Shop-Made Dial Indicator Holder

With brass U-channel, you can fabricate your own dial indicator holder for setting planer knives. May 11, 2006

I'm looking for either a tripod or u-shaped holder for a dial indicator that sits on top of a planer cutterhead, with the dial indicator protruding through the center of the holder and the button located over the knife that is being set. Does anyone know where I can get one of these? I know Bridgewood makes a nice u-shaped one, but I can't find it anywhere!

Forum Responses
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor L:
Can't you just make one? Even if you use wood, from the time you start to calibrate your machine until you are finished, the wood will remain stable enough for accurate results. It doesn't need to be accurate to some standard, just to itself during the time you are using it. Sorry I don't know of a place to get such a creature.

From contributor R:
Call Wilke. They do have one, as well as Northfield, which I'm sure is more. I have one that is no longer being made, but it does the job of the three gauges in one and I have easily duplicated it with simple U-channel and some steel scraps and a $16 indicator from Enco.

From the original questioner:
That's great - exactly what I was looking for! I had thought about making one out of wood, but the idea of making a new one each time I changed the knives wasn't so great, as I'm a technician at a university and I change knives a lot and I can't get my department head to spring for a Tersa head. But I really like the idea of a piece of heavy U-channel. Such a simple idea, I just slapped my forehead. I'll see what I can come up with!

From contributor R:
I suggest you use brass U-channel as it's easy to cut, file and saw with basic woodworking tools. I use a negative hook blade to rip and crosscut non-ferrous all the time. My gauge has a 3" span on the channel and it's rated for 3" and larger heads. I made one with a 2" span for smaller ones and have an old tripod type from Powermatic I retrofitted and indicator for smaller heads. I've been doing machine setup for 20 years now.