So let’s say you went out and bought yourself a really nice Wadkin PK dimension saw.
This is the holy grail of table saws (unless you own a Whitney No. 77 Variety saw with a rolling table). Your friends will be so impressed. You take a whole bunch of pictures of the difficult removal and really creative rigging/transport . The saw is now safely at home. You go straight out to your favorite woodworking discussion forum and write a detailed description of the whole process from the search all the way through to the job of getting it unloaded in your shop.
First reply… You suck! (this is supposed to be a compliment. No. Really. It is. Yeah. I’m not buying it either)
Next reply… Nice saw.
And so on, and so on.
Finally someone asks “Hey did you get a quadrant with that saw?”
Huh? What’s a quadrant?
This is the part where someone will inevitably give you a long drawn out description of the missing item complete with “colour glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was” (say “Thank you Arlo”)
Your heart sinks.
You run out to the shop and tear through all the parts. There’s a really nice fence, maybe a protractor gauge (just maybe. These are pretty rare too), original guards, but that quadrant gauge is nowhere to be found.
Damn! I hate it when that happens.
Your dreams of the greatest restoration ever have been torpedoed and are sinking like the Lusitania
You could just work with the protractor. The truth is that for almost anything you want to do on the saw, it’ll work fine.
What? You didn’t get a protractor either?
That really does suck. (and not in a positive sense)
You could search endlessly for one off another saw (and believe me, it will seem like an endless search). And… if you do find one that is for sale, get ready to sell a kidney. These things are rare and anyone that has one will know what it’s worth (and will want double that).
OK, wait… Before you start checking the going price for a kidney on the black market, there might just be another way.
You could find yourself a nice piece of cedar or mahogany, and make a pattern for a replacement gauge. Take that pattern over to your local foundry and have them make you a new piece of iron (or two if you want a split gauge)
Sorry, I don’t have a picture of the pattern as it’s out at the foundry.
Now you can take that rough casting and throw it up on your Cincinnati Toolmaster mill. Peel the rough exterior away and get it down to nice butterey cast iron. Square it up, face it off, and before you know it something that closely resembles the original split gauge will emerge from that lump of metal. ( If you want to see the face being milled on the quadrant, click on the link in the right side column under “featured video” ).
The hardest part of making the quadrant was boring the mounting holes. I made a nice jig out of steel plate to get easy alignment. That coupled with the DRO made for a very accurate fit.
I’m going to have a bit of trouble duplicating the left pin stop (sitting in front of the gauge in the last picture). This is a spring loaded pin that allows for quick stop adjustment. It’s got a cast knob that I also made a pattern for and sent it out to the foundry. For the time being, I’m just using a regular pin through the hole. Truth be told, this works fine. This gauge is a bit heavier than the original, but it is also more durable. It’s far less likely to break if dropped or otherwise abused. I’m going to make a handful more of these gauges because you never know when you’re going to get a nice PK with no quadrant.