Aligning Table Saw Fence

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Mike Camp

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Mike
So I've been doing a ton of reading on aligning my new Delta T2 fence (Biesemeyer clone) and I've read in a handful of places that you want the rear of the fence to be about .020" farther away from the blade than the front of the fence. I assume this is to prevent kickback from occurring via the wood pinching between the blade and the fence. I've currently got the rear about .015" farther away from the blade, should I to dial this in tighter or push it out farther from the blade?
 

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Dennis
Staff member
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I've never heard that here. Most WWers here align the fence dead parallel (within 0.002) with a fixed point on the blade front and back, usually the same tooth rotated to both ends of the table slot. Anything else would produce burn marks on the rip face and an untrue cut. Kickback can still occur if you're ripping a bowed piece of wood and it binds against the fence and blade or the wood starts to collapse in on the blade from internal stresses relieved by ripping. For this a riving knife is needed.
 

Joe Scharle

Joe
Corporate Member
I've never seen a reason for toe out. I keep mine parallel. However, I do keep a short (European) lenght aux fence for when I'm not to sure if a piece is hiding tension.
 

Mark Gottesman

New User
Mark
I have the T2 on an old Sears ('50s) Benchtop saw. I have it adjusted a close to parallel as time, my skill and patience will allow. It cuts close enough to square for the projects I do without any burning or binding.
 

SteveHall

Steve
Corporate Member
Toe out can be almost as dangerous as toe-in because without the fence to back up the wood, the sawblade itself essentially becomes the fence. (The non-fence side of the wood is pushing into the side of the sawblade.)

Aim for dead parallel and only cheat the thousandths tolerance between blade, blade flex, slot, fence, measuring tool, etc., out. A setup with more than 0.010" to 0.015" tolerance might need some replacement parts (runout problem), a more viable fence (too unstable), or at least the technique of clamping one or both ends of the fence down after setting it up (to avoid fence system flexure).

My saw blade (3/32" thin kerf) starts "zinging" (wood is hitting the back teeth due to angle and making the blade ring) at about 0.008" which is a good reminder for me to tune up.
 

gator

George
Corporate Member
There really is two schools of thought on dead parallel vs toe-out. Both have their advocates and both have good logic behind them. I am of the dead parallel school but for a different reason than those stated above. If you move you fence from right side to left side of the blade for some cuts, the dead parallel keeps the fence parallel on both sides. If you adjust for toe-out on the right side and move the fence to the left side you automatically have toe-in which is bad.

George
 

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Dennis
Staff member
Corporate Member
On European saws the fence doesn't extend past the blade. The cutting is done at the front of the blade.
So THAT'S why the old Delta UniFence system on my latest TS acquisition has a sliding fence feature. :icon_thum
 

Howard Acheson

New User
Howard
So I've been doing a ton of reading on aligning my new Delta T2 fence (Biesemeyer clone) and I've read in a handful of places that you want the rear of the fence to be about .020" farther away from the blade than the front of the fence.

No that's not the case. The only source for kicking out the back of a table saw fence is Forrest blades. Their blades burn the kerf and kicking the fences out is one way of dealing with it. The other blade manufacturers do not make a similar recommendation.

I suggest you set up your fence exactly parallel to your miter slot.
 

FredP

Fred
Corporate Member
apparently I am on the other side of the fence, so to speak. I always toe out a bit. [beis on a unisaw] several reasons for this. 1.lessens burning on cherry, maple ect. 2. changes in temperature, humidity ect. cause things to move a bit. toe out assures that such movement doesnt close the fence against the blade. 3. it reduces those annoying blade marks caused by the rear of the blade rubbing the cut. IE cleaner cuts. I may not be right but it has worked for me for over 35 years and I aint changing now...:-D YMMV
 

cpowell

New User
Chuck
apparently I am on the other side of the fence, so to speak. I always toe out a bit. [beis on a unisaw] several reasons for this. 1.lessens burning on cherry, maple ect. 2. changes in temperature, humidity ect. cause things to move a bit. toe out assures that such movement doesnt close the fence against the blade. 3. it reduces those annoying blade marks caused by the rear of the blade rubbing the cut. IE cleaner cuts. I may not be right but it has worked for me for over 35 years and I aint changing now...:-D YMMV

I'm on the same side of the fence as you, Fred.

I checked my fence alignment today (Bies on a Uni) and it was toed out more than I wanted. I adjusted it so that the fence was just a smidge toed out. I didn't measure with a feeler gauge but it is only a few thousandths.

That is the first time I've adjusted the fence in at least 5 years. Took all of 3 minutes.

To the OP, 0.020 inches is too much IMO.

Chuck
 
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