend. Also get a new blade if not a couple. Rip, Crosscut, etc. – this where your money will speak the most in a quality cut. A good square will help with alignment and maybe a tilt box. All not a lot of money but will go a long way in making adjustments. Also check out for a manual if you don’t have one. Best of luck

-- Bob, FL Keys

View jamsomito's profile


415 posts in 694 days

#2 posted 01-15-2019 02:11 AM

Might go without saying, but check the alignment of the blade and fence with the table. Align everything to the miter slots – blade to slot, then fence to slot. If it wasn’t disassembled for the move and there’s that much dust in it, the previous owner probably had it aligned fine, but this would be a safety / quality of cut issue too. I wouldn’t do much without testing that first myself.

View piersonjc's profile


6 posts in 35 days

#3 posted 01-15-2019 06:32 PM

Thanks! I look forward to others chiming in as well.

Is there any way to know if the motor is in good shape?
Are there belts I should change just as a good maintenance habit?

-- --Jason

View Firewood's profile


621 posts in 1902 days

#4 posted 01-15-2019 07:44 PM

Did you get a manual with the saw? That will probably have the best info for aligning and maintaining it. But many items are pretty easy to figure out once you take a close look at the mechanisms that control it.

Starting with the inside, use compressed air to blow out as much dust as possible from all the books and crannies. Clean off the gears of any caked on grease and look at it for signs of ware (metal bits or filings in the grease). Once it’s all cleaned up, lubricate with some spray on dry lube.

Belt configurations will vary from saw to saw. Check it for signs of cracking or if there signs of belt dust which suggest pully misalignment or slipping.

Check to be sure the wings are mounted flush to the top and don’t sag. The top and wings should be flat all the way across.

The biggest thing with the top is that rust and anything causing a rough spot is removed (dried glue, etc). The stains won’t hurt anything. Once cleaned up, apply a good coat of paste wax to it.

Jamsomito is right. Align everything to the mitersaw slots. When checking the blade alignment, also check for run-out. If it’s noted, it could be the blade or the arbor. Further checking will determine which is the culprit.

When aligning the fence, I always kick out the back end a few thousanths away from the blade to help prevent pinching, burning and especially kick back.

Hope this helps a little.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View piersonjc's profile


6 posts in 35 days

#5 posted 01-15-2019 07:48 PM

Incredibly helpful.

I found a manual online, luckily. I’ve been studying that. I’ll have to read up on “run-out”. I’m not familiar with that yet.

Thanks guys.

-- --Jason

View MrRon's profile


5364 posts in 3511 days

#6 posted 01-16-2019 01:10 AM

I’m from the “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” school. I would just blow out all the saw dust, clean and wax the top, align the blade to the miter slot and the fence to the miter slot and put it to use. As long as it works properly, you shouldn’t have to do anything more to it. When the time comes when it is not working right, is the right time to fix it. For now, use it and enjoy it. As a new saw user, the first kickback you get if you are lucky won’t cause injury, but it will scare you and make you timid in the future. To prevent the inevitable kickback, make sure the fence is a few thous more away from the blade at the outfeed end of the fence than at the infeed end. Keep a good grip on the wood and use a push stick on narrow wood. Kickback usually happens when the sawyer has too light a pressure on the wood. A dull blade will also do the same. It is a common mistake for people new to saws to depend solely on safety devices to keep them safe. No safety device will keep you completely safe from injury. You have to know your machine and respect it the same as you would a firearm.

View piersonjc's profile


6 posts in 35 days

#7 posted 01-16-2019 01:52 AM

The blade turns out to be very straight and true. There’s no run out. Everything feels tight. Spins with little or no vibration.

I think I’ll clean the top, wax it, get a splitter installed and start cutting. Things seem really good with it.

I’m going to try the MJ microjig splitters installed in the plate.

First project is to build a crosscut sled.

Great community. Thanks all. Any additional comments welcomed!!

-- --Jason

View rwe2156's profile


3277 posts in 1749 days

#8 posted 01-16-2019 02:33 PM


First, let me say you made an excellent choice in a nice saw that will take you far.
I have an older model Jet Xacta that has served me well for a long time. Manuals should be available online.

Second, you are on the right track with inspecting and checking the saw out before using.

There are many sources available but in a nutshell here are the steps to align a table saw:

1. Adjust blade parallel to miter slot. Adjustment will require loosening the trunnion.
2. Align fence to blade. Using the same tooth on the blade, adjust the fence so its .004-.—600 wider at the rear.
3. Check setting for 90°.

Beyond that, safety involves several things, not the least of which is learning to read wood both before and while its going through the saw.

I operated without one for years but IMO a splitter is necessity. Either make or buy one that mount into the insert. Personally I use the Microjig.

Other safety devices include push blocks, push sticks, feather boards, etc.

Personally, I removed the factory guard/splitter because is was a POJ. Never have used a guard, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend NOT using one.

Watch a few videos on table saw safety from reputable sources, and be VERY careful of guys on YouTube. Some of them should be held liable IMO.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View piersonjc's profile


6 posts in 35 days

#9 posted 01-17-2019 06:26 PM

I hit my first issue to address with the new (used) Jet saw.

The plastic face on the fence is not true. The lower half is close to square but it seems to tilt away from the blade on the upper portion of the fence. I’ve used the leveling screws but that’s not solving a non-flat face issue. Looks like I’ll need to replace the fence face.

From my readings, it looks like 3/4” Baltic Birch plywood with a formica face might be a good solution. Is there a better solution, in your opinion? I’m a hobbyist, just learning, so “good enough” is good enough. I don’t have a need to go buy an expensive solution. I want the fence straight and square but nothing ridiculous.

I found the other threads on facing a fence, so no need to rehash it here. Great info on this forum. Love it.

-- --Jason

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