Accurately setting a tablesaw fence with digital calipers - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-08-2020, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Accurately setting a tablesaw fence with digital calipers

I know this could be a little flashier (maybe later), but it works. I can use this handy little jig to accurately set my fence to a thousandth of an inch. As well, it works to calibrate the fence so that it is parallel to the blade.

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post #2 of 14 Old 06-09-2020, 06:04 AM
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I have never felt the need to be that accurate. Wood contracts and expands, so being able to cut to 1/128 of an inch seem silly to me, because in a few days it may change.
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post #3 of 14 Old 06-09-2020, 06:27 AM
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I cannot even see that much "difference." Besides, I do not even want the blade and fence to be exactly parallel. I like the back to be just a hair wider.


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post #4 of 14 Old 06-09-2020, 07:00 AM
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@GeorgeC

I agree. The back being the edge furthest away from you.
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Last edited by Tony B; 06-09-2020 at 07:20 AM.
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-10-2020, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Definately not for everyone or for every project for that matter. If I'm doing cedar fence, I work with about 1/8" tolerances.

But for more precision work using hardwoods I need to have or at least try to achieve this kind of accuracy. It doesn't hurt to try and get accuracy with furniture building but for me I need it for building musical instruments. (Those on the luthier boards seemed to have a use for this). When I was younger we made wooden switches for scientific instruments that had a .005" tolerance. This would have been a good tool for setting up for that.

As for setting a fence parallel to the blade, you are inviting kick back if the fence is not set right. But mostly, for me I don't like to hear that little scrape at the end of the cut. It throws my accuracy off and leaves a less than stellar cut.
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-10-2020, 10:20 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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It's way more difficult to set the blade ....

The fence is easy enough, slide it over to the miter slot and make it parallel using your sensitive finger tip to feel for flush. If you want ir a touch/scouche/smidge .... over to the right, make it that way either visually or by feel.


The blade is the real bugger to get parallel to the miter slot. Even when fully raised the plate or body of the blade is only about 9" long and the miter slot is 27" long. You want both to be parallel. Now some folks will say you need to measure to a marked tooth and rotate it front to rear and check the distance to the slot. That's fine if you blade has a lot of runout. But guess what? The runout will only make the kerf a smidge wider than if it had no runout. That's because every revolution that tooth comes around it cuts a smidge more off than the rest of them. For most woodworking operations it won't matter, so I use the plate of the blade and extend it using an accurate steel scale 18" long like this:
https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/...er-slot-11185/



The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-10-2020, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Now my interest is piqued. With my caliper jig I could check each tooth on the blade, or check the same tooth at the front and back of the plate, or rotate the blade by hand and check the wobble on the blade. I have quite a bit of work to do now, but maybe later.
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-10-2020, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Montgomery View Post
Definately not for everyone or for every project for that matter. If I'm doing cedar fence, I work with about 1/8" tolerances.
your videos are very good, but you work at a different level than myself
when i'm doing cedar fence, i work with "it looks good enough" tolerances
when building furniture i'll use a metal scale instead of tape measure
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-10-2020, 12:45 PM
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Interesting concept,

I spent many years as an envelope machine adjuster, and later years as a printing press operator, throughout that time it became obvious when training apprentices that some had that natural feel, others did not.

If you have the touch you generally don't need a lot of gadgets, your fingers, eyes and ears will be your guide, for those that don't there is definitely a use for any help possible.
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-10-2020, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Ogre View Post
your videos are very good, but you work at a different level than myself
when i'm doing cedar fence, i work with "it looks good enough" tolerances
when building furniture i'll use a metal scale instead of tape measure
The neighbour behind me seems to lack even that "looks good enough" attitude, obviously he does not own or use a level on anything he has built. 😀

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #11 of 14 Old 06-10-2020, 05:25 PM
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Interesting concept,

I spent many years as an envelope machine adjuster, and later years as a printing press operator, throughout that time it became obvious when training apprentices that some had that natural feel, others did not.

If you have the touch you generally don't need a lot of gadgets, your fingers, eyes and ears will be your guide, for those that don't there is definitely a use for any help possible.
Very true. My best friend has "the touch." He can look at anything and tell you its dimensions to a quarter inch. He takes one glance and tells you instantly; there is no pause or delay. It was a great party trick when we were in college. He won a lot of bets that way. He was never wrong that I ever saw. It is like having "perfect pitch" but with dimensions.

Sadly, I do not have the touch. Furthermore, using good measuring tools does not guarantee success at achieving results that are as good as having the touch. :-(
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post #12 of 14 Old 06-10-2020, 07:49 PM
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When I had a contractors saw I made a pair of simple tools to set the fence. 3" long x 3/4" wide x 1" high. I plowed a dado 3/32" deep x 1" wide . A blade from a combination square was set in the dado. The blade fit in the dado. Over the top of the jig a piece of 1/8" x 3/4" x 3" steel was screwed to the top. In the middle I tapped a 4/40 threaded hole. This
screw fit in the blade slot . It is an Allen cap screw.
I made 2 of these , set the fence to the jigs that were at the front and back of the table. The fence is pushed up to the jig, I clamped the outfeed fence to the rail with a hand screw. Left the outfeed end about 1/32" or so wider than the infeed .

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post #13 of 14 Old 06-11-2020, 12:08 PM
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The neighbour behind me seems to lack even that "looks good enough" attitude, obviously he does not own or use a level on anything he has built. 😀
your neighbor must have built my 1880s farm house. my walls are fairly plumb, probably because anything hanging from a string, can be used for a plumb bob. but my floors go every which direction other than level. not due to settling either... 3 foot thick stone basement walls don't have nary a crack in them.
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post #14 of 14 Old 06-11-2020, 02:10 PM
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Probaly not "the touch" ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
Very true. My best friend has "the touch." He can look at anything and tell you its dimensions to a quarter inch. He takes one glance and tells you instantly; there is no pause or delay. It was a great party trick when we were in college. He won a lot of bets that way. He was never wrong that I ever saw. It is like having "perfect pitch" but with dimensions.

Sadly, I do not have the touch. Furthermore, using good measuring tools does not guarantee success at achieving results that are as good as having the touch. :-(

The "touch" would certainly mean physical contact or feeling. The ability to judge horizontal distances is determined by the spatial properties of the human eye, rods and cones etc. Vertical distances are more difficult for reasons I don't understand, but that's what I have seen first hand working in the automotive, product and graphic design fields. It may be a "talent" or a practiced/acquired skill or some of each. I've always been pretty good at "estimating" lengths, and was even tested with a measuring scale by the instructor in a drawing class.
"genius" was his response.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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