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DRO's on a table saw

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 06-09-2018 06:14 PM 840 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MrRon

5195 posts in 3446 days


06-09-2018 06:14 PM

Has anyone put a DRO (digital readout) on their table saw or any other machine tool? I have been thinking of putting one on my saw so I can fine tune the fence when ripping. The DRO’s I am looking at don’t cost an arm and a leg; usually under $35 and much less (made in China naturally). They are used on metal working machines and almost everyone who does any metal working with a lathe or milling machine has one and they are found to be indispensable. I have been reading up on them and they seem to be pretty easy to install. I’m wondering if variable factors, like blade wear and fence misalignment would negate the benefit of a DRO.


13 replies so far

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1240 posts in 2155 days


#1 posted 06-09-2018 06:24 PM

I have no experience to offer. I would, however, point to this quote that you posted about fifteen minutes ago in another thread:

”Those who do homework can many times discover the answer and not have to ask on the forum.”

If you use the LumberJocks search function and look for “digital table saw readout”, you will find many hits including reviews and other posts on this very forum.

lumberjocks.com/reviews/product/1192

lumberjocks.com/topics/219281

lumberjocks.com/TheMrWoody/blog/74354

lumberjocks.com/reviews/1995

And on, and on, and on.

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2653 posts in 1143 days


#2 posted 06-09-2018 07:46 PM

I put a Wixey Saw Fence Digital readout on my saw and it has been useful for incremental cuts. It’s easy to install.

Link

Edit: To answer your other questions – You zero out against the blade – meaning the fence lightly touching the blade. You can do this any time you feel things are off.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View msinc's profile

msinc

569 posts in 706 days


#3 posted 06-09-2018 08:24 PM

I have one on my planer. It was easy to install and it works okay. It is very handy when planing a bunch of boards to a certain thickness. I can see how a DRO would come in handy on a table saw fence. Just remember they are capable of reading in thousandths of an inch, but you do not need that kind of accuracy for woodworking. Many people spend a lot of time worrying about getting things to the thousandth and eventually end up feeling like they are wasting their time. Accuracy is good, it’s necessary sometimes, but you are not grinding a crankshaft or boring a cylinder with a table saw. They work a lot better on, for example, a vertical mill where you have a hand dial to turn and stop exactly where you want/need to. Big difference trying to hit a spot when bumping the fence with your hand…just sayin’......kind of like the one on my planer.

View pete724's profile

pete724

68 posts in 1011 days


#4 posted 06-10-2018 03:11 AM

If my wixey clone angle guage, and digital calipers count as a DRO, then yes.
Why not put a caliper on the stop block on your crosscut sled and one on the depth stop of your drill press??

Sure you don’t usually NEED that accuracy but since it’s cheap why not?

View knotscott's profile (online now)

knotscott

8150 posts in 3578 days


#5 posted 06-10-2018 01:59 PM

I have a Wixey DRO on my TS fence, but I rarely need that level of accuracy. It worked pretty well when it’s up and running, but between the batteries being dead often, and loosing the calibration, I got out of the habit and really barely even give it a thought these days.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5709 posts in 2611 days


#6 posted 06-10-2018 02:23 PM

For the table saw I use this to bring something down to fit. Sure as others noted it is in 1000’s of an inch but if you are sneaking up on a precise cut this works good. For the TS anyway.

more info on how I made it here:
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/218162

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5195 posts in 3446 days


#7 posted 06-10-2018 05:02 PM


I have no experience to offer. I would, however, point to this quote that you posted about fifteen minutes ago in another thread:

”Those who do homework can many times discover the answer and not have to ask on the forum.”

If you use the LumberJocks search function and look for “digital table saw readout”, you will find many hits including reviews and other posts on this very forum.

- Kazooman


I have no defense for my statement; I am guilty of the same thing I advocate for others. I thank you for setting me straight. I will try not to make such errors in the future. It is interesting that people do read these posts critically.

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1240 posts in 2155 days


#8 posted 06-10-2018 05:33 PM


I have no experience to offer. I would, however, point to this quote that you posted about fifteen minutes ago in another thread:

”Those who do homework can many times discover the answer and not have to ask on the forum.”

If you use the LumberJocks search function and look for “digital table saw readout”, you will find many hits including reviews and other posts on this very forum.

- Kazooman

I have no defense for my statement; I am guilty of the same thing I advocate for others. I thank you for setting me straight. I will try not to make such errors in the future. It is interesting that people do read these posts critically.

- MrRon

Shows some real class to plead “mea culpa”. Don’t lose any sleep over it, we all do the same thing from time to time. I just couldn’t resist pointing out the irony of the two posts.

I hope you found what you were looking for. I assume that you saw the recent thread about the self adjusting rip fence. A high tech solution to your problem with the attendant high price tag.

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2653 posts in 1143 days


#9 posted 06-10-2018 07:49 PM

The utility for me with the DRO is when making incremental cuts/dados/rabbets. I made a small storage unit for sandpaper that has sliding trays. The DRO made it easy to run the dados. I just had to zero out the reading after making a dado and then move the fence the required distance. No need to do the math.

Not that it couldn’t have been done another way, the DRO made this an easier task and more accurate.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

1165 posts in 1111 days


#10 posted 06-10-2018 09:29 PM

I’ve got the Wixey and really enjoy having it. It’s accurate and allows for precise repeat cuts even after moving the fence. It’s easy to install and fits most saws. I got mine on sale for $50 bucks from Rockler after having my eye on one for a while. Couldn’t resist that price.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View dschlic1's profile

dschlic1

442 posts in 2172 days


#11 posted 06-11-2018 05:21 PM

I have the Wixey on my Vega Pro 40 rip fence. The Vega has a micro adjust feature that in combination with the Wixey allows me to achieve precise repeatable cuts even when moving the rip fence.

For example, I rip some work pieces to 2 3/4” wide. Then move the rip fence to cross cut them, only to find that I messed up one, and need to rip some more stock. Using the Wixey and the micro adjust, I can easily match the widths of the previous pieces. For me this is very valuable.

View HokieKen's profile (online now)

HokieKen

7129 posts in 1341 days


#12 posted 06-11-2018 07:48 PM

I have a Wixey DRO on my planer. Well worth the moolah. Very precise and repeatable.

For adjusting my tablesaw or bandsaw fence, I use the scale to set it initially but if I need a precise width and it requires adjusting, I have a switchable magnet I put on the table then I zero a digital caliper from the magnet to the fence and use the caliper to tweek the fence position. I do the same thing for making dado cuts.

I don’t often need that level of precision on my WW tools though. If I needed it regularly, I’d definitely consider a proper DRO.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Bill_Steele's profile

Bill_Steele

451 posts in 1934 days


#13 posted 06-12-2018 03:33 PM

I have a Wixey DRO (WR510) on my drum sander. I primarily use it to let me know how much I’m moving the drum when I lower it. I still use calipers to check the thickness of the sanded stock.

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