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Digital Angle Finders and Magnets

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well....I've been messing around and chewing on this for a couple years and have been hesitant to pull the trigger and order a bunch for the store, but I'm jonesin' to do so....thus the reality check. For a variety of reasons I think digital angle finders can help to answer the proverbial question of 'what are my edge angles'.

Magnets snap to edges and true bars very nicely providing an absolute positive alignment with an edge. By calibrating a digital angle finder with magnets you can get a very clear idea where your edges truly are at a given location on your skis. Using the edges to calibrate the angle finder and not the base with inherent variability, you can increase reliability at any given point on a ski.

Note that with the (+/-) 0.1° sensitivity, you can drive yourself nuts and never get out the door if you can't stand that the angle is dead on a particular target angle.   Also, you'll be surprised to find how variable any given angle truly can be along an edge.


What are your thoughts?

TIA











(Note: this is also posted at TGR. This ought to be entertaining. )
Edited by Alpinord - 11/18/09 at 1:00pm
post #2 of 21
I thought it was genius when I first saw it in your pics.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Cool. Thanks.

Put you down for a dozen?
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
The silence is deafening.
post #5 of 21
How repeatable are the measurement you've gotten? 1 degree on a .1" wide edge is about 10 mil.
post #6 of 21
I would sure like to get one. I took my new boards (last season) into a very well known, race-oriented shop and instructed the tech, face to face, "base edges 1 degree, side edges 3 degrees".

What I got was a sharp 90 degree edge, not the razor 86 I wanted. (Is my math right?)

I did not know it until my order from www.Slidewright.com came in, so I did it myself.

Just got my new boards in and they are 3 & 1....er...1 & 3.

Terry, do you sell them now or are you checking the markets pulse first?
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
It's a 0.1° of accuracy. on a 2mm edge, this is a 0.0035mm change which is in the neighborhood of 1/230th the thickness of a piece of paper (for visual scale) if my CAD software is correct. Actually, 1/115 th if you consider (+/-) 0.1°. I know I can't feel that difference while skiing.

It's touchy and by 'repeatable' do you mean easily getting the same reading? You have to allow an acceptable range or you'll go nuts. It might be an issue of too much information because of the sensitivity. This was designed for precision settings of saws for tight woodworking cuts.

Here's a review I found.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowfan View Post

Terry, do you sell them now or are you checking the markets pulse first?

Market testing. I have to purchase a substantial minimum. I do have an affiliate account with Rockler (for this and T-tracks) for now. You can get them at Woodworker's Supply in Abq next time you float through or get them online.

I am checking out another option which also has digital calipers and other precision measuring devices. If that pans out, I'll get a limited stock and see what happens.

They're pretty fun to mess around with.
Edited by Alpinord - 11/19/09 at 3:01pm
post #9 of 21
Yea I looked up the specs before. I was more concerned in being able to consistently get nearly the same measurement on the same edge. Can you take a ski, measure the edge, take it out of the vise, put it back in, and get the same measurement, within say .5 degree?
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesmith7 View Post

Yea I looked up the specs before. I was more concerned in being able to consistently get nearly the same measurement on the same edge. Can you take a ski, measure the edge, take it out of the vise, put it back in, and get the same measurement, within say .5 degree?

I'd say yes, if you calibrate it consistently. It measures laterally and you need to keep it perpendicular to the center line. Plus , you may need to recalibrate it as you move along the ski to adjust for any slight twisting or base variations. For 'slam dunk' measuring you can blow off the true bar and set it on the base and then snap it on an edge and go to the next point.

A conversation I had with someone else very interested in this was to be able to consider measuring and varying the bevels at the tips and tails.
post #11 of 21
Sounds cool. I was surprised they're not very expensive. Even it it doesn't measure ski angles great I can think of lots of other uses.  And I love tool toys.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesmith7 View Post

Sounds cool. I was surprised they're not very expensive. Even it it doesn't measure ski angles great I can think of lots of other uses.  And I love tool toys.

Their versatility is also appealing to me. I use mine year round.

I'm real curious to see what other techniques others dream up for these. I can order magnets easy enough which expands their usefulness.....and fun factor.

Thanks for the feedback. I was starting to wonder if I was further out in right field than usual.
post #13 of 21
I'm dreaming of a fixture that mounts to the base of the ski, with a hinged piece that rests on the edge. With two of these guys you could slide the fixture along and read the difference between the base and edge angle without regard for twisting, mounting, etc.
post #14 of 21
I went ahead and bought one of these. Let you know what I learn after I play around for a while.  Thanks
post #15 of 21
Quote:
What I got was a sharp 90 degree edge, not the razor 86 I wanted. (Is my math right?)

Not quite. Base = 1 and side = 3 creates an 88 degree angle, not 86.

It seems to me that the tricky part of measuring the angle of an edge isn't so much the tool having the precision to measure what angle it's at, but getting the tool to align precisely with a skinny little edge.

As correctly noted, on a 2mm wide edge, .1 degree creates a displacement of only about 0.0035mm (no CAD software here, but a calculator with a sine button).
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston View Post

It seems to me that the tricky part of measuring the angle of an edge isn't so much the tool having the precision to measure what angle it's at, but getting the tool to align precisely with a skinny little edge.
 

That's what I was getting at with the repeatability questions.   Still it's a cool tool which is it's own reward.
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston View Post

It seems to me that the tricky part of measuring the angle of an edge isn't so much the tool having the precision to measure what angle it's at, but getting the tool to align precisely with a skinny little edge.
That's why the magnet:



I tried replacing the included 3/16" round magnets with stronger and thicker magnets, but found I had the best reliability with a linear magnet glued to the base at 90°.
post #18 of 21
Is that a lifetime supply of bar magnets?
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston View Post
As correctly noted, on a 2mm wide edge, .1 degree creates a displacement of only about 0.0035mm (no CAD software here, but a calculator with a sine button).
Yeah, my trig calculator is too complicated for me so I needed some help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesmith7 View Post

Is that a lifetime supply of bar magnets?

No. It's just one bad boy now because I can't separate them. Ought to snap to an edge pretty assuredly now. (Here's the source link. They sell 'variety packs' so you can try different shapes and sizes.)
post #20 of 21
I bought the Wixey angle angle gauge last year and use it to approximate base bevel.  It's not perfect because it is so damn sensitive and sometimes it's hard to zero but I figure as long as it's within .2 - .3 degrees I'll be happy.  I'm not a racer but like to tune my own skis so as long as it's close I'm happy. 

I might have to purchase some of those magnets as it looks like they might help with the accuracy of the unit!
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
The magnets help for sure and as noted, you have to back off of your precision expectations with a broader range of tolerance.

Another thing you use the magnets for is it will help with balancing a true bar on the edge to measure angles with other means.
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