Page 1 of 1

HDPE dial indicator

PostedCOLON April 3rd, 2021, 10:01 am
I finally took the time to set up a dial indicator for setting teeth. I had a block of HDPE left over from a drift boat oar lock build that was 1.25" thick. HDPE is very stable especially if it's not to thin.

I started with an inexpensive 0-1" dial indicator off amazon for this first run.

I am happy with it so far.

I was already half done setting the teeth on the saw in the picture. I was using a spider sat to .010" or so I thought. Good news was all my teeth were set extremely close to .08". Constantly off!

I added 3 set screws for feet.

I also realize it could be longer to accommodate longer teeth. That will be the next version.

Thanks to everyone on here for sharing what works for them, and all the knowledge that goes with it!

Re: HDPE dial indicator

PostedCOLON April 3rd, 2021, 2:18 pm
by sumnergeo
Really nice work! How close is the variance in the sets along the saw? Within .002" with the spider compared to the gauge? Another way to say it, for example, is that the spider is .008" but can be .006" to .010" when compared to the gauge.

Re: HDPE dial indicator

PostedCOLON April 3rd, 2021, 4:34 pm
Thanks sumnergeo. I wish i had his years ago, but maybe I would not appreciate it the same as I do now. Now after spending some time with it I went back and rechecked the spidered teeth sat at .010". The range was .008"-.011" most were about .009" & .010". I also went through another saw an was surprised to see .015"±. And one raker was out and slightly twisted.

For me I think the dial indicator is fasterthan a spider and unbelievably more accurate.

I know some of the differences are splitting hairs, but why not split them if you can.

Re: HDPE dial indicator

PostedCOLON April 4th, 2021, 5:38 am
by PATCsawyer
Some of that difference may be in the saw plate itself. If you run your indicator around on the body of your saw you will likely find high and low points of a few thousandths. Depending on where those high and low spots are, you can get different readings based on where the gauge sits. Cupping on one side of the saw could cause the gauge to sit back a little and result in over setting while the corresponding doming on the other side will will lift the gauge from the rear and lead to undersetting relative to the body of the saw. This cupping/doming is not consistent either, so some places will be close to flat while others will be out by over 0.005". I notice this more on flat ground saws.

Also, many saws you'll find in the wild were wrested, with that bend starting at the bottom of the gullet. If you ride your gauge up on those wrested teeth, it will pull it off the saw's plate and give an incorrect reading. Probably why spiders have one long foot to sit below the gullets.

Re: HDPE dial indicator

PostedCOLON April 5th, 2021, 5:29 pm
PATCsawyer, I have noticed the differences in the saw plate and how different a reading you can get by just not having the gauge perfectly inline with the tooth. I added 3 feet which keep the gauge firmly on the body of the saw and not up on the teeth .

Finding a surface to zero the gauge has been interesting. My cast iron table saw and a drill press table also have a variance in the surface.


Re: HDPE dial indicator

PostedCOLON April 6th, 2021, 5:35 pm
by PATCsawyer
Granite tile businesses give away samples of polished stone as samples of their products. It's very flat and makes a good surface to zero your dial gauges.

Re: HDPE dial indicator

PostedCOLON April 8th, 2021, 3:02 pm
Raker dial indicator.
Atkins raker gauge for a host.
Very solid
Thanks to PATCsawyer for a quick tutorial!

Re: HDPE dial indicator

PostedCOLON April 11th, 2021, 9:02 pm
by Jim_Thode
An interesting idea. I always like to see materials on hand put to use.

On mine I find that a larger flat surface on the on the indicator to be easier to use then a pointed tip. The pointed tip has to be placed just right on the cutter tip or raker tip to get an accurate reading. With the wider tip there is a little wiggle room for placement.

On my set gauge I used a flat surface rather then feet so I get kind of an average reading on the saw plate and it is not effected by a pitted saw. Also if the saw is cupped I can tell right away and correct that if needed. With the three feet it will always set solid but may not be what you really want.


Re: HDPE dial indicator

PostedCOLON April 20th, 2021, 3:14 am
Thanks Jim for the tips! I will continue to get it dialed in! :) They have been working well so far. I can see what you mean with the feet.