Fix Sticking Turn Table on a Mitre Saw

mitre saw turntablesWhen you read all the various reviews on mitre saws, you will find that one issue that will always come up is that after a period of use, the base of the saw becomes difficult to rotate. This is the base that should easily move around to help you cut the various angles.

Normally you have to release a knob at the font, or pull it out and this allows the saw to swivel around on the metal base. Over a period of time the sawdust that comes out of the saw gets into the track and as this builds up, then the swivel just gets a lot more difficult to move until it eventually locks up completely.

Rotating your saw is clearly vital to being able to make full use of the saw. When people try to fix this, the immediate thought is to use an old rag and try to clean out the build up of saw dust in the general area of the base.

That will not always work though as the main problem is between the base and the actual turntable, and that would mean dismantling the saw, to get at this area.

I have put together a few tips that might help deal with this rather annoying problem.

Tip Number 1

Check the lock mechanism first rather than starting to pull the saw apart. We found that when we started asking around about this problem, that many users had notice that the actual lever or knob was starting to slip and as such not fully releasing the pin that holds the turntable in place. When that was cleaned up and oiled it resolved the problem immediately.

Tip Number 2

If there is some movement, but it feels like a gritty or stuttering movement, then chances are this is trapped sawdust. If you have access to a compressed air source, then use this to give the saw a good blast, and remove any old dust and particles. The air would need to be well pressurised though for this to work well. It is however worth a try.

Tip Number 3

sticking turntablesIf in doubt apply either oil or grease to help the turn table slide smoothly.Check your manual to see how to remove the fence so as you can get access to the pivot of the table. A word of caution here in that you can’t use any old type of lubrication.

Normal oils and greases when mixed with sawdust can become a sticky mess. You will be much better off by using some form of dry graphite lube, as that won’t gum up the works.

Tip Number 4

Sometimes a little piece of wood or metal, like a chipping can get jammed in the area where it turns. That can often be hard to find and is normally stuck between the teeth of the base plate. That is well worth checking out. Sadly this will mean dismantling the saw. Always check that by doing that, you do not breach any warranty that you may have.

Tip Number 5

If all else fails, a table that doesn’t turn is not of much use. If it is stuck at zero then I guess it could still be used for straight cross cuts. Personally that would be of little use to me. If I had gone past my warranty date, then at that stage I would just whack it with a hammer a few times as more often than not, a good whack with a hammer fixes many things. As a final attempt, I would try and take it apart, lube it, and re-assemble and see if that worked.

Important Note: Never tamper with a mitre saw that is under warranty as that will make it void.