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December 12, 2007

How To Tune Up Your Table Saw

In this episode of the Woodworkers Resource Video Podcast we're going to get your table saw running in tip top shape. Most of the time there's not much we do to our table saw unless something goes wrong. But a little maintenance can go a long way in prolonging the life of your saw as well as produce better cuts.

We show you how to clean the workings of your table saw and then what kind of lubricant to use so that sawdust isn't drawn to it like a magnet.

We'll also show you how to check for arbor run out, and arbor flange run out.

In order to get nice straight or square cuts on the table saw everything has to be properly aligned. We'll show you how to align your table saw blade parallel to the fence so that you'll get the results you want, and if you need to make adjustments, we'll show you how to make it right.

A lot more is covered. By the end of the video, your table saw running like a well oiled machine!

Here's more information on some of the items talked about in the video:

Lps 03020 Heavy Duty Degreaser

Lps 02516 Dry Moly Lube



Here's the link to the Table Saw Aligner product that I used in the video: 




If you don't have an air compressor, cans of compressed air will work just fine: 

Falcon Dust-Off® Disposable Compressed Gas Duster, 10-oz. Cans, 2/Pack DSXLPW6 / FALDSXLPW6


Here's the link for the company that makes the Contractor Saw PALS system: 



AO Safety Quicklatch PRO Dual Cartridge Respirator #95090


Power Twist Link BeltPower Twist Link Belt
Turn your tools into smooth operators! Reduce vibration on table saws, drill presses, and other tools by as much as 35% with this unique belt. Whereas traditional belts can stretch and become mis..

Power Twist Link Belt

Comments (7)

Joel Hairston:

Well . . . within my infinite wisdom and high speed connection, I can not get the TLC FOR YOUR TABLE SAW video to play, but then maybe I am just too old, 73 years and still fiddling with wood and tools.

Good looking site, thanks for going the extra mile with doing a video . . . I am sure that there is an answer.

Old Geezer

(WR) Craig Stevens:

You need to have Quicktime player in order to view the videos. Here is a website where you can download a free copy of Quicktime player:


If you need any further help just let me know.


Mattias in Durham, NC:

That's great! Thanks for posting. Just one question. What do you do if you have runout on your arbor? Replace it?

And I thought kick back is what you didn't want with a table saw?

(WR) Craig Stevens:


Many times if you have an arbor that isn't running true, it's due to bad bearings. This is a very inexpensive fix and should be tried first. If this doesn't cure the runout problem, then it's probably time just to replace the arbor.

Your question about kickback is true. Kickback is a very bad thing. This is when a board pinches between the blade and fence. The force of the spinning blade can throw the board back at you faster than you have time to react to.

Did I mis-speak in my video? Sometimes when I'm filming, I try to pay attention to what I'm saying, what I need to say, what I'm doing, and if every thing is in the camera's view. With that said, I could have said something incorrect about kickback. I'll go back and review the video, and post a correction if need be.


Mattias in Durham, NC:

Thanks for your reply. That's exactly what I did, except I replaced the arbor first, and then the bearings (not knowing better). Maybe the arbor was fine.

The kickback reference comes from almost the last few words in your video. You were saying now that you're done you wanted to kick back and enjoy yourself.


Thanks for the great video! I have all kinds of misaligned things going on and I sure can use this to help me out. I just finished some wobbling drawers today and though, "wow is this blade out of alignment". I love the idea of the PALs. I think this is the fix I have been looking for.

Thanks again!!!
-Brad in Northern KY


Hey Craig,
I really enjoy the website,mainly due to your approach,low key useful practical information. The southern drawl makes me feel at ease and comfortable.

THings (work),are slow right now(a nice way of saying I'm banging my head against the wall wondering how to afford Christmas and make a house payment),but anyways,just watched the saw tune-up vid.and can't remember if you checked your blade for run out(I know you did the arbor),maybe you did off camera.

Cabinet/Furniture makers and Trim carpenters(and of course woodworking enthusiasts) are a weird bunch, we just work better if our tools are perfect(much to the delight of companys that sell measuring gauges and sharpening equipment).

When people ask if I think they need two tune up their saw I ask them to do two things, 1. cut(RIP) a piece of wood and see if you have a even cross hatching effect on both of the pieces of wood and 2. take a long ,straight piece of wood as you can(or what you normally would cut)and cut it several times alternating the side against the fence finally taking a thin cut off piece. measure that piece with a micrometer(or some other accurate device)and see what the variation is. A couple of thousands difference and you are good to go. A tuned saw should be able to rip a .015 piece, a well tuned saw .005 in. or less. If you can't pass these two tests,they tell you wher to start looking.

Another thing I do is to set my fence scale accurately, meaning:Take a piece of straight wood as long as your fence,set fence at one inch and rip it,mic the wood and set fence accordingly,reset fence,recut,remic, adust until the same reading of one inch(+ or - what ever your comfort level is) is achieved. Note that this exercise should be done with each blade you use and after each sharpening.

This then becomes the scale by which all tape measures and other devices in the shop are compared.

I had to wait a long time to watch the vid . also(10 -15min. to load).
Just my .02 cents.
Thanks Craig

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