Checking a shop made miter sled for accuracy

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Blog entry by Don "Dances with Wood" Butler posted 07-28-2011 07:27 PM 2675 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Using the traditional angle checking tools, such as drafting triangles and squares, still is a good place to start when building tablesaw sleds, especially miter sleds.
I don’t trust miter guages to stay on angle throughout a whole job. A picture frame, for example, has 8 miter cuts and just a small bump on a common miter guage can cause it to lose its setting between cuts. So I rely on fixed, shop made miter sleds. But making sure they’re exactly at the desired angle is critical.
So here’s a video I made to show how I do it. The sled I used for the video is one-tenth of a degree offf.

I got the idea when I saw another woodworker show how he sets his adjustable miter guage. I use a Wixey Digital Angle Guage to do it.

Here;s the link to my YouTube video:

Next time I want to make a short video that shows my method for checking the table saw fo accuracy.


-- Will trade wife's yarn for wood.

8 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


15995 posts in 3189 days

#1 posted 07-28-2011 08:10 PM

Don, maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see where that method proves anything. A perfect 45 degree reading would mean nothing if the base was not square, or if the runner was out of square with the base.

It seems to me like a better way would be to zero your gauge on the runner, because what really matters is the relationship between the fence and the runner, right?

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Vince's profile


1025 posts in 2399 days

#2 posted 07-28-2011 11:24 PM

I think he trued the boards edge after installing the runner, which would make the runner and board (base) square to each other. Then you set the miter with the wixey.

-- Vince

View CharlieM1958's profile


15995 posts in 3189 days

#3 posted 07-29-2011 01:49 AM

Ahhh…that explains it.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 2894 days

#4 posted 07-29-2011 03:01 AM

Good video Don. I do the same thing with all my jigs that require angle cuts that are repeatable.

View NormG's profile


4947 posts in 1974 days

#5 posted 07-29-2011 04:57 AM

great idea

-- Norman

View Don "Dances with Wood" Butler's profile

Don "Dances with Wood" Butler

1045 posts in 2366 days

#6 posted 07-29-2011 11:31 AM

The edge is trued by simply passing it through the cutpath after the runner is installed. That makes it perfectly parallel to the runner.


-- Will trade wife's yarn for wood.

View CharlieM1958's profile


15995 posts in 3189 days

#7 posted 07-29-2011 02:16 PM

Thanks, Don. I should have known better than to question you. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View rodman40's profile


166 posts in 1298 days

#8 posted 03-16-2012 05:27 PM

Don, what happen to the video? when I click on the link Youtube saids you closed your account, do you still have the video? would like to see it because I’m always looking for good advice in woodworking jigs. rodman40

-- Rodman

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