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Forum topic by MartyZ posted 09-24-2019 09:19 PM 730 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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41 posts in 802 days

09-24-2019 09:19 PM

Ok, maybe not a total newbie to working with my hands and DIY but a total newbie to wood working and to this forum. And I apologize in advance for the extremely long winded post.

So first, let me introduce myself. My name is Marty, I have worked with my hands pretty much most of my life, I am very close to reaching my mid life crisis, but mainly working with cars and fixing stuff around the house. So recently I decided to get into woodworking strictly as a hobby, I have absolutely no grand dreams of making money off of woodworking, at least not at this time.

That being said, I have always had many tools but I just bought my very first table saw. Now space was a big issue since my “workshop”, if you can call it that, is half of a 1 car garage, so my only table saw choices where in the compact and job site category.

So I recently picked up the Hitachi C10RJ at Lowes on sale for $299, which I think was a great deal. So I am setting up the saw, making all adjustments, getting ready for my first real project, a closet organizer, and I notice that my miter slots are not perfectly parallel. I understand I only paid $299 for the saw, and it is a job site saw, I am just wondering if this will cause me major headaches when trying to build a crosscut sled, which I will definitely be doing soon.

But when I say not perfectly parallel, I mean pretty damn close, to the tune of .005 in. Using my trusty harbor freight dial caliper and a new diablo blade, I am showing that the right slot is perfectly parallel to the blade but the left slot veers off by .005 in along the blade at it’s top most position, so maybe 8” or so.

So will the .005 in cause me any headaches in the future as far as binding goes or is it just not big enough?

Also, I am looking at an aftermarket miter gauge because obviously the one that came with the saw is a piece of just. And in this case I am going as high as possible and looking at the Incra 1000se. But I have concerns about a steel runner in an aluminum top wearing out the aluminum, any suggestions on that? I was also looking at the Kreg, which is aluminum, but those nylon set screw appear to be a very weak link.

Any and all suggestion are extremely appreciated.

19 replies so far

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2848 posts in 835 days

#1 posted 09-24-2019 09:29 PM

A comment, or 2, about the sled- you can make this with a single runner in the “good” mitre slot.

Sometimes, not always, when you glue the runner to the sled the wood can swell just a hair but enough so that the runner you had perfectly machined is now swollen and doesnt run smoothly. So, I use carpet tape to stick it fast, then screw it, no glue. And this way, it can be changed for a new runner easily if need be.

Think safe, work safe, be safe!

-- WWBBJ: It is better to be interesting and wrong, than boring and right.

View MSquared's profile


1173 posts in 1202 days

#2 posted 09-24-2019 10:56 PM

There they go again! Been a while. MartyZ, don’t be fooled! All the plans are free elsewhere.

-- Marty, Long Island, NY

View Aj2's profile


4143 posts in 3086 days

#3 posted 09-24-2019 11:26 PM

I use to have the Kreg miter for my tablesaw.
It’s a good miter gauge maybe too good for a low end table saw.
Woodworking is a very expensive hobby. We have a saying buy once cry once.
Be patient and look to the used market for quality.

Good Luck

-- Aj

View MartyZ's profile


41 posts in 802 days

#4 posted 09-24-2019 11:39 PM

I use to have the Kreg miter for my tablesaw.
It’s a good miter gauge maybe too good for a low end table saw.
Woodworking is a very expensive hobby. We have a saying buy once cry once.
Be patient and look to the used market for quality.

Good Luck

- Aj2

Exactly, that’s why I’m looking at the incra. My concern is the steel runner in the aluminum table

View RRBOU's profile


231 posts in 3580 days

#5 posted 09-24-2019 11:49 PM

Don’t feer, the metal runners use nylon adjusters for width and this is what the sides of the slot touch.

-- If guns cause crime all of mine are defective Randy

View SMP's profile


4969 posts in 1193 days

#6 posted 09-24-2019 11:59 PM

DO NOT CLiCK that link from tiffanyowens, it is viral spam, atay far away!

