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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Melbourne
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    Default Tuning a tablesaw - how close is close enough?

    Hi guys

    Ive got myself a DeWalt DW745 tablesaw. Iím still fairly new to the whole game so forgive me if this is a dumb question, but how close is close enough when getting a table saw exactly 90 degree from the table?

    I know how / what I should be doing to tune the saw, but the DeWalt itself makes it extremely hard to dial things in.

    Ive got a digital angle gauge and have that rating in the blade and the best I can get the saw to is 89.97 degrees. It took me half an hour to get this close because the bevel gauge is moved by pushing left or right I.e. you canít make micro adjustments.

    If you can imagine, I have one hand on the bevel gauge and the other on the locking mechanism, all while watching the reading on the digital gauge on the blade. When it reads 90, I go to push down, but given the difficulty in multitasking, the reading often skews out slightly, hence my issue.

    i was wondering if anyone had some tips or tricks, or perhaps even some experience in getting their DeWalt into a perfect 90? That, or if having the saw at 89.97 is good enough.

    Note - I want to build furniture so precision is important to me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Sydney Upper North Shore
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    3,261

    Default

    May be a silly question so forgive me if it is - have you made sure the saw table is at 0 degrees when checking the blade is at 90 degrees?

  3. #3
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    Sep 2016
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    Melbourne
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lappa View Post
    May be a silly question so forgive me if it is - have you made sure the saw table is at 0 degrees when checking the blade is at 90 degrees?
    I’ve got my saw on my portable cart, which I doubt is a perfect flat bed, hence why I’ve got my gauge just on the blade and not touching the table in the chance the table isn’t flat.

    My logic was if I remove the insert plate and have the gauge only on the blade, it should remove any issues should the table itself not be flat (I think it is?).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Caroline Springs, VIC
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    Default

    89.97į is close enough. if you were to make a cut 90mm high, the top face would be smaller than the bottom face by ~0.0471mm which is slightly less than 2thou. For what it's worth, I use an engineers square to re-calibrate my own saw. I tilt the saw over a bit so the blade leans away from the square. I rest the square up against the blade making sure the square is perpendicular to the blade. Then I wind the blade over until I see the light gap between blade and square disappear. Winding the blade over will move the square backwards a bit, maintaining contact at the bottom at all times. You are looking for the light gap at the top of square. If you see light at the bottom, you wen't too far.

    I could do all sorts of other crap like cutting a slice off a board which has two parallel faces, flipping the board so the top becomes the bottom, and cutting another slice and measuring the slice thickness at the top and bottom. If it is the same, then the saw was square. That seems like a whole lot of work just for woodworking.

    "if it looks square, it is square".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Melbourne
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    27

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuffy View Post
    89.97į is close enough. if you were to make a cut 90mm high, the top face would be smaller than the bottom face by ~0.0471mm which is slightly less than 2thou. For what it's worth, I use an engineers square to re-calibrate my own saw. I tilt the saw over a bit so the blade leans away from the square. I rest the square up against the blade making sure the square is perpendicular to the blade. Then I wind the blade over until I see the light gap between blade and square disappear. Winding the blade over will move the square backwards a bit, maintaining contact at the bottom at all times. You are looking for the light gap at the top of square. If you see light at the bottom, you wen't too far.

    I could do all sorts of other crap like cutting a slice off a board which has two parallel faces, flipping the board so the top becomes the bottom, and cutting another slice and measuring the slice thickness at the top and bottom. If it is the same, then the saw was square. That seems like a whole lot of work just for woodworking.

    "if it looks square, it is square".
    I’m probably being pedantic, but chasing perfection is something I probably spend too much time on in the shop when it’s probably not always necessary. But as my shop space is tiny (it’s just my garage), my saw is my central tool as I use it joint and do as much as possible without having to commit to more tools.

    But you have a point, the difference is minuscule. I’ve probably been watching to many William Ng videos, but even he may not be worried about a perfect 90 if it’s this close.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2018
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    Sydney
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    Default

    This is all really good information.
    If got my eyes set on this exact saw when the dollars allow. Itís great to know that this level of accuracy is possible.


    Northern Beaches Sydney

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Sydney Upper North Shore
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    Default

    As the others have said, your accuracy is good enough.

