New video: Sliding Table Alignment

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Hi Folks,
Just thought some of you might be interested. No charge, it's an on-line video (for those with high speed connections). No spam, no harvesting. Nothing but interesting (and hopefully useful) videos.
http://www.ts-aligner.com/videos.htm
Let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks, Ed Bennett snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com
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Hi Ed, I tried to view the sliding table clip with media player 10 but it gave the message "unable to open..." And the player window was blank, so I clicked the link, to no avail. Thanks, Tom Maker of Fine Sawdust and Thin Shavings
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"Tom" <advanced-AT-EWOLdotcom> wrote in message

the
I've got version 10.00.00.4019 and it runs fine. Perhaps you've got some firewall interference affecting Media Player?
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Hi Tom,
Sorry about that. Right after I posted the message I went back to test it and it worked fine. But, I noticed that it wanted to run at 700 kbps - a bit high. So, I re-made the video file and replaced the online version. It could be that you managed to try it while I was in the middle of transfering the new file. I wouldn't have thought that this could be a problem but it's a possibility. It took several minutes for the transfer to take place (some 17.6 mb). Give it another try. As was also mentioned, you might look into your security settings.
The sliding table video can be downloaded and played seperately (the link to the side) or played through the Windows Media Player (I put it right after the "Table Saw" section).
Let me know if you still can't get it to go.
Thanks, Ed
Tom wrote:

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Hello Ed, Here's the message I see if I click on the link... "Windows Media Player cannot play the file because a network error occurred. The server might not be available. Verify that you are connected to the network and that your proxy settings are correct." The mini player on the page works, but the sliding table segment doesn't seem to be on the play list. TIA Tom

<snippage>
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Hi Tom,
Not sure what is happening with this "network error". Does it happen after a while of downloading or right away? When you click on an individual clip, it doesn't stream the video, it downloads the entire file and then sends it to your media player. Perhaps your ISP has some restrictions on downloading large files?
The sliding table alignment video is in the play list - right after the table saw section. I have used the skip forward button to get to it without any problem. If you are still having trouble, send me an email with your snail mail address and I'll send a DVD copy of it to you.
Thanks, Ed Bennett snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com
Tom wrote:

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No need, Ed... but thanks anyway. Tom
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Ed,
I looked yesterday afternoon and it worked fine for me.
For squaring the fence on the sliding table, I'll suggest another approach that doesn't require an 18" precision square.
Take a rectangular panel (plywood, particle board, masonite, etc.) that is about the maximum your table will cut. Using the roughly-squared fence, do a trim cut on Edge 1 of the panel. Now rotate the panel 90 degrees so Edge 1 is against the fence, and do a trim cut on Edge 2.
Repeat until Edge 4 has been cut and is against the fence. Now cut a narrow strip off Edge 1. Measure the width of both ends of the strip. If they're the same, your fence is perfectly square to the table travel. If there is a taper, the fence isn't square.
I believe if the leading edge of the strip (first part into the blade) is narrower than the trailing edge, the fence is set to greater than 90 degrees, and vice-versa, but I could have that backwards.
I clamp a dial indicator to the sliding table to measure the outboard end of the fence, so as the fence is rotated the dial indicator will tell me how much. Because of the geometry of the parts, there's no formula and you have to do some trial and error, like in the current video. Make an adjustment on the fence, make the five cuts, measure the strip, and repeat if necessary.
I found that writing down the measurements helps a lot to see the trends and how much an adjustment on the fence changes the width of the strip.
Because of the repeated cuts, any error in squareness of the fence is quadrupled on the width of the strip. A micrometer or vernier caliper is useful for measuring the strip. This method gives you very accurate squareness on the fence.
Otherwise, it's a great series of videos.
Cheers,
Tim
snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com wrote:

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Hi Tim,
Yep, this is the classic test cut method and it can produce very accurate results. You've improved on it a bit by including precise measurement of the final cutoff (via micrometer or calipers) and the use of a dial indicator to monitor the fence adjustment. Personally, I can't help but feel that it's actually a more costly and time consuming method. Sure, you avoid buying a large square but you could still obtain accuracy to within thousandths with a smaller square (+/-0.001" at 6" is +/-0.003" at 18"). And, there is some cost in cutting up a peice of sheet goods every time you want to square up your sliding table (not to mention the investment in time). The ordeal would make me reluctant to check my alignment (which I do frequently) and reluctant to change the setting (cut angles). The indicator/square method is quick, easy, accurate, and economical - which means it will be done without hesitation whenever it is necessary.
Thanks, Ed Bennett snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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Hi Ed,
I guess the costs depend on your situation. I use an off-cut that is laying around anyway, and most of it remains when I'm done, so my material cost is zero. I don't have an 18" precision square, however, and that would be significant cash for a tool that I would only ever use to square this sliding table fence.
I agree that the initial squaring can take more time than with a big precision square, but we're talking the order of a few minutes. Once the fence is squared, scribe a line on the sliding table so it's easy to return it to the square position without recalibration.
As for periodic checking of squareness, you just need to grab a scrap panel, make five cuts on it, break the resulting strip in half and compare the width of the ends between your fingers. On the other hand, getting out a square and dial indicator, doing the check and putting them away takes time, too. If one process takes longer than the other, I expect it wouldn't be by much. I'd never think to describe making five cuts on a tablesaw as an "ordeal", but perhaps some woodworkers do.
I do agree that using the precision square to align the fence every time you change the fence will give you better squareness accuracy than using the rotating stop or a scribed line. If I can resolve a scribed line to 0.010" by eye, and that scribe mark is about 24" away from the fence pivot point, my squareness would be within about 0.0075" in 18" compared to your 0.001" in 18". There may be situations in woodworking where this extra accuracy would be helpful, but I'm at a loss to think of any at the moment.
As always, your milage may vary.
Cheers,
Tim
snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com wrote:

