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Sawdust Creator
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone built their own table saw blade height gauge? I've seen a few commercially available ones but the thing I don't like about most of them is that they measure in a very small place, which can easily be between two teeth, or not at the highest point on a blade. Therefore.....I want to build that addresses these issues.
 

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Do you smell that? That's the smell of our next swap item! :thumbsup:

I'll be watching this post, I know exactly what you mean. I bought the kit of bars...other than making me look like I know what I'm doing, they don't help me at all.
 

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Bumpus said:
Do you smell that? That's the smell of our next swap item! :thumbsup:
I'm in!
 

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My fence is very accurate so I have ripped dimensional (hardwood) lumber strips at 1/8 - 1/4 - 1/2 - 3/4.I have these in lengths longer then my ts insert plate to assure an accurate height from the table. This has worked well over the years and I use these for my router also.
 

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Old Methane Gas Cloud
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There are a lot of ways to build a saw blade height gauge. They all involve building a bridge of some sort. You can measure the height by cutting dadoes, driving brass screws or using a cheap HF fractional caliper.

Build your bridge so that it spans the throat plate opening. You want to reference cast iron and not the movable throat insert.

What height range do you need? Probably nothing more than 3/4" but you can make it anything.

The caliper and dadoes are obvious. The brass screws are a bit obtuse. In the underside of the bridge, drive some brass screws partially into the bridge. You need to use solid brass screws and not just brass color screws. Be sure to drill pilot holes for the brass screws. Flat head screws seem to work the best for this.

Each screw will be driven a bit deeper than the previous screw as you calibrate the gauge. Take a 2x4 and square it on the table saw. You want the sides flat and the edges as close to square as your saw will cut. You're probably going to need to rip the 2x4 into 1" a square piece.

I'm making the assumption that we're starting with 1/4" depth. Set the fence so that there is zero clearance to the blade. Fiddle with the blade until you get exactly 1/4" depth cut. You can not do this with an ATB blade. The blade MUST be either a rip blade or a combination blade (ATB + R). (A stacked dado blade would work also.)

When you have an exact 1/4" cut, make a zero clearance cut in the 1" square piece of 2x4. Turn the piece over and slide the kerf under the brass screw. Adjust the screw until it barely touches the kerf. Repeat the process for all other depths.

Why brass? You don't want to be rubbing steel against carbide.
 
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Really underground garage
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Lots of ways to accomplish this.......but start with a search and understanding of a Starrett 995 shaper/planer gage.

What is so dang interesting(to me) is that some folks "reckon" these are metal working only gages?Uhhhh.....not.

Further....."Backlash" within the gear sectors needs to be understood WRT the TS's up/down drive system.But once you understand a few general principals.......and then are exposed to some creative solutions,it isn't that big of deal.Interestingly,some are guarded "secrets" within certain equip manuf.........IOW's,you'll play heck trying to find intel on certain backlash eliminators.I was exposed to them by doing repairs.Carry on.
 

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I don't care much about gauges, I care about the cut. Always have a little extra stock that is prepared the same as your work pieces, make a test cut, measure it, adjust as necessary, preferably sneaking up. Then you know the actual results. Probably the most important step of any set up, a test cut. This will account for any discrepancies, a tooth or cutter that isn't perfectly in line or any other issue a gauge won't tell you.
 

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Old School
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I don't care much about gauges, I care about the cut. Always have a little extra stock that is prepared the same as your work pieces, make a test cut, measure it, adjust as necessary, preferably sneaking up. Then you know the actual results. Probably the most important step of any set up, a test cut. This will account for any discrepancies, a tooth or cutter that isn't perfectly in line or any other issue a gauge won't tell you.
+1. :yes: Here we go again. Lets go out and buy some fancy gauge. Or, spend a lot of time developing some jig, and make it as complicated as possible.:laughing:






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+ another 1 on a test cut. I set the blade to what desired height using a caliper. I then make a cut in a piece of scrap thicker than the height of the blade. I measure the slot and adjust the height. Make another test cut and repeat at needed.

Even if I had a fancy gauge I would not trust that I positioned the blade at the max height.
 

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Sawdust Creator
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I hear ya, I usually set my fence with my caliper, and still usually perform a test cut, but virtually never have to make a second adjustment. That's what I'm going for here.
 

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It always surprises me when people think they need certain gadgets. The height gauge I use is called a tape measure.

measure the height of the blade, make a test cut, check, adjust.

Bret
 

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Sawdust Creator
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I don't need one....but I'd like one. Again...If I can eliminate one or two test cuts per project...it ads up to real time. I'm not spending 50 bucks...this is a home build or nothing.
 

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I read this as setting the blade height not fence.

I normally calibrate my fence and check every now and again.

If you have a need to make exact width cuts and want a jig to tweak the fence, Matthias Wendel has a design if you have a dial indicator. I purchased one for blade/mitre slot/fence parallel calibration.

http://woodgears.ca/table_saw/fence_micro.html
 

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Sawdust Creator
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Nope....you read it right...I was just saying I set one axis with precision....I just want to do it on another axis as well.
 

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Sawdust Creator
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The part I like about utilizing a caliper...dial indicator...ect.... Is the ability to creep up on the exact dimension without trial and error.
 

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If I had a height gauge it would just get lost in the clutter and I would still make a test cut. Thus, for me, knowing my work methods, a height gauge would just slow me down. No sale here.

Bret
 

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I have a caliper for measuring things. Seems accurate enough.
When I open the jaws, there's a long thin spine which comes out the other end.
Make a test cut with the TS. Extend that spine down into the cut.
When it bottoms out against the caliper frame = direct reading of the depth of the cut
at the jaw end. I'm done.
Same for measuring the precise(?) depth of drill bit holes. That's so I can drill a bunch of pilot holes in a wood carving to hog off almost exactly 7/8" wood ( or whatever.)
 
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