    My question re measuring the table then the blade is as follows:

    If the blade is measured at 90 degrees with the digital gauge then thatís great but if the table is at 5 degrees then when you cut, the end of the timber will be cut at 85 degrees.

    So when measuring your blade angle for 90 degrees using a digital gauge, it should be in reference to the table ie. if table is reading 5 degrees then the angle measured on the blade should be 95 degrees to get a 90 degree cut.

    If youíre using a square then you are already referencing the blade to the table.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2016
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    Melbourne
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lappa View Post
    As the others have said, your accuracy is good enough.

    My question re measuring the table then the blade is as follows:

    If the blade is measured at 90 degrees with the digital gauge then thatís great but if the table is at 5 degrees then when you cut, the end of the timber will be cut at 85 degrees.

    So when measuring your blade angle for 90 degrees using a digital gauge, it should be in reference to the table ie. if table is reading 5 degrees then the angle measured on the blade should be 95 degrees to get a 90 degree cut.

    If youíre using a square then you are already referencing the blade to the table.
    I think I get what youíre saying, but if Iím using one of these, doesnít it avoid the issue?

    Magnetic Angle Finder | Machinery Accessories - Carbatec

    In the event the table was out by 5 degrees, how would correct this?

  9. #9
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    Sep 2016
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    Melbourne
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MattB2085 View Post
    This is all really good information.
    If got my eyes set on this exact saw when the dollars allow. It’s great to know that this level of accuracy is possible.


    Northern Beaches Sydney
    If you have any questions let me know and I’ll let you know how I’ve gone with it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Melbourne
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    29
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    4,920

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_K View Post
    I think I get what youíre saying, but if Iím using one of these, doesnít it avoid the issue?

    Magnetic Angle Finder | Machinery Accessories - Carbatec

    In the event the table was out by 5 degrees, how would correct this?
    You should set your angle finder to zero on the table, then stick it to the blade and measure your angle; that way you're always setting your angle relative to the table, rather than to whatever internal zero the angle finder has.

    Alternately, there should be a hard stop on the blade tilt at 90 degrees. If you adjust the hard stop to be exactly 90 degrees to the table (with a physical square, not a digital box), you can zero your angle finder on the blade when it's at the stop.

    They're effectively the same thing, just 2 ways to go about it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    South Australia
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    3,350

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    If you have managed to set a Delwalt to a true 89.97 deg, then you have set it up with the accuracy of Altendorf <.25 mm, and Altendorf manufacture the best quality and most accurate table saws on the planet

  12. #12
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    Apr 2018
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    Nsw
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    59
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    499

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_K View Post
    I’ve got my saw on my portable cart, which I doubt is a perfect flat bed, hence why I’ve got my gauge just on the blade and not touching the table in the chance the table isn’t flat.

    My logic was if I remove the insert plate and have the gauge only on the blade, it should remove any issues should the table itself not be flat (I think it is?).
    Shouldn’t you be referencing off the table to get it square? When you are using the saw that is what will be happening so that is the only relevant point

  13. #13
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    Sep 2016
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    Melbourne
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beardy View Post
    Shouldn’t you be referencing off the table to get it square? When you are using the saw that is what will be happening so that is the only relevant point
    I’ve done this to align my blade to the mitre slots as well as the fence to the mitre slots too. I used my square to reference square but assumed a digital gauge would be more accurate?

    Im essentially doing this: YouTube

  14. #14
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    Sep 2016
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    Melbourne
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    Quote Originally Posted by China View Post
    If you have managed to set a Delwalt to a true 89.97 deg, then you have set it up with the accuracy of Altendorf <.25 mm, and Altendorf manufacture the best quality and most accurate table saws on the planet
    This sounds like it’s good so I’m going to assume I’m good.

  15. #15
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    Jan 2014
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_K View Post
    I think I get what you’re saying, but if I’m using one of these, doesn’t it avoid the issue?

    Magnetic Angle Finder | Machinery Accessories - Carbatec

    In the event the table was out by 5 degrees, how would correct this?
    No, it doesn’t avoid the issue. The digital gauge is measuring the blade angle in reference to a true horizontal which your table may or may not be at. See elanjacobs and Beardy’s responses.

    You don’t have to correct the table bring out 5 degrees or what ever, you just have to make sure the blade is at 90 degrees to the table.

    When using the digital gauge, follow elanjacob’s procedure of zeroing the gauge to the table before measuring the blade.

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