In Tricks of the Trade

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Super-Accurate Tablesaw Tilt

Tablesaw tilt gauges are inherently inaccurate. After all, the degree lines are usually at least 1/16″ wide. I use a digital angle gauge instead, which is accurate to 1/10 of 1°, and mount it on a bracket in front of the saw.

You could attach this gauge directly to a saw blade to measure its tilt (the gauge has a magnetic base), but I’ve found it hard to read when I’m bending down to turn the tilt wheel. Putting the gauge under the saw, in front, is much more convenient.

I made the bracket from a piece of plywood, painted black, and a short length of angle iron. The bracket fits tight on the rod that holds the elevation wheel and pointer. When the blade tilts, the bracket tilts, too—just like the pointer.

To use the gauge, I first set it on top of the saw and zero it. Then I put it on the blade and adjust the blade’s tilt until the gauge reads exactly 90°. Next, I move the gauge down to the bracket, zero it again and tilt the blade to whatever angle I want. –Alan Schaffter



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