I picked up one of the digital angle gauges from Lee Valley last Thursday.
It comes with rare earth magnets both sides and is solid and relatively
heavy. It can be set to relative zero and fully recalibrated if for any
reason that it loses it's settings. It runs on a 9v battery, so you wouldn't
have to worry about being gouged for some expensive little watch type
battery should you need a new one.
My only complaint is that the magnets don't hold as well as they could the
closer you get to a vertical surface, but it's situation one is not likely
to encounter very often.
LV also sells a non-digital compass type version of an angle gauge, but
considering the cost difference is only $11, the digital one gets my
preferred vote. Another toy to add to the pile. :)
I have had a similar one of these for a year or so now, they are very handy
for determining angles also. I use mine for much more than setting up my
I spect your magnets would hold on to vertical surfaces better if the unit
used a "watch battery" instead of a heavy 9 volt battery. ;~)
But then the magnets don't do squat on wood surfaces. LOL
OK, I looked at the Lee Valley link again. I noticed that the gauge is
supposed to have "Rare Earth' magnets. You may have a defective unit, it
should be very resistant to slipping or falling. I'd give LeeValley a call
and have it exchanged.
Slipping is a problem if you use it to return your TS blade back to a 90
As you've mentioned (and Sheldon), it's possible the canopy pole I quickly
tested it on was partially a non-magnetic alloy of some type. That was the
only place I tried it because at the time, there wasn't anything else close
by. I'll test it on a more reliably metal ferrous object and let you know
what I find out.
Personally, I'm not a believer in layouts using angle measurements.
There is simply too much chance for error.
Rather use trigonometry and layout the line lengths using a compass
and intersecting arcs.
Then use a router /w/ a bearing and a straight edge to clean up the
I use 1/2 (9 ply) for these angle guides which is also handy if you
need to do the setup again in the future.
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