If the components of your table saw aren’t as compact as they used to be, then it is time to get your saw back in shape by tuning it.
Every woodworker should have the idea that when a new tablesaw is purchased, it isn’t exactly in its best shape. Before you can use it, you have to work with the adjustments, the same can be said when you have used the machine for a long period of time. Nothing comes perfect out of the factory and you occasionally need to adjust things as time passes by.
Besides, during your woodworking days, you are likely moving the machine from one place to another by lifting it into a pickup or truck. Or sometimes you work with a huge stock that can easily jam into the blades making it hard to work with the table saw.
After rough use, transporting your machine to different work locations, a table saw can easily loosen up and it is your job to fix it up otherwise it may go seriously bad. If you notice your tablesaw’s performance going down every day, it is time to get it back in shape by tuning it. Below are some standard checkups, problems and their fixes to help get your machine back in shape.
Read: Table saw safety tips
Investigate the table and its problems
The first thing you need to do is check your best table saw for potential errors. To do this, you may require certain tools which are sometimes expensive, but are worth the investment. You could also get it checked from the company you purchased the machine from.
But if you know how to operate a table saw, it is often a good idea to try and fix the machine yourself because professionally help can be quite expensive. So go out in the market and grab a framing square which is good enough to check the fence of the saw.
Several types of measuring paper can be used to measure any irregularities between the fence, you should check with the manual of your machine to see which paper will work the best.
If the strip of the paper you have slides beneath the fence, you will have to make some slight adjustments. Similarly if a cardboard paper fits under the fence, then you may need to make some adjustments on the head or the cut square.
Consider checking and fixing the blades
Any table saw is rendered useless with a blade that is blunt or dull. You need to check the blade foremost to make sure that it is sharp and ready to get the toughest of jobs done.
If you already purchased spare blades with your machine, it is time to check all of them through practical work.
If you do not already have a spare blade, consider getting one from a reliable manufacturer or the same company you got the machine from.
Use Vacuum to get rid of dust
As you work with your table saw, a lot of sawdust can accumulate in the cabinet. Now many tablesaws are known to have a poor dust collection system.
This means a lot of dust can stuck in between components causing the machine to deteriorate over time. Sometimes the same saw dust can accumulate to the point making the machine malfunction.
A lot of table saws also have very bad airflow that doesn’t get rid of the dust saw as it collects and hence the dust saw can build up extremely fast. So grab your favorite vacuum machine and use it to suck in all the saw dust. You could also reverse the vacuum to blow the dust away using high pressured air.
Time to clean the gears
Once your table saw is free of saw dust, grab an old unused toothbrush and start cleaning the gears. Using the toothbrush is the only way of getting to some hard to reach components of the machine.
Ensure all the remaining saw dust or any other impurities are removed thoroughly from the tight and hard to reach components.
Once you have completely cleaned the gears, it is time to lubricate them. Your machine manual will guide you better on this step but it is always a good idea to use white lithium grease or graphite powder to lubricate the gears.
The reason we are recommending graphite powder is because dry lubrication is less likely to collect more saw dust as you work with the machine.
Adjust the miter gauge
The next and pretty much the final step is to work with your miter gauge and readjust it to perfection.
The miter gauge should be 90 degrees to the blade if it has to work perfectly. If you regularly use your machine, the miter gauge will likely be out of place. Work on it and get it back to 90 degrees.
Make sure the blade is adjusted
Once you have done everything mentioned above, start adjusting the blade so it is parallel to the miter slot.
For this you may require a tool known as the combination square. Once you have adjusted the blade properly, check the machine and it should be working a lot better now.