Can I use this similarly to a dial indicator...

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Forum topic by WorksInTheory posted 196 days ago 612 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View WorksInTheory's profile


87 posts in 228 days

196 days ago do table saw alignment?

11 replies so far

View lanwater's profile


3076 posts in 1560 days

#1 posted 196 days ago

As long as you are referencing the miter slot I don’t see why not.
The 2 side support/legs might get in the way though.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Loren's profile


7390 posts in 2274 days

#2 posted 196 days ago

no. Only for height. This is useful for some times of
work. In 15 years of making furniture I’ve never found
that sort of dead-on blade height a goal worthy of pursuing.
However, if you need to repeat setups exactly for production
work, DROs have their uses and in planers and thickness
sanders they are a big advantage.

I check parallelism by marking a tool with a sharpie and
holding an ice pick against the miter gauge. The ice pick
is a very sensitive device and one can see the difference
in fore and aft tooth positions.


View dawsonbob's profile


381 posts in 381 days

#3 posted 196 days ago

I have one, and it works well for me for the table saw and router. Especially the router.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View Woodtechie's profile


44 posts in 256 days

#4 posted 196 days ago

What if he lays it down flat with the numbers facing up? You’d have to figure out some way to move it parallel with the miter slot, though.

View JJohnston's profile


1577 posts in 1917 days

#5 posted 195 days ago

I think you could attach a miter slot runner using the existing holes in the legs, perpendicular to the main measuring stem. The third picture shows the stem sticking out further than the feet, so they shouldn’t get in the way.

-- "Sorry I'm late. Somebody tampered with my brakes." "You should have been early, then."

View johnstoneb's profile


645 posts in 798 days

#6 posted 195 days ago

+1 Loren. You are working with a material that moves you don’t need .0005 accuracy. A combination square and the miter slot will get you square.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View WorksInTheory's profile


87 posts in 228 days

#7 posted 195 days ago

I think I should add more context. I am going to get this anyways for routerbit height but didnt’ want to get this AND a dial gauge so was wondering if I could use this too like a dial gauge to do the parallelism. In videos I see, there is this pull back on the dial gauge and then it springs into the blade. Not sure this has that or if it’s needed.

View gtbuzz's profile


349 posts in 1067 days

#8 posted 195 days ago

I suppose you could, but I haven’t ever seen a gauge like that that’s spring loaded like a dial indicator. That one doesn’t seem to be any different. Not a big issue if the blade moves towards the miter slot, but if it moves away, you’d have to manually move that rod to get an accurate measurement.

I picked up a magnetic base + dial indicator for somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 off of eBay. Works great when I stick it to the miter gauge.

View Woodtechie's profile


44 posts in 256 days

#9 posted 194 days ago

@johnstoneb – To me it’s not about getting that .0005 accuracy, it’s about trying to get such a level of accuracy, which in reality will be quite a bit less accurate due to sheer incompetence (in my case). I find it hard to judge these things when just using straightedges and squares.

You also have the potential issue of inaccuracy “compounding” due to multiple mis-aligned cuts, right?
(Ex. the reason the “five cut method” works)

View shampeon's profile


1346 posts in 809 days

#10 posted 194 days ago

You can square the table with a much simpler tool, as Loren has suggested. My preferred method is piece of wood with a wood screw in the end and with a cross-brace that goes in the miter slot. Adjust the screw until it is just touching the saw blade on the descending side, then move the gauge and check if it just touches the same spot on the blade on the ascending side.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View dusty2's profile


312 posts in 2055 days

#11 posted 194 days ago

Absolutely UNLESS there is not enough reach to span the distance between the miter track and the blade.

All you have to do is determine a way to reference it to the miter slots. It might be a bit clumsey as a precision tool but that alone will not detract from its accuracy.

Repeatability is a possible issue. If your method of mounting is not repeatable, you won’t know which reading to trust. I have that problen with a miter bar that does not fit the miter track snugly.

-- Making Sawdust Safely

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