Three tips to help your tablesaw run better
I am often hired by other workshoppers to make their tablesaws perform better. There are many steps to tuning up a tablesaw, but I can outline three of the most important tips here.
First, I adjust the trunnions of the saw so that a 10″ blade at full height is canted away from the right mitre slot by 0.003″ to 0.005″ at the rear. This very slight canting of the blade is measured using feeler gauges referenced off a steel rod clamped to a slop-free mitre gauge.
The 0.003″ to 0.005″ clearance is less when the blade is lowered, but it helps to prevent burning, binding and kickback when ripping. I do most cross cutting on the right side of the blade, so this clearance gives perfect cross cuts as well.
Second, I adjust the fence parallel to the right mitre slot and square to the table. A slight rightward cant at the rear of the fence is often recommended, but not necessary when the blade is angled. Parallel is just fine.
Last, I set the right side of the splitter or riving knife tight to the right side of the cut line. This set-up means that when you rip a board, the splitter holds the board tightly to the fence behind the blade. Setting the splitter in the middle of the kerf is not good enough to prevent kickback. Remember that your left hand should not travel past the front of the guard and you should not hold the offcut. So, the splitter takes the place of your left hand behind the blade.