Harvey COMPASS MG-36 Miter Gauge first look

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Sru

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Hi all,

Got a bit of spare cash at Xmas and was fed up with the crappy Rutlands "Premium" mitre gauge - about as useful as a chocolate fire guard. Could not hold an angle if it was welded in position .... plus the missus always tells me off for buying cheap rubbish only to whinge about it within days.

So.. hunted around and admired the look and features of the Harvey tools MG-36 miter (sic) gauge. Costly with shipping and import taxes but old Stumpy Nubs likes it so probably more than good enough for me :)

Nice box ... and well packaged. Heavy too. Additional Fedex import taxes due to new post-brexit paperwork .. thanks Boris!

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Instruction manual not really needed - feels well designed and assembled well.

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Fence has a very nifty extension that can be inserted at either end to extend it's reach. That said, it will probably have a sacrificial fence added anyhow so the benefit is moot. Again, very well screwed together, no play in any components and solid. Knurled knobs especially tactile .. got to love a well knurled knob.

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T track bar has 5 adjustable eccentric cams to snugly fit it to the slot. There is also an adjustable wheel at the end to keep the bar within the slot. After little fettling, no play at all. They claim the gauge is aligned at the factory but there are 4 little screws that you can fiddle with should your table not be the same as their reference surface. Later I found it was 0.3 degrees out, something to adjust tomorrow.

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The fence stop is lovely. Flip down with a little screw in bar - little unsure why this exists but it can be positioned on the stop at 3 different heights. The micro adjust works a treat and can see it being a welcomed addition; no more gently tapping for the mm sliver. Early reviews of this fence complained about the stop being unsuited to mitre joints, this looks to have been fixed as I can't see the same problems occurring now. There is a lock on the micro adjust to stop it being changed accidentally.

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Again, real quality feel to the components. There are 4 pre set snap points at 0, 22.5, 45 and 60 degrees plus a locking option to allow any angle to be selected if needed. These work well with positive clicks via a ball bearing underneath. When locked down, no movement at all despite energetic attempts to make it slip. Rutland's offering could be moved with a gently breeze.

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Only had time to install and do a few test cuts. Have a few projects on the go this week so will have a good chance to play more and post any further thoughts. Never experienced the Incra / Jessm etc. versions so cannot compare. But overall pleased with the purchase which is a lot different to many embarrassing attempts to save a few pennies!

Happy to answer any Q's you might have.

Cheers,

Mike
 

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Mooose

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I have been receiving emails from Harvey tools ever since they started manufacturing the Bridge City kit and have often been tempted by some of their special offers. However, each time I look at the shipping it seems to be high enough to offset any discounts.

Did you contact them directly for a shipping quote or did you just work off the website? Also, did you get hit by import duties, etc on top of the quoted price when it landed? I would imagine that HMRC will be seeking their cut...

Looks like a great bit of kit and Harvey seems to be gaining a reputation for very well-made tools and machinery.
 

Sru

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I hope you don't mind me asking - where did you get it from, and for how much?
Martin

Hi Martin and @Mooose , I went straight to their site. There is a small discount on at present that offset the shipping costs. Compass MG-36 Miter Gauge

Sadly, I did not negotiate on alternative shipping and was stung for the usual fedex delivery, tax and "handling fees". The latter were about £20 higher than usual due to the new paperwork and regs .. apparently. I feel we will have increased difficulty sourcing from abroad until the HMRC rescind their new daft VAT rules. Can't see smaller suppliers bothering to register and pay them just to send stuff here. Only country in the world with such a stupid new system.

Recalibrated the unit today (was off by 0.3 degrees) and found myself choosing it over my usual sled for all tasks. Wide boards will still need a sled as my Axminister table has a short run in compared to proper table saws.

Would love to try the Incra version and Jessm to see the differences.

Mike.
 

billw

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Wonder how this would fare on my MFT if I built in a lattice of mitre track and used it in conjunction with my track saw
 

Sandyn

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Doesn't that look beautifully well engineered and made. We all deserve a wee treat every now and then. I hope you get lots of pleasure using it. Good tools are worth getting if they do what you need and do it well. Enjoy!!!! :)
 
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Hi Mike,

I actually have Jessem Mite R Excel II - new & not used yet as I'm waiting for table saw delivery. I'd be happy for you to try it; so if you wish PM me to organise the details...

Martin
 
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