Dial Indicator/Mighty Mag Case in Cherry

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Project by matt garcia posted 04-28-2009 04:58 AM 5905 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently bought a 1” travel indicator and a mighty mag to try and get my saw blade perfectly aligned with the miter slot on my Delta contractor saw. After seeing the Forrest Saw Blade display at the Houston Woodworking Show a few weeks ago, and seeing how well they had their Delta contractor saw aligned, and the scratch free cuts they were producing I have to tell you, I was jealous!

I’ve always had good results out of my Forrest WW2 blade, but after checking the run out on the blade, and finding 0.10” run out, I thought I could get it a bit closer with a travel indicator. Well after a couple hours of trial , error, and adjustments both with and without the belt on, I got it to 0.002”. I discovered that my contractor saw experiences a pull to the left of .002 with the belt on resulting in a 0.004 total front to back. So I had to adjust it to .002 on the other side of 0.00 to compensate for the play in the bearing. Now the blade is 0.001 on each side of 0.00 front to back.

Once I had it adjusted out, and my blade at 90 degrees, I ripped and cross cut these pieces of cherry with no scratch marks! I am happy, and no longer jealous!

My indicator came in a styrofoam case, and the Mighty Mag came in a cardboard package. Being a woodworker, and recognizing the value of my new acquisitions, I decided to celebrate my achievement by building this case to protect my new investments! All the boring was done on my new 17” Jet Woodworking drill press, with various forstener bits, and hand chiseling, and shaping on the case. The lid has a hand carved relief for the crystal on the indicator. Finished in 3 coats gloss polyurethane, with felt feet on the bottom. Hope you guys like it!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

13 comments so far

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4180 days

#1 posted 04-28-2009 05:05 AM

Looks nice matt.

View DavidH's profile


519 posts in 4249 days

#2 posted 04-28-2009 05:22 AM

nice box! and a nice gage as well.

-- David - Houston, Texas. (

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4498 days

#3 posted 04-28-2009 05:35 AM

Fancy :)

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View a1Jim's profile


117721 posts in 4084 days

#4 posted 04-28-2009 06:16 AM

That’s the way to take care of new equipment. The box is great.

View Dusty56's profile


11852 posts in 4195 days

#5 posted 04-28-2009 06:31 AM

Those mitered corners are barely noticeable , Matt ! LMAO …Great job and an awesome idea for your new toys : ) I purchased a gauge set like yours a couple weeks ago and now you’ve inspired me to put it to use . Thanks for posting this , Matt , and have a great day : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18671 posts in 4182 days

#6 posted 04-28-2009 06:43 AM

Matt, What is the Mighty Mag, a mount for the indicator? What do you do with the dial indicator, find a “0”, then measure how far out it goes with the plunger?

Box looks great. Should be bullet proof protection for the instruments.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4328 days

#7 posted 04-28-2009 02:03 PM

Matt, this is a really nice box. You could have simply made it out of mdf since it is a piece for the shop but I have come to appreciate the extra effort that goes into producing for the shop that is not only functional but looks good as well.

You did a good job on aligning your saw too by the way. It can be a challenge but producing burn free cuts in cherry is well worth the effort.

Here is a picture of some cherry rails and stiles that I cut on the Craftsman saw I used to have. It took me about 15 minutes to get the saw aligned and tuned before making the cuts. So I can well appreciate the effort you put into getting yours tuned.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View steiner's profile


284 posts in 3857 days

#8 posted 04-28-2009 02:42 PM

Great project, Matt.

I’ve got kind of the same question as Survivor, I assume the Mighty Mag does basically the same thing as the TS-Aligner (Jr?). I’d be interested to hear how it compares from anyone who knows.

-- Scott

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1910 posts in 4178 days

#9 posted 04-28-2009 02:52 PM


Yeah, it’s about the same, only I spent $57.00 on the two components. You could get it cheaper if you go with a Chinese mag, and indicator.

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View Dusty56's profile


11852 posts in 4195 days

#10 posted 04-28-2009 05:34 PM

I got mine on sale at Harbor Freight..magnetic base and dial indicator . I couldn’t justify spending big bucks on a seldom used item to get the same results. : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View colbynorwood's profile


45 posts in 3875 days

#11 posted 04-28-2009 11:40 PM

just a little trick i use is to loosen up the blade and put some metal shim stock on one side of the blade and tighten it back up, its simple after you figure out your runout to do the math to see how much shim you have to add, and as long as you tighten it up nice you wont have to worry about it coming loose but i wouldnt try more than .010 shim or so. being a machinist i do this with a horizontal milling machine climb milling steel all the time and it has never came loose, also if you dont have the right thickness blade you can do this to make the blade wobble to get the right width you need. and i work at starretts so i get free indicators and bases :)

great looking box and you will find many great uses for that indicator

-- Colby Norwood- learn how to measure, measure once, cut once

View Dusty56's profile


11852 posts in 4195 days

#12 posted 04-29-2009 06:29 AM

That reminds me that I need to check my drill press ,It seems to go off at an angle when I get close to the end of travel : (

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 3795 days

#13 posted 03-04-2010 03:04 PM

good work and pretty nice review of the mity mag and dial indicator as well, i was a bit hesitent to get one but now i see how well it works and figure i need one. THANKS!

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

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