My husband has a delta 36-725 table saw. He can’t get square cuts as measured vertically from the table top surface, despite repeated realignment of the blade and fence with a dial indicator. He has also realigned the motor.

He has checked the fence alignment to the blade and the blade to the table top multiple times. He has put a feather board at the edge of the cast iron before the blade to make sure he’s not moving the wood, but the cut is consistently off. The cut is shorter by 1/16” in the middle of the board...starting approximately 1” in from either corner. He changed the blade from a thin kerf to a full kerf blade thinking that maybe the blade had some flexibility in it.

Any suggestions?

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    Please clarify what you mean by square cuts. Are we talking vertical from the table top surface, along the length (against the fence), or when using the miter gauge? Has he checked/adjusted the fence alignment with blade or the alignment of the table top miter with the blade(the top may have rotated on the base during a move)? – Ashlar Aug 5 at 2:51
  • I’m talking about vertical from the table top surface, no miter gauge. He has checked the fence alignment to the blade and the blade to the table top multiple times. He has put a feather board at the edge of the cast iron before the blade to make sure he’s not moving the wood, but the cut is consistently off. The cut is shorter by 1/16” in the middle of the board...starting approximately 1” in from either corner. He changed the blade from a thin kerf to a full kerf blade thinking that maybe the blade had some flexibility in it. – Jennifer McDaniel Aug 5 at 15:04
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    The only thing I can think of is that there is some play in the framework that holds the blade allowing the blade to change its angle as the board applies tension on the blade as the cut progresses. Perhaps check the tension on the drive belt between the motor and the blade. – Ashlar Aug 5 at 15:39
  • That’s basically the only thing he can come up with too. The saw doesn’t have a drive belt. The blade is directly connected to the motor. He’s thinking maybe the bearings are going out on the arbor. Thank you for your thoughts and time. They are greatly appreciated. – Jennifer McDaniel Aug 5 at 16:01
  • I have edited the question to include some of the info from your comments, to make things clearer. – WhatEvil Aug 7 at 10:47

He can’t get square cuts despite repeated realignment of the blade and fence with a dial indicator. He has also realigned the motor and changed out the blade.

The thing about a table saw is that there really aren't that many ways that it can go wrong. If the blade is 90° to the table when the tilt adjustment is set to 0°, and if the rip fence is straight and parallel to the blade, it should be able to make straight rip cuts with square edges. (A rip cut is when you're cutting along the length of a board, with one edge of the board riding along the rip fence.) If the cuts aren't coming out straight when you're fairly certain that the saw is set up correctly, then the problem might not be the saw.

It's pretty strange that your cuts are coming out narrower in the middle than at the ends. The two most likely reasons for this that I can think of are:

  • warped stock: If you're going to make a straight rip cut, the board you're cutting should have at least one edge that's good and straight. That straight edge has to go up against the fence. If the board is crooked, so that one edge is concave and other convex, or if it otherwise doesn't have a straight edge, then you're not going to get a straight cut. Materials like plywood and MDF are very stable, so those are good choices for testing your saw.

  • operator error: It's important to keep that straight edge against the fence through the entire cut. Using a featherboard as you described in a comment should help a lot here. Keep an eye on the back end of the rip fence as the cut proceeds and make sure that the board remains tight against the fence there (but don't use a featherboard there, of course). Pushing the board all the way past the blade rather then stopping when the end passes the leading edge may help; if it does, then the blade isn't quite parallel to the fence, and one or the other should be adjusted.

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