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Miter Sled on the Cheap

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Blog entry by iamcliff posted 154 days ago 1225 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a few projects coming up that I need to make mitered corners for, like picture frames and such. I have not had much luck in the past with my miter saw. I guess the positive stops at 45 degrees are not perfect or something because I have aligned everything on it.

I have been wanting to make a miter sled for quite some time now so I decided to just do it using whatever I have on hand. I will definitely remake this later on when I can afford proper materials, but at least I have something for right now.

I recorded the process and it is available to watch here: http://youtu.be/XP_CD9DY-L8

-- Chris, http://www.youtube.com/CMRwoodworks , FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/cmrwoodworks1 , Proverbs 16:9



12 comments so far

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10736 posts in 1322 days


#1 posted 154 days ago

I gave up cutting miters on my chop saw a long time ago. You will like the sled a lot better.
I never used wood glue on Melamine. Work OK? The screws will certainly hold!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View iamcliff's profile

iamcliff

471 posts in 784 days


#2 posted 154 days ago

Nah, it doesn’t hold that great. I guess it’s just there for insurance and to make me feel better! My crosscut sled was made from the same pieces of melamine and I haven’t had any real problems with it, so the miter sled should last some time. Thanks for commenting!

-- Chris, http://www.youtube.com/CMRwoodworks , FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/cmrwoodworks1 , Proverbs 16:9

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10736 posts in 1322 days


#3 posted 154 days ago

I have used contact cement on melamine. Works great but you can’t reposition it!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Fr. Thomas Bailey, OSB's profile

Fr. Thomas Bailey, OSB

75 posts in 285 days


#4 posted 153 days ago

I like the design of your new project cards.

-- Fr. Thomas, http://www.monkwerks.org

View iamcliff's profile

iamcliff

471 posts in 784 days


#5 posted 153 days ago

Fr. Thomas: thanks!

-- Chris, http://www.youtube.com/CMRwoodworks , FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/cmrwoodworks1 , Proverbs 16:9

View Greg Guarino's profile

Greg Guarino

34 posts in 161 days


#6 posted 153 days ago

I’m a novice, so please excuse any ignorance.

Two things made me wonder a bit. The first was the glue, which has already been discussed. I have actually used bits of Swedish* melamine-covered plywood on my pipe clamps, specifically because it’s easy to clean the glue off of it.

"Price Tag" Clamp Shim

I call them “price tags” :)

The other thing was the use of a combination square to line up the first side. My sense of geometry tells me you might want something with longer sides, perhaps a plastic drafting triangle. Looks like the angle came out OK anyway.

  • The “Swedish Ply” was salvaged from some IKEA utility storage boxes.

-- http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/collections/72157628183467127/

View Fr. Thomas Bailey, OSB's profile

Fr. Thomas Bailey, OSB

75 posts in 285 days


#7 posted 153 days ago

Greg: As long as your two fences are 90 degrees to one another the cuts will work fine. If one is 46 and the other is 44, the wood is still making the necessary directional change. The key to it working is that you use both fences when using miter joints.

-- Fr. Thomas, http://www.monkwerks.org

View Greg Guarino's profile

Greg Guarino

34 posts in 161 days


#8 posted 153 days ago

I hate to come off like a smarty-pants, especially when talking to my woodworking “betters”, but it’s not quite true that the initial 45 degree angle doesn’t need to be correct. Using both sides of a jig that accurately totals up to 90 degrees will indeed give a 90 degree outer corner, whatever the individual angles might be. That’s one of the benefits of such a jig; the error cancels out where it’s the most visible. But the further you stray from 45 degrees, the more the inner corner won’t line up. See below:

miter angle

Now did your use a of a small 45 degree guide lead to a noticeably inaccurate angle? It doesn’t look like it.

-- http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/collections/72157628183467127/

View iamcliff's profile

iamcliff

471 posts in 784 days


#9 posted 153 days ago

Greg: thanks for your observations! The combo square was the only thing I had. I don’t have any triangles or one of those speed squares which, frankly, I didn’t think about before the fact. Otherwise I would have tried to get the base as square as I could to the front of the table saw, then I could’ve used the combo square with the ruler attached and had a longer reference line. I did try it, but it was farther away from 45 than referencing against the blade.

Where the two sides join together looks pretty dead on – I don’t see anything like what you show in your demonstration. I tested both test pieces against a framing square and both were square. The only problem I had was in the wider test pieces where I may have let one of them touch the blade slightly while the blade was coming to a stop; you can see in the vides that I didn’t pull back all the way past the blade.

By the way, I don’t consider myself anyone’s “better” at this point! I’m just a guy with limited resources chasing the pipe dream of one day making woodworking, something I love to do, a source of service opportunities and possible income. I appreciate your questions. We learn both asking questions and having questions asked of us!

-- Chris, http://www.youtube.com/CMRwoodworks , FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/cmrwoodworks1 , Proverbs 16:9

View Deek's profile

Deek

9 posts in 1693 days


#10 posted 153 days ago

Cliff—
I really enjoy looking at your posts. I especially enjoyed the uses for the one-legged stool that you built a couple of weeks ago. It’s obvious to me that you are fairly new at woodworking with limited everything. However, you make do with what you have and you are learning, that’s the important thing. Practice, practice, practice. I’m impressed. Keep up the good work my friend.
Doug

-- Deek

View iamcliff's profile

iamcliff

471 posts in 784 days


#11 posted 153 days ago

Deek: thanks for the comments. Yes, I’ve been going at it for about 2 years and I still am limited. I don’t get much money to spend on woodworking so when I do have a little extra it’s extremely hard to figure out what to get. Big tools are such a big investment that I am focusing on all the small things I need right now. I figure as long as I can get S4S material I can do without a jointer and planer for now and I can do without a band saw for now since I have a jig saw. Baby steps, I guess.

-- Chris, http://www.youtube.com/CMRwoodworks , FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/cmrwoodworks1 , Proverbs 16:9

View Roger's profile

Roger

14373 posts in 1436 days


#12 posted 152 days ago

A sled like this is a nice addition to the table saw.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

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