How to Check Parallelism of a Table Saw

Duration: 4:05

Learn how to check parallelism of a table saw. If you don’t check to see that the blade and fence on your table saw are parallel, you could end up with binding issues that cause kickback and a whole bunch of other problems on your woodworking projects down the road, so make sure you check for parallelism! George Vondriska teaches you a quick and low-tech method for doing so using a framing square and a standard metal ruler.

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7 Responses to “How to Check Parallelism of a Table Saw”
  1. brian41
    brian41

    I have a used model 70 powermatic with no manual.
    my 12″ blade to miter slot is out about 14 thou.
    How do i adjust it

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  2. Jay
    Jay

    Yes, but…

    In woodworking, there is no such thing as “exact.” There has to be some play in the miter gauge slot or couldn’t move it. The face of the miter gauge is not exactly 90° to the slot. If the vertical plain of the blade isn’t parallel to the miter slot, how can you even adjust that since it is factory-set? When you then tilt the blade for an angled cut, all bets are off. What about flexing of the blade? Lastly and just as importantly is a parallel and vertically perpendicular fence. Is it parallel to the blade along its entire path? Dirt, dust, rust and wear will affect its tracking. A test dial can only be used over short distances and has to placed exactly perpendicular to the table at each position, which is technically impractical and really impossible for the usual hobbyist woodworker.

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  3. Dave
    Dave

    The article says to check the parallelism of the saw, the blade and fence but you don’t complete the job. This only checks the blade and the miter slot relationship, a good start but then you need to also check the fence.

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  4. RICH FATH
    RICH FATH

    When I set up my Sears table saw years ago (first thing I did before using it) I check/set parallelism using my combination square, the head rode in the miter slot and I adjusted the steal ruler to touch the blade. as I slid the square along the blade I could see if there was a gap, there was so I tweak the mounts per the manual. Every so often I check it to ensure it is still parallel, its been solid over the years. I like the straight edge idea though, I will try it the next time I check the saw.

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