Review By Dean Bielanowski  Veritas Website - http://www.leevalley.com

Veritas® Poly-Gauge

Veritas Poly Gauge
 Review

By Dean Bielanowski

 

There are certain tools or devices that every woodworker should own as standard in a workshop. Items such as a quality square, a collection of good handsaws, planes and chisels, and so on. These items represent a useful "go to" option when other tools have failed to complete a particular task. I guess you could call them 'essential items', and every woodworker will have their own arsenal of essential items appropriate to their common tasks and style of work.

Today we are going to look at a relatively inexpensive device (US$22.50) that will bring accuracy back to the powered woodworking revolution, and that device is the Veritas Poly-Gauge, an essential item, no power-loving woodworker should be without!

Components
The Veritas Poly-Gauge can be found hanging on the shelves of many good woodworking stores worldwide. It is a simple product - there are no moving parts. In fact, the Poly-Gauge comprises only 2 components;

  • The black gauge component made from zinc aluminum alloy

  • The brass colored slotted knob made from, you guessed it... brass!

The slotted brass knob simply screws onto the gauge for storage purposes.

What is it for?
Being a basic product, the review will not be as extensive as others on this website. In fact, this product really only performs one task, and that is the ability to allow you to set and check a number of common angles used in woodworking, and for a number of woodworking tasks.

Using the poly gauge, you can set or check angles at:

  • 45 degrees

  • 54 degrees

  • 60 degrees

  • 67.5 degrees

  • 75 degrees

"But hang on!" I hear you say, "Didn't you mention 'common' woodworking angles?"
"What about 30 degrees and 90 degrees?"

Well, yes these common woodworking angles are not available on the Poly-Gauge. Why? Basically, because the Poly-Gauge was originally designed as a device to set a jointer fence to common polygonal angles for 4, 5, 6, 8 and 12-sided objects. It is, however, equally useful on a wide range of other woodworking equipment to quickly set or check an angle. For example, the table saw is where I find the Poly Gauge gets a large amount of use in my workshop. Quickly setting the miter gauge up for accurate 45 and 60 degree crosscuts has never been easier. In fact, using the Poly Gauge, which is advertised as being accurate to 1/12 of a degree on all featured angles, blatantly revealed the inaccuracy that exists on my stock table saw's miter gauge angle indicator! If you have a need to make multi-sided boxes or other items that need to be cut on the table saw, the Poly Gauge fast becomes an invaluable item, even if it is just to save you calculating the angles needed for the cuts.

Unscrewing the slotted brass knob and using it to hold the poly gauge in an upright position allows you to use it as an accurate guide to tilting your table saw blade for angled rip or cross-cuts. You can also use it to set all the other blade tilt angles as mentioned above too if needed. Very useful indeed, particularly if you find your saw's blade tilt indicator measurement strips not to be overly accurate.

At the Jointer, the poly gauge is in its element and setting the jointer fence to clean up cuts for multi-sided structures is a breeze. Find your angle on the poly gauge, set it down on the jointer table, then adjust your fence until it touches and aligns with the poly gauge. It's almost child's play. In some cases though, I wished the poly gauge was magnetic, just to hold itself in place a little more rigidly when rubbing heavy fences against it, but of course, that would also introduce a number of other troublesome issues into the mix, so it's not such an easy solution.
Just imagine trying to set a jointer fence to 54 or 67.5 degrees! Most jointers may have positive stops at 45 or 90 degrees, but probably not even a gauge that goes through 5 degree increments, let alone 0.5s! So in this regard, the poly gauge makes light work of what would otherwise be a stress-creating task.

Where else can it be used? Well the possibilities go on and on. On the bandsaw table for example, or the radial arm saw. I find I often use it to set my bandsaw table to 45 degrees to knock off edges for woodturning blanks and on the drill press, again for 45 degree table setting and checking. Obviously, you could use a combination square in these cases, and it might be easier to do so on the drill press, but on the bandsaw, you often have limited space between the table and the upper blade blocks/roller supports and getting a combo square in there can create a problem, particularly if the rule on the square is not easy to remove. The poly-gauge allows you to achieve this task a little easier in most cases.

If needed, the Poly-Gauge can also be used for layout and construction of joined polygons made from staves, for woodturnings. Basic instructions for achieving this are displayed on the back of the packaging.

Conclusion
We feel the Poly-Gauge is a very useful tool to have around the workshop, particularly for setting and checking of machine fences and tables. It sure beats fiddling around with adjustable angle setters or combination rules and is much faster to boot!

You can order this item online at www.leevalley.com

In Australia:

www.timbecon.com.au

Veritas Poly-Gauge Photos
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Veritas Poly-Gauge with removable, slotted brass knob.


An easy 60 degree miter gauge set-up on the tablesaw.


In the upright position to set a table saw blade. Both hands free to tilt
the blade.


Just as useful in setting the jointer fence for common angles.


An accurate, 45 degree bandsaw table within seconds!


Basic use instructions are included on the back of the packaging.

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