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New Sawstop PCS issues - any suggestions?

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Forum topic by jtm posted 11-10-2019 04:24 AM 1361 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jtm

237 posts in 2195 days


11-10-2019 04:24 AM

Hi all,

I finally bought my dream saw – a 3HP Sawstop PCS cabinet saw.

I bought it a couple of weeks ago and just had the chance to finish setting it up today. Here’s where the problems start…

First, I checked alignment of the blade to the miter slot. It was out about 0.008 (toed in toward the fence, so it needed to be fixed). Then I rotated the blade and checked again. Now it was out 0.005. This seemed weird so I check it in a few other spots. The numbers kept changing between 0.005 to 0.010 from front to back. So not only was it not aligned to the miter slot, something was causing a lot of runout.

Then I set the dial indicator in a fixed position and rotated the blade. I observed 0.006 of runout in a fixed spot. This didn’t make sense, since I was using a brand new Ridge Carbide blade, and those are supposed to be within 0.0015. I tried my old Marples blade, and that too had some runout, although only 0.004. So I cleaned the arbor and the washer, and reseated the Ridge Carbide. Unfortunately, nothing changed.

At this point I wasn’t sure whether the issue was with the Sawstop, the blade, or both.

I decided to take my dial indicator and test the saw arbor flange and shaft. I observed 0.001 on the shaft, and 0.0015 on the arbor flange. This seems like a lot of runout for such a small circle, and it would be magnified over the radius of a 10” sawblade. I checked Sawstop’s website, and their spec for max allowable runout is 0.001.

I’ve done a bit of research on replacing the arbor, and it looks like it will be a PITA. But my other option is to return the saw, which will also be a PITA.

Anyone have nay other suggestions? Is there a way to true up the arbor? (I know Matthias Wandel has a video where he does this, but I’m not sure I want to grind it down with sandpaper until I talk to Sawstop).

Also, is there a way to test the Ridge Carbide blade to confirm that it’s within 0.0015? I don’t have a granite plate reference or anything like that.

Not going to lie, there have been a couple of other minor issues, and I’m a little bit disappointed with my Sawstop experience. As of right now, my $4000 saw (I bought the $400 mobile base, dado cartridge, and insert plates), isn’t as accurate as my $50 Craftsman 113 Flex Drive saw from Craigslist.


22 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

6013 posts in 3372 days


#1 posted 11-10-2019 05:52 AM

What about just running a board through it? Put a dado blade on it and make some joinery cuts.
You may be altering or returning a saw that works just fine.

I have the same saw, and while I’ve never put it through such exacting tests, I’ve never had a single problem with it either.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View jtm's profile

jtm

237 posts in 2195 days


#2 posted 11-10-2019 07:04 AM



What about just running a board through it? Put a dado blade on it and make some joinery cuts.
You may be altering or returning a saw that works just fine.

I have the same saw, and while I ve never put it through such exacting tests, I ve never had a single problem with it either.

- pintodeluxe

I hadn’t planned on testing the arbor and flange. It was only after I tried getting it aligned with the miter slot
that I noticed the issue.

I did figure out that the Ridge Carbide blade is most likely contributing to the problem. I was able to hold the blade against the arbor flange without actually turning the arbor. When I tested 2 separate Marples blades, I was able to get 0.001 runout repeatably. When I ran the same test with the Ridge Carbide, I kept getting 0.007.

So I guess I’ll use the Marples blade to calibrate the saw as best as possible and then RMA the Ridge Carbide.

View jtm's profile

jtm

237 posts in 2195 days


#3 posted 11-10-2019 08:10 AM

So I just completely cleaned my Marples blade and tested the saw again. Right now I’m getting a total blade runout of 0.003 (measured at each gullet). My miter slot is 0.003 toed in based on the same blade tooth, so I may adjust that down to 0.001 tomorrow.

The Ridge Carbide blade is still way off (0.008 – 0.010).

View jonah's profile

jonah

2092 posts in 3857 days


#4 posted 11-10-2019 12:10 PM

This seems like a circumstance where you should contact Sawstop, rather than troubleshoot it over the internet.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4267 posts in 2547 days


#5 posted 11-10-2019 12:24 PM

When I tested 2 separate Marples blades, I was able to get 0.001 runout repeatably.

I do not understand the problem. It is time to make sawdust.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4267 posts in 2547 days


#6 posted 11-10-2019 12:26 PM



So I just completely cleaned my Marples blade and tested the saw again. Right now I m getting a total blade runout of 0.003 (measured at each gullet). My miter slot is 0.003 toed in based on the same blade tooth, so I may adjust that down to 0.001 tomorrow.

The Ridge Carbide blade is still way off (0.008 – 0.010).

- jtm

If you have run out of 0.001” , what is the problem? Make sawdust!

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4267 posts in 2547 days


#7 posted 11-10-2019 12:30 PM


When I tested 2 separate Marples blades, I was able to get 0.001 runout repeatably.

- jtm

With 0.001” runout, what is the problem ? Time to make sawdust!

