Welcome to my first ever blog. This was going to be a series of 3 blogs, but it took so little time to undertake the work, I have condensed it into a single document.
The blog is about the WIXEY Angle Gauge, Saw fence Digital Readout and the Planer depth gauge
All three items arrived from the European distributor yesterday by courier.
So first the WIXEY ANGLE GAUGE/METER
There is not much to do with this unit when it arrives – just remove the battery cover, insert the battery and switch on. The operation of the gauge is very easy. I did find that my gauge when checking my blade in the table saw was wrong by 0.1°. This is within the tolerance of the gauge. I undertake more testing over the next few weeks and post the results. You should note that you ARE NOT limited to using this only on metal surfaces. With care you can use it on aluminium or wood – it just does not “stick” to the surface.
*In summary* a wonderful little tool, which will be very useful inside and outside the shop. Excellent value for your buck!
*WIXEY DIGITAL SAW READOUT* The first thing I noted was the excellent packaging inside the carton. Things were held in place to stop them moving about during shipment. (Other suppliers of equipment take note)
So all the parts removed from the packaging and checked, the instructions read and understood!
If you follow the enclosed instruction to the letter you cannot go wrong. However, the exception was step 1.
When fitting the two halves together, they were not cut at 090°, this was the best fit I could get without machining the surfaces. If I was not so far away from the dealership, I would have returned it.
Fitting of the tracks are the most critical part of the assembly, if you get this wrong you will have problems later. I would suggest that you take one or two dry runs at this part of the process, including the part of getting the spacing correct between the two tracks – once they are stuck down – there is no going back.
Fitting the brackets to the Biesemayer fence is not difficult, just take your time. For the half inch spacing they state for my fence, I just use a piece of 12.5mm plywood (this is not critical measurement)
Once the fence rail is reinstalled, connecting the interface plate to the fence (a good time to lubricate the fence mechanism) and you finished. Just follow the instructions for calibration. I made a couple of test cuts and the was +0.01mm and 0.015mm difference in the two test cuts I made.
Let’s face it’s not a lot, you cannot get that sort of accuracy with a tape or ruler, it’s about one fiftieth of the thickness of the mark your reading.
The little readout is clearly visible whilst standing and is small enough not to get in the way – i did not notice it was there compared to operation without it.
I would recommend that you separate the fence and the readout before removing the fence – the construction is good, but it is not heavy industry/commercial quality, it will become damaged, so a little care now and it should last a long time.
My installation measures 50” to the right and -10” to the left – you could vary this for your own needs so long as it is a total of 60”. It would be nice if WIXEY offered an additional 30” extension. The little box can handle it.
Installation time was about an hour and a half, including the coffee.
_*In summary *_– with my failing eyesight a great asset for accurate measurements. I know that, even when I change the blade on my saw, from 2.3mm kerf up to 20mm kerf, I will always have an accurate reading to the left or right of the blade. Good value for your bucks.
Lastly the *WIXEY DIGITAL READOUT for PORTABLE PLANERS*
Well my planer id portable it is on wheels it the Delta DC-380. I know this device was not primarily designed to be used with this larger machine, well I was up for the challenge and if it did not work, then I had another use for the readout (see the end of the blog)
So the packaging was a little disappointing compared to the saw readout, but I guess it was just adequate.
So the first part of the task was to understand the operation of the gauge and find a suitable mounting position – it was at this point in the operation that the instructions became virtually useless.
I am not going to bore you all with the design decisions, but rather show the results. So the wedge above is made from MDF and cut at 005° - this gives me a right angle to the planer table (I used the Wixey angle gauge). The wedge is “HOT GLUED” in position, this is a development in progress, not a production solution.
This is the bracket that attached the Wixey gauge to the wedge (12.5mm ply)
Here is the bracket attached to the planer. The small rectangle of plywood is “Hot glued” to the head of the planer (This part moves up & down).
Here is a front view of the competed installation.
And the last photograph – this shows the calibration of the gauge, which is a slight variation on the recommended calibration.
If you do follow this, be warned the Gauge will measure exactly 6”, my planer extends to 6.25”, if you are planning at this dimension, you may have to temporarily disconnect the Wixey.
I ran a couple of small test strips and I was very happy with results – it was lot easier to read and without saying a lot more accurate than the built in height gauge. Accuracy was again within 0.01mm. Time will tell.
*In summary* – I think that this will be a valuable addition to my DC-380 and will make for accurate stock preparation and faster production. Excellent value for your buck.
Another use. I was thinking of another use for the planer gauge. I am going to try and fit it to my Radial Arm Saw (RAS). This would be especially useful for DADO depth cutting.
There may be problems with the maximum depth useable. I’ll post my findings = or maybe somebody else would like to try it?
I hope you found this informative.
-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (http://www.poydatjatuolit.fi)