IN-LINE INDUSTRIES - A-Line It System (Rating: 4)

First, some back-story: I'm the less-than proud owner of a Craftsman 21833 tablesaw and, for those of you who don't know, it's a TS that's not known for being consistently precise (read: I spend a lot of time adjusting it). I had been using the old, cheap, method of a brass tack driven into a board that was then clamped to the miter gauge for aligning the blade to the table. It worked ok, but I never could seem to get it to where my joints were perfectly square and on my most recent build, I discovered that several pieces I had cut were in fact way off costing me $40 in wasted lumber; not to mention the fact that I was so frustrated I stayed out of the shop for a week.

That's where the A-Line It comes in. I had heard of it before, but the $80 price tag had always soured me on getting one, as I figured the way I was doing it was good enough. Obviously it wasn't. After the incident mentioned above, I decided to quit being so cheap and splurge. I spent an hour tweaking my saw, starting with the blade, then the fence, and finally the miter gauge. It turned out that half of my problem was my miter gauge was about .020" out of square when set at the 90 position, which of course meant that every adjustment I made using my old method was .020" off. Using a square and my eye, it looked perfect, so there you go. After all that, I ran a test piece through, and what do you know? It was dead-nuts on.

So, it's a great tool for setting up your TS, and the included instructions also give direction on using it to set up a jointer (which I don't own) and no doubt I'll find other uses for it. I have two little complaints; one is the base is anodized aluminum, and they got the anodizing on a little thick because I had trouble getting some of the screws to move in their respective holes, and I don't have a tap in that size to chase the threads with. The second and related gripe is because of that, I had difficulty getting the base adjusted so it sat tight and flush in my miter slots. Not a big deal, but still annoying.

In summation, this is a great, precise, albeit somewhat pricy, tool for setting up your various woodworking machines. Though when you think about it, after blowing hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on a TS, spending another eighty bucks to make sure it's truly accurate is money well spent.