Table saw alignment gets worse the further out it goes

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Forum topic by DeusDingo posted 12-04-2020 05:55 PM 808 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 55 days

12-04-2020 05:55 PM

I’m a beginner and i am starting with beginner tools. i bought a secondhand table saw (craftsman 113 with the stamped metal wings if you know what i mean. yes i know this saw isn’t great) and i upgrades with a secondhand craftsman align-a-rip fence. it was easy enough to install but i have found that past 9” or so i am about 1/16th short of the indicated mark on the table saw measure, and at 22” or so i am a full 1/8th short. board width is consistent from front to back. i verified the best i can that the saw is parallel with the fence (combination square). at 4” it’s dead on. the fence is 27” apart at both the far end and the near so it isn’t bowing out as far as i can tell. i really need some help as to where to start looking. thank you

19 replies so far

View SMP's profile


3203 posts in 881 days

#1 posted 12-04-2020 06:28 PM

Are you just talking about the tape measure on the rail?

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1415 posts in 630 days

#2 posted 12-04-2020 06:37 PM

We need a little more info. When you say off do you mean out of square? Like at 9” one end of your stock is 9” and the other is 8-15/16”? Or are you cuts square but the measurement is coming up short by a 1/16” or more?

It sounds like you mean the later in which case I would think a quality replacement tape would solve your issue for you.

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5 posts in 55 days

#3 posted 12-04-2020 06:38 PM

the tape measure is accurate, the fence isn’t. when i set my fence to 4” and i rip a board and i measure the cut it’s dead on. when i set my fence to 12” and rip a board it’s off by 1/16”, when i set my fence to 22” and rip something it’s off by 1/8”.

View DeusDingo's profile


5 posts in 55 days

#4 posted 12-04-2020 06:41 PM

yes, what i mean is the board is consistent in width when ripped but the measurement i am expecting is off

i check the fence tape measure with a straight edge and it matches up perfectly. i do not think it’s the tape measure

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10939 posts in 4624 days

#5 posted 12-04-2020 06:41 PM

Tape measures are not all the same. They vary a disturbing amount.

Are you using a cheap tape measure, not a brand name?

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Fred Hargis

6746 posts in 3469 days

#6 posted 12-04-2020 06:42 PM

Sounds like your scale is a little wonky. I'd just get a replacement things are usually peel and stick, so clean the surface off and stick a new on.

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

View therealSteveN's profile


7013 posts in 1550 days

#7 posted 12-04-2020 06:46 PM

Use the easiest form to check for a rip fence to be in, or out, and that is just to align it right at the edge of the miter slot. The slot will never move. That said it is possible the entire table has shifted and the projecting blade is no longer in a workable position to the miter slots, or the fence.

At first don’t worry about the fence, check for parallelism between the left side miter slot, and the blade, actually the plate of the blade as shown in the video below. Follow all of those steps, and along the way the fence get’s included, but skipping steps and just starting at the fence, will likely lead to problems.

There are a few videos with the same basic info, just make sure any video you follow is about a “Contractors Table Saw” this is the type your .113 is, and trying to apply something from a cabinet saw may confuse you.

I like Sandor’s video best for a contractor saw, he’s pretty straight forward, and complete for the important stuff. Watch a little, pause then do, trying to remember it all at one go could lead to confusion, and this is safety important stuff.

Your .113 can be quite accurate, many woodworkers never move from these basic saws, and some get the bug, and after getting familiar move up to other saws. Just know this saw can be made to do what a costlier cabinet style saw can do, however because of the basic differences in how they are made, you will likely have to tweak your saw more often to keep it spot on.

Best of luck, and please let us know how it goes, or if there are more questions.

Also Welcome to LJ’s

-- Think safe, be safe

View Ruscal's profile


69 posts in 154 days

#8 posted 12-04-2020 07:02 PM

“i check the fence tape measure with a straight edge and it matches up perfectly. i do not think it’s the tape measure”

Sounds like your fence tape measure is out of calibration to the blade. Do like many of us – don’t use the fence tape! Use a straight edge to set the fence to the blade for each cut. I don’t even have a fence tape measure on my old JET.

-- Have a hobby? You should have a business.

View HackFabrication's profile


212 posts in 687 days

#9 posted 12-04-2020 07:16 PM

So…. Are both ends of the board off the same amount? If so, you’ve got a scale issue. If not, you’ve got a fence issue. The OEM Craftsman fences are sorta garbage. I dealt with one for a lot of years before upgrading to a Vega Pro 40. Once set up, the Vega is dead on with the scale.

-- "In the end, it's all Hack..."

View DeusDingo's profile


5 posts in 55 days

#10 posted 12-04-2020 07:39 PM

i upgraded to an align-a-rip fence because the factory one had a bow in it that made all my wood come out curved.

yes, the board coming out is consistent. the fence is straight. the tape is accurate. the part that i am trying to figure out is how it could gradually get off th further out it goes. adjusting if it was consistently off like always a 1/16” is easy. it’s the gradual thing that throws me.

i could measure from blade to fence every time but if i don’t have to do that i would prefer not to.

i bought all second hand stuff, i don’t think i am ready to spend several hundred dollars on a new fence right now. the cost of the saw and the replacement fence together aren’t as much as half the cost of a vega pro 40

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5 posts in 55 days

#11 posted 12-04-2020 08:18 PM

thank you therealSteveN for the link. i’ll look it over when i get a chance to work on this

View therealSteveN's profile


7013 posts in 1550 days

#12 posted 12-04-2020 08:38 PM

ANY amount of being out is always magnified by or with distance from the cutter. Also called magnification of a problem, or error.

out 1/4 at the blade gets to over an inch at 50” easily, just depends on the actual amount it’s out. could be several inches. It actually takes a lot to see it sometimes, you always need to set it against a known. Like a miter slot, never gonna move or change size unless you do it, you can shift the table top around moving a saw, actually untightening the bolts, or if it’s already a little loose just bumping it. All of that could give you a scenario if the blade isn’t parallel to the fence, your problem will grow as it goes further away from the blade.

This is where a contractor will appear more frail, as compared to a cabinet saw. So yes the .113 can do the same work, just almost always takes more tweaking along the way to keep it on track.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Robert's profile


4330 posts in 2456 days

#13 posted 12-04-2020 09:53 PM

The only thing that makes sense to me is the fence ruler tape is off.

Not all tape strips, tape measures and rulers are accurate.

Try testing the fence tape against a known distance.

Or, do what a lot of us do, and simply measure directly from the fence to blade.

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

View JIMMIEM's profile


115 posts in 1817 days

#14 posted 12-04-2020 11:18 PM

Put one of your boards against the blade and move the fence up against the board. Does the rail tape measure width agree with the actual width of the board? How about when you do this with boards of other widths?

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Richard Lee

369 posts in 1751 days

#15 posted 12-04-2020 11:58 PM

Ive never used my fence tape, just use a trusted tape measure against the fence.

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