Measuring Line Feet Produced with a Straight-Line Rip Saw

Here's how you rig up a rolling measuring wheel to your ripsaw to count how many feet of wood you're running through the machine. July 9, 2007

Is there a lineal footage counter that you can buy for a Northtech Straight line rip saw? We have one on our moulder but would like one for the saw.

Forum Responses
(Forum Responses)
From contributor M:
I mounted a rolling floor measuring tool with a small wheel to the hold down housing. It worked pretty well. The only drawback was the 999' distance cap. Doesn't take long to rack up 999' on a straight-line rip. The catcher made a pencil hash mark for each 1000'. Around 10/$20 for the tool at Lowe's/HDepot.

From contributor J:
Here is a picture similar to contributor M's. Mine also is 999', but I have another one from Lowe's that went to 10,000'. Much more handy. I mounted mine to the fence so it will only count when ripping.

Click here for full size image

From the original questioner:
How do you adjust it for different thickness? We rip anywhere from 4/4 to 12/4.

From contributor J:
It pivots on the bolt that holds it to the fence. I think the silver rod is about 10" long so it will work on thicker lumber. The silver rod is just the handle that came with the counter. I cut it to length and ran the bolt through it into the fence.

From contributor M:
I bolted the counter to the outfeed side of the hold down housing, which accounts for lumber thickness. Only rolls when lumber comes through. Contributor J, your setup looks pretty good. Does the setup you have apply enough pressure to maintain contact with the lumber? Who needs expensive fancy-smancy readouts when a little common sense engineering will do?

From contributor J:
Yeah, it holds itself down and the wheel turns real easy so it doesn't slip. If it didn't, a small spring would hold it down. A lot of my solutions are common sense engineering.

From contributor G:
Is it really that important to have a counter figure out how much lineal feet have run through the saw? I am confused why you would need a counter for this. I am being honest.

From contributor J:
Shops that make mouldings usually charge by the LF. A counter will tell if you have enough blanks for the moulder.