Fractional indicators

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Forum topic by robdem posted 07-23-2011 03:36 AM 816 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View robdem's profile


364 posts in 1697 days

07-23-2011 03:36 AM

Going to buy a new table saw would like to make sure everything is set up correctly. Would like some recommendations for a measuring tool to do this .Have seen some in various tool catalogs just don’t know witch one to buy . Price is some what of a issue but if I’m going to spend 1000 dollars for a saw would like the saw to perform i’ts best thanks for the help

8 replies so far

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2739 days

#1 posted 07-23-2011 05:16 AM

Been at this for 15 years and never used a fancy table saw
alignment jig. I hold an ice pick against the miter gauge to
and use it to check parallelism.

I have a slider now so no miter gauge. Anyway – the quality
of the saw (free of defect) and a decent blade matter more
than the quirky setup gauges, imo. Table saw is not substitute
for a jointer or hand planes. Getting accurate crosscuts in
24” cabinet sides can be achieved with a sled in most cases,
but better saws have more power and less runout/burn.

Miter gauges pretty much suck for crosscutting anything more
than lightweight and small pieces. The problem with American-pattern
table saws is the reliance on an 80-year old design concept,
not a lack of ability to be setup easily to acceptable tolerances
in terms of blade parallelism to the miter slot.


View SnowyRiver's profile


51451 posts in 2572 days

#2 posted 07-23-2011 05:23 AM

I agree with Loren, you dont need a lot to calibrate the saw alignment. I typically use just a square.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View rance's profile


4197 posts in 2252 days

#3 posted 07-23-2011 05:38 AM

I respectfully disagree with the toe-out suggestion. :) This presents a problem when the fence is used on the opposite side of the blade (usually for beveled cuts). I don’t do this often, but I did it tonight. Miter slot, blade, and fence all should be dead parallel. If you are getting skiff marks from the rear of the blade, then the cause of that problem can be determined and fixed.

Edit: I’d add that a dial indicator(DI) would be a good compliment to your calipers. GarageWoodWorks has an explanitory video on how to use the DI.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 2160 days

#4 posted 07-23-2011 06:13 AM

Another vote for avoiding toe-out. A TS is designed to operate with the fence parallel with the blade. Deliberately introducing a misalignment makes no sense to me. It isn’t that difficult to get a good aligment

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View ajosephg's profile


1874 posts in 2652 days

#5 posted 07-23-2011 06:24 AM

I’m also in the dead on fence alignment camp, and I don’t get any “skiff” or whatever they are called when I use a quality rip blade.

-- Joe

View Samwise's profile


45 posts in 1708 days

#6 posted 07-23-2011 07:05 AM

Everyone will have a different opinion, and the best thing to do is try a couple out as see what works for you. I recently bought the A-Line-It basic kit, and would highly recommend it. It is a great product, and has easy to understand directions/videos. It’s $150 but well worth it.

-- Sam

View robdem's profile


364 posts in 1697 days

#7 posted 07-28-2011 03:31 AM

Thanks for all the insight on these matter .

View PurpLev's profile


8522 posts in 2740 days

#8 posted 07-28-2011 03:41 AM

+1 for keeping blade+miter+fence in alignment. what more it is easier to keep everything aligned the same way then having to remeasure blade-fence and blade-miter slot (you have 2 miter slots by the way). also if you use a sled you’d want the blade to be parallel to the miter slot or you’ll run into trouble.

that said – like other have said, I simply use a standard combination square to align my TS and I have had no issues with it (FWIW I have a dial indicator, and after aligning my TS with a square I checked with the DI and found out that the TS was aligned well enough to call for any expensive alignment tools)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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