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  • BT3100 SMT a bit high

    Hi all,

    I'm new to the BT3100 (my first table saw). On the very first day of having the BT3100, I noticed that the top of the SMT is slightly higher than the top of the main table where the saw is. I searched through the forum and found tips pointed to removing the plastic shims underneath the SMT. I did that, but the SMT is still slightly high. If I do an non-through cut using the main table, then repeat the cut next to it using the SMT I could see a sliver of difference between the two cuts. Besides removing the shims, is there anything I could do to make sure that the SMT and the main table are level with each other?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    you might try messing with the latches for the rails (4). I'm guessing there some slop before you lock them and you might be able to drop the SMT end a little by tilting the right side up a little and the left side down a little and then securing the latches. I'm assuming you're measuring a height difference of probably around half of a 16th of an inch or so? Like 10 to 30 thousandths of an inch?
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

    Comment


    • #3
      BT3100 SMT a bit high

      I read your post about the height of the SMT in relation to the saw's main table.
      I noticed that you did not say how much the difference was in these two measurements, so it would be difficult to give you any specific info on what
      to do to correct the problem.

      I read something here on this site that was published several years ago about this very thing. If my memory is correct, the answer to the poster about this problem was that the SMT was designed to be used a few thousands of an inch above the main saw table, which would make the sliding motion easier and with less friction. I would not remove any factory installed items, this my only serve to make the situation actually worse instead of better. Hope this helps.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm certainly not at a level of expertise that many of the veteran forum members are, but I'm of the impression that the SMT is SUPPOSED to be a bit higher than the main table.

        If NOT, then cross-cutting on the SMT would in fact drag on the main table to some extent. My SMT has never been adjusted and "out-of-the-box" it was and still is slightly higher. While I have read that post a couple of years ago regarding the concern, it never bothered me and I just accepted the difference.

        Perhaps it's just because I didn't understand or comprehend why one would think it important that being exactly the same height was a big deal. (My blade always is a full tooth above the top of the stock on through cuts, and I don't do dado or rabit cuts anyway on the saw.

        In any case, the SMT on my BT3100-1 is exactly 0.011 higher than the main table. My BT has been in fairly good use for about four years now, so that measurement may be counted with some "wear"... it could have been slightly more when the saw was new.

        I hope this is helpful,

        CWS
        Think it Through Before You Do!

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks all for your replies. I think the difference in height is about roughly about 1/64 of an inch (estimated). I'm relatively new to wood working, especially with using a BT, so I'm not sure how important it really is to have the SMT level with the main table.

          When I was trying to make a zero clearance throat for the saw, that's when I was bothered by the difference. I was trying to cut a 5/32" depth cut all around the throat piece. I used the main table and the fence to cut the long sides. I used the SMT to cut the short sides -- this is when I have to raise the blade up slightly to accommodate the difference. Also, I was planning to make a jig that would work off the SMT, but that would mean I have to keep the difference accounted for as well.

          Comment


          • #6
            Sadly work is keeping me busy or I would have answered earlier. I never have removed my shim strips. I use my SMT exclusively for cross cuts as well as joinery cuts. Yes mine is a bit high and yes it is sometimes a PITA to dial in on precision cuts but and it is a big but without a slight clearance you will wear both your SMT fence and your main table quicker. You will wear both anyway but with the shims in place you can extend the like of your saw and SMT. The alternative is to install miter slots and then you will have wear from a steel miter gauge. The good news is that with care the saw can last for years. How many is hard to predict. I still have mine 12+ years later....
            Donate to my Tour de Cure


            marK in WA and Ryobi Fanatic Association State President

            Head servant of the forum

            Comment


            • #7
              1/64th is .016 or 16 thousandths of an inch, which is pretty much quite normal. I think it was designed this way to keep the workpiece from dragging on the main table as you push it forwards.