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5832 posts in 3052 days


#8 posted 11-10-2019 02:07 PM

My ICS has .003” runout with a Ridge Carbide TS 2000 blade. But to be honest I never thought about checking until now…..I started sawing wood when I got it, it worked fine…didn’t seem like there was anything to check.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

4170 posts in 1946 days


#9 posted 11-10-2019 02:41 PM



So I just completely cleaned my Marples blade and tested the saw again. Right now I m getting a total blade runout of 0.003 (measured at each gullet). My miter slot is 0.003 toed in based on the same blade tooth, so I may adjust that down to 0.001 tomorrow.

The Ridge Carbide blade is still way off (0.008 – 0.010).

- jtm

You said that you measured the runout at the gullet? Aren’t you supposed to measure on the side of the teeth? My assumption has always been that they grind the teeth to get them within target tolerances. If the teeth are aligned, it really shouldn’t matter that the gullets are a few thousands off.

But I agree with the others. Make some sawdust. .01 is not something you can really measure with a ruler so won’t make a lick of difference on woodwork.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

4285 posts in 1133 days


#10 posted 11-12-2019 04:45 AM

I bet a lot of folks are checking their saw blades, that may not have before.

I will say I moved off of Ridge products 4 years ago. For somewhere around 12 years he was my go to blade.

I agree with Nathan, measure at the tooth, if you are looking for run out. You can use the saw plate if looking at distance between miter slot, or fence from the blade. If the “grind” is good it is the place you want to know about that the saws path is following. If it won’t give you that straight path, then all else may be in question.

For giggles just make a 90 crosscut on a piece of wood at least 3” wide. use your miter gauge to push through. this will verify miter gauge, and blade run out. The stock should easily go back together just as you cut it. Now flip over one half of the cut, so the bottom of the stock, is now on the top, but both halves of the cut are still together. If your cut is at dead 90, there should be no gap. A gap says you are not cutting a true 90. So something is wonky, be it blade, arbor, miter gauge? 5 second test that can tell you if you should pass go, or STOP and find and fix your problem. I’d suggest this before running something along the fence. Toe in is kickback time.

I don’t own a Saw Stop, but in my mind I’ve always wondered if that weenie cutting gizmo added another thing to check in relation to “checking everything out” Can that thing change to path of the blade? It sure can stop it. I understand it “needs activation” but I question, does it really?

-- Think safe, be safe

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117781 posts in 4136 days


#11 posted 11-12-2019 05:06 AM

Contact Trent Davis https://www.lumberjocks.com/TrentDavis he works for SawStop and he’s a great guy and totally knows it all when it comes to Sawstops.

https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos

View jtm's profile

jtm

237 posts in 2195 days


#12 posted 11-12-2019 06:58 AM

Thanks for all the replies everyone.

I know it seems like I’m splitting hairs here, but Sawstop is advertised (and priced) as a premium saw. Everyone always raves about the fit and finish, so I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect it to at least be within advertised specifications.

The table is fantastic. The wings and main table are flat to within 0.002” as measured with with my straightedge and feeler gauge.

Then I adjusted the blade to be 0.001” with the miter slot.

After adjusting the miter slot to the blade, I tested runout at the front and back of the blade. Total for both positions was about 0.003”. (for the record, if I install my brand new Ridge Carbide TS2000, runout is 0.008” or more.)

The fence is now adjusted to be toed out 0.002” with the miter slot (although the surface of the fence varies by 0.005”, so I had to take an average).

These are good numbers, but I guess I was just expecting a little better? I actually had less runout on my Craftsman Flexdrive, and my Delta T3 fence was within 0.002” or so in flatness.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

2024 posts in 2053 days


#13 posted 11-12-2019 09:17 AM

Don’t know about SS, but Delta used to check and tune every Unisaw arbor for run-out on saw, after assembly.

Have rebuilt several Unisaw, and had to grind the arbor on most of them to get them to my desired run-out specifications < 0.001”. Reads like you expect same specifications? It’s not hard using an oil stone, and doesn’t take long to fix it. While lot easier than changing any arbor.

Bunch of posts on topic on arbor grinding:
https://www.woodgears.ca/saw_arbor/index.html
https://www.lumberjocks.com/topics/305262
https://www.lumberjocks.com/vipond33/blog/31802

One can lament about expensive new tool shouldn’t need this, probably right. If the arbor doesn’t have any other ‘play’ or ‘slop’ issues; I bet if SS service tech showed up, he grind the arbor and call it good since the error is small enough to be fixed easily?

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View Woodmaster1's profile

Woodmaster1

1287 posts in 3146 days


#14 posted 11-12-2019 10:25 AM

The only problem I had was the trunion worm gear dropped down and went to 45 degrees fast. This happened to the sawstop I had at school four years ago and to my woodworking club’s a couple of weeks ago . Seems you should occasionally check the worm gear bracket to make sure it stays tight.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4267 posts in 2547 days


#15 posted 11-12-2019 12:16 PM

I feel sorry for the OP for spending so much time on this. He seems to be expecting machine shop tolerances in woodworking machines.

Has he called SawStop to discuss his “tolerance” issues?

I do not know how you adjust a fence to the tolerances he suggests as the fence itself is not that flat on almost any saw.

When you start talking tolerances around 0.001” , you need very good tools and techniques to accurately measure.

Time to stop measuring and start building.

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