Intro and TS alignment help

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Forum topic by JakeG posted 07-24-2017 04:56 AM 938 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17 posts in 1324 days

07-24-2017 04:56 AM


I’ve been reading around here but haven’t posted until now. I’m a beginning woodworker. I hesitate to even call myself a woodworker. But I have an interest in woodworking!

I have done some light carpentry, masonry, painting, electric, etc… And lots of equipment installations. I work for the AV department of a school.

I have some decent power tools. A bosch router that I just acquired. Some milwaukee M18 stuff. Ancient Makita non-compound mitre saw (boat anchor). And most recently, a Delta 34-410 contractor saw on craigslist, in somewhat good condition, for a fairly good price.

I was having some problems getting the fence square to the blade, so I bought a woodpecker dial indicator/mitre slot jig kit (btw, I don’t recommend it. The jig is very hard to get to sit in the mitre slot consistently, due to the fact that it rides on a round piece of steel with two other round pieces of steel underneath it. Supposed to be versatile for off-size mitre slots, but I’ve just found it to have too much play. Could be user error. Anyway, it’s certainly good enough, just maybe not $80 good enough… I paid $70 for it and the dial indicator goes for about $14, so I guess it was a good deal…).

Anyway, I noticed while trying to get the fence square to my blade, that something wasn’t right. So I checked the blade alignment and it was off by a decent amount. Probably shifted during the move :(.

I ordered my PALS and waited patiently, cleaning and scrubbing the saw table and undercarriage.

When it finally arrived, I anxiously installed the PALS according to the instruction manual (or I tried to anyway).

At some point during the install, one of my “finger tight” bolts must not have been as tight as they are supposed to be, because the trunnion was hanging below the table with visible space in between.

Oops, says I. Oh well, and I proceeded with adjusting the trunnions using the PALS. It took me a while (I think because I only loosened three bolts. Next time I will Loosen 3 and crack the forth just a little).

Anyway, when I got it so that the blade was 0.000 front and 0.000 back I went to put on the blade insert and it was catching the rear of the blade… So I checked with a rule… Oh shit. It’s off. Like way off… In fact it is exactly 0.010” off… Oh no. I went and checked with the dial indicator, and sure enough the tiny little dial said 0 at the front and 1 at the back.

Well I pannicked and loosened and tightened the two rear bolts and the front bolt a few times, but now I cannot seem to get it back to even close to where I started.

I fully expect and deserve the obligatory ribbing for making such a stupid mistake. I honestly spent the past 3 days watching videos of alignments and I tried to make sure I had the best equipment for the job all ready to go. Sadly, if you don’t know how to use fancy equipment, it doesn’t give you better results. In this case it actually gave me worse results, because I know how to use a ruler, or calipers, or a stick with a screw in it…

Anyone have any suggestions?

I noticed that one of the trunnion tie rods is not sitting flush in the center of it’s bolt at the rear of the saw. My next thought was to loosen that bolt and try to reseat the tie rod, so that it sits evenly with the other tie rod.

I am writing this at work (and realizing that I should have taken a bunch of detail shots. I will take some tonight and post them here).

But based on what I have written so far, did I bend something? Should I try to adjust the trunnion tie rod? I’ve been watching videos of different adjustments and it seems like that’s the next logical step.

I’ve honestly thought a few times about disassembling the whole freaking thing and giving it a really thorough cleaning. But I’m worried that putting it back together might require a lift or something.

Anyway thanks! And I appreciate all the wisdom on these forums.

7 replies so far

View JAAune's profile


1932 posts in 3333 days

#1 posted 07-24-2017 05:05 AM

Make sure the trunnion bars are parallel first. See the link below.


-- See my work at

View ChefHDAN's profile


1802 posts in 3865 days

#2 posted 07-24-2017 12:34 PM

Jake, welcome to LJ’s I’m not clear where you’re out of alignment, i think you’re saying you got the blade dead nuts and then the insert deflected the blade. If that’s the issue (and you’ve got a non metal insert), then re-cut the insert and/or make some new inserts so you can have zero clearance. Also if not already done, get a new blade, don’t teust whatever came with the saw.

I’ve also got the WP saw gauge, i originally set up my saw using combo squares etc, and really like how quickly and easily the WP tool can be put on the saw and check alignments after blade changes etc. I have found that I have to make sure that the pins are caught under the dowel before i drop the bar on. Once they’e in place it all slides easily up and down the slot.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View WAPY's profile


56 posts in 1343 days

#3 posted 07-24-2017 02:00 PM

JakeG, perhaps few pictures would help us all… helping you

-- the good woodworker feels what the tree wanted to become

View JakeG's profile


17 posts in 1324 days

#4 posted 07-30-2017 12:24 AM

Hey guys,

Thanks for the welcome! Sorry I didn’t respond sooner. Sorry I didn’t post pictures. Not very helpful to the helpers I know…

Since it was my first post it required approval and I couldn’t find my post anywhere, I gave up on the forum.