              THis is potentially an issue if you are trying to make a partial-through cut/grooving crosscut in which you set the depth = the blade height and then you find the actual depth is the blade height minus the difference, in your case 1/64th. Also a problem if you tilt the SMT to the right or to the left which can make the height difference an inconsistent amount. The most important thing it to be aware of it and make sure its not critical. Fortunately a critical depth partial-though crosscut is not a frequent operation.
              Loring in Katy, TX USA
              If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
              BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm certainly not the expert in this discussion but I'm not buying the idea that there is a "good reason" for the tables to not be dead even (in the same horizontal plane) with one another.

                The teeter totter effect that results if the tables are not in the same plane just introduces an error that need not be there. A very minor error (1/64th" or so) but an error none the less.

                OCCASIONALLY, I do srrive to get really precise with my cuts.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dusty View Post
                  I'm certainly not the expert in this discussion but I'm not buying the idea that there is a "good reason" for the tables to not be dead even (in the same horizontal plane) with one another.

                  The teeter totter effect that results if the tables are not in the same plane just introduces an error that need not be there. A very minor error (1/64th" or so) but an error none the less.

                  OCCASIONALLY, I do srrive to get really precise with my cuts.
                  Dusty,

                  This forum started with members the original "Ryobi" BT3000 forum hosted by Ryobi itself. There were engineers or those close to the original design team with close information from the original purose of the BT3000 and its design and manufacture. The BT3000 was originally designed as a precision "contractors" saw but of course it did not go that way nor did it hold up well to "contactors" rough handling. ON the precision side, it did very well for those who took very good care of it but could not afford a Unisaw or equivalent.

                  One of the original design purposes was for the SMT to be just a smidgen above the table to prevent "drag". One thing I have noticed is that there seems to have been a difference between some being approx 1/64 in and some varying more and some less. But, that was the intent of the height.

                  It was not designed originally for a cheap unisaw replacement but a moble contractors precision replacement. That influenced many of the final decisions, whether we liked them or not.

                  The teeter totter effect is not any different than the teeter totter effect that occurs when one makes miter cuts with a miter guage. I think we have all experienced some bindng and a "bad" cut due to the swing and not holding, or clamping a board right, along with not pushing from the proper or balanced location. That teeter tot effect on miters ruins lots of cuts from the un-experienced. ON the SMT, knowing that it was intentional, it is my guess that the designers wanted to eliminate the "drag" that leads to the teeter totter effect. Again, it is my guess that the team looked at the way we cross cut. Most people hold down the outboard section and push with the right hand and hold down over the left side and push too. In doing this, most people tend to push with slightly unequal pressure forward or downward even though they will argue that they are not. In all probability the team knew this and wanted to eliminate it. Making it level would introduce drag. Experienced folks know this and instinctively counter this in one way or another on a level platform.

                  To counter the T-T effect, the proper way is to hold the board down flat on the SMT and let the blade do the cutting. BUT it only works well for boards a certain lenght, IMHO.

                  I used a lot of "guessing" and "probably's", but those come from the memories of reading the design intent some 10 - 13 years ago. The higher SMT was intentional.
                  Last edited by leehljp; 11-17-2012, 09:42 AM.
                  Hank Lee

                  Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That is about how I remember it as well, Hank.
                    If you have to have perfect precision with a level crosscut, there are places for leveling screws under the throat plate. That means that the throat plate can be raised to the SMT height.
                    Care would be needed not to catch the front of the plate on cut entry, but would provide the adjustable level surface needed for certain cuts.
                    Lee

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by leehljp View Post
                      Dusty,

                      This forum started with members the original "Ryobi" BT3000 forum hosted by Ryobi itself. There were engineers or those close to the original design team with close information from the original purose of the BT3000 and its design and manufacture. The BT3000 was originally designed as a precision "contractors" saw but of course it did not go that way nor did it hold up well to "contactors" rough handling. ON the precision side, it did very well for those who took very good care of it but could not afford a Unisaw or equivalent.

                      One of the original design purposes was for the SMT to be just a smidgen above the table to prevent "drag". One thing I have noticed is that there seems to have been a difference between some being approx 1/64 in and some varying more and some less. But, that was the intent of the height.

                      It was not designed originally for a cheap unisaw replacement but a moble contractors precision replacement. That influenced many of the final decisions, whether we liked them or not.

