Saturday, July 8, 2017

Table saw fence and blade micro adjustment jig

When you have to tune up or adjust your table saw, a dial indicator will help do the job.  Dial indicators measure dimensional differences as small as .001". You just need a way to mount it. Here I will show you how to build this jig and show you three important ways you can use it for your tablesaw.



           Table saw Fence and Blade Micro Adjustment Jig



There are a lot of good tools and ways check your table saw alignment,  check out Patrick's Workshop-How to Align a Table Saw he gives a good explanation and demonstration. In his previous video he even shows you how to build it. 






Here is the Dial indicator and base I made years ago. This one is used  for moving the fence micro adjustments. It works just great but I want it to do more so I will show you how to make it with a few modifications so it will be even better.



Tools
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Affiliate links from Amazon

 Dial Indicator   $22.00 
 2 1/2" Forstner bit  $ 34.45
16 Piece Forstner bit set  $31.35



The new table saw adjustment jig will be able to:   
  • Align the blade
  • Align the fence
  • Micro adjust the fence
  • Perform different tasks on other machines


How to make


Oak will be used for the jig and since it is a hardwood it will be durable and  last long in the shop. I just cut a few pieces to L 5.8"x W 2.7 " The height will be 1.25".


After the two pieces are glued together I use a 2 1/2" forstner bit to cut the circle, this size will be fine for the dial indicator. The hole is drilled  0.65" deep.




A slot will be cut 4.6" in length  for the spindle and stem. Special measurements are taken to make sure the slot is the right width and depth. The width should be the a tiny bit smaller than the stem of the dial indicator since it will be a pressure fit. 

The best way to make the length  cut is to  use a stop block. Make a test cut  and move the block a small amount at a time until you get the right length cut.  I make a pencil mark  on the fence each time I move the block for a reference.


One end is slightly tapered this will sit nice on the table saw and make it easier for viewing. Make sure you cut it before glueing the runner. In the video I cut it after I glued on the runner. This way worked out but was a bit harder to cut.



A small Forstner bit is used to clean out the slot.  Also the center of the hole can be drilled out for the back post on the dial indicator. 

Now the dial indicator can be placed in the circle.  One more small hole has to be drilled out and this is for the thumbscrew. When it is at the right position it is marked and placed back in the vise and drilled out. 







Here you can see a runner that has been glued on. It does not have to be secured with screws, two pieces of wood glued together are very difficult to take apart. 

A 3/4" forstner bit is used to drill another hole, this will be for the magnet. Gorilla glue is used for the magnet. I have done this a few times and have had good results. 

Two coats of Varathane were applied and we are just about done.

The dial indicator stem is pressed into the front slot. I used the end of a screwdriver and swedged it in. I did this to the one I made many years ago and it has never moved. 

If ever you want to remove it just take a small flat screwdriver and pry it out and then use the screwdriver to put it back.

I won't go into the fine details  to do each task at this time but micro adjusting your fence is easy enough to figure out and use right away.  

Aligning the blade

 

Aligning the Fence



 Micro adjusting the fence







Conclusion
Making jigs to help you in your shop is very rewarding,  and if  it works well and has more than one use that is even better. This is an easy jig to make and will help you make fine adjustments to your tablesaw blade and fence.

 Cutting the bevel on one side makes it easier for viewing and the one  magnet works fine. It does not have to be strong for the tool to work properly. This tool will help you with your table saw adjustments and then help you make more precise cuts.

How do you align or adjust your table saw?




See also



                                                                                                                   
     Pocket Bevel Gauge                               Dowel Gauge                              Make a large Caliper



Thursday, June 22, 2017

Dog Elevator



The last project was my scissor lift. I wanted to try something different and make a dog elevator to help my dogs get up on  the couch. To do this I would have change the position of the drill so I could reach it easier and from a different angle.

I have three dogs and they always want to go on the couch, I have some dog stairs but they don't like to use them. When I reach over to lift them they run away, so I thought an elevator may be the solution.



                                                                                                           

Since I will be using my Scissor lift from my last project I wanted to be able to make the new addition that was easy enough  attach and take off. Maybe I will have to build two of them.

This is the video for my Scissor lift ......

  




                                         Dog elevator video                      

                                           


 Pin Gears



To start I will make the gears. I first cut a circle from some plywood and using a caliper I divided it and drilled 10 holes for the dowels.  6 holes will be drilled into the smaller gear.


I used 3/8 inch dowels  for the pins. I cut 16 small piece dowels using my small bandsaw sled.  This goes very fast and  accurate. Since everything is set up cutting a few extra is a good idea.

                                     
A file is used to roll over one end of  the dowels, this will crush the wood a bit and be good for the glue to adhere.  




