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Table Saw Blade Stiffener

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I use a Powermatic 10 inch cabinet saw until parts are small enough for the Jim Saw.   Recently, I bough a 10 inch narrow kerf slotting blade and went ahead and got a 5 inch dia. stiffener to use with it.  I've used the stiffener with regular kerf blades too and I'm recommending a stiffener for general use.  The Powermatic is a good saw and the stiffener makes it better. 


The stiffener came with instructions to deburr the face of the blade-stop on the saw's mandrel as well as both sides of the blade collar and the face of the nut that bears on the collar.  I used a 120 grit flat stone for the deburring and I was surprised at how much metal had to come of the face of the collar that bears against the blade.  Everything is flat and rigid now.  The combination of flattening the blade's clamping surfaces along with the stiffener takes some of the disappointment out of trying to hold to close tolerances.   

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A blade stiffener is a good idea.  I'm surprised that a Powermatic would need that much of a tuneup. 

By the way, have you ever tried a smaller blade - an 8 or 9 inch?  They're less expensive and give more apparent power for cutting.  My 1956 Yates American is an 8" saw that cuts 2-3/8" deep.  If I use a 7-1/4"blade, there is a very significant monetary savings at the loss of only 3/8" depth of cut.  That way I save my expensive high-quality blades for finer work.

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Smaller diameter blades are a great idea - stiffer and cheaper - I've just never done it! 


Powermatic makes a solid, smooth-running, powerful saw that will last forever.  But, as it comes from the factory: use a dial indicator to verify blade alignment with the table slots and fence alignment with the blade; there will be work to be done!  The saw allows for this type of fine tuning, just don't expect it to be done at the factory.  The "improved" dust collection system on newer saws makes me wonder just how ineffective the older one was.  The improved system leaves a lot to be desired. 


The blade collar has a black oxide coating.  Its clamping surfaces were turned and appeared to be flat but a pass over the stone showed the high spots bright.  The collar's blade contact was limited to a 1/4 inch wide ring right around the hole for the mandrel.  It was only about 0.002 inch high, but that ring was the only part of the collar in solid contact with the blade.  It may have been designed that way, but the back of the collar is flat now and accuracy has improved.  It's a hair-splitting improvement but it's improved.


I was hoping to find a decent Yates while shopping for saws.  All I came across were 3-phase industrial machines that had seen better days.     

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