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How Do I Align Craftsman Table Saw?

Stickley's picture

I inherited a 3hp belt drive Craftsman that's at least 5 years old, but the blade isn't exactly perpendicular to the body. I don't see any obvious adjustments, but maybe I'm missing something.


(post #126387, reply #1 of 50)

Does the table move?


Family.....They're always there when they need you.

(post #126387, reply #2 of 50)

Align the blade to the miter slot.  there should be bolts holding the trunnion to the underside of the table.

Wait ... if the blade isn't perp to the body ... does that mean that you get get the blade to stand up 90 degrees to the top?  then there is a set screw somewhere, that is stopping the trunnion from moving sall the way.  Some saws the set screw is accessible through the top, some you have to reach under.  Or irt could be the screw threads on the tilt mechanism are crudded up with sawdust or rust or both.

"Put your creed in your deed."   Emerson

"When asked if you can do something, tell'em "Why certainly I can", then get busy and find a way to do it."  T. Roosevelt

Edited 3/24/2008 9:27 pm ET by FastEddie

"Put your creed in your deed."   Emerson

"When asked if you can do something, tell'em "Why certainly I can", then get busy and find a way to do it."  T. Roosevelt

(post #126387, reply #3 of 50)

the carridge that holds the blade and arbor moves...

held to the bottom of the table top by 4 bolts....


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming

WOW!!! What a Ride!
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!

"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints"

(post #126387, reply #4 of 50)

Go to this page and download the ts2412 manual.  Bet you a cold one that it looks like this.  Emerson made the older Craftsman saws before they went Ryobi IIRC.

For those who have fought for it Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.

(post #126387, reply #5 of 50)

Thanks for your help! I had to download several manuals before finding one that helped me, but you were right. A Cold One would be underpaying you, so I'll toss in a bag of beer nuts. You just have to come to Glendale, California...

(post #126387, reply #6 of 50)

Would you mind telling me which one you downloaded that helped?

I also have an old craftsman table saw with a similar problem.

The first precept was never to accept a thing as true until I knew it as such without a single doubt. [Rene Descartes on scientific method]

(post #126387, reply #7 of 50)

old craftsman table saw

seein' as how I have 3 of the old CM 10" cast iron table saws, here's how I set them up.

1. adjust fence to be parallel to the slots in the top.

2. take off the blade - if ANY looseness in the shaft replace the bearings ($5 online, but NOT from Sears).  If you have a metal lathe at the farm, true up the arbor while you replace the bearings, otherwise after bearings replaces, run the arbor and true up the face of the flange with a mill file (takes a little time and patience, don't use too much pressure)

3. 4 bolts hold the blade carriage to the top, loosen those so the carriage just barely moves when you tap it with a hammer - install a straight blade.

4. Check runout on the blades, redo last part of #2 if detectable runout. Be sure runout is not due to the blade.

5. Tap carriage until blade parallel to fence and slots. Tighten bolts - that's about it.

#2 is the difficult part without a metal lathe unless you luck out and have a true flange on the arbor.



download a manual at, does not have much in it except diagram.

(post #126387, reply #16 of 50)

Hey, BossHog.

Ts2424 something is the one that had the details that were helpful.

(post #126387, reply #8 of 50)

Glad to help.  Will call out to the airport and have them fuel up the Lear Jet to come get the beer and nuts.

Which one did fit?  I had the ts2424 and saw that the 3612 was out so I took it back to HD.  They credited me $50 off and ended up getting a great deal.  Both saws are great in my opinion.  The fence is much better on the 3612.

I believe the 3612 was the last Emerson built Ridgid saw.

For those who have fought for it Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.

(post #126387, reply #9 of 50)

If it's a belt driven contractor type you might be interested in a product called PALs (about $20).  They attach to the rear truntion bolts an allow for a fine adjustment via set screws...never quite got the hang of doing a fine alignment with a hammer and block of wood. PALs are from Online Industries and I got a 'how to' video with it.  Also recommended and showed how and where to install grease fittings for smooth blade up and down adjustment.

(post #126387, reply #10 of 50)

Ditto on the PALS.

Its a part which costs $2 to make, Its worth $200 in time, and they sell it for $20.

Loosen up the trunion nuts align blade, clamp in place, and re-tighten. Its that "easy."

Actually, a pain the friggin #### and might take you an hour or more, depending on how much saw dust gets in your eyes. With the pals, you just adjust the alignment with a socket.



"I may be drunk, but you're crazy, and I'll be sober tomorrow." WC Fields, "Its a Gift" 1934

Regards, Scooter "I may be drunk, but you're crazy, and I'll be sober tomorrow." WC Fields, "Its a Gift" 1934

(post #126387, reply #11 of 50)

Did you do the grease fittings?

(post #126387, reply #12 of 50)

Any thoughts on a reasonable rip fence for the old Craftsman?

