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Shop Improvments #6: New Table Saw!!!

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Blog entry by sansoo22 posted 05-25-2020 04:57 PM 674 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Weekend Tech Update Part 6 of Shop Improvments series Part 7: Sometimes its the little things that make a big difference »

Don’t get too excited by the exclamation points on the title as the new table saw is just a Delta 36-725T2.

By this point in time I was supposed to have new 200 amp service and a sub panel in the shop all wired up for a “real” saw. But as much as I like to make plans other things tend to pee all over my parade. For example a couple foundation repairs costing in the $15k range. I figured a solid, well draining, foundation is more important than a fancy shop right now. And as much as I complain about home repairs I am very blessed and very thankful to be in a position to do those repairs.

Warning: If you are squeamish around disorganized…and quite frankly messy…shop spaces then turn back now.

Here is the new Delta all setup in its new home…I warned you its a mess

For the OCD folks like myself here is a pic of all the things I used to tune the saw.

The inexpensive i-gauge dial indicator says the fence is off by .05 mm and the blade is off by .02 mm. I’m sure its not very super duper accurate but for my purposes its good enough. Converting those mm measurements to standard its a thou and less than a thou. I ran several 1-1/2” cuts through after making my adjustments and my caliper can’t tell the difference in the width at both ends of the cutoffs so I’m calling it good.

The worst part about all of the adjustments was getting the stupid riving knife bang on parallel with the blade. Im not sure why but the 4 bolt adjustment mechanism was like 1 bolt too many and took me almost an hour to get it just right.

Once everything was trued up the whole entire top of the saw, the fence, and the rails got a good coat of wax. Including all 3 throat plates.

GASP...that’s not a homemade ZCI…I know and I don’t care. I watched a few videos on making one for this model and decided I had much more important things to do with my time.

I guess stay tuned for some modifications I will be making to this saw soon. The steel wings aren’t long for this world and Im already planning ways to add overarm dust collection.



10 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8574 posts in 4421 days


#1 posted 05-25-2020 06:48 PM

Looks like a decent saw. Congrats!

FWIW, at these measurements this is mighty accurate, and no, not everyone has to make their own ZCI. Sometimes time is more valuable than money.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

896 posts in 427 days


#2 posted 05-26-2020 12:42 AM

I was quite impressed with how accurate I was able to tune the saw. I credit that to having a DeWalt job site saw for a couple years prior to this one. I spent forever on that DeWalt tweaking and tuning it. No matter what I did I couldn’t cut 2 pieces of wood to be identical. Cut up a bunch ply to form drawer boxes and when you stack them all together you could feel the edges. With this saw I get accurate repeatability in my cuts and its so far been a game changer.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

4686 posts in 1593 days


#3 posted 05-26-2020 04:41 AM



No matter what I did I couldn t cut 2 pieces of wood to be identical.
- sansoo22

Know the feeling… everytime I took a second cut, the wood was always shorter than after the first cut… oh well, inaccurate saws!

... not everyone has to make their own ZCI. Sometimes time is more valuable than money.
- PurpLev

For my 34c worth (inflation). I have a different take… Time is money so it’s not move valuable but has a finite value… nevertheless you are correct in pricing time… (hmm, it makes sense to me).

Couple of things I am dogmatic about when it comes to tablesaws are
  • a splitter/riving-knife
  • a ZCI per blade kerf.

You only need to toil over your first ZCI and then use that as a routing template. A fender washer and a recessed screw will always work as a simple rear anchor for the ZCI… While they’re not so much a safety issue, unless you indulge in very narrow stock/”shavings”, it’s the tearout or lack thereof that benefits… and if you reckon that bullshit, then why were you (sansoo) worried about .05mm tolerances?
Furthermore, undoubtedly you’ll revert to that “bad habit” of using the tabletop as a mini-assembly table… and I can guarantee you that many a screw will work it’s way between the blade and those “proprietary throat plates”.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

896 posts in 427 days


#4 posted 05-26-2020 05:41 PM

LBD – I’m not usually one to blame a tool but I spent hours trying to tune that DeWalt and never got it to cut two pieces exactly the same. I think it was the cheap aluminum fence. Thin walled aluminum stock seemed to flex in the center. The main issue was smaller pieces. Anything that used the majority of the fence was fine but damn did it drive me nuts trying to cut a bunch of smaller pieces to make a box or jig and have them all need to be sanded to the same dimensions.

I have no excuse for being worried about .05 mm other than the fact I rarely use metric here in the US. My brain kept telling me it was .05 in…so I guess learning to read should be added to my list of skills to learn.

For the shop made ZCI I know i will give it a go someday. The Delta uses sheet metal throat plates which tosses that into the upper limits…or possibly beyond…my current skill set. Maybe once the router/pin router table is done I will give it a go.