                      The teeter totter effect is not any different than the teeter totter effect that occurs when one makes miter cuts with a miter guage. I think we have all experienced some bindng and a "bad" cut due to the swing and not holding, or clamping a board right, along with not pushing from the proper or balanced location. That teeter tot effect on miters ruins lots of cuts from the un-experienced. ON the SMT, knowing that it was intentional, it is my guess that the designers wanted to eliminate the "drag" that leads to the teeter totter effect. Again, it is my guess that the team looked at the way we cross cut. Most people hold down the outboard section and push with the right hand and hold down over the left side and push too. In doing this, most people tend to push with slightly unequal pressure forward or downward even though they will argue that they are not. In all probability the team knew this and wanted to eliminate it. Making it level would introduce drag. Experienced folks know this and instinctively counter this in one way or another on a level platform.

                      To counter the T-T effect, the proper way is to hold the board down flat on the SMT and let the blade do the cutting. BUT it only works well for boards a certain lenght, IMHO.

                      I used a lot of "guessing" and "probably's", but those come from the memories of reading the design intent some 10 - 13 years ago. The higher SMT was intentional.
                      I can certainly yield to that, leehljp. Mostly because I have no experience to the contrary but also because it sounds logical.

                      Furthermore, having been called out on my statement, I went out to the shop to check mine (which BTW I am very satisfied with). Much to my surprise, my SMT sits about .020" proud of the saw table. I do have a slight teeter-totter effect but it has not been obvious to me until now.

                      So I guess I have some egg on my face but I am a bit wiser because of it. I thank you for taking the time to comment.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dusty View Post
                        I can certainly yield to that, leehljp. Mostly because I have no experience to the contrary but also because it sounds logical.

                        Furthermore, having been called out on my statement, I went out to the shop to check mine (which BTW I am very satisfied with). Much to my surprise, my SMT sits about .020" proud of the saw table. I do have a slight teeter-totter effect but it has not been obvious to me until now.

                        So I guess I have some egg on my face but I am a bit wiser because of it. I thank you for taking the time to comment.
                        Dusty,

                        You don't have any egg on your face, as far as I am concerned. IMO, you are right as far as what is the norm. Here is what I "think". Most cast iron tops that are well used are smooth and slide easily. The aluminum top of the BT3x00 is not finished to this degree. Sliding drag is miniscule but still more than with well waxed steel. ON the 3100, they did put a "coating" on it and it does seem ever so slightly slicker.

                        The development history behind the BT was way out of the norm, as they tried to "re-invent" the saw. Makita made one almost identical to the BT and I played around with it back in 1990/91 on a job site in Japan. Makita got out of that market quick for some reason and Ryobi's market continued to grow.
                        Hank Lee

                        Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=leehljp;510718]....To counter the T-T effect, the proper way is to hold the board down flat on the SMT and let the blade do the cutting. QUOTE]

                          Ryobi marketed a Miter Clamping Kit, P/N 4710300... Designed to; "secure stock by applying both downward and inward pressure. The workpiece is pressed down on the table while being held tightly against the miter fence, improving control for precise cuts."

                          Dusty -- With your SMT installed on the Shopsmith, the "teetering" effect increases because of the overhang distance from table edge to the blade, which is about 7" min. With the BT3000 table saw it can be as little as 2".... much less likely to teeter. When I designed the SMT installation for the Shopsmith I immediately noticed this issue and tried to bring both table surfaces in the same plane. Unfortunately, it is a very difficult to accomplish because of manufacturing variances in both the SMT and the Shopsmith main table.

                          Ron
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thank you guys for the feedback. I'll look into the clamping kit but only if this proves to be an issue. I have made a decent about of saw dust since I got the SMT and I have not had any real problems. That may be because I am not cutting any large or long stock right now.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have made a lot more saw dust the last couple days and I am here to report that the SMT has been absolutely no problem at all. I have taken extra precaution to make sure that I was not on the tetter-totter and that has worked.

                              I do believe that the hold down is going to become a must have. I should be able to sell that to the financial manager based on nothing more than a"good safety practice".

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