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Digital guages for Vertical panel saw5/1
I am in the process of purchasing a 10 yr old 1255 Holzher vertical panel saw and have never used one before. Looking for advise as I am considering outfitting it with digital gauges for ripping and crosscut from ProScale (called ProKits). I am also considering switching from inches to mm to use these scales.
Do you have digital gauges on your panel saw, are they worth it or a bother? I would like to get it with saw if so and integrate with lease.
I like how I can compensate for different origins, base rail, mid rail, top cut and zero.
I currently use panel optimizing software (Cutlist Plus) so will can adjust part packing to prefer rip cuts, and mm to inches would be doable, if necessary.
We have about 6 Pro-Scales in our 2 man shop. Could not work without them. At least with any accuracy.
Set up is easy, and nothing but batteries to deal with. The only complaint is the battery cover is poorly designed, especially since you have to change batteries fairly often. Don't loose the screws or the battery clips!
We do not have a vertical panel saw, but the Scale would fine with one. They can easily convert from decimal inch to MM to fractional inch with the push of a button.
And data can be output via a cable, but that is not a feature we use.
Thanks David. What units do you use? How do you read inches, in decimal or fraction etc? I can't envision creeping up to 11/16 and don't know the decimal version. Visually with a physical scale pretty easy. Nathan
As I recall, you select the basic unit, then the read head and then the read stick. The stick may get expensive for a panel saw since you will need it to read 96" or more. My planer has an 8" stick to read 6" of travel, same with the shapers. They have good tech phone help.
You change from inch to metric by pushing a button. Another two buttons allow setting the reading up or down, another button zeroes, for progressive readings, etc. The equipment movement moves the read head, and that is how you creep up on the number. Once you get it, it is easy.
As for converting, we keep ours on decimal inch, and now have some digital readout calipers to use, and we are now decimal. We do have "Fraction Inch to Decimal Inch" cheat sheets taped to a couple of machines (handed out at equipment shows, etc), but we use them less now than when we first set up with the Accurate products. We regularly talk about sizing a tenon "8 thousandths under the mortise" or similar, and know what we mean. Our accuracy and repeatability has greatly improved. No more "a half a hair more".
The photo is of the top and bottom head readouts on our ancient tenoner. Both read off the table. They reduced set up time from a very iffy 20 minutes, "that's good enough" to a precise exactly what we want with the first piece in 5 minutes or less. Doing this about 50 times a year saves/makes us $1,250.00 per year. And that is on just one machine.
Nathan I put the Proscale units on my VPS several years ago and found it so valuable that I added it to my tablesaw. You will love them. Very repeatable, easy to calibrate and operate. Battery life is great also. Add Proscale as soon as you can and I am not a salesman, at least not for Proscale. The guys there know their stuff too.
Hi Jr, thanks for the advise. Yeah I'm pretty much decided to go ahead with the ProScales. I spoke to Mike at ProScale and he seemed very helpful.
How have you mounted your scale to the horizontal stop? I was thinking of mounting to the stop itself (see pic). Also what units do you use (decimal inches, fractions, or millimeters)? Sounds like fractions are usable and accurate to a 64th. Any chance of posting a pic of your setup?
Also thinking of mounting vertical display to motor carriage instead of having at fixed height beside power switch. What do you prefer?
Nathan I will post a photo tomorrow. I have Proscale on both horizontal and vertical axis. I have an older Holh-zer 1203 and can not attach the proscale to a stop because the stops can not slide beyond the verticle frame supports unless they are physically removed and repositioned left or right of the frame member. I just have a stop between each of the vertical members and slide the proscale to the needed position and the stop limits its movement,
Nathan the display on the left is for the horizontal position and the display attached to the head is for the vertical or rip position.
It helps if you don't forget to attach the photo
I would like to see Accurate come up with back lit displays for brighter, easier reading, as these eyes get older. Bluetooth is also a likely must have for communication to a central location, if desired.
They are nice because with the wire, they can be located where you want them, any distance from the reader and stick.
Cool, thanks for sharing! Nathan
Backlight or even lighted LED numerals would be nice.
Jr, how does the horiz stop work? Are they tied together or separate, how do you lock it? Like how you can span the different sections with the same stop and meter. The way digikit works it is constrained to only one grid, appx 46" long. Think this would be a problem?
Nathan the stops just slide along it's bar and they have a handle on the backside to turn/tighten the stop on the slide. I just butt the scale up to the stop and lock the stop. Not sure what digikit is. I do have a cheaper digital mesuring device on my wide belt sander but it is not as good as the Proscale system and will be replaced soon.