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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

Now what?

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.

23 Responses to “No quadrant? No problem!”

  1. tool613 says:

    Very Nice. I will spreed the word. As you may know the pivot and back fence is a little different on the PP. The pivot hole is bigger and the pin is stepped so that only the front miter can be held/used. BTW Quadrant is the US name of what the English call a miter and in that case a double miter. What ever its called it nice to know some one cares enough to make some. Looking for an RS banjo in the spares department here soon I hope.

    I will take one in bronzes.LOL

    • The owwm says:

      I’ve got a whole bunch of RS parts coming from the UK in six to eight weeks. I’ll pull the banjo and have one cast up for you. Funny you should mention the English name for the quadrant. I have that conversation every time I see a PK come up for sale. I finally got it down where I at least call the miter a protractor. Not quite there on the quadrant yet. I’ve also heard it referred to as a split fence. I’ve got two more sets of castings for this batch. I’ve got another bunch for a universal quadrant that can be fitted to an Oliver or Tannewitz saw.

  2. Sarah says:

    Hi OWWM,
    Been busy I see! If you ever need contacts in the UK for all your little nuts and bolts and bits and pieces don’t hesitate to call us… we’re always having to get bits re-made… although it look does like you’re doing a pretty good job all by yourself! Maybe we should be asking you to help us!

    • The owwm says:

      Hi Sarah,
      Nice to hear from you. I will absolutely keep you on my list of people to contact when looking for hard to find parts. You should feel free to do the same with me. I’ve got a fair collection of Wadkin, Robinson, Brookman and Dominion spares. I’ll plan a trip out your way the next time I’m in the UK. Probably early this summer.


  3. Niall says:

    Thats looks amazing.
    I am also looking for one of these for our workshop in Bristol Uk.
    I was gutted when one of our younger chaps dropped it onto the floor and it smashed into many pieces.
    We are an Ornamental Plastering workshop based in Bristol and our Wadkin Pk is used all the time but with out the quadrant slide its uses have been drastically reduced.
    Really want to keep the machine but without the slide it might have to go to keep up with safe practices.
    Would you sell castings or is that a big ask? i could get them machined in the uk.
    Had to ask, nice work

    • The owwm says:

      The issue with the original quadrant is that it had a weak casting (especially around the arc). If it was ever dropped, you could bet that it would break. I’ve seen so many with the arc broken off. I can supply you with a rough casting. I typically go to the foundry once a month. I could drop the pattern off and pick up the rough casting on my next trip. Send me an e-mal at theowwm@yahoo.com. I’ll see if I can help you out. If you ever decide to part with your PK, let me know. I’d be very interested.



  4. blackdawg says:

    Nice info on the quadrant paradox. The first wadkin quadrant I ever saw was this alien hunk of iron that no one could place because it belongs to an english machine which is not allowed on the super sites. They only deal in north american made stuff. It sold for less than scrap iron value!!!! Later on, I noticed that many PK saws were missing this strange item… at least US saws… that is before AF doubled the population of them in the US! When I finally bought a PK, I bought it in england. It was army surplus and had two large royal army green footlockers with it. In them was a collection of blades, two sets of bearings still in greese, some strange dado cutter I have never seen, the complete written maintainance record of the machine and lastly, a pristine quadrant gage complete with all the goodies. No doubt the quadrant is the holy grail of this machine… well almost. The sliding table extension, although awkward has to be one of the nicest options to get and is even rarer than the gage. See AF’s photo from england to see this left mount slider extension table. Nice work on replacement of gage.

    • The owwm says:

      I believe that I own the quadrant you mentioned above. It came from Dekalb. Ben had posted it on the .org site looking for some ideas on it’s origins. Phil Clement and some others clued me into the posting. As soon as I saw the guage, I recognized it as a split miter fence from a Robinson ETE sliding table saw. I made Ben an offer on the guage and it ended up in my barn. I happen to own an ETE, so it was nice when I got the guage and it fit perfectly on the saw. There are some great deals to be had on Wadkin, Robinson, Dominion, Brookman, etc machines in the UK. The real issue is with the cost of clearing US customs and port charges. Quite frankly, they are ridiculously outrageous. A 40 ft container can cost $5k to ship from the UK. The customs and port charges can be almost double that amount.

  5. josh says:

    I am wondering if you can make this quadrant for a wadkin pp? I have the common half, but not the second. I suppose that they would need to be a matched pair to work properly. I have looked for spare parts for this machine and can not find anywhere that sells them. Can you potentially point me in the right direction? Cheers Josh

    • The owwm says:

      I also have a PP with the left side of the split fence. I’ll compare with the PK to see how close it is. If they are close, then the same casting could be used for either gauge. I am always on the lookout for these parts. They don’t come up very often. If you’re extremely patient one might show up. If you’re in a hurry, we can make one up. I’ll reach out once I verify the fit of PK gauge on the pp.


