Aligning the Laser on a Straight-Line Rip Saw

Zeroing the laser guide for a straight-line rip saw is a trial and error process, however you do it. March 25, 2008

Just purchased a used straight line rip saw with a laser and was wondering how you align the laser with the blade.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor D:
Ensure that the centerline of the laser is directly above the line of the blade, side to side as you face the infeed side. Then start with a long straightedge and string and use the blade as your guide to extend the line of the blade/laser out to the infeed area. Make sure your line is set up vertically/square off the table. Then try a board and see what you get. Trial and error will help you tune it in.

From contributor J:
We put a strip of tape on the floor 10 ft in front of the saw. Marks on the tape help make very fine adjustments. Test cuts where you re-trim the edge of a straightened board will tell you which way you need to adjust.

From contributor O:
We take a 12 board with a straight edge, butt it tight against the raised feed chain (assuming the chain is parallel with the blade). The board is clamped down or held by one person and supported out on the infeed side by a stand. Make sure the laser line is centered in the saw groove at the machine, then adjust the light till you get the same distance from board to line out at the end.

From contributor M:
I rip an edge on a board. Then I set the fence and run it through. You now have a parallel board. Without moving the fence, take the board and refeed it. Stop it when you have enough of the board under the holddowns. Now set your line to the edge of the board. If the board was fed in correctly, it will mimic the cut it just made. The laser is more of a guide, not a precision marker.