Adjusting Jointer Tables- An Idea?

There has been a few posts recently regarding adjusting a jointer and it got me to thinking. One problem that caused me some frustration occurred after several years of use when one of the tables started to sag. And since the tables we no longer co-planar I started having problems. Identifying this as a problem was not quite as quick of easy as I thought. But, what if, You were to take one of those little $10-15 HeNe lasers (the red light ones) affix it to a block of some kind, set it at one corner of one table and aim it back to a ruler stuck to a block at one side of the other table. Record the height. Move the laser block to the other side and then the front of the table repeating the measurement each time. Unless all measurements are the same your tables are not co-planar. Seems quicker and a lot cheaper than getting an expensive straight edge. So will it work? What do you think? Cheers, JG
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Of course - but will it be accepted? It's too easy and too practical. Maybe if you can leverage the accuracy of a laser in ways that even a metal worker will appreciate you can get a little mileage out of your idea. Remember, wooddorkers are a finicky lot...
--

-Mike-
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Mike Marlow wrote:

Not as easy as it sounds. First, the "block" has to maintain the beam angle after movement even if there are minor irregularities in the surface on which it is mounted. Second, one has to measure the position of the spot to a high degree of accuracy. It's not as easy as it sounds--you don't have a vernier or anything, you have to line it up with a mark, which means you have to contrive a sharp cutoff on the beam or focus it to a point at the exact distance of the target to get better than tenths of an inch and use a magnifier to get real precision.
Just an aside, the $15 lasers are not HeNe, they are solid state. HeNe needs a special power supply and parallel mirrors and optical flats and they aren't cheap to produce.
--
--John
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