      • josh says:

        While I am in no rush to find one, it seems that parts for wadkins are much more scarce than the actual machines. If you get around to making one for yourself I would be interested, but I don’t feel the need to pursue it just yet (after all, the hunt is part of the reward!). I would love to know what you think about the pp in comparision to the pk in terms of usability and function. I don’t think anyone would deny the pk is a more beautiful saw, but I have always wondered about the difference functionally. Cheers Josh

        • The owwm says:

          I know it took me a while, but I finally compared the two fences. Both the PK and the PP quadrant will work on the PP.


  6. José Cameijo says:


    I’ve read this post with most interest since I myself have thought of having some castings made.
    The problem is I don’t know exactly how to make the mouldings/patterns.
    Can I make them out of any wood? is it possible to use glue like in any other woodworking project, or are there any other restrictions?

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.
    José Cameijo

    • The owwm says:

      If you’re making a one-off pattern, almost any wood will do. Many patterns are made out of hard, stable wood such as mahogany since they’ll need to be reused over a very long period of time. If you’re going to use the pattern once or twice, use whatever material is convenient. No special care is needed for glue joints. just make sure it’s strong enough that the pattern won’t come apart when it gets rammed into the moulding sand. I often use the existing part as my pattern. I’ll build out the broken/defective areas with polyester filler and wood glued to the part with rubber cement. In either case, be sure to take shrinkage into account. Cast iron will shrink 1/8″ per foot, so you’ll want your pattern to be a little bigger than the original part to compensate for that. This won’t matter for some parts, but on a quadrant where you have mounting points near each end, you could end up with a new casting that’s just short of the original. You wouldn’t want that to happen after you put a bunch of work into the pattern and paid for the casting. I hope this helps.


  7. Imre says:

    I own a Wadkin PK with these guides https://picasaweb.google.com/je.narache/WadkinPKJanuary212012#5700198215070246194

    I am looking for quadrant guide and a tilting fence guide.

    I would buy a recent cast like the one made here.

    Please contact me.

  8. Andrew says:

    I have a refurbished Wadkin PK in the UK. We could not find a PK quadrant ( mitre fence) but found the first part from a PP , which fits the drillings on the table. would the castings you have made be compatible. I only need the second part if they would fit together. Is it possible to buy this from you and how much ? I have exhausted my search in the UK. Also I would love a protractor for the PK do you have any of these ?
    Finally the sliding table runs like a dream , but is fractionally higher than the fixed part of the table , any hints on adjustment?

    Thanks for any feedback

    • The owwm says:

      You are correct that the PP quadrant will fit the PK. Unfortunately, they are very different and as such you cannot marry half a quadrant from a PP with half from a PK. I can supply you with the rough castings or a finished set of fences. I have not yet attempted the reproduction of the protractor. I will almost certainly tackle that in the future. There is a long lead time on parts. When I get a request, I order from the foundry. They are running at 8-12 weeks turnaround right now. If you’re in a hurry, then I’m probably not a great source for parts. If you’re patient, I’ll work with you.



      • Andrew says:

        I am interested in a finished set of fences for the PK and am in no hurry, so could you give me some idea of costings including shipping etc. Also any thoughts on the table adjustment?

        I left a reply before Christmas but it was not posted with this search engine, when accessing your site so not sure if you read it! appologises if there is a cross of comments.


  9. Andrew says:

    I am in no rush for these parts. I would require a finished set but the cost with shipping could be a problem. Please contact me with some costings. Any thoughts on the adjustment of the sliding table?

    Thanks and hopefully we can work something out.


    • Andrew says:

      Not sure if you got my last comment because of because if I access your site with a different search engine my reply is not up . I am keen to talk about a finished set of quadrant fences for a Pk. I can wait so timing is not a problem.


  10. Jim from Gatineau says:

    Hi Arthur, I am looking for a finished quadrant for my recently acquired PP. The ones you are fabricating are beautiful work. I dont have the engraved circular scale on my table but Jack Forsberg has convinced me of the utility even without the scale; he suggested that I talk to you. I am curious as to cost. Delay is not a big problem I still have to get power to my saw and that will take time as my day job keeps interfering with more important things in life like saws.

    • The owwm says:

      Sorry for the delayed response. Is your table bored for a quadrant? I’ve never seen a PK/PP that was bored, but lacked the engraving.



      • Jim from gatineau says:

        Thanks Arthur,
        I dont have all the holes that I see on Jack’s table, i.e the posns for pentagons, hex, etc. but I think that I do have the main holes that the quadrant fits into. I will take a picture and send it on as it seems a bit bizarre to me as well.


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