$5 Incremental Stop Block

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Blog entry by SPalm posted 01-01-2011 07:00 PM 22326 reads 71 times favorited 58 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I think this is pretty cool. It is more than an incremental positioner. It is a removable stop block that can be replaced exactly where it was, or any distance from that original spot. The increment is every 1/32 inch, with micro adjust. I am still playing with the idea, and would appreciate any comments.

OK, the threaded rods on top of the fence and inside the stop block do not move. The threads on them just lock into each other, and then the plastic bolt is tightened. The threads just really need to engage, and do not need to be tightly pressed against each other. The rod size is 10-32: size 10, 32 teeth per inch. This is also called Fine Pitch, and can be hard to find in rod form. Do not use 10-24, but 8-32 maybe easier to find (but it is a little thinner). Rod size 10-32 is easy to buy online.

I ran a groove down the top of the fence for the rod to sit in. The rod is just proud of the groove when it is laying in it. I added maple plates on the ends. The hole through the plate furthest from the blade is tapped (threaded) and the one closest to the blade is just barely large enough for the rod to pass through. I installed these plates on the rod, and then glued the plates to the fence.

I added a stiffener to the back of the fence with magnets to hold a ruler. This allows the scale to be moved depending on the situation, the fence angle, etc.
I added a double wing nut contraption to be able to micro-adjust the rod. The rod is fairly hard to turn (which is good, and planned), and this allowed me to turn it both directions, as the nuts lock into each other.

The short rod that is in the groove on the stop block is glued into place. I tapped a hole for the plastic locking bolt. I tried a knob here, but it bumped into my miter gauge knob. And I added a hinge to allow it to be flipped up for cutoffs. But I guess you really don’t need this on a removable stop, I just happen to have a bunch of wooden hinges :)


To be able to cut threaded rod like this, you need a screw cutter. I use a tool like the one shown. I thread the rod into it and squeeze like hell to cut it. A little bit of fine sandpaper eases the edges.

Here is a photo of my first test cuts. I set the stop block to 1 inch, and ran the blade through. I then repeatedly removed the stop block, turned myself in a circle to make sure I was not cheating, repositioned the bock 1/4 inch away, and did another cut. Pudding = Proof.

I believe this has potential for various other positioners. My brain is also working on a router fence with this concept.


Note: at the redo of the pictures, I found two more of the slidy thing.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

58 comments so far

View Cantputjamontoast's profile


416 posts in 4894 days

#1 posted 01-01-2011 07:11 PM


it is awful nice!!!

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4803 days

#2 posted 01-01-2011 07:12 PM

now here is thought un-checked

well done
simple and accurate

which direction should i turn in

to get the best results ? lol

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View wellington's profile


60 posts in 4333 days

#3 posted 01-01-2011 07:12 PM

okay, this is pretty brilliant.

-- I want to be a space ship when I grow up.

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 4449 days

#4 posted 01-01-2011 07:17 PM

Hey Steve. Thanks for the idea. I will print this off to take to the shop to study. I have seen similar commercial products to this, buy never shop built. I see great potential too.
Thanks again

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1628 posts in 5026 days

#5 posted 01-01-2011 07:30 PM

Not much to add here but this is Brilliant! Can you add a replaceable piece for the saw kerf?

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 4292 days

#6 posted 01-01-2011 07:38 PM

Great idea and well executed. This will be a favorite for sure.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View blockhead's profile


1475 posts in 4770 days

#7 posted 01-01-2011 07:52 PM

It’s things like these that make me think you really are a “rocket surgeon”. Simply brilliant!

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 4405 days

#8 posted 01-01-2011 07:59 PM

Hi Steve, Neat use of wood hinges. Now you´ve gotta a wood hinge machine !
Indeed would be a good addition to the router fence and also to any mitre or TS sled as well.
I have been thinking of a flip stop, and even bought some plastic roughed hinges. But was unable to predict how much play will end on that. So machining the wood hinges as you did might outcome a rigid hinge.
I love the rod idea.
Happy New year, and take care.

-- Back home. Fernando

View DrAllred's profile


137 posts in 4284 days

#9 posted 01-01-2011 08:32 PM

That is a great idea, I’ll have to make one and attach it to my Incra miter gauge also…

Have you thought about extending a side of the block down closer to the ruler to be more accurate, and making a replacement section of the fence where the blade cuts, this would give you the ability to use this with a dado blade also. Just a thought.

-- David, Mesa Arizona

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5343 days

#10 posted 01-01-2011 08:48 PM

Hey all, thanks. I believe this could work in a lot of situations.

David, Good idea on a sliding side. I was thinking a rule scribe Plexiglas thing. And yes, closer to the rule would be great. I wanted to make sure that the threads contacted, so hence the space. I over compensated a bit, and I was using a thicker ruler to start with. This is still in the prototype stage, that is why it is blogs and not projects.

I am toying with making the whole positioner detachable from the fence. With a couple of dowel holes, It could be a very nice jig that is then attached to disposable fences. Not just for dados, but angled cuts too. I donknow. And you don’t always need it.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View sras's profile (online now)


6701 posts in 4591 days

#11 posted 01-01-2011 09:06 PM

This is a really great idea! You have it pretty well refined as it is. Here are a few ideas to ponder…

One suggestion might be to make the slider rod longer. I am thinking of how things can go wrong and there might be a chance of bumping this and lifting the stop. A longer rod on top would make it harder to bump out of place. Even a small lift on one end will shift the position of the stop.

As mentioned above, I have had good success with cutting threaded material with a hacksaw. I thread the nut on first, then touch up the cut with a file. After unthreading the nut, I clean up the threads a bit with a triangle file.

Another idea would be to add a magnet to hold the flip stop up. Maybe move the hinge line up higher to clear taller stock as well. A wider hinge would increase stability as well.

Maybe add a groove for the locking bolt to register into. That would be an additional deterrent for the stop getting nudged out of place.

I wonder if you could bend some rod into an arc and create a angular positioning jig?? Could be tricky …

Once again – AWESOME idea! I am looking forward to how this evolves.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View sras's profile (online now)


6701 posts in 4591 days

#12 posted 01-01-2011 09:09 PM

Another thought … 24 threads per inch would let you split an inch into 12, 6 and 3 parts per inch – not possible with 32. Might be worth having different thread pitch depending on your needs.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Diggerjacks's profile


2331 posts in 4600 days

#13 posted 01-01-2011 09:20 PM

Hello Spalm
A very good idea

I’m thinking to put one like this on my future crosscut sled

Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View degoose's profile


7287 posts in 4816 days

#14 posted 01-01-2011 09:27 PM

Just like the incra fence and stop block.. only crunchy…

-- Be safe.

View sedcokid's profile


2738 posts in 5060 days

#15 posted 01-01-2011 09:38 PM

Steve, what a great idea. There are endless possibilities for this little tool. I like some of the ideas that have been mentioned. I think this is a must have tool and will make one.

Thanks for sharing your idea!


-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

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