Anyways, welcome. First thing I would do is a tune up, as most saws out of the box need a tune up and new blade IMO unless you spend a lot.

View MartyZ's profile


41 posts in 802 days

#7 posted 09-25-2019 12:02 AM

Tune up is done, spent 3 days making sure everything is alinged. Put it a new diablo blade. Just trying to decide which miter slot I will use and align the bkade to that one.

View Aj2's profile


4143 posts in 3086 days

#8 posted 09-25-2019 12:42 AM

Tune up is done, spent 3 days making sure everything is alinged. Put it a new diablo blade. Just trying to decide which miter slot I will use and align the bkade to that one.

- MartyZ

I think you should Aline the blade to the slot on the right. Then check that the fence is cool with that setup. You want to have good clean safe rip cuts.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View therealSteveN's profile


9253 posts in 1862 days

#9 posted 09-25-2019 06:22 AM

Being a new saw, make real sure that you blade tilt, isn’t tilting. If it’s square, the next check is table alignment. I’m not a Hitachi aficionado, but folks would all be screaming if the slots weren’t closer to parallel than that. I haven’t heard any loud screaming, and the off odds that just your saw got it’s table stamped wrong is likely astronomical.

If it truly is off that much, that is a return to Hitachi, or Lowes. 300 bux or not, I wouldn’t accept that you had to choose a slot.

Have you contacted Hitachi? That would be my first move.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Robert's profile


4794 posts in 2768 days

#10 posted 09-25-2019 01:42 PM

Be aware saws of this nature are designed for bouncing around in the back of a pickup, not fine woodworking. They are not accurate and low powered. Most will not accept a dado set, which you will find is a major setback as you progress in your ww’ing.

A full size contractor saw is a minimum IMO, but I realize space is an issue and we all have to start somewhere. My first shop was an 8X12 storage shed and my first “table saw” was a circular saw screwed to a piece of plywood. My first real “table saw” was in reality a POS 70’s model Craftsman with the worst fence I have ever seen.

Back to your saw, rather than a miter gauge, I would suggest making a crosscut sled first. For one thing, a decent miter gauge will cost 1/2 what you paid for the saw. I think you’ll find a CC sled will do everything but the odd angle cut. While true you can use one runner on a sled, you really need two on a crosscut sled. The minor difference in the slots can probably be dealt with by tuning up the miter bars. Give it a shot.

BUT – before you do anything, you need to check and adjust the alignment of the saw. This includes blade 90°, and the blade, miter slot and fence all need to be parallel. The rear of the fence should be about .003 wider than the front.

Once that is all set, be prepared to peridodically check it.

Last but not least, SAFETY. Read, watch some videos, make some push blocks, think about your lumber before you push it through.

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

View MartyZ's profile


41 posts in 802 days

#11 posted 09-25-2019 02:15 PM

Ok, so let me provide some more info, and try to answer every point one at a time.

I have spent the last 3 months or so watching youtube videos and reading articles on line in preparation to start my new hobby.
The Hitachi TS does accept Dado blades, that was one of my requirements, and all review i’ve seen and read place it as a direct competitor to the $600 Dewalt jobsite saw, with a similar fence setup.

I have already made 2 push sticks and 2 push blocks, as practice for using the saw.

This TS will never see the back of a pickup. I plan on building a new workbench and incorporating the TS into it.

I wanted to buy the Incra miter gauge as life long purchase, hoping to eventually have more room and get a contractor saw. So whether I buy it now or later, makes no difference. I just wanted to make sure it would not damage the aluminum top. And I will be building a cc sled from the ply I have left over from my first project, which has officially begun.

As far as the tuning goes. After all the adjustments i’ve made, the right miter slot is perfectly parallel to the blade, and I mean the dial indicator stays on zero, and the fence if perfectly parallel to the right miter slot as well, so the I have 3 perfectly parallel lines, blade right slot, and fence.

The only issue is the left slot, which veers to the right, towards the blade, by .005, which is 1/200 inch.

