LumberJocks

Good idea - bad design

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Review by richgreer posted 01-07-2012 10:56 PM 2092 views 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Good idea - bad design No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

At one time, I had a Wixey digital guide on my table saw. It could tell me, to .001 of an inch, what the distance was from the blade to the fence. I discovered that knowing the exact distance was not as important as having the ability to adjust the distance easily in very small increments (i.e. micro adjust). I have micro adjustment capabilities on my router lift and router fence and I really like them.

This tool allows me to micro adjust my table saw fence. It’s a good idea. Each rotation of the handle advances the fence 1/32”, but with a very small twist of the handle you can move the fence a very small amount. It works great.

However, if you look at the picture you will see a wooden block attached to the fence. I made and installed that block because it was necessary. The base of the tool makes contact with the base of the fence without the adjustment screw being able to make contact with the fence. I looked for other ways to position the tool or modify the base of the tool and found no ideas that would work. Adding this wooden block allows this tool to work.

My table saw is not some unusual off-brand. It is a popular Jet and many are sold. In my opinion, I should not have to make this modification for this tool to work or, at the very least, modification kits should be available. A longer adjustment screw would have made my modification unnecessary.

Nonetheless, I really like being able to sneak up on the right fence position and it does that very well.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.




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richgreer

4524 posts in 1730 days



13 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112096 posts in 2233 days


#1 posted 01-07-2012 10:59 PM

Sorry it didn’t work out Rich.Thanks for the review.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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richgreer

4524 posts in 1730 days


#2 posted 01-07-2012 11:17 PM

Jim – - I would not say that it “didn’t work out”. It actually works quite well. My complaint is I don’t think I should have needed to make the modification I made to make it work.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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ChuckV

2420 posts in 2183 days


#3 posted 01-07-2012 11:18 PM

Rich -

You and I seem to have the same collection of Rockler gizmos!

I agree that there should be a way to use it with all common fences. I do not have the problem with my Biesemeyer fence because the faces extend farther back:

-- “That it will never come again / Is what makes life so sweet. ” ― Emily Dickinson

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Jim Bertelson

3663 posts in 1820 days


#4 posted 01-08-2012 05:03 AM

My cheapo Vega fence has a microadjuster. But I use it rarely. I just give a tap to the fence. I have a Wixey digital readout for the fence, so I know what is occuring.

OK, the Vega fence is not cheap, but it is not expensive. I am amazed how well it has worked.

Lots of different solutions for the same problem….......precision. A whole topic unto itself.

Rich, you have really been coming up with some good topics….....thanks.

Alaska Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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Dusty56

11659 posts in 2344 days


#5 posted 01-08-2012 06:17 AM

My JET fence has a built-in micro adjuster that is actually quite useless. I’ve never been able to get it to work smoothly or properly , so I gave up on it.
Thanks for the review on this one , Rich : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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rikgn

28 posts in 1586 days


#6 posted 01-08-2012 08:08 AM

If Rockler had to make their micro adjusters saw/fence specific we probably could not afford to buy them. I have a Vega fence on an old Craftsman, circa 1984, table saw. The micro adjuster with the Vega fence is without a doubt is my favorite table saw accessory. But Good Job Rich, you have probably saved a lot of others from some grief.

View gko's profile (online now)

gko

79 posts in 1900 days


#7 posted 01-08-2012 10:49 AM

Nice review, Rich. A few questions. I gather the device connects to the rail through a magnet. Is there a switch that turns the magnet on and off like the magswitch? It looks like the working end just bumps up against the fence so you if you want to pull back the fence you push it up against it? Is there any problems with play? I think I have the same fence so you drilled two holes and ran the screw into the wood block? Could it be done with one hole?

I generally do the bump or tap thing and usually I can quickly get it there. Always wondered about adding something like this but not sure if I want to set it up every time I need a tiny adjustment.

Again, thanks for bringing this to us.

Grant

-- Wood Menehune, Honolulu

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DocSavage45

5006 posts in 1498 days


#8 posted 01-08-2012 07:24 PM

I really have recently learned to “sneak up on it.” Didn’t realize how precise we have to be when building a box. LOL Also realizing that I have to slow down. Microadjust!

Thanks!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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richgreer

4524 posts in 1730 days


#9 posted 01-08-2012 09:13 PM

rikgn – I think all Rockler needs to do to make this tool compatible with more table saws is to use a longer screw.

gko – Yes, the tool is attached to the rail with magnets and they are not magna switches. The magnets are strong enough to securely hold the tool in place but not so strong that you cannot remove it fairly easily.

Yes, the tool only pushes. If you want to pull it back, you have to turn back the handle and push the fence back. I don’t see that as a big deal.

I’ve not detected any problem with play.

I don’t know what they are called, but I’m sure you are familiar with a piece if metal that has wood screw threads at one end and bolt threads at the other. That is what I used to secure the block in place. It was too long to avoid drilling that extra hole. If I had driven it in far enough to avoid drilling that second hole, the screw threads would have popped out of the end of the block. You could avoid drilling the second hole, if you could find a shorter bolt/screw.

My tool has a “home” at the end of the rail where it is out of the way most of the time. It only takes a couple of seconds to put it into position.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View ChunkyC's profile

ChunkyC

856 posts in 1910 days


#10 posted 01-09-2012 08:29 PM

How well does the magnets hold? I’ve looked at these style of micro adjusters in the past but I wasn’t sure if the magnets would be strong enough to hold while moving the fence.

c

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures: http://spadfest.rcspads.com/thumbnails.php?album=135

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richgreer

4524 posts in 1730 days


#11 posted 01-09-2012 08:44 PM

I’ve never had a problem with the magnets slipping. As I said in my last comment, “The magnets are strong enough to securely hold the tool in place but not so strong that you cannot remove it fairly easily”.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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TheDane

3785 posts in 2319 days


#12 posted 01-09-2012 10:39 PM

Rich—”... a piece if metal that has wood screw threads at one end and bolt threads at the other.”

I think what you are referring to is a hanger bolt.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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richgreer

4524 posts in 1730 days


#13 posted 01-09-2012 10:51 PM

I’m sure you are right. Thanks Dane.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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