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Hi Tim,
The last guy I discussed this with was also pleased to tell me that the panel stock he used for the test cuts was "free" to him too. You have to admit, somewhere along the way the wood cost something. And, keeping it for test cuts doesn't exactly make it free. At the very least, it could be made into something if it wasn't being reserved for test cuts.
I used to think that people who advocate trial and error "test cut" methods just have an aversion to using precise measurement instruments (dial indicators, calipers, etc.). However, lately I've seen more and more of them use these instruments to assist them in the process. So, I just have to assume that people who advocate trial and error just plain like the method. After all, they could use the instruments to adjust the machine directly instead of using them to measure test cuts. I've heard people describe it as a "skill" so perhaps there is some sense of pride in finally arriving at a correct machine setting after a challenging sequence of getting it wrong over and over.
Personally, I hate trial and error. I have a goal in mind (to produce a finely crafted item of some sort) and I don't want fussy machine adjustments to get in the way. I want the machine to do exactly what I tell it to do on the first try - not after a dozen or so test cuts. And I don't like a shop cluttered with peices being saved for test cuts or the cutoffs from test cuts. If trial and error is a "skill", then proficiency must be measured in ones ability to achieve the greatest accuracy with the least number of test cuts. One could not do better than to obtain the right setting without any test cuts. That's what I do but I've been told by test cut enthusiasts that I "cheat". That's OK by me, my goal is to produce a finely crafted item, not a pile of test cuts.
This particular procedure (squaring up the fence on a sliding table by trial and error) is most offensive to me because five test cuts must be made before any results can be evaluated and any error correcting adjustment can be made. Then another five test cuts must be made to evaluate the adjustment to see if it was correct. So, unless you're astoundingly lucky and get the right setting on the very first try, you're in it for at least ten test cuts with a panel which (as you said) should be near the capacity of your sliding table (48" for me!). I'd call lugging around a half sheet of panel stock on the sliding table an ordeal which I would definitely be reluctant to perform. And a half sheet of anyting is hardly a "scrap".
Finally, at my age, there's no hope in resolving a scribed line to within 0.010" by eye. The 100ths divisions on my scale just look grey to me anymore. It would involve a magnifier, or perhaps I would use it only for crude adjustments. If the whole machine were outfitted with precise adjustments including vernier scales then the topic would be moot. Nobody would think that there was any virtue in doing test cuts. But, most woodworking machines have very crude adjustments. I've got a square and a dial indicator and that's all that I need to do the job right - with no test cuts.
Thanks,
Ed Bennett snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com http://www.ts-aligner.com
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snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com wrote in

<snippage>
When I was in college decades ago, it was said that the whole world could be divided between accountants and economists. I have always been on the side of the economist...
On another axis, people, woodworkers, too, can divide along the lines of engineers and artists. (This has all of the validity of most of these generalisms, but work with me here.) An engineer, as you seem to be, values the measure and the exactness. If you want to make something replicable, and to a measured drawering, there is great validity to that tack. But it has little appeal to me as an artist. The second of anything simply is an exercise to see if I can remove some of the errors of the first, but the thrill is gone of having made the first.
Makes for a lousy business, but a great hobby, at least for a while.
Nice that the world is more than large enough for all kinds, is it not?
Patriarch, thankful for engineers making neat, exact, repeatable tools...
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Well said Patriarch.
It reminds me of a scene from the TV show M*A*S*H. One of the characters (I don't remember which) is talking to a local merchant about doing a carving and wants to see an example of his work. The merchant hands him a short length of 2x4 lumber. The character says "this is just a 2x4!". The merchant says "Thank you!" as if it were a compliment for having produced such a convincing replica.
Yup, I suppose I'm bent in the engineering direction. I don't generally do my woodworking from plans (did it once for a friend) but I do like my machines to obey me and live up to my expectations. In the machine shop everything is done according to drawings, maintaining specs, with allowable tolerances. It's what I do.
Ed Bennett snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com http://www.ts-aligner.com
Patriarch wrote:

