Good instruments for precise saw blade angles. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-16-2020, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
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Good instruments for precise saw blade angles.

Getting so many mixed results and testimonials I figured I'd ask you guys.

What do you use to set your table saw blade angle? I see those little magnetic angle boxes and some swear by them, some say they're just not accurate enough for really nice work. Then there's the digital protractors, people say about the same thing. For angles besides 45 and 90 degrees do you guys recommend any of these digital instruments? Do they work for you? If not is there a mechanical/analog one that's not a 100 dollar starret that's good?
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-16-2020, 08:17 AM
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Yes they are accurate.

Gary

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post #3 of 12 Old 07-16-2020, 09:57 AM
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I ran a length of 2x4 through the planner, then doubled it up (glue only) - then rotated and smoothed the "edges"
(reduce the thickness so the saw blade height is slightly greater than the block thickness)


double/triple check to be sure it's square - combo square, etc.



set the saw blade to max height
check fence for parallel
check throat plate for flush fit

take a skim cut - half a kerf width or less

without moving the fence,flip the block over top to bottom
run thru the saw again.


adjust blade tilt until you get it dead on - at 90' you don't get any 'cut' on the second pass....
if it's not dead on, it'll trim the top or bottom at a slight angle.



I've found there's enough slop in the stops that when it has to be dead on, you cannot rely on them....
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-16-2020, 10:01 AM
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I use the Wixley digital, works fine for me.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-16-2020, 10:16 AM
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I bought a Wixey WR365 magnetic digital angle gauge at my local Rockler store. It is very accurate, to 0.1 degrees. I chose the WR365 because it also has an "earth level" like an ordinary bubble level, but with the same 0.1 degree precision. It does both relative angle and earth level angle. It also has a tilt display for readability, but the tilt display is not that important or useful to me. It does not have a backlight, which would have been nice.

Rockler also carries the Wixey WR300 angle gauge. It has a backlight, but no earth level and no tilt display.

To use one, place it on the table saw table, zero the angle, then place it on the blade and the tilt the blade until the desired angle appears on the display.

You can find similar magnetic angle gauges from other sources. As far as I can tell, they are all essentially the same. They are very accurate and repeatable, and are well worth the money. You will find many more uses for them, trust me. I would look for the features you want, then shop for price. It is as simple as that.

Last edited by Tool Agnostic; 07-16-2020 at 10:20 AM.
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-17-2020, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting, i was seeing people saying they're just not accurate enough for like good miter joint glue ups. I might take a second look. Either the wixley or the iGaging. Thanks for your input.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-17-2020, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baserock love View Post
Interesting, i was seeing people saying they're just not accurate enough for like good miter joint glue ups. I might take a second look. Either the wixley or the iGaging. Thanks for your input.
The magnetic gauges that I described are used to set blade tilt angles very precisely. On a table saw or miter saw, tilting the blade makes a bevel cut.

Magnetic angle gauges cannot be used to set the miter angle on a miter saw or the taper angle on a table saw. You cannot use them on a miter saw to set the angle where you rotate the base to make the adjustment, for example.

If you are "seeing people saying that they are not just accurate enough" for setting blade tilt angles, then I suggest the problem might be:

* They are not using the angle gauge properly. The gauge must be zeroed to the table first. After that, place it vertical on the blade before you tilt the blade or position it so it would be vertical if the tilted blade were brought back to 90 degrees.
* The blade does not lock and hold the angle after it is set.
* The blade moves improperly when making the cut. (Warped blade? Arbor runout problem? Something like that?)

For setting miter angles or tapers, sometimes I use a digital T-bevel. It isn't as easy to use as those Wixey tilt angle gauges, but it has the same 0.1 degree accuracy. Here is the one I use. It does the job as an all-around T-bevel tool, but is nothing to write home about. There may be better tools for the specific task of setting miter angles on a saw:
https://www.generaltools.com/digital-sliding-t-bevel

Last edited by Tool Agnostic; 07-17-2020 at 10:12 AM.
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-17-2020, 01:00 PM
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The Wixey digital gauge works well for me. As pointed out above, it must be zeroed on the saw table, (or whatever reference you are using for 0) before making the change to whatever angle you want.. I even use one to set my bandsaw table as well as my scroll saw table.