If I had a NASA lab like you work in I might be inclined to 3D print a new center block for the Delta ZCI that covers the full blade and riving knife. Delta was kind enough to make it removable so all I would need is a CAD drawing and access to your NASA lab.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

4686 posts in 1593 days


#5 posted 05-27-2020 12:30 AM



I have no excuse for being worried about .05 mm other than the fact I rarely use metric here in the US. My brain kept telling me it was .05 in…so I guess learning to read should be added to my list of skills to learn.

For the shop made ZCI I know i will give it a go someday. The Delta uses sheet metal throat plates which tosses that into the upper limits…or possibly beyond…my current skill set. Maybe once the router/pin router table is done I will give it a go.
- sansoo22


Bloody imperial… I see your concern… lucky I have 12 fingers and counted .05” to be 1.27mm which is a tad more than your advertised 0.05mm. With such tolerance quotes, have you considered a job in advertising products?

As for the ZCI, I may have asked for some photos in another blog… still not making promises, but am still prepared to look.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

896 posts in 427 days


#6 posted 05-27-2020 04:38 AM

Here’s a couple shots of the ZCI. First up is the bottom side of it and second is the table saw opening.

If you need any other angles let me know. My buddy Chuck who runs a maker space might be lending a hand to 3D print a new center block that spans the length of the whole insert. He wants to try printing the center block as well as a complete insert in PETG plastic and see how it wears. Only thing I need to do is purchase a spare to ship to him out in Colorado.

Unfortunately Chuck has lots of grand ideas and plans that he gets about half done and abandons so I’m not holding my breath he will help me out. Great guy but scatter brained as can be.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

4686 posts in 1593 days


#7 posted 05-27-2020 02:38 PM

Why can’t you place a cut piece of timber over the hole? Those lugs should stop it from falling through.

There must be something I’m obviously missing. Does that throat plate hold a riving knife?

looks not much different to mine,

unless they are raised protrusions on those lugs… even then a ZCI could sit on top… doesn’t need to be thick… can have 1/8” or is it an anchoring issue?

How far out is my logic here?

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

896 posts in 427 days


#8 posted 05-27-2020 07:06 PM

You’re not missing anything and I think you’re right on track. I guess I’m having a disconnect in my brain on how to build it. If I start with 3/4 stock how do I bring it down to 1/8 where the nubs on the saw are? I don’t own a drill press to do this accurately with a forstner bit. I know craftsman built things like this for years with hand tools but I’m not sure how to do it.

I know the saw has adjustment screws which could be used if my accuracy is a bit off. But then my brain has a problem with that. If I make multiple ZCIs I don’t want to spend a ton of time tweaking the adjustment screws to get each one to fit just right. Is it a big deal in reality to make adjustments every time you switch a throat plate…not really…but efficiency and productivity is what I get paid to write code and design algorithms for a living so its just how I’m wired. Always looking ahead at the pain points of a process.

Sorry I’m weird…I’m not trying to be obtuse on purpose. I REALLY appreciate the help. I just don’t know where to start the build process of making one with a table saw, band saw, and cordless drill while at the same time being able to reproduce the process accurately.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

4686 posts in 1593 days


#9 posted 05-28-2020 03:42 AM

Use those adjustments screws to yoiur advantage. Depending on your throat plate thickness, choose the best narrower ply or MDF (3mm or 6mm… or in fake measurements, 1/8” or 1/4”)... I doubt if the playte has to be “load bearing” so probably 3mm would be sufficient, however, to err on caution, laminate for strength

... two separate layers of 3mm… the bottom plate could be better profiled to minimise the support lip width on the top layer.
To secure the off end, use fender washers,

and the normal screw on the near end.

Work on an accurate prototype(s) and then keep that/them as routing template(s)... you do have a router? That way you can churn a new ZCI out in minutes for each different saw blade/dado…

While a ZCI is not a must have it is a should have... and well worth the investment of time.

It is not the small pieces that fall between the blade that is the issue, what I have heard (and seen) being the issue is people fishing out that fallen bit before the blade stops… stupid action but it happens… I’ve bloody well done it… fortunately winth NOT my remaining 9.99 fingers (lost a layer or two of skin on my middle finger to an obnixious jointer).

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

896 posts in 427 days


#10 posted 05-28-2020 01:54 PM

Thanks LDB! I had considered MDF but figured 1/8” was too thin and would flex but the idea of laminating a couple ply together never occurred to me. Its all starting to make sense now.

And yes I do have a router…a couple actually…in a rather odd configuration but it works

Thanks again for all the help. I’m feeling very confident i can get this done now.

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