Archive for the ‘Alignment’ Category

Jointer Alignment – Parallel Tables

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

When I first purchased my jointer, around ten years ago, I never checked for parallelism between the infeed and outfeed tables.  Although the jointer has been performing ok, I’ve often wondered how close to perfect they were aligned.  A popular method for checking for parallelism involves purchasing an expensive straightedge that can span both tables in conjunction with feeler gauges.  Alhough I’ve never tried it, the straightedge method appears to be a time consuming process.

I’ve often wondered if it would be possible to check for parallelism with a dial indicator, but I never came up with a solution; until a couple days ago.   The method that I came up with utilizes a dial indicator and a shop-made alignment tool (a dial indicator magnetic base is also used in the process).  The tool is very easy to make and the process turned out to work very nicely and was quick.

Over the years I have demonstrated several different alignment uses for a dial indicator.  If you don’t own one by now then I’d suggest that you’d be a happier woodworker if you bought one.  Dial indicators can be purchased for less than $20 and you’ll use it over and over again.

See the build and demo video here.


Align Your Miter Saw

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

A couple of years ago a viewer of my podcast asked me if it was possible to align his miter saw using a dial indicator jig.  I actually never thought of doing this until he asked.  I thought up a jig that might work and sent him a quick email reply never to hear back again.

As I was building a gate for our fence with my father-in-law, he realized that my miter saw was not square.  I remembered the jig idea that I sent to that viewer and decided to finally make the jig from scrap wood.   I filmed the build and demo how to use it.  In the video I make the alignment from one contact point on the blade.  This is because there are likely to be high and low spots (0-10 thou on a decent blade) on the blade and you will drive yourself nuts aligning the fence from multiple contact points.  An alternative would be to take readings at multiple spots on the blade and average the error.  And then use the average error in the fence alignment.


A viewer on YouTube was curious why I didn’t use my smaller “fat edged square” to align my miter saw.  Well, it doesn’t fit either.  It makes contact with the blade teeth from either end of the square.  And when you rotate the blade up a little to move it out of the way, another tooth comes up from below to make contact.



Too Short?

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

I was in the woodshop yesterday and I needed to strike a cut line.  I grabbed my trusty square, but alas it was too short.  It remembered an old trick that allows you to extend the edge of a square by using a straight edge.

This only works if the straight edge has parallel edges.