Crosscutting with the FMT Table Saw
General safety rules
There are several techniques to crosscut with an European style table saw with a Sliding Table. The following text covers these. Note that you can also set the blade at an angle to obtain compound crosscuts and miters.
Normal crosscutting at 90°Use the provided Crosscut Fence. It has a generous length, it can also be further extended and the angular scale provides clear divisions of angles easily enabling to estimate ¼ degree.
In its shorter version the fence will handle up to 70cm long workpieces using the flip-stop.
When extended, the support will accept workpieces up to 1m42 or longer. The extension can be locked at any point in between.
Here is a view of the hardwood blocks with T-bolts and ratchet-knobs. The blocks slide along a T-track at the front and are locked with round head knobs.
To install the Fence for 90° cuts, insert the right-hand T-bolt head into the T-track of the Sliding Table, lift the left-hand bolt (to keep it from bumping on the left-side sliding block of the Sliding Table) and slide the unit until the cursor lays over the 0° angle mark.
If you keep the Fence roughly perpendicular to the Sliding Table edge, the right-hand bolt will be over the pivot hole. This bolt has its lower end rounded to fit into that hole when the ratchet-knob is tightened. Do not tighten it completely until you can screw the left-hand bolt in the sliding block on the left-hand side of the Sliding Table. Finally tighten both ratchet-knobs and check the 0° degree reading.
Remember that the lateral sliding block bears against a screw set into the aluminum angle stop. This screw provides a means of adjusting the 0° position of the Crosscut Fence.
This is a close-up view of the 90° adjustment bolt.
You can also adjust the Fence position relative to the saw blade by loosening the two round knobs on the front face of the ratchet-knob blocks. Therefore it is possible to shift the Fence towards or away from the blade.
In this picture the flip-stop was set a 10cm and a wood folding rule used to slide the fence until the reading at the blade tooth was identical.
This operation adjusts the unit so that the flip-stop cursor can be used to set the crosscut length without further measuring.
Here is the fence finally set to cut at 90°
And here is a close-up view of the cursor set at 90°. The flip-stop cursor is also visible, set at 37.7 cm.
Crosscutting at an angleThe installation follows a similar procedure as in the previous example. However, once you have the ratchet-knobs slightly tightened you should also loosen both round knobs. This will enable you to angle the Fence to the desired value. This is best accomplished by using the lateral sliding block to move the whole unit conveniently until near its final location. The Fence will probably require being shifted towards or away from the blade. Do this at this instance. Now keep on progressively tightening all four knobs until you reach the exact angular value as well as the desired position of the fence from the blade.
A view of the fence angled 30° away from the operator
And now at 30° towards the operator.
Note that this last setting requires the aluminum angle 90° stop to be rotated counter-clockwise to provide passage for the lateral sliding hardwood block.
MiteringTo obtain exact joints at 90° the best approach is using a jig. Have a look at this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG9LRnB9-Hg. Although the explanation is in German, the images tell the whole story very clearly. Note that this simple jig allows cutting perfect miters even when the workpieces have different widths. See the video at 4’33 for a look at the simple procedure.
An interesting detail is seen at 2’52 with a close-up of the stops. Note that there is a gap between the stop and the fence. This avoids the sharp edge of an already cut miter from being damaged when set against the stop. Additionally, the gap allows a more precise setting of the workpiece. Flip-stops should not be used here as the miter would act as a wedge lifting the stop and producing an inaccurate cut.
Crosscutting PanelsDepending on panel size, this operation may require the use of the Outrigger Table.
It is mounted on the T-track at the side of the Sliding Table using two T-bolts with knobs to fix it in place.
Under its left end there is a short 16mm diameter threaded rod with a lock nut. This rod plugs into a 16mm inside diameter pipe at the end of the Telescopic Arm. The nut is used to adjust the Outrigger Table height so that it is at the same level as the Sliding Table top. When assembling the unit, leave the two knobs loose enough so that you can raise the frame until able to insert the threaded rod stub into the pipe. These knobs can now be fully tightened.
Although the Outrigger Table can be placed anywhere alongside the Sliding Table, you will have to check that the Telescopic Arm is fully supporting it during its intended use. Actually, for panel cutting both manufacturers and experienced users prefer setting the table at the far end of the Sliding Table and using its Crosscut Fence at the forward position. The logic of this arrangement is that the operator will be pushing forward on both the Sliding Table and the workpiece (against the fence) at the same time in a single movement.
Here is the Outrigger Table installed and ready to receive its own fence.
This longer fence has adjustable end stops to set it at 90° to the blade at both of its possible positions. These stops can be flipped out of the way for angled cuts.
Here is the fence adjusted to o°.
Once the fence is set at 0°, the flip-stop is set to e.g. 10cm and the whole unit is slid until the reading to the blade teeth has the same value. This completes the adjustement as in the previous case.
There is also an (adjustable) double angular scale for angled cuts with the fence installed at the far or the near end.
Here the fence is set at 25° towards the operator. The left-hand scale is used with the fence positioned at the far end.
The right-hand scale is used with the fence at the near end.
At the upper right of the picture the adjustment screws can be seen. There is another pair at the other end.
As you can see here, each scale is separately mounted, therefore each can be adjusted independently.
Of course, tilting the blade enables mitered cuts and angling the fence compound miters are also possible.
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