Table Saw Dial Indicator Jig (Edited)

Herdfan2005

Jason
Senior User
What is everyone's preferred method to check blade and fence squareness. I been using a combination square but would like to get a little more precise. I do not have a disal indicator...yet. Did you buy a jig or make one.

P.S Anyone want to put there jig to work around all the tools in my shop one morning or evening. LOL
 

Wiley's Woodworks

Wiley
Corporate Member
I use the cheap plastic draftsman triangles; always available at Staples, etc. They are always dead-on accurate and can't be knocked off when you drop them.
 

tvrgeek

tvrgeek
User
I set mine by cutting, flipping one piece and looking at the gap. No tools needed. Miter saws have so much play, getting carried away is self defeating.
 

FredP

Fred
Corporate Member
dial caliper and a shop made Jig that slides in the miter slot. basically just a couple pieces of scrap form a "t" with the caliper attached to it.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Here's an old shot of one I used for a while. It was so long ago that the photo is a scan of a 35mm slide.
The indicator is a Harbor Freight cheapie clamped to the miter gauge with some wood sticks. It worked fine.

1  indicator - 1.jpg
 

Oka

Casey
Corporate Member
I just screwed a piece of sheetmetal to a piece of wood and made a guide to go in to the miter slot. Then use a magnetic base to hold the dial caliper. Like so -

When I got my saw the rip fence was 75 thousandths front to back off. Now I have it "dialed in" to about 4-5 thousandths wider at the back vs the front. Took longer to find my shim stock than all the rest of the process of truing the rip fence.

Base.jpg
 

tvrgeek

tvrgeek
User
I too use a dial caliper. Horrible Frieght, cheap.

I welded a tab on a bit of 1 1/2 inch pipe and it just slides sitting in the slot. Round pipe, square slot, perfect alignment.
Before that, I just used a block of wood that fit the track with a long bolt through it I sharpened to a point. You can use a try-square too.
You just need relative, not actual numbers.
 
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Wiley's Woodworks

Wiley
Corporate Member
I tuned up my Powermatic 66 (5hp) using much simpler methods. See my previous email about using draftsman's triangles. They will true up your blade (both axises),miter gauge and crosscut sleds.

You actually want your fence to be barely off true parallel of the blade.To set the rip fence I put a playing card on the front teeth of the blade and wax paper on the back teeth. Then I slid the fence up to the blade and micro-adjusted the fence until the tension to pull out the shims was equal on both. Completely eliminated a long standing problem of scorch marks on rip cuts; the fence had been pinching the wood against the blade at the rear. If you have to recalibrate your rip measure, set it from the front teeth. After you've done all this don't forget to align your riving knife.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
I won a Woodpecker's jig in the raffle or maybe somebody gave it to me. I don't remember.
But, I'm pretty sure I didn't buy it.

Anyway the thing works great in any tablesaw. I have used it on dozens of table saws all over NC.
Jason, I would come and tune up all your shop tools but I don't travel much these days.
 

Pop Golden

Pop
Corporate Member
I don't know were I came up with this. I have a heavy duty brass 30/60 drafting triangle. This is my shop standard.

Pop
 

Cuprousworks

Mike
User
I tuned up my Powermatic 66 (5hp) using much simpler methods. See my previous email about using draftsman's triangles. They will true up your blade (both axises),miter gauge and crosscut sleds.

You actually want your fence to be barely off true parallel of the blade.To set the rip fence I put a playing card on the front teeth of the blade and wax paper on the back teeth. Then I slid the fence up to the blade and micro-adjusted the fence until the tension to pull out the shims was equal on both. Completely eliminated a long standing problem of scorch marks on rip cuts; the fence had been pinching the wood against the blade at the rear. If you have to recalibrate your rip measure, set it from the front teeth. After you've done all this don't forget to align your riving knife.
Isn't it the opposite? I think you want the playing card on the rear teeth. Won't a smaller gap at the back pinch and potentially create kickback?
 

Wiley's Woodworks

Wiley
Corporate Member
OOH! Thank you. I did have it backwards. The fence should taper off from the blade, thus eliminating the pinch and the friction that burns the wood. I appreciate you correcting me.
Isn't it the opposite? I think you want the playing card on the rear teeth. Won't a smaller gap at the back pinch and potentially create kickback?
 

mpeele

michael
User
All you need to check table saw blade is black sharpie, combination square and feeler gauge set. A feeler gauge set is probably less that $5 and auto supply store. Might as well get 2 sets because they come in handy for fine adjustments for machine setup.

With sharpie mark one tooth. Or you can just mark a spot on blade plate.
Pick a feeler gauge from set say 10 thou.
Put combination square slide in slot and extend rule to lightly pinch chosen gauge between end of rule and marked spot. Lock combo square slide.

Rotate market tooth and combo square to back of table and insert gauge between end of rule and marked tooth.
If its to tight or loose select gauge from set that fits. Gauge set should have values between 1 to 3 thou to 36 or so thou. Difference between first gauge and second is alignment error.

Same technique works for table saw fence and also testing miter gauge slots for parallel.
 

Oka

Casey
Corporate Member
Yup and especially when already have one. One of the best most useful tools I have... use it for everything:

Check the runout on the lathe, the runout on the drill press set and check alignment of the bandsaw ......... like I said everything

It’s just a lot easier with a dial gage.
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
Yup and especially when already have one. One of the best most useful tools I have... use it for everything:

Check the runout on the lathe, the runout on the drill press set and check alignment of the bandsaw ......... like I said everything
NOPE! I need a wiggler, a dial indicator, digital bevel.... etc. etc. etc. (if the project doesn't fund a new tool, you estimated the job wrong!) :D
 
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