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What is the Best Blade/Fence Alignment Gauge?

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Forum topic by DavidNJ posted 12-20-2012 07:43 AM 2757 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DavidNJ

389 posts in 1456 days


12-20-2012 07:43 AM

So far, I’ve seen at least 4 tools sold for this purpose: A-Line-It form In-Line, Woodpecker Saw Gauge, and TS-Aligner Jr. All feature some bracket that fits in a miter slot and an inexpensive 1” dial indicator:

Most are in the $60-80 range.

As pointed out but a poster in earlier thread on this topic, these aren’t even the right time of dial indicators to use for this application. That would be a dial test indicator that moves back and forth of a range (typically under 30/1000ths) with higher accuracy.

Both gauges with a magnetic mount and different tips are available for very modest costs: http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=2925&category=1962771978

That leads to the problem of how to align with the miter slot. The fits include a bar for this; the Woodpecker gauge is clever with a roller resting on two smaller rollers. Others have built wood bases, similar to the slides on a crosscut sled.

However, can’t you just lead the edge of the V bottom of a standard magnetic mount in the miter slot?

What solution is best for aligning the blade and fence?

Thanks,

David


3 replies so far

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knotscott

7210 posts in 2838 days


#1 posted 12-20-2012 11:00 AM

I own one these….

...but only used it to verify that this works really well.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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knotscott

7210 posts in 2838 days


#2 posted 12-20-2012 11:03 AM

I own one these….

.

...I used it to verify that these devices like these work really well.
.
.

or

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2735 posts in 2040 days


#3 posted 12-20-2012 11:19 AM

My setup gauge is a $10 harbor freight dial indicator screwed to a block of wood with a runner for the miter slot (much like the last pic you posted David).
It works fine for me. Those pretty aluminum gauges are a waste of $$ IMHO, when the low tech approach works fine.

There’s another method using the miter gauge and a piece of wood with a brass screw in it.

One more thing, there’s no need to chase a million zeroes here; .003 or better is fine for blade to miter slot, blade to fence varies. I like to keep mine about .001-.003” out so the rear of the workpiece doesn’t touch the blade.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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