How to Adjust a Table Saw Arbor

What You'll Need
Table saw
Table saw manual
TS aligner
TS manual
A standard dial indicator and magnetic base
Piece of wood

A table saw arbor can be adjusted with a clamp onto the object to be sawed or to other parts of the saw machine. You will need to have an aligned saw arbor in order to be able to make precise cuts with your saw. This article will show you how to align your saw arbor in a few easy steps.

Step 1:  Pre-alignment Fixes

Read the instructions manual that came with your table saw to understand your machine better. A basic arbor consists of an arbor gear, bearings, nut, washer and a threaded arbor shaft. Check these parts thoroughly before aligning the arbor. The circular blade gets mounted onto the threaded shaft. If it malfunctions the circular blade will wobble leading to inaccurate cuts.

Another common problem is hearing a “clicking sound” from the arbor’s bearing when the machine is running. Check the bearing for obstructions and if there are none, replace the faulty bearings. Then, clean the arbor assembly with a dry cloth to remove any dirt and dust. Also use a lubricant to degrease the rusted areas and allow the machine to dry before following the steps below.

Step 2: Checking Blade and Arbor Total Run-out

First make sure the table saw’s miter slot is parallel to the circular blade using a TS aligner. Use the TS aligner manual to understand how it functions. Now check the blade and arbor’s total run out. Place the tip of the dial indicator below the deepest tooth of the circular blade. Let the dial indicator show zero deviation, meaning the needle on the dial should not be fluctuating. Slowly turn the blade with a string or piece of wood hooked to the tooth and check to see the variations indicated on the dial. Repeat this step 3 to 4 times and calculate the average deviation on the indicator.

Refer to your manual and find out what the recommended deviation for your machine should be. Usually the deviation range falls between 0.003” to 0.004”. If it exceeds the recommended run-out then check the flange for the slightest obstruction such as a wood splinter. Also check to see whether the arbor is bent or if the washer is damaged and replace any malfunctioning parts. If the problem persists then repeat this step with a different blade. Your total run-out should be within the recommended range since even a slight deviation can cause considerable irregularity in sawing.

Step 3: Checking Arbor Run-out

Now that the total run out has been verified, check the arbor’s run out. Let the tip of the dial indicator be on the smooth area in the middle of the flange and the blade. Let the needle on the indicator show a deviation of zero. Now slowly rotate the arbor shaft and observe the deviation on the indicator. Allow for 3 to 4 revolutions and calculate the average reading. This should not exceed 0.001,” or what your manual prescribes. If there is excessive deviation regardless of the fixes mentioned above, you will need to replace the arbor.