Saw gauge / dial indicator

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Forum topic by toddbeaulieu posted 04-05-2011 12:37 PM 7389 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View toddbeaulieu's profile


833 posts in 3243 days

04-05-2011 12:37 PM

Hi all,

I’d like to get a dial indicator to set up my blade and fence. Would also like to be able to use it on other tools. The a-line-it seems versatile, but the woodpeckers looks sexier. Any experience with these? Really leaning towards the alineit, but figured i’d ask first. Thanks!

10 replies so far

View BobG's profile


172 posts in 3200 days

#1 posted 04-05-2011 01:44 PM

I have not used either of these. I just use a magnetic base and 1” travel dial indicator. Along with a little ingenuity you can square and parallel most anything.

-- BobG, Lowell, Arkansas--------My goal in life is to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am! Make more saw dust!!

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3421 days

#2 posted 04-05-2011 01:51 PM

I have the A-line-it and it works great.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View mpatrick's profile


54 posts in 3016 days

#3 posted 04-05-2011 03:41 PM

I just bought the woodpeckers last weekend at the woodworking show in Houston. I used it on my table saw just to verify my settings, in my opinion it was very easy to use, much easier to use than my rigged up version I used when I first set my saw up. It is very well made, I highly recommend it.

-- Michael...Houston, Texas

View toddbeaulieu's profile


833 posts in 3243 days

#4 posted 04-05-2011 03:58 PM

The a-line seems to be a better purchase based on the versatility. Can’t do vertical measurements with the woodpecker.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5149 posts in 4199 days

#5 posted 04-05-2011 04:26 PM

I use the low cost method. A dial indicator and mag base from HF. I wouldn’t use it for aircraft work, but it is just fine for relative measuring.


View brtech's profile


1054 posts in 3161 days

#6 posted 04-05-2011 07:43 PM

To get the blade parallel to the miter slot, you need something that slides along the miter slot. You could make something up that allowed you to use the mag base, but it seems easier to make something up that just provides a mount for the DTI.

The thing you don’t need is to have the dti square to the miter slot. The angle it has doesn’t matter as long as it stays the same as you slide it up and down the track (using the blade with the mark on a tooth technique). So, anything that slides with no slop and holds the DTI at a fixed angle and distance from the slot is fine.

Having said that, the HF DTI and mag base is a very inexpensive way to get a measurement tool that is very helpful for woodworkers. The mag base is just what you need to measure run out.

Another way to do this is with the Mag-DRO miter slot base. Many of us have a 6” digital caliper. HF sells one that’s good enough. The miter slot base is $8 or $9 and provides a mount for the caliper in the miter slot. They have another one that has a mag base. You can use the caliper instead of the DTI. This also lets you make VERY accurate fence adjustments to get width just right. It requires you to know the blade to slot difference, which is added to the slot to fence difference, but you can dial in to within a thou or 3.

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3799 days

#7 posted 04-05-2011 11:07 PM

I highly recommend the TS Aligner Jr. Even if you don’t buy it, it would be worth your time to read the stuff on his website and how to adjust whatever saw (and other tools) that you have.

-- Joe

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2906 days

#8 posted 04-06-2011 01:01 PM

I have the TS Aligner Jr. got it long time ago ,have used it a lot ,and like it ,the next best thing ,for less money ,would be the A-Line-It

As ajosephg said go to TS Aligner site a lot of good info,and videos TOO!!!!

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View toddbeaulieu's profile


833 posts in 3243 days

#9 posted 04-06-2011 07:03 PM

Thanks for all the great feedback people! I had forgotten about the TS Aligner site. Had come across it a year ago.

I will make my desicion soon. I’m 90% sure I’ll go with either the a-line-it or the ts aligner (ugh .. another thing to spend more $ than I wanted).

Harbor Freight just opened a store near me in Danvers. I really need to get in there. I’ve never been inside one. I’d probably go nuts buying odds and ends.

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3430 days

#10 posted 04-06-2011 07:24 PM

I love high-tech gadgets, but honestly this is all you need

Just a block of wood to attach the DI to your miter gauge. In some ways, it works better than the fancy gadgets because it rides the slot exactly as your miter gauge will, instead of the top edges.

And while we’re on the subject, there’s no need at all for an expensive DI. Inexpensive ones work just as well, more money just buys additional ruggedness that we simply don’t need.

-- The Wood Nerd --

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