Blade Alignment

Questions and comments concerning the assembly of the Jointmaker Pro

Moderator: Michael

Blade Alignment

Postby rwest » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:07 am


To set my keel square to the table, I decided to try and use a dial gauge so I could be as accurate as possible. I clamped my dial cauge block to one of the linear bearings and slid it along the length of the fixed blade guide and made adjustments to the keel until it was parallel to the path of the bearing.

Here's a close-up of the set up:

I believe that this is an accrurate method to set this up, even though the table isn't attached yet because the bearing is ultimately what needs to travel parallel to the blade, the table just rides on the bearing. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Posts: 265
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:59 pm

Postby WayneNagle » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:06 pm


I aligned the keel on mine with a dial indicator as well. it was pretty close with the allen wrench method but that was difficult for me to see. However, I just clamped my dial indicator to the table and raised the blade a bit checking both ends of the blade until it was dead on.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:40 pm

Postby Michael » Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:01 pm

I like the idea of the dial indicators too. Be sure that the indicator does not deflect the blade during the motion.

Personally, I like to use a ruler, like a stout 12" combination square blade, set against the fence. Then I have an inch of surface area to closely put up to the blade. I then slide the tables back and forth to test.
Site Admin
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:26 am

Postby John » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:14 pm

For what it is worth, over the past two years, every demo, every machine I have put together (over 100), and every video we have shot, the blade was aligned by eye. (And if you ask anyone at Bridge City how often I am running around looking for my glasses, then you realize I don't see all that well...)

To be fair, you can get it dead nuts on with a dial indicator, but in my opinion not necessary. Here is why;

The keel rest on two trunions and it is possible for those trunions to kick a thou or two one way or the other independent of your set-up when you move the keel. So for mission critical, dead-on, perfect cuts I do three things;

I always double-check that the trunion faces parallel to the front and back plates are indeed rubbing on those plates. If the saw was assembled properly this never changes in my experience but sometimes during keel alignment it is easy to overlook. Then...

I do a quick parallel test using the end of my 6" pocket ruler, running it up and down the blade with the fence set to 90 degrees to make sure my new setting is indeed dead parallel--if not I tap one end to make it perfect. It is just my way of checking the trunion alignment prior to those types of cuts.

For angled cuts where the blade is tilted, I make sure that I have "clean air" in the fence--that is to say, there is no backing in the blade zone of the fence. Early on I spent many hours trying to figure out why my angled cuts were not dead perfect and then discovered that by moving the blade ever so little, the blade would still track in the original start cut that was scored in the fence--it would start out perfect in my stock then catch the original kerf in the fence and bend back into that kerf. So my fences now have quite a chunk of wood removed in the blade zone. (easy to do too--two 45 degree cuts will cut out a "V")

When I need backing, which is often, I re-skin my original fences with 1/8" Masonite and double-stick tape. The only time I have completely replaced a fence is when some gorilla locked the dovetail nut so tight it split the dovetail. Oh, that would be me...

Site Admin
Posts: 187
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:54 am

Re: Blade Alignment

Postby » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:06 pm

I usually checked alignment by running either an allen wrench or the end of one of rules on the right side of the blade. Tonight I noticed after cutting 2 inch stock, that the rear of the blade angled slightly to the right. The deflection of the blade on the end of the rule was so slight that I didn't see it, so it looked like the blade was aligned. From now on I will check both sides. This problem explains why I was getting slight kerf marks on the cut spaced according to how much I raised the keel with each pass.

Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:07 pm

Return to Jointmaker Pro Set-Up & Assembly FAQ

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest