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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    19

    Default So just how flat should a table saw top be?

    So could be a somewhat naive question, but just how flat should a cast iron top be? I've done most of my woodwork with wonky setups (hi triton workcentre owners!), and finally picked up a new sawstop contractor saw last year.

    I'd assumed it would be bang-on flat, and indeed had been using it as a reference surface as nothing else in my shed is remotely level. Had a few issues with cuts coming out angled, and when making a jig last week I couldn't get any boards to sit flat on the table. Measuring with an aluminium spirit level I can see quite a large dip when going across one diagonal (1.1mm), and a 0.5mm cup at the centre straight across the table.

    I would grab some photos but it's currently hotter than the surface of the sun here so that will have to wait till it cools down a bit!

    Now half my problem is that I know the spirit level won't be perfect, but comparing it to a different level and one side of the table I know it's not that far out.

    Given its new and was a huge purchase that I'd been saving for for quite a while I'm pretty annoyed, but I just wanted to get some advice from others here before going back to chat to the shop I bought it from.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    3,782

    Default

    That is is not too bad for a contractor saw I have seen much worse, contractor saws are the bottom line for accuracy

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Katoomba NSW
    Posts
    4,495

    Default

    The cast iron surface on a contractors saw is not that big so 1.5mm is significant IMO. I would not be happy and would be looking at a return/replacement as it is new.
    Those were the droids I was looking for.
    https://autoblastgates.com.au

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Thanks guys - sawstop spec it quite a bit better than 1mm (0.016") so we'll see what the outcome is. I know contractor saws aren't necessarily the best for tolerances, but given the price of the sawstop I was expecting better than this.

    I've undone all of the rails and put the blade in a fairly neutral position so will have to see if that lets any of the stress out and takes it closer to flat.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    3,854

    Default

    If the top bolts down to the base, you could put a shim under the lowest corner - then do it up.

    A coke can is 0.1mm. Make up a 1mm thick shim (cut the cat out, flatten it, fold it up and drill a hole for the bolt).

    See if that removes it.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Berowra Waters
    Posts
    1,041

    Default

    If you have it in the direct hot sun that will make the metal distort considerably, but no doubt, being a sawstop, there’s bound to be manufacturing issues there too.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Perth WA Australia
    Posts
    636

    Default

    Few questions:
    - Is it the insert causing the dip? ie if you rechecked either side of the insert is the dip still apparent? If not quite easy to shim the insert and not something that Sawstop will bother helping you with.
    - Having a straight edge that is known to be straight is quite crucial, as others have said its not too bad, and aluminums levels are rarely straight edges
    - The angled cuts could be attributed to blade not 90 degrees to surface, poor feed technique, warped boards/panels and the obvious table saw issues. Having said that the larger the board the less likely you'll have issues and it'll essentially "ride" the dip.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tonzeyd View Post
    Few questions:
    Definitely not the insert, I've checked it with/without to make sure it wasn't sitting proud. The lack of a reference is definitely an issue, but I'm fairly sure it's generally straight as it agrees with another level, and also looks flat when measuring the right side of the table.

    I had assumed before that the wonky cuts were me rather than the saw, but measuring the big dip made me second guess this. Since the last post I stripped and realigned all of the rails which actually seems to have improved things somewhat. I can still see a dip, but it's more like 0.5mm across the table which I can probably deal with. I can only assume that assembling it at night when it was 10C, and using it mid-summer when it's 40C has put a bit of stress on the table.

    Thanks everyone for the help and suggestions!

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