Conejo Valley Woodworkers Association
Guide to Jigs and Fixtures
October 2004 Supplement to the Bladerunner

Jig: Setup fixtures and gauges Reference: #003
Presenter: Arlen Handberg Used with: All Shop Machines
Full resolution images are available by clicking on the embedded images.

Arlen Handberg has developed a number of fixtures to assist the woodworker in performing the initial and routine setup of stationary shop machines.

Arlen's first fixture is a 3-point adjustment gauge used to set a saw blade to exactly 90 degrees. The fixture is comprised of a small stable wood plank about ¾" thick, 6" long and 4" wide (these dimensions are not critical) and a small wood block to hold the dial indicator. The dial indicator is retained with a small plastic knob. The dial indicator works as the third contact point with two small acorn nuts acting as the two non-adjustable contact points. This jig can be utilizes on the tablesaw, miter saw or even portable circular saw. In use the jig sits on the tool surface and slides up to the blade, with the three metal contact points touching the saw blade. The dial indicator is zeroed at this step and the gauge is rotated to the opposite side of the saw blade. Any difference between the zeroed reading on the first side and the second reading would be double the difference that the blade is out of square. The user would adjust the blade for one half the difference and verify the results by zeroing out the dial indicator and checking the first side again.

Arlen's second fixture is used for adjusting the tablesaw miter slot parallel to the saw blade. The wooden members, two blocks of wood screwed and glued together to form an "L" are then secured to the tablesaw miter gauge and the dial indicator is mounted through a hole in the short leg. A small plastic handled knob retains the dial indicator in position. Once attached to the miter gauge, the dial indicator is zeroed out on one tooth at the front of the blade. The blade is then rotated back and using the same saw tooth from the front of the blade, a measurement is taken at the back of the blade. Depending on the type of saw the adjustment is made to either the trunnion carriage or tabletop. You'll get your most accurate readings if you raise you saw blade at least 2_" from the table surface. As we can see in the photo on the right this same fixture works well for adjusting the saw fence parallel to the blade.

Arlen's third fixture is used for setting the height of any cutting tool, but is most likely used for setting knifes in a jointer or for setting the bed rollers in a planer. As shown in the photos below, the fixture consists of three wood blocks assembled to form a cross, with an added spacer at the foot. Small acorn nuts are used as the three contact points with the dial indicator set in the middle of the fixture. Similar to the two fixtures above, a small plastic knob retains the dial indicator in position.