Monday, May 28, 2012

Bridge City Angle Master Pro Review

If you've followed my recent Angle Madness! project build, you know there are a lot of goofy angles compounding around the cabinet.  I wanted to use a measuring device that's highly accurate for setting angles so any mistake was going to be how I lined up the cut at the end.  The Angle Master Pro (AMPv2) from Bridge City was just the device I needed.

Truthfully, I thought of this Angle Madness! cabinet over a year ago, but just as I was considering starting it, Bridge City announced the AMPv2.  I put the project on hold (I have plenty to choose from :) and waited to get it.

This review discusses the parts, how to use it, the optional accessories, and lastly (so you can run if you want to...) the math behind the AMPv2.

Sadly, it isn't inexpensive, but the more I get into angles for projects, the more this device will find itself among the required tools to pull off a project without undue sanding, filling, and creative vocabulary.

The video makes a reference to the second episode of the Angle Madness! project.  You can get there from here.

In passing, I noticed that by morning, this lil' blog will have hit a half million views.  That's fantastic!  Thanks for reading; it's appreciated...


  • Damien said...

    I am lost here, why not using a Digital Angle Measurer or a Digital Angle Gauge.

  • HalfInchShy said...

    A good question, Damien. I should have put something in the video on that.

    I don't know which digital angle gauge you might be thinking of, but when I was first going to start this project, the digital angle gauges were accurate to 0.2º. I just re-checked the Wixley site and they now have a 300 series that is accurate to 0.1º, protractors, too. I'm glad to know that now (±0.2º is a fair amount of error in previous models).

    So the question is: is 0.1º accuracy enough to not have the back facet board dip down (or up) significantly from the flat reference surface by the time you compound any errors through 7 compound angles? The 8th I mention is the back board and could be custom cut to match whatever the angle presented is as the back is vertical with no tilt.

    With previous models (~2 years ago) having 0.2º of error, I did a simplified calculation with just 4 sides to the box and the back had more dip to it than I'd want to deal with. Part of what complicates matters on this project is that I need to rip each board with a bevel matching its inclination. If the compound angles on the boards start accumulating error, the inclination of the faces changes, the required rip bevel changes (plus it would have an error as well). Overall, it was too daunting to consider so I shelved it. Sure there were ways around all that, but none I can think of don't scream insanely-tedious :)

    0.1º halves the error. Granted, it is still 50 times the error of the AMPv2, but who is to say 0.1º isn't satisfactory?

    It's not a calculation I can whip out in a minute, but I do know how I can run this through my program with different error values to see what the effects are on the back corner. I'll make a follow-up posting with those results later this week.

    Stay tuned... and thanks for the question.

  • Damien said...

    Thanks for answering. I can imagine that cumulative errors makes everything difficult.

    I thought of the Bosch angle measurer (claims ± 0.1°) as an existing alternative and imagined it is good enough considering possible blade deflection, frame stiffness and locking inaccuracy of a good miter saw, even if I never checked those values in real life.
    Of course going for the Festool accuracy everything becomes possible :)

  • Unknown said...

    In your video you mentioned you developed your own app and I'm curious if you're offering it for sale on the App Store? I recently purchased the AMP-v2