35 Replies to “4 Easy Ways to Align a Table Saw Fence”

  1. I recently bought a DeWalt DW745, but traded it in a few days ago for a Hitachi C10RJ. On the DeWalt, I set the fence as close to even with the miter track. It worked, but I found some cuts were getting tight near the end of the cuts. There was a little play in the fence, but almost not noticeable to the eye. The fence rack was defective and started folding over, so I returned the saw to Lowes.

    I traded up for the Hitachi because it had a higher table on the stand and a much larger table top and fence reach. When I checked the fence, it was pigeon-toed in a little bit, so when I set the fence, I purposely set it toed-out about 1/32 inch.

    My cuts are within single-digit/ 100ths of an inch, but the piece does not get scraped by the teeth at the back of the blade. Yesterday, I saw an older video about configuring your table saw and the carpenter said that he prefers his fence about 1/64th of an inch toed-out and for the same reasons.

    In either saw, when you set the fence onto the table, there is a little play so the fence might not be the same every time you attach it. So, what I do is to push the front of the fence in towards the blade and the back of the fence away from the blade before locking it onto the track (not locking it down for the cut.) This makes sure the fence isn't toed-in.

    For those of you scratching your heads, the two table saws I am talking about have rack-and-pinion fence tracks that move the fence equally in front or back of the table saw together. Once the fence is locked onto the track, it remains at the same angle no matter how much you move the fence left or right. Most contractor saws, and other saws as well, have fences that loosen up when unlocked to be moved and therefore the angle can change whenever you adjust the fence for another cut.

    Once the fence is attached to the rack-and-pinion mechanism, the fence angle is pretty much locked in stone. You can't change the angle of the fence without forcing it, and then, it is likely to spring back when you release, unless you broke it, LOL.

    BTW, if you happen to have a Hitachi C10RJ and want a perfect miter gauge, call DeWalt customer service and order the miter gauge for the DW7491. It's is a super quality miter gauge and fits flush with no rocking or pivoting in the Hitachi T slot. It's the fit that should have come with the Hitachi, LOL. Oh, it only costs $20 plus shipping and tax. Of course, you'll have a bright yellow "DeWalt" name shining out from your green saw, LOL. I don't care. It's cheaper than spending $60 to$250 for another brand name.

    Funny, though, the DeWalt miter gauge is loose and wobbly on its own saw.

  2. I thought this was a video on aligning fences that need alignment each time they are used like most saw sold today.
    Aligning a high end saw fence one time is a different subject.
    Oh well Carry on… lol

  3. I got one of those woodpecker ones and even on the largest setting the needle is still an inch and a half away from the blade on both sides. Asked woodpecker if there was a fix and they said I am out of luck. 🙁

  4. Man, it's expensive to be creative.
    Having the tool isn't enough, you need to dump another boatload on crap just to use it properly. This is enough to discourage anyone from even trying.

  5. I’m guessing that most people that needs to watch this vid….doesn’t have a saw stop fence. Or any other expensive fence.

  6. I've watched a couple of your videos now and really enjoy them, thank you. I have a question I keep coming back to though. As an auto mechanic I have used dial indicators and a precision straight edge and understand precision. What I'm having a hard time with & I confess I know very little about wood working, is why are all these videos worried about less than a hundredth of an inch when they are measuring their cuts with a tape measure that only reads to a sixteenth of an inch? I get that if the blade isn't aligned front to rear it will make a wider than necessary cut but worrying over thousands of an inch? I'm just looking to get a table saw to make some storage cabinets and shelves for the garage. You are the first I've seen to show just using the combination square and that seems to me to be more than adequate. Thanks for the great videos.

  7. Great video. I used the Woodpecker saw gauge (well worth the money) to align my fence for about 0.004" toe out to keep work from burning and reduce kickback.

  8. How do you feel about the stability and consistency of the fence on the Sawstop Jobsite saw? I liked how all the parts store away, including the saw. The fence on the one i handled was not vertically square to the table, and the fence seemed like the lock should held it in place more consistently and securely — both of those could just be adjustment issues, if there are adjustments for those aspects of the fence. The one i used was from just after the saw was released.

    SawStop safety feature makes it the only saw i will consider. Or, it may be my assessment of the probability (that it is high) that i will "make a mistake" means i should only consider a SawStop.

  9. Great video, but you seem to be making sure that the fence is aligned to the t track, rather than to the saw blade.

  10. The way I aligned my fence was I took a 4 ft level and set it so that it would fall into the miter track and then brought the fence up to it and checked it that way

  11. Great simple tips, enjoyed your presentation style, easy to listen to no BS
    Subscribed from NSW Australia

  12. There are a few things for diy table saw construction
    Find a suitable set of plans online
    Find a mate who wants to build one too so you have another person to encourage you
    (I read these and the reasons they work on Wilfs Wood Blueprint site )

  13. Cutting solid wood, you are better off with the blade as close to perfectly aligned as you can get it, and have the fence about 0.003-0.004 toed out. This minimizes the potential for kickback and it throws most scratch marks (from the rising/rear portion of the blade) onto the offcut. If you're ripping cabinet face frame/door parts this minimizes sanding, as the offcut goes back to the jointer.

  14. Kobalt is the house brand of tools sold at Loew's. The Kobalt saw I have has a feature that makes all your alignment techniques unnecessary. First, you move the fence so it's touching the blade and is perfectly parallel to it. Then you lock it with clamps on both ends of the fence. Then you lift a handle and the fence rides along precise bearings any distance away from the blade. It's like a table saw "sled" that moves perpendicular to the usual direction. Once you get used to this feature, all other methods seem crude.

  15. What miter gauge are you using for your JSS? Do you like it? I know the one that comes with the JSS is terrible.

  16. I've been using the WoodPecker miter track gauge for a couple of years now. Agree, it's overpriced as are ALL WoodPecker products, but it is very accurate. I guess you get what you pay for.

  17. Great video Woodpecker has great products but they really pricey for me
    Thanks for all your great videos

  18. To get it straight enough for most stuff (not always perfect, but good enough for method 3 later), unlock your fence and slide it so it hangs halfway into the miter track. Take a rafter square (aka roofing square aka carpenters square aka big flat “L”), clamp it onto your fence so that it rests on the bottom of the miter track. Slide the fence all the way over, pressing the square against the side of the track, then tighten up

    Note: this only works with a fence that you’re not obligated to micro-adjust. You have to be able to fully loosen the fence so it wobbles all over. You can still do it I guess, but it’d be harder than these other methods (because you’d have to be able to tell if there’s a gap somewhere)

  19. Hey newbie looking good and thanks for sharing good information look forward to hearing from you God bless Ken

  20. Thanks for “several” tips on how to check you table saw fence alignment. I have a Ryobi and the runners on that thing are the weirdest I’ve ever seen. They have 2 narrow parts on each runner so it is the hardest thing to make runners for anything. Talk about a joke….I bet I used 15 strips trying to make runners for my sled! What a mess! I love the Saw but making runners was to time consuming for me so I cut the 2 extended pats off, case closed!

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