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,
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...
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.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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