Do I need a Dial Indicator ?

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Forum topic by frostwood posted 09-07-2009 04:05 AM 3817 views 2 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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38 posts in 2605 days

09-07-2009 04:05 AM

I am looking for some feedback as to the need for a Dial Indicator for checking arbor run out. Or are other measuring devices; ie ruler, close enough?

-- With each new day, celebrate life. Love God with all of your heart. Share Jesus with those around you and make a positive impact on those you meet. Bob

6 replies so far

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3304 days

#1 posted 09-07-2009 04:26 AM

A dial indicator with a stand is really nice to have when checking run out and tolerances. I use one myself and the set up is really not that expensive. This is what I have for $21.95 :

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 2976 days

#2 posted 09-07-2009 04:28 AM

A dial indicator is the best way. I have one similar to the one John shows from Grizzly.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View DaneJ's profile


56 posts in 2627 days

#3 posted 09-07-2009 04:31 AM

In order to check arbor runout, yes. in addition you will need a calibration plate that is gaurenteed to be flat, parallel and true.

To check blade runout, no, there are a number of videos on setting up a tablesaw, I think the woodwhisperer has one, where he uses a block of wood and the touch/feelergauge method.

-- Dane, Fairview Pk, OH. The large print giveth and the small print taketh away... Tom Waits

View 45acpbuilder's profile


49 posts in 2631 days

#4 posted 09-07-2009 12:25 PM

Frostwood, a dial indicator and holder will be the best money you’ve ever spent on “set up and adjustment” tools. They’re available everywhere for under $40.00. The WoodWhisperer has a pretty good video on table saw setup but if you watch it, imagine how much easier his methods would be if he were using the dial indicator and a “slug” that fits correctly in the miter slot. The dial indicator can be used to set u and verify every adjustment on almost every tool. If you go to buy one, get a good machinist’s square and they will be your Godsend for setting up all your tools. Check out for some good methods for setting square on all your tools. Don’t forget to check and set the table shimming for tilted-blade cuts too.

-- M1911BLDR

View frostwood's profile


38 posts in 2605 days

#5 posted 09-08-2009 01:16 AM

My older craftman has an aluminum top with 5/8 miter slot. What do you think would be the best solution here?

-- With each new day, celebrate life. Love God with all of your heart. Share Jesus with those around you and make a positive impact on those you meet. Bob

View ajosephg's profile


1878 posts in 2979 days

#6 posted 09-08-2009 04:41 AM

Here is a simple jig to hold a dial indicator when checking alignment of the blade.
TS alignment Fixture Top View

TS Alignment Fixture Bottom View

This will work with any width miter slot – just make the runner wide enough to fit the miter slot.

While this fixture works ok, I will say that a TS Aligner Jr. is well worth the price and you should get one if you can. Check out the link for all the stuff you can do with it. The link also is good resource on how to check arbor runout, fence alignment, etc.

Good luck

-- Joe

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