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Thread: I'm no Luddite but

  1. #1
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    I'm no Luddite but

    I'm no Luddite but are we getting carried away with technology in our woodworking ? I just saw an ad for a Wixey digital angle gauge with Bluetooth that talks to you ,and can be controlled by your phone. Do we really need that to measure an angle?
    Ok,maybe I'm a Luddite
    Dennis

  2. #2
    Well, I dont need all that, for sure. I have a basic Wixey gauge a love that thing just as it is.
    Sometimes it seems like they add bluetooth and a phone app just to appeal to the folks who love gadgetry (many folks do).
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  3. #3
    I haven't even gone digital yet for angle gauges, but I can see where it could be handy to read the gauge from somewhere that it is hard to see while setting the angle when setting up some saws. The spoken angle or the phone screen could be handy for that.

    On the other hand sometimes i think there are phone apps and other technology applied just because it can be done and not because it should.

  4. #4
    I have a Beall angle gauge that I routinely use when setting angles on my woodworking equipment because the fat metal fingers pointing at 5 or 10 degree increments on the scales provided by manufacturers are not adequate for the task. However, I do not need one that talks to me because my eyes are able to read may angle gauge.
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    This guy needs a gauge that talks to him. To be honest he probably uses a adjustable square and matches a existing angle to mate up.
    Bill D.

    https://www.spokesman.com/stories/20...ernate-vision/

  6. #6
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    What does "need" have anything to do with it? Products like you describe will appeal to some folks and not to others. I'm digital all the way when I can be, but yea, I don't need the Bluetooth read-out, although given it would play in my hearing aids, I'd at least not feel all alone in the shop...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
    Maybe? I guess it depends on the goal. Saw one guy who decided to hand plane an entire wooden floor, rather than using a normal powered sander. To him we're probably the guys with the crazy tech. I feel similarly about CNC. I'm fine with cutting things out on my bandsaw, and don't see any need for a CNC to do it.

    But I'm just doing this mostly for my own amusement, if I had a production shop, I might think differently (or I might find the CNC is actually slower than the bandsaw).

    There are lots of tools that have at best niche applications, or could be done dozens of ways, or are simply not practical.

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    I use a dial indicator when setting the height of my saw blade for dado's. I can only read the fine needles on the gauge if I get down on my knees. Likewise for tilting the blade, I use a magnetic Wixey gauge, although that is digital, I can only see the screen when down on my knees.

    I can see where seeing the setting on my phone might be easier.

  9. #9
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    Not sure about interface with the wixey bt all that digital/bluetooth angle/distance/height stuff seems unnecessary though it is a major game changer for guys doing field work. I ran a bluetooth setup for measuring jobs and the speed and time savings for being able to walk into a space and snap measures, they go straight it a drawing, angles, height adjustments (as many as you want), and so on.

    The mere speed and elimination of paper/written notes where things are missed, transcribed errors, and so on, are night and day for someone willing to make the change.

    My guess is the wixey has pretty much zero interface with any outbound apps/software so im not sure why you'd want to look at your phone instead of the onboard display.

    My guess is adding bluetooth likely costs very little in todays money so gimick. But a lot of the interfaced measuring devices out now even at the consumer level are super handy.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA Edwards View Post
    I use a dial indicator when setting the height of my saw blade for dado's. I can only read the fine needles on the gauge if I get down on my knees. Likewise for tilting the blade, I use a magnetic Wixey gauge, although that is digital, I can only see the screen when down on my knees.

    I can see where seeing the setting on my phone might be easier.
    Mabe you need to invest in an inexpensive back plunge indicator so your dial is facing up?
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dennis thompson View Post
    I'm no Luddite but are we getting carried away with technology in our woodworking ? I just saw an ad for a Wixey digital angle gauge with Bluetooth that talks to you ,and can be controlled by your phone. Do we really need that to measure an angle?
    Ok,maybe I'm a Luddite
    I think companies add things like that just because they can do it at an insignificant cost. It may convince some people to part with their money. I have the "dumb" Wixey but a generally prefer the Starrett protractor head with a bubble level. The battery is always at full charge.

    JKJ

  12. #12
    We offer Bluetooth calipers as an option on some of the widebelt sanders and edgebanders. Have not personally used or sold one with that option but looks to me like your pretty standard set of digital calibers (obviously) with BT ability. I think it adds a couple of hundred dollars. Just like the auto industry, "connectivity" is probably a big value-adder.

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  13. #13
    I often use the camera on my phone to look at something where I can't get my head in the right position to see. I can guess there may be situations where you need to measure an angle where you can't see the angle gage. You might also not have a free hand to hold a phone so getting an audible reading of the angle thru your phone might occasionally come in handy. With technology today not sure it would add more than a few bucks to the cost. You can buy a stand alone Bluetooth transmitter for under $10.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Garson View Post
    I often use the camera on my phone to look at something where I can't get my head in the right position to see. I
    LOL...I actually had to do that the other day to get the serial number off my J/P...which was on the back toward the wall in a space not compatible with my, um...head....
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #15
    This would be useful if you were, say, adjusting the leveling legs of a saw or table or something and had the sensor on the base. You could sit on the floor with your wrench and watch the readout on your phone. If I was buying one I'd pay an extra $10 for a Bluetooth connection option.

    The last multimeter I got has Bluetooth on it. I haven't had a use for it yet but being able to stick the meter on something and monitor it from somewhere else has the potential to be incredibly useful, even for something like finding a breaker (though I have a breaker sniffer for that!)

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