I mentioned in my last post that it seems to be time to check the alignment of the blade to the table and the fence to the blade. I purchased an inexpensive dial indicator from Harbor Freight and made a holder for it to ride in the miter gauge slot. This is uncharted territory for me, I really hadn't used these type of measuring tools since my hot rod days and machine shop part of my industrial arts education -- suffice to say; that's a long ways back!
|Step One: Table Aligned with Blade|
I was a bit apprehensive on this step knowing that it could be a real pain in the !@#%#$^!#. Even though the runner for the holding jig fit quite snugly I could get a variation in the reading of +/- .006 by applying pressure to one side or just leaving it alone and sliding it in the miter gauge slot. To compensate for that I applied pressure towards the same side to keep the reading accurate. You can't see it in the picture but I placed a black dot on the blade with a sharpie, set the dial indicator right on it at the front of the blade, applied pressure to the holder and zeroed out the dial. It was interesting to note that if I left the blade stationary and slid the indicator along it there was a variation in the measurement as I moved from the front to the back of the blade. The important measurement though was to zero out the indicator on the mark made at the front of the blade and then rotate that mark to the rear. There was only .001 difference in those readings so thankfully, I don't need to align the table. That tells me a lot about the quality of this Jet Cabinet Saw, I've had it for many years and do move it around by grabbing on to the table so I honestly anticipated having to re-align it.
The next step was to align the fence with the blade and also re-adjust it to be square to the table top. This is a bit easier, just takes some fiddling around with the set screws that lock against the rail. I found it interesting that after adjusting it so the reading was exactly the same at the front and rear of the fence there was a measurable variation of +/- .010 while sliding the indicator the length of the slot. No doubt that's caused by uneven wear on the side of the fence but no problem whatsoever.
|Step Two: Square Fence to Table and Align to Blade|
The final step to this process was to adjust the splitter so that it was in line with the blade. That's the one part I'm not overly happy with, it is too easy to knock it out of kilter with a board or something. It'll do for now but if I ever get that dull moment I'll mess around with that!