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Blade to miter slot Adjustment

The miter slot, grooved right into the table, is the only thing on a table saw that is not adjustable.

Since we cannot change this slot, we should line up the whole rest of the saw to this one important, but fixed part of this machine.  Many woodworkers were never aware that the entire motor housing is designed for adjustment to the miter slot -- sometimes with something as crude as an undersized bolt in an oversized hole.

You can do this with precision meters, but I show how using the blade itself as a tuning fork can be just as accurate. Spinning the blade and listening for the tooth that is standing out the furthest towards the miter slot - both front and back of the blade - will accommodate for any wobble in the blade. This gets the motor arbor into perfect position, not being fooled by wobble in any blade.


Learning Curve 95

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controlsgirl on January 31, 2024 10:23

Such a great video and concept! Thank you for sharing!!!

Ken on April 09, 2020 09:00

I tried your suggestion of removing tabletop from sides and while I couldn't completely remove table top (it would mean taking apart other parts)it did loosen things up and gave me better access to bolts I was able to line up blade to miter slot. Although not perfect, it is much better than it was. I will use it for now and then try for better alignment in the future. Thank you again Jon for your Herculean effort to help me. Stay safe and be healthy. sincerely,


Kenneth Solovy on March 28, 2020 13:47

I cannot access the nut at the back underside of the Skil 3410 table saw. I can access the nuts at the front underside. Help?

I have the manual and the diagram correctly represents the saw; however, there is very little room to access the nuts and bolts. Under the front of the table are two nuts which can be accessed with only the smallest open ended wrench and nut is a 6 sided nut which is almost impossible to get the wrench around and under back of table are two Allen screws which are almost impossible to turn with a normal Allen wrench so i needed to buy a handle to be able to get enough torque to turn the screws. I finally was able to loosen nuts and screws. From there, there are no directions on what to do. Do I need to have all four loosened at same time? Then what do I have to do to get blade aligned with slot. Very poor instructions. Any help you can give would be appreciated

Hi Ken,
Don’t you love industrial designers who make slick looking machines that ignore the engineer’s instructions for adjustment.

I suspect that for easy access to the screws you may need to remove the table top from the sides – thus exposing the motor mount screws - bad industrial design. Getting to short Allen screws in impossible situations can sometimes be accomplished by sawing short the short leg of the Allen key – leaving just enough straight shaft to settle into the screw head. You will need to carefully grind off any burr created by sawing the key, which might make it difficult to settle into the screw head.

With a 4 bolt mounting you should loosen 3 of the bolts and then pivot the assembly to line up with the table miter slot. If you loosen all 4, it is very difficult to make fine adjustments as every time you move, everything moves. Leaving one pivot point allows swinging clockwise, test, move counter-clockwise, test, etc. If you happen to choose the one bolt that doesn’t allow the movement you need, tighten another and loosen the one you had left tight in the first place. Now pivot around this different screw. Usually this works the first time.

One more trick is that as you measure from the miter slot in the table to the blade; mark the tooth of the blade where you are measuring with a felt marker. Then rotate the blade to measure to the same tooth on the other end of the table. In my video I do this by hand spinning the blade to hear the tooth the closest to my slot measuring device hit the dowel, on both the front and back of the table. This will eliminate any error caused by any wobble in the blade. Now wobble will not misalign the saw but only make a slightly wider kerf. I call that “working with error”.

Let us know how it goes. -- Jon

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