Digital Angle Finder inclinometer

How to use an Inclinometer

Having an idea of how to use an inclinometer or angle finder (as known to us woodworkers) can open up new innovative design concepts. The angle finder(clinometer) such as the Wixey digital can be used for other woodworking tasks which I will come clean to in this article. But first I think it might be a good idea to go over what it is first.

What is an Inclinometer?

The inclinometer is a device that can measure the angle in degrees of any surface or object.

‘An inclinometer or clinometer is an instrument used for measuring angles of slope (or tilt), elevation’. Wikipedia

The inclinometer is also known as

  • inclinometer
  • Clinometer
  • tilt indicator
  • tilt sensor
  • Tiltmeter
  • slope alert
  • slope gauge
  • gradient meter
  • Gradiometer
  • level gauge
  • Declinometer
  • pitch & roll indicator
  • Angle finder

What is a Digital Angle Finder?

Wixey and other brands supply a simple but extremely effective digital device. This simple matchbox-sized electronic gadget is more than just a gimmick. 

If there was one digital tool you should buy? that would be the ‘Digital Angle finder

Why should a woodworker own a ‘Digital Angle finder’?

When I first realised that these modern angle finding instruments existed I took a look at them and told myself,” why the hell would I need that?” After bumping into other woodies on youtube doing reviews on these little square things with a digital display, I started to soften to the idea of owning one. 

The Peer pressure was becoming unbearable!

I finally pressed ‘BUY’ and ordered a Digital Angle Finder via Amazon. I intended to buy the Wixey digital angle finder but I who want to be different ordered another brand Autoutlet

We have written an on a topic tutorial on how to ‘How to test a Spirit Level’

Digital Angle finders are great for

  • Accurately setting the angle of a saw blade
  • Accurately setting machine tables
  • Setting compound spindle moulders
  • Used in conjunction with a straight edge for long angle finder
  • Check the primary bevel angle of a plane blade

Accurately setting the angle of a table saw blade

When you need to calibrate your table saw or just need to repeat a previous set angle, then the ‘digital angle finder’ is a good tool to use. Whether your saw has a fixed or tilting table the angle finder tool will work. 

  1. When setting the blade you need to calibrate the instrument to the table
  2. Use the magnetic base to fix to the blade
  3. Alter the angle of the blade
  4. Until the desired angle is displayed on the LCD

Accurately setting machine tables

  1. Calibrate the device on the blade of a table saw or band of a bandsaw
  2. Place the digital tool on the table
  3. You should see an angle of around 90° or 180°
  4. Alter the angle of the table until you reach your required angle

Setting compound spindle moulders

  1. When setting the spindle moulder block you need to calibrate the instrument to the table
  2. Use the magnetic base to fix to the blade (assuming it is ferrous iron)
  3. Alter the angle of the spindle moulder block
  4. Until the desired angle is displayed on the LCD

Used in conjunction with a straight edge for long angle finding

  • You can simply place the Digital Angle Finder onto a sturdy straightedge to extend the range of the angle measuring tool. 
  • Not overly accurate but will give you a good indication of the angle. 
  • Remember to calibrate on a level surface as this will be your Datum.

Check the primary bevel angle of a plane blade

This is what swung it for me and forced me to finally press the But now button. Having a good indication of what the primary bevel angle of your plane irons is a huge bonus. The other thing that surprised me was how accurate this tool was for measuring the angle.  The Digital Angle Gauge in this video can be bought here on Amazon.

  • Calibrate the Digital Angle Finder on a flat surface such as the table saw top
  • Using the magnetic base stick the instrument to your plane iron
  • Hold the plane blade so the bevel is making full contact with the flat surface
  • Read the angle measurement of the backlit display
  • You now have the angle of the bevel
  • You can use this to set a honing guide

My conclusion on owning a Digital Angle Finder

Now that I have one I have to admit I am sold. This small and somewhat insignificant-looking device is a revelation for me. This Inclinometer has been one of those tools that I was not sure if I really needed it. Since owning one, new outlets for its use just appear and this was the same for me when I bought my Festool Domino.

 

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