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Thread: Table Saw Alignment Plate

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Flint, TX
    Posts
    73

    Table Saw Alignment Plate

    I see that Woodpeckers has a new table saw surface ground steel alignment plate along with a stainless steel 90-degree triangle for table saw alignment costing $200.00. I know that other companies have similar plates for about half the cost. I was wondering whether a 10 inch diameter plate glass disc with a 5/8 diameter arbor hole would an inexpensive alternative. Also, would a 10-inch 3/8 thick diameter aluminum plate that is face turned on a lathe so that both surfaces are parallel on both sides accomplish aligning a table saw? Any answers or experience would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2022
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    187
    I have their "saw gauge 2.0" which is incredible and super easy to setup the saw. I just don't really get this piece of kit. I think using my most common blade makes more sense than something that is more accurate but doesn't actually do the cutting. I love Woodpeckers stuff, but I just don't really get this over what I already have (I see they use the gauge I own to "measure").

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Flint, TX
    Posts
    73
    I have the Woodpecker saw gauge original 1.0 and use it on a single tooth of my saw blade that I mark and rotate from front to back and check with the guage.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    McKean, PA
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    14,852
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Davis View Post
    I have the Woodpecker “saw gauge original 1.0” and use it on a single tooth of my saw blade that I mark and rotate from front to back and check with the guage.
    Be careful using a tooth as your reference point as some manufacturers hollow grind the sides of the teeth, which can add error to your measurements. Use the tooth root instead because it is flat and a larger target.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    NE OH
    Posts
    2,407
    I have the freud 10" calibration and sanding disk, which is just a 10" round piece of ground steel with a 5/8 hole and use it with the original woodpecker saw gauge. The freud disk is only about $35 dollars. I find it easier to use than a saw blade, although I still mark the disk and use the same point as the reference front and back. Where I find it really easier to use than a saw blade is when setting the angle of the blade with a square or a bevel gauge because there is no worry about avoiding a blade tooth or worry about whether or not the saw blank is taper ground.

    Is it that much easier than using a saw blade? A little easier, but not a lot. For one thing, you have to remove the blade and install the disk.
    Does it produce better results than using a saw blade? Maybe, but using a saw blade is good enough. A couple thousandths one way or the other just doesn't matter in woodworking.

    Would I buy it again? For 35$ probably. Would I spend a couple hundred for a better one...nah.

    I wish Freud made a 12" one with a 1" hole for setting up a miter saw. When doing that, the blade teeth seem to always be in the way, more so than on the table saw.
    --The bad news is: time flies. The good news is: you're the pilot.-- (Michael Altshuler)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    8,358
    Get a hunk of metal, drill a hole at each end and get it surface ground on both sides to be parallel.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2022
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    187
    Im with you Paul. I just measure the same part of the saw just below the teeth and it has worked for me just fine. If Im out of square the beautiful furniture that comes out doesnt know the difference LOL.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Great Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    217
    Anybody try a Forrest (or similar) dampener/stiffener? Forrest claims theirs are ground flat within .001".

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
    Posts
    5,282
    I have always wondered if a simple circle of 3/4" melamine with a hole drilled in it would be accurate? It sure seems flat to me?

    Any one ever tried it?

    Yeah, I am a cheapskate.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    FINGER LAKES AREA , CENTRAL NEW YORK STATE
    Posts
    123
    I have a set of DeWalt plates that I bought years ago. I recently started using them again when I started cutting wedges for segmented bowls.
    Currently I have both plates installed, previously I had used only one plate.
    My saw is a 50+ year old Sears 10 inch I bought new in the early 70's it is in very good shape but it still is a Sears saw .
    Additionally I have kicked up the blade speed by 15% via a slightly larger pulley on the motor shaft.


    Here are my observations using the plates.
    I really don't see any real improvement in the cut quality with one or both plates in place. Could be simply my crappy saw support and the stupid way the motor mounts on the saw.
    Keep in mind that these plates are typically 6 inches in diameter (10 inch blade). Most of the blade wobble flexure from the cut will take place far above that diameter. While the plates do add considerably to the rotating mass I believe their major contribution is mostly that. Increasing the mass changes the harmonics of the rotating element and possibly adding a dampening effect if the blade is excited from the cut. In short the pltes reduce wobble etc by not preventing it but by calming it down if and when it happens from the cut. Again it all comes down to the blade quality and condition.
    You will lose some blade height as raising the blade raises the plates also, I lose about 25% of the cut depth when the plates rise above the table.
    I find elements like blade wabble are reduced on start up and roll down but can't honestly say there is much to report in the actual quality of the cut.
    Lastly I think there is not much benefit (in my situation) given the crappy saw I have. I can't imagine the plates would add anything to a quality saw like a cabinet saw.
    Most of the variables I see are controlled with the quality of the saw blade I use, there is wher I think you best advantage is.
    FYI i paid I think around $35 for my plates but still don't see the value.
    Just my two cents worth.
    calabrese55

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    236
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Potter View Post
    I have always wondered if a simple circle of 3/4" melamine with a hole drilled in it would be accurate? It sure seems flat to me?

    Any one ever tried it?

    Yeah, I am a cheapskate.
    I used to do this. I had a book that showed a trick where you'd take a strip of wood/plywood/MDF that is like 10" long (but narrow) and drill a hole for the arbor in one end. Then you move the strip to the front and back when you're measuring. The benefit is that you can measure the alignment well past the extent of a 10" blade so you should theoretically be able to get it dialed in more easily.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    7,760
    Have been plenty happy enough with this one:

    https://www.forrestblades.com/accessories/masterplate/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Eagle, WI
    Posts
    94
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Varley View Post
    I used to do this. I had a book that showed a trick where you'd take a strip of wood/plywood/MDF that is like 10" long (but narrow) and drill a hole for the arbor in one end. Then you move the strip to the front and back when you're measuring. The benefit is that you can measure the alignment well past the extent of a 10" blade so you should theoretically be able to get it dialed in more easily.
    I adopted a similar method demonstrated by Steven Woodward:

    https://youtu.be/tOHy69VmNwk

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Varley View Post
    I used to do this. I had a book that showed a trick where you'd take a strip of wood/plywood/MDF that is like 10" long (but narrow) and drill a hole for the arbor in one end. Then you move the strip to the front and back when you're measuring. The benefit is that you can measure the alignment well past the extent of a 10" blade so you should theoretically be able to get it dialed in more easily.
    John White's book "Care and Repair of Shop Machines." John was shop manager for FWW for several years. You need to add a center line to the length of the plywood, and mark where you referenced, so as to use same point. Instead of buying a plate, get a steel, 100 tooth plywood blade. Again mark reference point.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    New Westminster BC
    Posts
    2,448
    If you stop and think about the geometry involved, it doesn't matter what you use as long as you reference the same spot on the blade, plate or bar and it doesn't flex. The area should be flat so a small variation in where you measure doesn't affect the measurement but an inch away it doesn't matter. A longer bar or larger diameter plate or blade, again based on the geometry, multiplies the error if the saw is out of alignment so you can achieve a more accurate result. A $200 precision ground plate is a device designed to extract $200 from your wallet.

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