Misaligned Circular Saw Baseplate

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Forum topic by Jim Crockett (USN Retired) posted 04-16-2009 11:22 PM 29229 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 4182 days

04-16-2009 11:22 PM

I have a Craftsman Circular Saw, Mdl. 320-10854, that I purchased several years ago. I have always had a problem when attempting to cut a square panel when holding this saw’s baseplate against a straightedge – the far end of the cut would always be approximately 1/8” outside of the drawn line. Today it happened again and I did some checking. I found that the blade (tested two different blades) is not parallel to the edge of the baseplate. I have been the only user of this saw and it has never been dropped or otherwise damaged and there is no damage to the edges of the baseplate.

Measured with a digital caliper, the left edge of the baseplate is 5.116 inches from the saw blade at the rear of the blade and 5.040 inches at the front. To obtain this measurement, I marked a tooth on the blade, measured to the marked tooth at the rear of the blade, just to the inside of the tooth gullet, rotated the blade so the same tooth was towards the front and measured at that point. I repeated these tests with another blade and obtained similar results.

I removed the blade to ensure nothing was under the blade causing it to be misaligned and could find nothing out of the ordinary with the blade mounting.

I can find no adjustment points to align the baseplate relative to the blade assembly. The baseplate is attached to the motor assembly with flathead screws in countersunk holes so there isn’t much/any wiggle room there.

Anyone have any suggestions other than getting a new saw?


Jim Crockett

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

12 replies so far

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3802 days

#1 posted 04-17-2009 02:04 AM

Got the same problem with my Bosch. They don’t make them with any adjustments to correct it either. With all the stamped parts they use in the linkage the allows the saw to tilt and set the depth I’m not surprised they’re not accurate.

I’ve got my eye a a new Milwaukee, just waiting for a sale or when I need to use one again, which ever comes first.

So I don’t land up with the same problem with a new saw, I contacted Milwaukee and gave them the model number and asked them if they guaranty the blade to be parallel to the edge of the shoe and they said they do. So if it isn’t I got it in writing. Well, email at least.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View bluchz's profile


187 posts in 3822 days

#2 posted 04-17-2009 03:05 AM

I had a Craftsman Saw and dropped it, bent the base plate. I looked up the part and it was only 5 or $10 more to get a new saw. I couldn’t believe it. So i got a new one with the laser guide and work light. The new one works great and i am very happy with the new one , but i can’t believe that it cost less to buy a new one than it does to buy parts for the old one. I did take a hammer to my Miter saw and straighten the fence on it, but i don’t think that would work for a circular saw, but it is already broken right?

-- flash=250,100][/flash]

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 4010 days

#3 posted 04-17-2009 05:21 AM

Consider this:
Take the baseplate off and drift the holes with a round file so as to make it adjustable. Based on your measurements and I’d guess that the holes would need to be elongated by about 0.01 or so. Put some high strength locktite on the screws, adjust it to parallel, tighten the screws and let it set until the locktite cures.

-- Joe

View Topapilot's profile


172 posts in 4289 days

#4 posted 04-17-2009 06:08 AM

I bought the makita magnesium to go with the EZGuide system. The system comes with a baseplate that attaches to the bottom of the saw. It also comes with adjustments to make sure the new baseplate is square to the saw blade. I was really, really suprised how far out the CAST baseplate was from square!! I used up all the adjustment available in the external baseplate to compensate.

I’d suggest adding your own baseplate of hardboard to make it square. I know I saw a tip to do this in one of the magazines (some time…) but can’t remember which one or when.

Just know it’s a common problem, and attaching an external base to make it square is a common solution. Maybe you can buy the external base from Eurekazone??

Good luck.

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 4010 days

#5 posted 04-17-2009 11:28 AM

Topa’s suggestion to add your own baseplate is the way to go – I hadn’t even thought of that.

-- Joe

View CharleyL's profile


223 posts in 3813 days

#6 posted 04-17-2009 05:18 PM

You could also trim your existing baseplate so that the new edge is parallel to the blade.

If you make an external base to attach to the bottom of your existing base, you can also make it with a zero clearance slot at the front of the blade to minimize chipping. Just make sure that the clearance hole for the rest of the blade is large enough for the blade guard to operate properly. I made one for my saw out of 1/8” clear lexan, attaching it to the saw base with double sided carpet tape, and I can now make chip free cuts when I’m breaking down sheets of cabinet plywood.


View DrDirt's profile


4588 posts in 4191 days

#7 posted 04-17-2009 05:25 PM

I second Charley – the lexan works good. I have a Milwaukee saw ~6 years old now, but I had to work on it to get it to stay straight with the base.
I worked mostly on the curved vertical piece where you lock in the depth of cut, because even if you make a sub base, you need that curved tab at the back to be vertical, othewis when you move to a shallow cut you will be out of alignment again


-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Geologist's profile


27 posts in 3785 days

#8 posted 04-28-2009 04:17 AM

I just bought a Milwuakee 6390-21 2 months ago and I love it. As of right now its all I use and it cuts straight and eats thru all types of wood. Of course like any new saw the default blade it comes with is crap. Anyways I purchased my saw brand new from ebay for $100 total! Talk about a great deal. And when I opened it up everything was in top notch shape.

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3802 days

#9 posted 04-28-2009 05:31 AM

That’s the same Milwaukee saw I’m planning on buying to replace my Bosch with the same problem. Good to hear it works well and doesn’t have the same problem.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3974 days

#10 posted 04-28-2009 02:44 PM

I have always used skilsaw wormdrives as they are powerful, and all tool repair shops carry replacement parts i.e. triggers, foot(fences). All saws eventually need a new foot since they all inevitably will take a fall and it will knock/bend the foot out of alignment.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View 6288's profile


4 posts in 3696 days

#11 posted 11-11-2009 05:49 PM

I am looking into buying a new circular saw. The only one I could find with a blade to shoe parallel adjustment is the Dewalt DW364.

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3920 days

#12 posted 11-11-2009 07:41 PM

There are two types of base plates on circular saws. Machined and formed. The machined base plates, typically aluminum or magnesium, are easier to adjust or modify to make up for manufacturing flaws, assembly errors or damage.This may include slight modifications of screw/bolt holes as mentioned above.

The formed steel baseplates typically found on less expensive saws offer fewer options in the modifications other than brute force of bending, grinding, hammering etc. You might be able to make some adjustments on either by addition of washers or spacers in apropriate locations on either.

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