(post #126387, reply #13 of 50)

I don't know what you mean by grease fittings. The Trunion Bolts cause the whole assembly to wobble around and one aligns the blade with straight 1x4's clamped parallel to the miter slot. Its a PITA.

I'm not real picky about a fence, except I like it high enough and thin enough to clamp accessories such as auxillary fences and hold downs.



"I may be drunk, but you're crazy, and I'll be sober tomorrow." WC Fields, "Its a Gift" 1934

Regards, Scooter "I may be drunk, but you're crazy, and I'll be sober tomorrow." WC Fields, "Its a Gift" 1934

(post #126387, reply #15 of 50)

THe PALS guy sent me a video on installing grease fittings on the blade raising/lowering mechanism for squeak free 1 finger operation.


(post #126387, reply #14 of 50)


I have a real old direct drive Craftsman. It was old when I bought it at an auction in 1980.

Fence adjustment was always measure the front and the back and then lock it down.

This winter I bought the T2 30" fence from Delta and installed it on my saw. Cost $150. Some of the best money I have ever spent.

I added about 15" of formica covered plywood to the right of the blade to fill out the area where the new bars extend.

I feel like I have a Unisaw now. It's wonderful. Smooth adjustment and locks down perfect.

The extra space to the right of the blade is great when I am sawing alot of little parts.

I'll see if I can post a picture later.


(post #126387, reply #17 of 50)


Here are some pics of new fence on old saw.


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(post #126387, reply #18 of 50)

Thank You.

Did the fence cost more than the saw?

(post #126387, reply #19 of 50)


The saw cost $225 in 1980. The replacement motor was $350 about 10 years later.

The fence was $150.


(post #126387, reply #20 of 50)

Thank You,

I've been hemming and hawing over buying an aftermarket rip fence for years.  I'll check out the Delta. I had bought a Sears upgrade to the original fence but it's not great.  I guess you really do get what you pay for.

Thank You for the info and pictures.

(post #126387, reply #21 of 50)

The Ridgid is no Biesmyer but pretty good.

For those who have fought for it Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.

(post #126387, reply #22 of 50)

Will the fence system fit on any size saw?  Mine is 27 inches front to back and 40 inches  long (top plus side extensions). It's a Craftsman from the late 70's.  Looks like yours except I've got the stamped side extensions.


Thank You

(post #126387, reply #24 of 50)


My saw is 27" x 40" with cast aluminum wings.

The holes on the fence rails are from the left at 3 1/4", 10 3/8", 26 3/8", 33 1/2" and 41".

The hole at 41" is in the space of my new wood extention. There is probably another one on the wood extention now that i think of it. I didn't move the fence and look under it.

I could only use the holes in the aluminum wings to mount my rails to the saw.

With stamped  wings that may not be strong enough. Then you woould have to drill new holes.

The package said it fits most saws. I made mine work. I bought it at a local tool store so I could return it if it didn't work.

Best of luck.


(post #126387, reply #34 of 50)

Quick question.  I bought the Delta T30. I have a Craftsman with the stamped wings.

I've drilled the Delta rail to match the holes in the cast iron part of the table saw but the bolt heads on the wings don't let the rail get flush to the table.  The table depth is 27 inches (I called Delta and their tables are 27 inches also and that is what the fence is designed to fit on).  Is there enough front to back play so that the fence will attach if the rail is away from the table by the thickness of the bolt heads on the wings or do you think I will have to drill out the rail to accomodate the bolt heads? The rear rail will will be similar, i.e. wing bolt heads.


Thank You  


(post #126387, reply #35 of 50)


Boy that was quick.

I just opened BT and the 1st thread was the TS alignment. i hadn't even read the 1st post when your message arrived.

I don't know if there is enough play. I will take a look when I get back to the shop.

The back does not clamp on, it is just a guide. The front is the only place it clamps tight.

My old craftsman clamped front and back.


(post #126387, reply #36 of 50)

Thank You.  I will await your reply.  Although not a big problem to drill/grind out for the bolt heads..rail is fairly substantial.  I had the Craftsman upgrade fence but nothing great...spent too much time aligning to blade for each cut. The heft of the Delta is a nice surprise.


(post #126387, reply #37 of 50)


I attached some pic of fence. One pic has a bolt laying on the table.

I think you should countersink the front bolts.

As you can see in the pic that back rail doesn't make any difference.


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(post #126387, reply #38 of 50)

I really appreciate your taking the time to send the pictures.  I can what you mean.  Back to the drill press.


Thank You

(post #126387, reply #45 of 50)

Long time.  I finally got the rails attached.  Lots of drilling.  I just need to attach the on/off switch.  Any suggestions?


Thank You

(post #126387, reply #46 of 50)


The thread from long ago.

I have a over the counter light switch in a metal box mounted to the underside of one of the wings.

Not exactly a safety switch.

Sorry i don't have any great ideas.