A slot is cut in the side piece. To do this I cut one side until it hit the stopblock, moved it over and cut the other side. Then the end was cleaned up with the band saw.



A couple of guides were cut and screwed onto the side then a small piece of 1/4 plywood is cut to fit exactly in the guide. Careful measuring and cutting the pieces makes everything move smooth. I find a caliper is best to make precise measurements.



These 2 -3/4" plywood  blocks are clamped and drilled, they will be used to guide the threaded rod and small gear.




The ends are rounded ......


....and screwed onto the 1/4 inch plywood slide. 



Two brackets are screwed onto the bottom and the side to hold the slide and gears. Removing the bottom screws of these brackets will make it  easy if ever you want to take off the side.


 Plastic gliudes are put on the bottom to protect the hardwood floor. 






A couple of nuts are used to adjust the height of the threaded rod. A large washer would be a good idea if this thing gets a lot of use.




I haven't checked the max weight it will lift but it lifts these tools and my larger dog no problem.






Molly sitting proud on the elevator. She does not understand it but is not bothered by the noise and she does get on the couch. With a little training I think it will be easier.


Conclusion

My dogs will go on this elevator but will take some training. The lift is very easy to take apart so I can use it in my shop as a work table any time I need too. 

Building slides and gears is fun and this project was very simple.

I hope this motivates you to build something creative.

What else can a lift be used for?

See Also


                                                                                            

         Hovercraft table                                          Angle drilling jig                               Scroll holder                                                                           




Saturday, June 3, 2017

How to Make a Scissor Lift Table

Tables are handy for any workshop and having a scissor lift table is even better. Here I will show you a simple way to make your own lift table.

It can be used for  tools when you need a special height, or  as tool tray and adjusted to the level you are working with so tools are easy to reach. And don't forget it works nice as a computer desk.




Of course you can make it any size you want, and if you make it larger it will hold more weight, and then you can sit on it.

           

    Top and Bottom

For the top and bottom I used a piece of  5/8th inch mahogany.  The pieces are cut to  13 by 20 inches. This is a good size since it will fit a laptop computer which are average  14x16 inches.
  
  


  Top Frame  

                                                                            
                  

The tablesaw and single blade are used to make a dado cut for cutting part of the frame. A stop block and miter gauge are used. Once the fence is set to the right distance you can just  chip away until you get the size dado cut.



A hole is drilled in the center through one of the end pieces,  this will be for the  threaded rod. 




The frame is ready to be put together. Some glue and a couple of brad nails will do the trick. One of the top boards will be screwed on top which will make it even stronger. 


This piece will fit inside the frame and support one side of the cross brace. The notch is for clearance for the threaded rod.

Cross Bracing
Hardwood should be used for the cross bracing if you want it stronger.  I decided to use spruce since this table is a prototype and test table. I will still keep and use it for  lifting light objects. 

  
                                       

My miter gauge and  stop block  were used to cut the braces 15  1/2". This way goes very fast and very accurate.







After the cross brace pieces were cut to the exact length the ends were cut round using the bandsaw. They were then clamped together and brought over to the belt sander.  This does a very nice job and because when clamped they sand more uniform. 

                                      

                                The braces were reclamped and this time a hole was drilled down the center for the bolt.



I should have used carriage bolts but did not have any so I used regular bolts. I used the end of my table saw top  that has a small hole in it then hammered the bolt flush into the wood.




After all the holes were drilled in the braces I used screws to attach everything together. The screws are temporary, I use this method to make sure everything lines up and moves correctly. If any changes are needed the holes can be enlarged and small changes can still be made to give me a perfect fit.




Threaded Rod



A 1/2 inch threaded rod was cut to 21 inches.  To do this I used My Angle Grinder. I am getting a lot of use from this grinder holder and it works so simple.
                                                            


A small metal plate is screwed on one end, this will be for the threaded rod so it does not dig into the wood. To lubricate you can add a small drop of oil to the end of the threaded rod.


The cross braces are now attached to the frame, again I am using screws, this way if I need to make any adjustment I can do so. Everything lined up on my first try so now larger nuts and bolts can be used. 




The last thing was to put on the top panel, this was put on with a couple of screws. This will make is easy if it ever has to be taken apart.

The drill was put on the threaded rod and the table was raised and lowered with ease.
I tried a computer,  belt sander and other tools, everything lowered and raised with ease. There is a bit of wobble but that is not a problem.  

Conclusion

What a fun project for the workshop. Making different sizes or a very  large one  would be very a good idea. I know there are many other uses for it in the shop. For now I will use this one mainly as a computer desk.  

I like the tool tray idea when you work at different levels the lift table can be adjusted to keep your tools close and at your fingertips.

What else do you think it can be used for? 


See Also:


                                                                                   

Wood clipboard                           Drill jig                                  Small computer stand