I did some googling, posted on another forum, and eventually fixed the problem. Mitre slots are now +/- 0.001 front and back to the blade.

The trunnion tie rods were way out, so even after I corrected my original “alignment,” the front trunnions were so far out that I couldn’t get closer than 20/1000” or so. Your advice above was spot on, even though I didn’t see it until now.

A few things for the next total green newbie who has this issue:

1. You MAY not need to go buy a 1” socket. My Delta came with wrenches that fit the trunnion tie rod locking nuts. I was glad I did get a 1” socket because i busted my knuckles more than once trying to use adjustable wrenches, and the wrenches that came with my saw do not fit the bolts tightly, perhaps they aren’t meant to be used for this purpose after all…
2. Go ahead and use PB Blaster or liquid wrench on the trunnion tie rod locking nuts. If the tie bars were pushed out of alignment by forces other than normal usage, then they will probably be so tight that you won’t be able to loosen them otherwise.
3. Don’t be TOO shy about loosening trunnion bolts or tie rod nuts if your saw is this far out of alignment. Loosen them all up and see how close to accurate you can get.
4. Home depot carries 8”x10” glass replacement windows. They cost under $2 and are dead flat. It fight perfectly on the trunnion tie rods and helped me get them exactly parallel. Just keep light pressure on the middle and push down on the corners to check for movement. Then gently torque or wiggle the rear trunnion tie rods until the glass doesn’t move at all. Tighten all the bolts and check again.
5. PALS are awesome for fine tuning. They are NOT used for making big adjustments to the alignment! don’t even install them until your tie rods are parallel.
6. Even after I got the tie rods parallel, I couldn’t get good alignment until I loosened the fourth (hidden) trunnion bolt (in the front of the saw. on the right side from the operators viewpoint).
7. Some people suggest not loosening the 4th bolt. Maybe it’s out of fear that you will drop the whole assembly. Maybe it’s because you could adjust the front trunnion and rear trunnion to be in alignment with each other, but to close or far from the fence. Whatever the reason, it was much easier for me to get close to true, tighten the hidden bolt, then fine tune with the other three bolts loose.

Thanks again for all your help. Once I finish my tune up (just need some more elbow grease on the top and a little wax) I will hopefully be able to post a PROJECT!

My first project will probably be a featherboard! Then a router table fence. Perhaps a mitre sled.
Then I would like to put together some boxes/organizational things.

It was fun learning about machinery, and I have a much better understanding of the table saw (simple though it may be) so this was actually worth it for me… Even though I spent upwards of 50 hours on this thing… I could have bought a freaking grizzly if I had been getting paid for that time!

So far I have changed the belt, added pals, dusted and vacuumed, put paste wax on the moving parts, removed the first few layers of grime from the table top, leveled the wings, adjusted the fence, set the blade stops and the mitre stops. Definitely good to know how to do that stuff in the future.

View JakeG's profile


17 posts in 1324 days

#5 posted 07-30-2017 12:29 AM

I ve also got the WP saw gauge, i originally set up my saw using combo squares etc, and really like how quickly and easily the WP tool can be put on the saw and check alignments after blade changes etc. I have found that I have to make sure that the pins are caught under the dowel before i drop the bar on. Once they e in place it all slides easily up and down the slot.

- ChefHDAN

I have gotten to be pretty good at it, but occasionally it just slips!

Don’t get me wrong, I love the jig and the gauge. It’s way better than if I had tried to cobble something together (especially without a working table saw), but I feel like something like the A-LINE-IT would have been a better purchase for me. Anyway, I’m glad I have it!

View JakeG's profile


17 posts in 1324 days

#6 posted 07-30-2017 08:35 PM

It’s doing the job. It has a little rumble to it. My garage floor is kind of uneven. I will probably have to find a flat spot for it.

View JakeG's profile


17 posts in 1324 days

#7 posted 07-31-2017 09:42 PM

After a few cuts it went out of alignment again.

I think it was due to the pulleys going out of alignment.

I got it back to 0.001 aligned the pulleys and tightened the bolts as much as I could.

If it happens again then I guess I will order a set of PALS for the front and use some lock-tite.

So much time spent and so little accomplished.

I didn’t raise the blade high enough to make the featherboard. When I went to drill holes to route the slots I drilled through a good portion of one of my feathers.

Good times!

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