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Resetting the Sliders on a Sliding Table Saw

A detailed description of the process for fixing a sliding table saw slider mechanism that has gone out of adjustment. January 3, 2014

My Altendorf sliding table saw has a problem where the sliding table will eventually keep moving forward at the stops. When you go to change the blade, the table will be too far forward and you can't get the blade out, or it won't go back far enough to clear the scoring blade. If you run the table back into the stop a couple of times, it will move back into place. What is causing this?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor J:
This is the only hassle with the design of the system Altendorf and Holz-her use on the sliding rail of these saws, and it's rare. Sometimes happens in transport.

Pretty easy fix! Think of the sliding table in 3 parts:
1) The bottom extruded aluminum piece of the slider with the 2 hardened steel rails.
2) The top extruded aluminum piece of the slider with the 2 hardened steel rails, and typical ball bearings mounted on the sides of bottom. These are on a cam and hold the two sliders together, keeping it from falling in a full stroke front or back. (Set just a few thousandths from touching the bottom slider.)
3) The V groove ball bearings housed in a track between the two parts of the table (I think about 20" long).

What is happening when the pieces are set properly is: the table is pushed full stroke after a long cut, the v-bearings will be in contact at the furthest point of the bottom rail (front) and in contact at the closest point of the top rail (back), and in the middle when the table is in the middle. This is why, when in a full stroke, the two sliders still overlap the 20+/- or so inches.

What is happening to yours is: the track housing the V groove bearings has moved somewhere between and hitting the stops before the stroke is full.

When setting up a used saw, completely separate all pieces, clean and inspect. By relaxing the cam bearings, removing the stops bolted to the ends of the bottom slider on top. Then with 4 people, I slide the top all the way off (being careful not to let the 20" track to fall) and set the top on low saw horses. Clean or replace the V groove bearings, and reset the cam bearings upon reassembly. Now it slides like new!

Maybe a little more than you need or should do until you understand the assembly, but it really isn't hard.

Quick, easy fix: remove the outrigger table and fence. Locate the bearings mounted on the cam screws (bottom of the top slider) - not underneath, but on the sides. These should be Allen head set screws with a jamb nut to keep in place, I think. You should see them easily when the table is pushed in full stroke. Set the cam so there is as much room between them and the bottom slider. With 4 people, lift the top slider section up. You should have about 1/16" play between the top and bottom after relaxing the cams. Carry it to a full stroke position. This should drag the V groove bearings and track back to where they should be. You may have to kind of drag/knock/force it to a full stroke, but don't worry - you're not hurting it, because the V groove bearings have a spring that hits the stops. Now the table should move full stroke front to back. Reset the cams by turning them until each tops out on the bottom slider, then back off a little and reset its jamb nut.

From contributor J:
After rereading your post, I suggest you do the quick fix first to understand the mechanisms, but you do need to do the complete removal/cleaning.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for your very informative post. We will work on this today.

From contributor J:
Great. I realized when separating the two tables, I should have stated to remove the stop from the bottom of the top slider (underneath). This would keep the V groove track from falling and it would just hit on the bottom table stop.

From the original questioner:
Thanks again. I have been going to do this for a couple of months now. I was putting it off because I was afraid of lining up the proper spacing on the cam rollers, especially on the 45 section. It wasn't bad at all and works perfectly now. We now have the proper height from the rolling table to the cast table. Rolling table is now just a whisker higher than the cast table.

From contributor J:
Gotta love it when they are set and ride smooth!