What was the BEST tip you learned here at the Wreck?

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Hi Bruce,
I do the reviews for one primary reason: I want to have the best products. I figure there's no better way to do this than buy the competitive products and do the analysis. I've been doing it since the first competitive products came out (some of which are no longer in business). The things I have learned have been used to make my products better.
I decided to publish these reviews on my web site several years ago because of the lack of published information on alignment tools. There were no comparative magazine reviews and the information on competitive web sites was pretty minimal. I knew that people wanted this data because they were calling me and asking for it. There has been one comparative magazine review since then (Wood, 9/2003) but it was pretty short on technical details and accuracy.
I recently updated the MasterGage review. I wouldn't say it was under ideal circumstances! What can I say? You can really learn a lot about your competitors when you give the public a detailed look at their products. Sometimes knowing about the people who make a product is just as important as knowing about the product itself. The interaction with Mr. Reilly was quite an eye opener.
Ed Bennett snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com http://www.ts-aligner.com
Bruce Barnett wrote:

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I bought the TS-Aligner Junior, actually. And yes, it's worth the money.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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I have the TS-Aligner Jr. and one of Ed's precision angle blocks. I highly recommend the angle block as a companion to the TS-Aligner Jr. Yes, it is a lot to spend for a tool that doesn't make any sawdust, and you won't even use it every day. But it really did add a lot of enjoyment to my use of my tablesaw and my miter saw.
My Unisaw would cut perfectly when the blade was straight, but burned the edges of the wood when the blade was tilted. Ed's gadget showed me that my TABLE was tilted about 60 thousandths front-to-back. A couple of shims under the top, and my problem is solved. Not sure how I would have ever uncovered the problem without it.
A while back I had a project that required a 16-sided barrel-shaped figure (not sure what you call it - a hexadecagon maybe?). If you've ever done this sort of thing you know that the need for accuracy in mitered joints goes up with the number of pieces. I spent about 5 minutes setting the angle on my tablesaw to precisely 22.5 degrees, then ripped all my pieces, confident that they would fit perfectly - and they did. Before buying the TS-Aligner, I would have spent the better part of an hour cutting scrap pieces and adjusting the tilt to close the gaps. Now maybe you enjoy that process of cutting scraps and tweaking the wheel. I did - the first few times I did it. But I'd really rather spend my time on the real thing.
Is it worth the money? It is to me.
DonkeyHody "Every man is my superior in that I can learn from him." - Thomas Carlyle
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Bill wrote:

If you're doing carpentry - probably not.
If you're a Cut To Size, Beat To Fit woodworker - probably not.
If you're doing furniture and need to make accurate cuts, join edges, plane faces, resaw for thick veneer, etc., etc. - using power tools - yes. Accuracy errors for some unknown reason tend to accumulate rather than cancel each other out. Proper tool set up helps reduce the problem to "just" the Loose Nut operating the tools (me in my case). If you want to KNOW that your saw blade is parallel to the miter slot or if you want to KNOW your fence is parallel to the miter slot - yes.
If you want to KNOW if there's run out on the saw arbor or the saw blade, and how much - yes.
If you want to to KNOW if there's run out on your drill press, or a bit in your drill press - yes.
If you want to KNOW if your router table router or a bit in it has run out and how much - yes.
If you want to KNOW if your joiner tables are parallel to the cutter head - yes.
If you want to KNOW if your joiner knives are all the same distance from from the infeed or outfeed table - yes.
And if you're blessed (or cursed) with a sliding table on your table saw and want to KNOW if it tracks parallel to the miter slot - yes.
It's a good tool and for what it'll do - well worth the price. And the customer support is up there with Lee Valley - which is saying a lot.
charlie b
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"Google is your friend."
-- Mark
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