Tip: Super Simple Depth Of Cut Gauge For The Table Saw

After I got a new 10″ Amana combination table saw blade from Tools Today, I thought it would be nice to have a very convenient way to accurately set the depth of cut, without a separate gadget. I figured the best way to do this is to mark lines directly onto the face of the fence, spaced 1/8″ apart. To mark the lines, I could cut a piece of wood progressively thinner, making a mark after each cut. That would ensure the each line was accurately located above the table top.

My first cut is 2-3/4:

The fence is then marked at this height. I made sure that the fence was adjusted correctly and that there wasn’t any debris under it to throw off the measurement:

The next cut was made at 2-5/8″ and the fence marked. It’s possible to go finer, down to 1/16″, but I personally don’t think it’s necessary, as I can eyeball the halfway point between the lines. Besides that, these lines are to get the blade in the ballpark, ready for a test cut and fine tuning, just as you would have to do with a regular depth gauge.
It’s also possible to make these marks using a ruler, but I believe this method is the best, as long as you can cut accurately. It places the lines exactly parallel to the table surface, which is important, since the up-down adjustment on most table saws is in an arc, not perfectly vertical.

To set the blade height, just move the fence over next to the blade and raise (or lower) the blade until the tips of the teeth line up with one of the marks:

Of course, these lines will eventually fade or disappear, but the whole process can be done again in a matter of minutes.

I made a short video showing how I did it: