I'm new to this - SMT doesn't slide easily

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  • I'm new to this - SMT doesn't slide easily

    Hello helpful people and thanks to everyone that keeps this site up.

    I haven't used a table saw since 2003, but I recently purchased a used BT3000 for a home renovation project here in Louisville. I've been troubleshooting some things (with varying degrees of success) and I'm now stuck on the SMT. The Miter Table Top will only slide along the Miter Base if I really apply some force. From reading through the manual, doing some google searching, and looking through the forums here on SawdustZone, I'm a bit confused about how to diagnose the problem and then deal with the issue. I'm wondering if the Slides are screwed on too tight, thereby restricting their ability to slide along the Miter Base, but I don't want to just start unscrewing them because the language in the Manual about adjusting the SMT says that as soon as you start unscrewing anything, "these settings need to be reset." (Not sure what they mean by "these settings" and how to properly reset them.) Not to mention it seems like a lot of time/work to go through all the checks/adjustments in that part of the manual (remember - I'm basically a novice at all this and have rather little experience with anything mechanical).

    Anyways, If anyone has suggestions for how to check for the cause of my "sticky" SMT, I'd really appreciate some feedback. I think that's a good place to start for now, maybe we can eventually work toward how I go about fixing the problem.

    Thanks everyone!

  • #2

    I have had a similar problem with my SMT when I got the saw initially and mine too was used.

    I am hopeful members that have had more experience with the SMT fixes chimes in here though as mine was an obvious simple fix...

    In my case, there was debris in the slides that I was able to clear out with compressed air. Not blaming prior owner as it could have gotten there on its trip accross Texas in the bed of my pickup, BUT.... it was there. I simply slid it a bit, blew, slid, blew, slid blew, cleaned out with a Q tip where I could until it started moving easily.

    I'm not sure if in some circumstances dry lube may help as well.

    What you do NOT want to do is use any kind of sticky or wet lube as that will attract dust and debris and really gum up the works...
    Please like and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Please check out and subscribe to my Workshop Blog.


    • #3
      First, have you found the full BT3 owner's manual? That will have all the info on the SMT alignment. Second, read the BT3 FAQ by user LCHIEN on this site. The link is in his post signatures.

      The warning you referenced makes it sound like touching SMT screws is doom-and-gloom. It's not. SMT alignment and calibration is actually fairly easy as long as you follow the steps in order. Typical SMT hard-to-slide issues are:
      1: crud/dirt accumulation on the track or the (fragile) black plastic slides on the underside of the SMT.

      2: Look at the black screw nuts visible in the SMT upper surface. They are nuts, right - not screw heads? If the screws are inserted incorrectly they can drag on the fixed plate. You should see the screw nuts on the SMT surface if they are correct. It looks upside-down...

      3: One SMT screw/nut is used as a pivot point for the alignment process. The others are then adjusted laterally to barely eliminate lateral slop/motion (so the SMT runs straight/true); if the others are adjusted too tight then the SMT squeezes the track edges rather than riding along the track. If your SMT fence is 90 degrees to the blade (NOT necessarily parallel to the edge of the main table... BT3's align everything to the blade as it may not be parallel to the table edges) try loosening just the outer (left-most) two fasteners; that way the inner fasteners maintain the alignment. This assumes your SMT is mounted to the left of the blade. If your SMT 90 fence is off relative to the blade then your existing alignment is poor and you will need to loosen stuff anyway. The track should be parallel to the blade too since the SMT rides on that. Get the track aligned first, then align the SMT screws to get 90 degrees on the fence basically.

      SMT slide lubrication: a bit of paste wax on the track part works wonders. Do NOT use automotive paste wax - or any wax containing silicone - as that will migrate everywhere and eventually contaminate your workpieces. Silicone plays havoc with wood finishes... it has absolutely no business being in a woodworking shop! Furniture style paste wax, or the stuff sold at Woodcraft stores, works well. These waxes are also good on the table top to make it easier to slide your workpiece (especially big sheet goods) across the saw, along fences, etc. And they work well on cast iron tables (e.g. bandsaw work table) to prevent rust. The various spray-on lubricant and rust preventing products sold in woodworking stores are an alternative. I use paste wax on everything. Simple, inexpensive, doesn't drip/run, doesn't stink.



      • #4
        Below is the BT3000 Manual in PDF. Hope it helps.

        Attached Files
        Hank Lee

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


        • #5
          There are four slides that align and then let the SMT slide... The alignment has to be parallel to the blade which the way the BT3 is made, is not necessarily parallel to the table top like other saws. That is why the SMT is alignable.

          The four slides have four screws, one of which is a fixed screw and the other three are eccentric screws which allows them to move sideways to accomplish the alignment process.

          I suppose an improper adjustment will make the screws on one side too tight and binding on the SMT.

          I will think about it some more but that's my first reaction. So it may require doing the entire SMT alignment procedure if they are not adjusted correctly. Frankly, I have never had to touch my SMT alignment it was good enough from the factory and has always slid smoothly. A used saw you never quite know what's been done to it.
          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


          • #6
            Welcome to SawDustZone! It's even easier than these others have mentioned. One screw is fixed, that would be the right front IIRC. The Right rear is used to adjust parallel to blade. Both left screws/nuts are for adjusting tension to the base.

            Have you found our articles yet? After you read the below guide perhaps you will discover the actual cause of your issue. Please do return and let us know what you found or ask more questions. We want to help you solve the issue.

            Last edited by Black walnut; 01-12-2022, 09:47 PM.
            just another brick in the wall...


            • #7
              Well thanks so much everyone for the responses! I've gotten side-tracked for a couple days, but I'm going to go through these suggestions and take some action to see if I can get this thing sliding properly. I'll reach out again with further questions or a review of how things worked out. Based on these comments, I'm assuming I have to go through the full adjustment/alignment procedure from the manual. So be it. I may not be very experienced with mechanical things like this, but I do consider myself competent.

              Specifically thanks to:
              dbhost for sharing your specific experience (this thing was super dirty when we bought it - i had to take it apart quite a bit and vacuum out a lot of sawdust and cut ends that had fallen between the blade and the throat plate)
              mpc for the detailed insight
              leehljp for the manual (amazingly, the person we bought the saw from still had the manual and almost all of the components that should have come with it in the original box. frustratingly, the dude didn't have the wrenches that are used to change the blade... still trying to figure out that dilema)
              LCHIEN for your insight and for the FAQ pdf. I found that before I posted this question, perhaps I'll review the FAQs related to the SMT before attacking the procedure in the manual.
              Black walnut for the link to the information about the adjustments. That may prove very helpful.

              Thanks again everyone! Updates to come...


              • #8
                The first question I would ask myself, does the SMT need aligning?

                If it is properly aligned it will slide perfectly parallel to the blade. In that case, maybe just the left two (as described in Black Walnuts post) need to be adjusted to not put so much tension which is traded off for some small play.

                If it is not aligned properly then the whole alignment procedure probably needs to be done as someone has messed with it.

                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