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Use a dial caliper to align your tablesaw

dial caliper

When I move to a different Air Force base, one of the first things I do is check the alignment of the tools in the base’s wood shop. Lacking an expensive dial indicator or alignment tool, I built a simple jig that uses my dial caliper to do the duty.
 

First, I cut an 18" hardwood guide strip to fit the saw’s miter slot so the bar stands about 1/8" proud of the saw table, as shown at left. In the hardwood clamp block, I cut a dado within a dado: The first fits the dial caliper snugly to the bar, while the second provides clearance for the depth bar to move unrestricted.
 

Whenever I want to tune up the saw, I slide the dial caliper under the clamp block and tighten the screws. Then, using the depth bar, I check the measurement at the front and back of the blade and adjust the saw until the measurements are equal. I find I can easily tweak the saw to within .001"—far better than my old combination square.

—Frank Snock, Soham, England

dial caliper
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