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? on Aligning Table to 90 degreees

#1078 by hfmann » Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:02 am

Hey all,

Thanks to all your help, I'm making great progress on the alignment process. I'm amazed how far off I was.

Now I'm at the point of aligning the table 90 degrees to the blade in the sawing position. Is the recommended method still to use a blade as the reference, or somehow use the sanding disk (marked to the high spot) we used for other alignment tasks?

I thought I was perfectly square to the blade until I started leveling the extension table to the saw table. I found the left edge of the extension table about 1/2" lower than the right edge. That makes me question whether I really got the saw table square to the blade.

Thanks again for all the help.
Hal

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Aligning Table to 90 Degrees

#1081 by dusty » Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:17 pm

Let's slow down and be careful with what we are doing here.

You mention two tasks here that are related only in that they both are alignment tasks and that they somehow involve the table. "Ninety Degrees to the Blade" and "Level with the Extension Table".

Complete all of the Main Table adjustments before you worry about the Extension Table. All of the Extension Table adjustments affect only the Extension Table and they use the Main Table as a point of reference. Once completed, the Main Table and the Extension Table form a "flat" horizontal plane and these adjustments are complete.

At this point, I always move the carriage, tilt the table, raise the carriage up and down and return the point where I thought I was done. I then recheck the tables and almost always find everything exactly as I hoped - "Perfectly Aligned".

Follow the steps in the manual religiously. It won't let you down. If something doesn't work as specified STOP. Find out why and correct it before you march on. Once done right, this machine will serve you well.

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#1086 by hfmann » Mon Dec 18, 2006 4:34 pm

dustywoodworker wrote:
Complete all of the Main Table adjustments before you worry about the Extension Table. ...Follow the steps in the manual religiously.


Hi Dusty,

I think I did that.

Using a combination of the original manual that came with my machine and the current downloaded manuals, I did align the main table with painstaking patience, taking my time over two days, following every step. Even went out and bought a Mityouto (sp?) dial indicator and took the advice to start with leveling my SS. After leveling the whole unit, I started making the table parallel with the sanding disk in the drill press position (sanding disk marked for the high spot). After many adjustments, I got the table within .004 for that task. Secondly, I set the 90 degree postion stop (drill press position), accepting .004 there too. Then I returned to sawing positon and got the miter slots within .002 again using the high spot on the sanding disk. Next aligned the rip fence and that was dead on. Then I put a saw blade on the spindle and set the table to 90 degrees a 4" engineer square. (I had already tested the square by drawing a line on paper against the square and flipping the square to draw the second line. The lines were parallel to my eye.).

To get comfortable with the main table, I moved the table up and down, back and forth, tilted right and left, moved the headstock back and forth. Tested all the measurements again, and they were within the same tolerances as I first locked in. I admit I was amazed at this.

Now I'm on to the the extension table where I ran into my current unresolved puzzlement. With all the other alignments holding so well, I couldn't fathom how the extension table could be so far off plane when compared to the saw table. That's the only thing that's casting suspicion on my original saw table tilt alignment. If that's off, then I can understand how the unshimmed extension table is off so much.

So, at this point I'm wondering if I properly aligned the tilt of the main table to the saw blade. I know the sanding disk has high and low spots, and I imagine the saw blade does too. Using the square against the face of those items seems nowhere as precise as the dial indicator that clearly reads .001".

Obviously, I'm not ready to proceed with the table extension alignment until I'm comfortable with the main table situation. What do you think? Am I not thinking this through right?

I appreciate all the help.

Hal

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? on Aligning Table to 90 degrees.

#1087 by dusty » Mon Dec 18, 2006 5:55 pm

It sounds as though your Main Table is right on. Don't doubt it. Move on to the extension table.

On which end of your SS are you going to use the Extension Table?

Stop. Let's make sure we are communicating!! You are talking about the Extension Table and NOT a Floating Table - right???.

Assuming that you are working on the Extension Table - mount it on the SS.
1) Adjust it to appoximately the same height as the Main Table, 2) move the Headstock to a position that puts the Main Table and the Extension Table within about 2' of one another 3) lay something straight [a four foot level is my choice] across the gap between the two tables and 4) adjust the Extension Table height to equal the Main Table height.

It is at this point I understand your problem to present itself. If I am correct, I would simply loosen all four sets of nuts that hold the Extension Table to the Extension Table Base so that the table moves very freely. Keeping your eye on that level, I'd begin adjusting the nuts so as to move the extension table into the proper position. Checking back and forth between the infeed and the outfeed ends of the two tables.

