Dial Indicator Sled for Calibrating Table Saw

I own this cheap dial indicator set, and while it is indeed cheap it works fine for calibrating my table saw.  My only complaint is that its versatile base and arm system just doesn’t work that well for this purpose, especially for setting up the fence where sliding the indicator causes the small base to wobble and also scratch the cast iron top.

My solution was to make something a bit like Woodpecker’s Saw Gauge, only about $59 cheaper.

20180415_093020
Enter the dial indicator sled!

As you can see, it’s just a scrap of 1/2″ plywood with a rail glued on, onto which the indicator is bolted.  Because it’s wood it nicely slides on the table saw surface, and because it has a long edge it registers well against the fence.

While the rail should be somewhat squarely attached it (thankfully) doesn’t have to be all that precise.  We’re only interested in relative distances (how much the needle moves), not absolute numbers.

Here are some more photos, including it being used against a Master Plate to calibrate my sliding table and the fence.

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