table saw "Pals"

I have a Delta contractor saw. Peachtree Woodworking Supply has these devices called "table saw pals" in their catalog that supposedly make aligning these saws "easy". I'm all for that. It attaches to the rear trunion and has "micro-adjusting" screws. Anybody have any experience with this or a similar device?
Thanks!
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I have that on my Saw. However I've never needed to use it. I bought the saw used with that installed and the blade is in beautiful alignment still.
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Yep... it works great for contractor saws. I also recommend the TS-Aligner in addition to the PALS system. You are going to need a measuring device and the TS-Aligner is your tool of choice.
http://www.ts-aligner.com /
bureaucrat wrote:

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Thanks! I have the alignment tools (and my saw is well-aligned). I just thought that for 19.95, this might make life a little easier. :-)
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The ts-aligner.com alignment tools range from expensive ($75 for the cheapest "Junior Lite" with the most basic dial indicator) to hugely expensive ($459 for TS-Alginer Premium).
I'm sure they are worth their weight in gold, but I'm just an amateur on a budget with a 20 year old Craftsman table saw so I built my own equivalent for under $10 using a Harbor Freight $6.99 dial indicator gauge, a piece of angle iron, and a couple of screws
I then attached the dial indicator guage to the angle iron with a thumbscrew and lock washer (after griding down the corner to allow the dial indicator to mount on the angle iron) , allowing me to fix it any desired angle. I then bolted (or alternatively clamped) the angle iron to my miter gauge allowing me to move the jig up and down my miter slot. If I want to anchor it solidly at one spot, I can always use the hardware from one of my fingerboards to afix it to the T-slot.
Given that I am only using the jig and indicator to measure and then minimize *differences* in deflection as I turn the blade or move the miter gauge, it is much less important how absolutely accurate the indicator is or how perfectly machined the rest of the jig is. As long as the indicator returns to the same position and as long as the jig itself remains rigid, I think it is possible to get results accurate to with 1-2 thousandths which is probably within the minimum range of imprecision of the Craftsman table saw and mid-priced blades that I use.
After experimenting, I became convinced that the precision of my setup was repeatable enough to within a thousandth or so. This allowed me to tune my alignment to within 1-2 thousandths. Even if I am overestimating the accuracy of my jig, I do think that I got quite an improvement in alignment for under $10.
Again, I'm not trying to say that for under $10 you get the same value as a $450 instrument, but I certainly got something for it :)
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I second this. All you need is a dial indicator and something to hold it in place while you measure. You can easily get within .001 or better. I'd suggest going this route and try working with the result. if you find a reason to be more accurate then you can lay down the big bucks for something else. I've yet to make anything where the saw alignment caused a problem. I've won plenty of ribbons with my work and it's been featured in Better Homes/Garden and Southern Living.
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writes:

I used a dial mechanism from an old blood pressure cuff gage. I noticed a very small movement of the internal diaphragm caused a large angular movement of the dial needle. Drilled the inlet air port out to 1/8" and used a polished 1/8" welding rod as an actuator. As the original poster says we often need to know variations instead of absolute distances. Using feeler gages to calibrate my "dial indicator" I am able to detect 0.001" variations with ease.
willimx
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I wish this were true! At about $900/oz I would finally be able to start showing a profit! I appreciate your attention to detail and honest representation of the TS-Aligner prices. Some have prefered to just quote the $459 as if they all cost this much. OUCH! All seem to miss the idea that they do a lot more than just blade and fence alignment.

If you like doing test cuts for other adjustments and you only need a device to check blade and fence alignment then this is a great solution. I recommend this all the time to people. I even have a page on my web site showing a typical "dial indicator on a stick" solution:
http://www.ts-aligner.com/tsjrlitevsdistick.htm
Make one of these, or the more elaborate angle iron configuration described here and you're good to go! While surfing the web I ran across an even more elaborate home made jig which is basically a wooden clone of a competitive alignment tool:
http://home.metrocast.net/~cpjvkj/tstuneup.htm
So, if blade and fence alignment is all you're after, then you really don't need to spend any money on a commercially made jig. As you have discovered, there's really nothing to gain in terms of accuracy. But, if you care about blade tilt accuracy, miter gauge accuracy, miter saw setup, etc. then you might take a second look at something like the Jr. Lite. It includes some features that just cannot be duplicated using wood or angle iron and typical home shop tools. If you have other machines in the shop (jointer, planer, shaper, bandsaw, radial arm saw, etc.) and you care about the accuracy of their settings, then you might consider spending even more money.
<snip the description of the jig>

Sure enough. For $10 (or even less if you just use a wooden stick) you can get a pretty darn good jig for blade and fence alignment. Which puts to shame those commercially made jigs which only do blade and fence alignment. You don't gain any accuracy by purchasing a TS- Aligner product - you gain capability. Read through the comparison at the page I mentioned above to get an idea of what the simple home made jig is lacking.
Thanks, Ed Bennett snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com
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Ed - I appreciate your honesty and constructive response. I certainly mean no disrespect for your undoubtedly fine product.
I just have a limited budget and the wife already think I spend too much on tools and materials :) I wish I could afford to buy your stuff though :)
On the other hand, by playing with making (simple) jigs myself, I find I learn a bit more about the accuracy and capabilities of my tools even if the results are not as perfect.
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"bureaucrat" wrote

TS-Aligner Jr: http://www.ts-aligner.com
Highly recommended. A couple of options are available, but do yourself a favor and get the best dial indicator you can afford. If you're going to be measuring in the thousandths in earnest, might as well go for the full Monte.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 12/10/07
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On Tue, 11 Dec 2007 09:56:01 -0800, bureaucrat wrote:

I have it. I love it. Nuff said :-).
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