Making Table Saw Blade Parallel to Miter Slot

Contractor's table saws are not as adjustable as a shop cabinet saw. November 27, 2007

My 10" Delta contractor's saw recently got out of alignment with the miter slots. (I most often use the left-hand miter slot, so that's the one I'm adjusting the blade to.) The problem is that the rear of the blade heels to the left, so wood gets slightly re-cut when pushed past the end of the blade. I loosened what I believe are the trunnion screws - four screws underneath the saw table, two in front and two in back, that hold the whole blade assembly to the saw table - and have been hammering the rear corner of the trunnion to try and get it to shift to the right to correct the leftward heel of the blade. It won't budge. I tried hammering the front end of the trunnion, thinking that a left shift of the operator end of the blade would accomplish the same thing as a right shift of the rear end of the blade. Unfortunately, there is scant room underneath the operator end of the saw table, i.e. the front of the trunnion, to make a hammer swing. I can't use my table saw until I solve this problem. Does anyone have suggestions? When starting this project I had assumed that the trunnions had some room to move left or right by virtue of a widened screw slot. I am beginning to doubt that, however, due to the fact that I can't get it to budge.

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor L:
Unbolt the table top and move that.

From contributor J:
Like contributor L said, you don't adjust the trunnion, you adjust the top. Once you loosen the bolts, it should move freely - no hammer. Also, are you sure your miter slot is out and not just your fence? Just checking.

From contributor B:
If I understand the questioner correctly, he has a contractor's saw and not a cabinet saw. It's only with a true cabinet saw (and maybe half of the hybrids) that you can simply slide the top around to adjust for heel, because the trunnions hang from the cabinet. On a contractor's saw (with the motor hanging out the back of the saw), the adjustment for heel has to be made by moving the trunnions which bolt to the top. In the end you may need to make a new insert for the new blade position. However, a wooden stick and a hammer, working from the throat opening, should be enough to move the trunnions unless there's some corrosion freezing the parts. Sorry if that's telling you what you already tried, but it does sound like you've got the right approach.

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Comment from contributor E:
I had the same problem exactly: little adjustability on my contractors saw, out of parallel miter slot to blade relationship, and trunion to table screw holes that were not oversized at all to allow a small whack to move the trunion assembly. I took it off and drilled out a slightly larger sized hole at the drill press (making sure of course that the bolt would still be fully engaged against the casting below its head). I don't know if this adversely affected the saw in any way from a legal stand point, but it fixed my problem. I was able to adjust the blade parallel with the slot and have had no problem with the saw.