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Patriarch wrote:
>When I was in college decades ago, it was said that the whole world could >be divided between accountants and economists. I have always been on the >side of the economist...
Yep.
Still remember a chief engineer I worked for who would tell upper management, "Give up 6 more months along with $100K (this was a long time ago) and we will give you a better answer".
Basic problem with engineers, they don't know when to stop?
Like a kitty cat playing with a ball of string.
Basic reason I got out of it.
Lew
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Hi Lew,
Of course they know when to stop. It's when time and/or money run out!
It's the age old triad of engineering: time, money, and quality. You can never have all three at once (quick, cheap, and good). You must sacrifice one of the three in order to get the other two. For example, if you want it quick and good then it will cost a lot of money. If you want it quick and cheap then you better be ready to accept low quality. If you want it good and cheap, then expect to invest a lot of time.
This rule, of course, doesn't apply to the world of the artist ;-)
Ed Bennett snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com http://www.ts-aligner.com
Lew Hodgett wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com wrote:
> Hi Lew, > > Of course they know when to stop. It's when time and/or money run out!
Naw, they wait for more money or another project.
Problem with engineers is they are never taught how to make a decision and move on.
The engineering curriculum is a great tool for teaching a person how to think, but not necessarily how to make a decision.
One of the basic reasons you don't see more engineers in top management.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Actually the major reason IMO is that engineers have trouble seeing beyond the product.

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--John
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Lew, I think you mean to say something other than what you said.
Engineering is all about making decisions. What material to use. What size. What shape. What weight. How much should it cost. How long should it last. How should it be made. Etc. And, the process of making those decisions (which is taught in Engineering schools) is very rigorous. It involves an exhaustive review of the variables, parameters and objectives. Perhaps it is the process itself that you have trouble with. Maybe you misunderstand the systematic approach to decision making. You probably believe that good decision making "comes from the gut" and is based on "sound judgment" - not endless examination of every minute detail. Right?
Without knowing it, I'm sure that you trust countless engineering decisions every day. I'm sure a person could live without trusting any of these decisions, but it wouldn't be a very comfortable life. Next time you drive a car, walk on a floor, live in a house, work in a building, talk on the phone, type on a computer, surf on the Internet, or anything else, think about the engineering decisions which made it all possible.
I'm also sure that a very brief examination of the Fortune 500 companies would reveal that a majority of them were founded by and very successfully run by people who could apply their engineering skills to management. HP, Ford, GE, Intel, Microsoft, Apple, Boeing, just to name a few. I've seen lots of situations where the internal political environment in a big company makes it difficult for a disciplined engineering mind to contribute. But, I really don't think that there is anything inherently deficient in Engineers which makes them inadequate for upper management positions. On the contrary, these last several years have seen a number of "non-technical" individuals behind bars for their mis-deeds in top management positions. Perhaps something in their decision making process was flawed. ;-)
Ed Bennett snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com http://www.ts-aligner.com
Lew Hodgett wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com wrote:

The ones that did really well generally had at least two guys involved, one the technical guy and the other the business guy. With Apple it was Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs--Woz was the technical guy and Jobs the business guy, and it turned out that Jobs wasn't all that good a manager himself, which is why Sculley was brought in. With Microsoft it was Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. With Intel it was Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce--while both were engineers it was Noyce that ran the show during the period of rapid growth. With HP it was William Hewlett and David Packard, but I'm not sure who was the technical guy and who the business guy. William Boeing was already a wealthy man in the timber trade when he and Conrad Westervelt decided that they could improve on the design of a Curtis airplane that they were trying to repair. Ford seems to be the exception.

The big problem I see with engineers is a tendency to sneer at the marketing people and the bean counters and the other non-engineering specialists who are necessary to actually grow a business instead of filling a warehouse full of widgets that nobody buys.

--
--John
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J. Clarke wrote:

<snip>
Yes, of course. Good managers don't try to do everything alone, they assemble a team of experts and coordinate their efforts. The point being that there is nothing inherent in the discipline of Engineering which excludes it from top management. All these folks were Engineers who very successfully filled roles in "top management" whether they partnered with complimentary skills or not.
The reason you see more Marketing/Finance people in mid/upper level management in large companies is purely political. These folks tend to do a lot of presentations to executive management and receive a lot of visibility for it. It colors everything that that top management sees. Promotions naturally follow.

Finally, the real issue comes through! In my 17+ years with HP, I worked in a position which was right in the middle between the lab (engineers), marketing, finance, and manufacturing. So, I'm quite familiar with the issues between the "propeller heads" and marketing "weenies". Believe me, it goes both ways!
I am one Engineer who really appreciates the disciplines of Marketing and Finance. Out of necessity I am forced to cover these functions myself and I know they suffer as a result. Unfortunately, it's difficult (impossible?) to find people in these disciplines who are willing to "risk" some of their time and effort on their own abilities (i.e. "pay for results"). The latest challenge has been developing a Marketing Plan with which to attract the services of a Marketing Agency. It's quite a "chicken and the egg" situation.
Ed Bennett snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com http://www.ts-aligner.com
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