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post #9 of 12 Old 07-17-2020, 06:11 PM
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I wish I'd of gotten my digital angle gauge sooner. Great not just for the saw, but the jointer fence and other tasks too.

A handful of patience is worth a bushel of brains...
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-18-2020, 12:50 AM
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I use a Wixey. When building some chairs with splayed legs I used the Rockler miter gauge (Poker chip style) and the Wixey angle box for set up.

The joints came out perfect. They were at 7.5, as close as I could tell. Were they 7.45 or 7.55? I have no way of knowing nor do I care. For woodworking, the joints were perfect. I'm not machining metal for a NASA project. I am not worried about traceability the NBS for accuracy. I'm building chairs out of white oak for the dining room.

I'm sure somebody could come by with a $5,000 measuring tool and tell me that the angles are off by some infinitesimal amount. It is woodworking and the chairs are just fine.

Is there a difference between the angle of the miter gauge and the Wixey angle box? I don't know and I don't care. And the joints came out perfect. It is woodworking and the chairs are just fine.

Rich
Just a dumb old paper boy from Brooklyn, NY
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post #11 of 12 Old 07-18-2020, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
The magnetic gauges that I described are used to set blade tilt angles very precisely. On a table saw or miter saw, tilting the blade makes a bevel cut.

Magnetic angle gauges cannot be used to set the miter angle on a miter saw or the taper angle on a table saw. You cannot use them on a miter saw to set the angle where you rotate the base to make the adjustment, for example.

If you are "seeing people saying that they are not just accurate enough" for setting blade tilt angles, then I suggest the problem might be:

* They are not using the angle gauge properly. The gauge must be zeroed to the table first. After that, place it vertical on the blade before you tilt the blade or position it so it would be vertical if the tilted blade were brought back to 90 degrees.
* The blade does not lock and hold the angle after it is set.
* The blade moves improperly when making the cut. (Warped blade? Arbor runout problem? Something like that?)

For setting miter angles or tapers, sometimes I use a digital T-bevel. It isn't as easy to use as those Wixey tilt angle gauges, but it has the same 0.1 degree accuracy. Here is the one I use. It does the job as an all-around T-bevel tool, but is nothing to write home about. There may be better tools for the specific task of setting miter angles on a saw:
https://www.generaltools.com/digital-sliding-t-bevel
Well i plan to make some cabinet type stuff where the drawers sit flush within the frame and i'd like use miters to join them but also have a shallow bevel on the front edge of the panels and currently the only way i can do that is running them through a table saw. I'm just very concerned about having a big expensive panel and getting the whole thing cut out and then finding all my miters are off. I"m new at this so before i buy a tool i want to make sure it's adequate for the job. Glad to know these are well regarded!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoThankyou View Post
I use a Wixey. When building some chairs with splayed legs I used the Rockler miter gauge (Poker chip style) and the Wixey angle box for set up.

The joints came out perfect. They were at 7.5, as close as I could tell. Were they 7.45 or 7.55? I have no way of knowing nor do I care. For woodworking, the joints were perfect. I'm not machining metal for a NASA project. I am not worried about traceability the NBS for accuracy. I'm building chairs out of white oak for the dining room.

I'm sure somebody could come by with a $5,000 measuring tool and tell me that the angles are off by some infinitesimal amount. It is woodworking and the chairs are just fine.

Is there a difference between the angle of the miter gauge and the Wixey angle box? I don't know and I don't care. And the joints came out perfect. It is woodworking and the chairs are just fine.
Awesome, perfect is good enough for me! Thinking of getting either a wixey or the one from igaging but i'm sold and i'll give one a shot.
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post #12 of 12 Old 07-18-2020, 10:30 AM
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I hope I made it clear that those magnetic angle gauges like the Wixey WR365 and WR300 will help you set vertical blade tilt angles.

They will not help you set horizontal angles. For setting horizontal angles I use a digital T-bevel, but I have seen other digital angle measuring tools that may be better for your specific horizontal angle measurement needs.
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