I honestly did not think that 1/200 was that big of an issue seeing how we are working with wood and not precision machines. I was always under the impression that it was well within tolerances, but I could be wrong.

I really don’t want to return the saw because I think that any saw I get in that category will have similar issues.

Also, I feel more comfortable using the left miter slot then the right one, I think it’s more convenient. So should I align the blade and fence to the left slot, should I split the difference and align the blade .0025 from both slots and the fence to the blade? Or will the .005 variance not cause a noticeable difference in my cuts and just use a single runner in the cc sled?

Also, why should “The rear of the fence should be about .003 wider than the front”?

View bilyo's profile


1422 posts in 2390 days

#12 posted 09-25-2019 02:40 PM

I may take some heat over this but, here goes:

In an ideal world, both miter slots would be perfectly parallel, the blade would be parallel, and the fence would be parallel to everything. For a job site saw, I’m not sure that one should be surprised that something is off by .005”. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that that is only about 1/128”. Not much. That is roughly the thickness of a sheet of common typing paper.

In day to day work, if you are ripping, you can easily set the fence parallel to the blade and the miter slots will have no effect on anything. If you are using the left miter slot and miter gauge to cross cut something, as long as the miter gauge is set perpendicular to the slot (direction of travel), the cut will be square regardless if the blade is off by .005” at the rear. Remember, it is the leading edge of the blade that is doing the cutting, not the rear.

For a cross cut sled using both miter slots (two runners), there might be an issue but, I wonder if 1/128” is serious. However, for a saw that small, I think I would use only one slot anyway (single runner).

Sure. You would prefer that everything be true. But, I wonder if it is worth being overly concerned. Knowing where the errors are makes it easy to compensate where needed.

Sorry for my error. You are correct, .005” = 1/200”. not 1/128.

Yes. If you are able to align the blade with the left miter slot and that is the one you want to use the most, then do so. I rarely use my right hand miter slot. Again, the fence can always be aligned independent of the slots and should always be parallel to the blade.

View bilyo's profile


1422 posts in 2390 days

#13 posted 09-25-2019 03:52 PM

It is good to have the fence a bit farther away from the rear of the blade to alleviate any binding that may occur. Always measure for your cut at the leading tooth (here it goes back under the table top). This also helps to prevent the trailing teeth from “scuffing” the cut edge of your work piece.

View MartyZ's profile


41 posts in 802 days

#14 posted 09-26-2019 12:12 PM

Well, I started the process of aligning the blade to the left miter slot, what a pain in the neck. You need to adjust the motor not the table and when tightening the bolts up it moves it and messes up the alignment. So after about 2 hours I got it to .001 and got too tired to continue. I will get back to it tonight to try and get it perfectly aligned.

View OleGrump's profile


581 posts in 1632 days

#15 posted 09-26-2019 02:07 PM

I have a “contractor grade” (sic) table saw (won’t mention a brand), about which some folks have made comments elsewhere here on LJ, but they’re taken with a grain of salt. (Ain’t nobody offering to GIVE any of us one of those “Go-To-Hell” table saws they like to brag about all the time, so we use what we have, have room for, or can afford)
You have already met the major concern: The rip fence is nice and square to the blade. This is vital for good rip cuts and tenon jigs and the like.
The “offset” of the one miter slot doesn’t seem like all that much to get one’s panties in a bunch. You wanna make a crosscut sled? Put your runners in the slots, mark where the plywood on both sides and attach the runners.
Now push this HALFWAY through the saw. STOP. Use a framing square to mark 90 degrees on either side of the kerf you just made. Screw on the fence and run the sled through the saw. (Maybe a couple of times, raising the blade part way on each pass) until you reach the highest point you intend to use the blade. Your cuts WILL come out square, as the fence is square to the blade. And it doesn’t HAVE to be fancy, over engineered or made from some exotic hardwood found in only ONE copse of trees on “Flyspeck Island” somewhere. The damned thing just has to WORK! When it wears out, throw it in the burn pile and make another one.

-- OleGrump

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