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

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Forum topic by WorksInTheory posted 02-07-2014 05:22 AM 1163 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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137 posts in 1597 days

02-07-2014 05:22 AM do table saw alignment?

11 replies so far

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2929 days

#1 posted 02-07-2014 05:26 AM

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

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10377 posts in 3643 days

#2 posted 02-07-2014 05:27 AM

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.

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2848 posts in 1750 days

#3 posted 02-07-2014 05:29 AM

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

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55 posts in 1626 days

#4 posted 02-07-2014 06:23 AM

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.

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1622 posts in 3286 days

#5 posted 02-07-2014 01:21 PM

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.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

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2914 posts in 2168 days

#6 posted 02-07-2014 02:14 PM

+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

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137 posts in 1597 days

#7 posted 02-07-2014 06:15 PM

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


427 posts in 2436 days

#8 posted 02-07-2014 06:24 PM

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


55 posts in 1626 days

#9 posted 02-08-2014 11:11 PM

@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


1775 posts in 2178 days

#10 posted 02-08-2014 11:17 PM

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


323 posts in 3424 days

#11 posted 02-08-2014 11:31 PM

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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