Dial Indicator Fixture for the Table Saw

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Blog entry by SirFatty posted 07-27-2012 05:29 PM 5088 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Since this project is most definitely not made of wood, I thought I best make this a blog entry and not a project. I wanted a solid platform to mount a magnetic base used with the dial indicator to adjust my table saw. The goal was to create a tool that would slide back and forth in the miter slot and not require a lot of adjustment.

I decided to use some bar stock, about 7/8” in diameter, just slightly larger than the slot. This would accomplish two things, first there would not have to be any adjustments in the miter slot to adjust out any slop, the bar sits nicely on the corners. Since the surface contact is at a minimum, it slides easily when required.

Next, I wanted a solid piece of steel to attach the magnet to, so 1/4” plate was selected for the task.

The finished project:

It works great, was cheap (free, access to scrap and tool room at work) and will last forever.

Thanks for looking!

-- Visit my blog at

6 comments so far

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9910 posts in 3444 days

#1 posted 07-27-2012 06:21 PM

nice job Fatty…

I’ve done something similar by attaching my magnetic base to my miter gauge.

It’s kind of a hastle to set up, but if I hold the miter track firm up against the inside edge of the slot, I get an accurate reading.

I like your little jig a lot better….

And I may just have some lonely black iron pipe sitting around somewheres…...

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5168 days

#2 posted 07-27-2012 07:47 PM

COOL jig, SirFatty!

Where do you work?
... sure is a cool place to work! LOL

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View SirFatty's profile


547 posts in 3328 days

#3 posted 07-27-2012 08:46 PM

ssnvet, thanks! Just keep in mind that the two bars have to be exactly parallel or it won’t sit flat.

Joe, I’m an IT Manager at a medium size machine shop that does turned machining with CNC and older type screw machines. It really is a great place to work!

-- Visit my blog at

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4609 posts in 4225 days

#4 posted 07-28-2012 02:33 AM

Also, you might want to think about putting a simple ball or small point on the “outrigger”. Then you are not dependent on getting that possibly difficult parallelism achieved, since you’re just coasting on the table for that end. If the slot is straight and true, you don’t need an extra rail…and that is actually what you will use to cut wood. In part of my work, I routinely align machinery within .001” and one arc-second, and can attest to the pain of getting two rails parallel, some over a travel of as far as 18 feet.

ssnvet, I’m not sure that that black iron pipe is going to be smooth enough to do you right. It might be OK, but it depends on how closely you want to align the blade. Something to think about- that pipe can be pretty lumpy, and SirFatty’s bar stock is going to be pretty true.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View Grandpa's profile


3264 posts in 3791 days

#5 posted 07-28-2012 02:48 AM

My first thought was to use on piece of bar and then not worry about being parallel but then I realized that edge of the plate would have to be parallel to the bar. So, why wouldn’t a screw or post of some kind on that far edge work? Use the bar in the slot and a 3rd point on the outside. Use the same as shown in your photos? this would be easier for common folks without a machine shop to assist them. Polished and ground shafting can be bought and it is not too expensive in my area. I do live in a world of machine shops though. Am I overlooking something?

View SirFatty's profile


547 posts in 3328 days

#6 posted 07-28-2012 11:04 AM

AtomJack, Grandpa, you are both correct. I could have simplified the design by using a third point instead of a bar, and not have to worry about getting dead parallel. Thanks for the feedback!

-- Visit my blog at

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