Table saw blade height gauge

Made one myself using a piece of 4/4 oak 2" wide. I took the time to set the blade heights VERY precisely in 1/8 increments with my dial indicator and then cut slots from 1" to 1/8.
Now I can set the blade height dead accurately in seconds. Cost me nada...except for an hour of my time.
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How do you know if you were TDC when you made the 1/8 increments with the dial indicator?
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www.garagewoodworks.com



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Measure the results with the dial indicator.
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Is that how Chuck did it?
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I did, in fact, check the results with the dial indicator. But before that I marked the spindle center line on the insert, locked the dial indicator at the desired height and rocked the blade back and forth under it so that it just ticked the bottom. Like I said, I set the blade heights VERY precisely.

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Chuck Hoffman wrote:

Technically, on most table saws the spindle center line will vary with blade height...
Chris
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And, in fact, it does. But I assumed everyone on here was smart enough to figure out for themselves the parts of the process I did not describe. Was I wrong?

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Well some of us on here are smarter than many newbie posters. I am not accusing you of this, but you would fall in the group of the few that have taken every step to insure accurate height with each adjustment setting.
The biggest problem I see with using a height gauge over simply measuring test cuts is insuring that the "tallest" tooth is "clocked" to 12:00 o'clock in the highest position. If you are not using the tallest tooth at exactly 12:00 o'clock the results will give you a slightly deeper cut tan expected. Considering that, which one is the tallest tooth? If you set up using the gauge and happen to be using a tooth with a very slight chip, it may not produce the results you expect. I would still always make a test cut to verify the correct depth if depth has to be exact. AND naturally if you are using a test cut to insure accuracy you are taking an unnecessary first step using a set up depth gauge except to get you started somewhere in the ball park, IMHO.
Any way, thanks for sharing the tip.
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Leon wrote:

Thanks Leon. I use a homemade jig to set blade height, and then just because I'm worried about the jig, I take a test cut anyway. Normally it's off by some amount, and sometimes that amount is acceptable.
I always figured there was slop in the jig, and there probably is, but now I realize there are other factors. Just another good reason to take a test cut.
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"Tanus" wrote

I've made/tried many "height gauges" down through the years and still the most convenient for 'pre-test cut' setup is the ubiquitous 6" ruler in an apron pocket; followed closely by brass setup blocks similar to machinist' 1-2-3 blocks, which are my personal favorites for blade/bit _height_ adjustment, particularly for non-through cuts on both the TS and router.
AAMOF, the 1/4" setup block/bar pretty much resides in a top shop apron pocket.
The blocks are also good for setting precise, small 'fence to blade' distance when you have a dado stack in a left tilting TS and can't use the fence's rule, and they can be used in combination for quick and precise measurements.
I have at least three sets of these things in various places in the shop ... all the other "height gauges" are pretty much ignored/unused after the initial "good idea" rubs off and proves otherwise in practice. :)
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Last update: 12/14/07
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I've only got one set of blocks, from Lee Valley, but after three years I'm still surprised at how much use they get. Blade height, fence distance, marking, checking.
I'm also surprised that after this long I still have the complete set! That's unusual for me. :-)
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on most table saws the spindle center line moves front-to-back as the blade height is adjusted. a few table saws have a straight up and down motion for height adjustment but most of them travel in an arc.
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RE: Subject
Gage will get you close, but that's it.
Mine is a stamped aluminum freebee.
Need to make a test cut and measure depth to be dead nuts, IMHO.
Lew
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What's the grain orientation? QS moves less than plain sawn.
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