NOTE: I try to make this adjustment with the top four nuts as close as posible to the underside of the table. There is no SS reference for this. I want as much of the four studs to be below the locking nuts as possible. Don't know why, just the way I do it.

NOTE: After completing this alignment, move the Extension Table to the other end of the SS. Slide the Headstock and Carriage toward that same end.
CHECK alignment (level check) at this end and make mental note of your findings. Odds are, they will not be right on. I was never able to make mine so that I could move the Extension Table back and forth. Tech Services wasn't able to tell me why. I bought a second Extension Table. I now have a Right Hand Extension Table and a Left Hand Extension Table. The Left Hand Table is almost always set at its lowest position (I seldom use it).

If I'm doing a lot of heavy, long ripping, I use both Extension Tables and the Long (5') Tubes. This makes for a very stable and large table surface.

Do you have a 505, 510 or 520?

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Same questions...

#1091 by chiroindixon » Mon Dec 18, 2006 6:25 pm

"Dusty" is right. Get that main table dead on.

The floating tables also have some adjustment play in them. That's a trip and a few adult beverages to adjust.

ONCE DONE.....MARK AND NUMBER the floats and extensions. I have big letters marked on mine since I do use the 5' pipes and a designated R and L extension tables. L/R, middle L....all marked. Extensions all have locking collars set and marked. That way, I can take apart the table for "drill press" then reassemble for table saw, etc, fast.

Aligning a SS can be easy....but keep your eye on 'Murphy's Law"

Doc

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#1097 by hfmann » Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:59 pm

Dusty, Doc,

Stop. Let's make sure we are communicating!! You are talking about the Extension Table and NOT a Floating Table - right???.


Yes, the extension table on the right side of the machine. I almost always have a jointer or bandsaw on the left side.

NOTE: I try to make this adjustment with the top four nuts as close as posible to the underside of the table.


Mine only has nuts on the bottom. My old users manual shows shimming with washer type shims. Apparently the newer modesl have those adjusting nuts so you can avoid the shims. The distance is so great now (over 1/8") that I thought something must be amiss.

Dusty and Doc: now I see why people have lots of different tables. That's a great idea to label each one. I've good three floating tables I'm going to do that too. Thanks.

If I'm doing a lot of heavy, long ripping, I use both Extension Tables and the Long (5') Tubes. This makes for a very stable and large table surface.


Are you adding the tables to the in and outfeed sides? How do you do that? I thought you could only add extensions to the left and right

Do you have a 505, 510 or 520?
It's a 510 (circa 1987) with 520 pro fence upgrade.

Trying to post some pictures to better show what I'm talking about, but can't connect to the picture storage section of my provider. Will keep trying.

Hal

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? on aligning table to 90 degrees

#1099 by dusty » Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:29 pm

As long as the Extension Table is flat (not warped) it's just a matter of shimming it until it is level. Dead on becomes a function of shims so as long as you have the right combination of shims you'll get there. SS does have an assortment of shims available.

I have a work bench directly inline with my SS. For casual ripping, if an outfeed extension is needed, I position a box (that I built for this purpose) on my workbench and it acts as an outfeed table. For serious jobs, I have built an outfeed table that is cantilever on the tubes (rails) of my shopsmith.

I also have a project in progress to do this differently, using plans presented by a fellow woodworker on SSUG.com. I bit for sufficticated than mine.

Since you have a 520 Pro you already know that with the tables all aligned, your rip fence will glide very smoothly from one to another and that the rip fence will align even when setting across a narrow gap.

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#1102 by hfmann » Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:32 pm

Well since I took the pictures and finally got the connection to the ftp server working, thought I'd post them.

Here's outfeed side of the extension table. You can't see it, but the straightedge is flat on the main table. You can see that there is a large gap on the left side of the extension table while the right side is deal level with the main table. This is going to take a lot of shimming!

Image

Neither side of the infeed side is level with the main table.

Image

Using a dial caliper with depth gauge, I measured the gap on the infeed side. I'm hoping that these measurements will help minimize the number of tries to get it shimmed right.

Image

And finally, here's a closeup of one bolt for the extension table. It is loose on purpose while I continue adjusting.

Image

Thanks again for all the help guys.

Take care,
Hal

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#1103 by Bruce » Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:01 pm

I would suggest replacing the bolts with studs and double nuts with washers. It will be much easier to align that way.

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#1105 by reible » Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:21 pm

Yes do replace the bolts with studs!

Check out this post:
http://www.ssug.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1000

It might be helpful.

Ed

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