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Miter Gauge Upgrade, Now With 200% More Aluminum!

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Project by jonah posted 10-22-2017 07:40 PM 3421 views 5 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just finished making some improvements to my Unisaw’s miter gauge. I added a 1”x2” aluminum extrusion to give me a longer reference surface and added a flip stop to ride in the top t-slot out of some aluminum plate and scraps of maple.

I got the idea after watching on of Allan Little’s (the owner of Very Super Cool Tools) youtube videos where he made a similar system.

The upgrades have been great so far. The flip stop is sturdy and the adjustable stops in the track let me keep two positions locked in for milling two separate lengths easily. The aluminum extrusion, which I got from Grainger for $30, is dead flat and quite sturdy as well. I cut a 26” length off the 72” piece for this, but if I were milling long parts and needed the capacity I could easily slide the ~4ft piece I have left over onto the t-nuts. That would have been handy when I was making a bed last summer, for example.

I even added some UHMW tape to the bottom of the extrusion to make sure it slides really well on the cast iron. I ended up having to drill new holes in the miter gauge to line up with the t-slot, but that was quite easy since the casting is pretty thin-walled.





10 comments so far

View htl's profile

htl

3063 posts in 975 days


#1 posted 10-22-2017 11:35 PM

Great project and write up.

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View dannmarks's profile

dannmarks

342 posts in 397 days


#2 posted 10-23-2017 01:48 AM

Yes I like this. Very good.

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10487 posts in 2196 days


#3 posted 10-23-2017 05:36 AM

I like it a lot. I use a wooden extension so I can use it zero clearance to prevent tearout. Suppose you could do the same with aluminum but it’s a bit spendy to be chewing up.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

2853 posts in 1804 days


#4 posted 10-23-2017 11:11 AM

Well done

View jonah's profile (online now)

jonah

1382 posts in 3114 days


#5 posted 10-23-2017 01:08 PM



I like it a lot. I use a wooden extension so I can use it zero clearance to prevent tearout. Suppose you could do the same with aluminum but it s a bit spendy to be chewing up.

- Rick_M


It’s super easy to add a sacrificial wooden face to the extrusion, actually. You just need to countersink a couple of holes for flat head machine screws that engage with t-nuts in the front track.

My next shop project might be a crosscut sled, since I got rid of my old one during a move last year. That’s generally how I cut stuff if I’m very concerned about tearout. I actually got a beefier 1 1/2” x 3” extrusion at the same time as the small one here that I’m planning to use as the front and back fences for the crosscut sled. Should be a pretty simple build.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

28780 posts in 2682 days


#6 posted 10-23-2017 01:58 PM

You did a nice job on this miter gage.
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

4958 posts in 2081 days


#7 posted 10-23-2017 02:36 PM

What a great idea. I just might have to copy it. I know I could definitely put it to good use. Thanks for posting this.

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10487 posts in 2196 days


#8 posted 10-24-2017 02:22 AM



It s super easy to add a sacrificial wooden face to the extrusion, actually. You just need to countersink a couple of holes for flat head machine screws that engage with t-nuts in the front track.
- jonah

Yeah I might keep an eye out for a deal on 80/20.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View jonah's profile (online now)

jonah

1382 posts in 3114 days


#9 posted 10-24-2017 02:59 AM

If you have a Grainger location near you, you can avoid shipping costs by picking it up at the store. I got this 80/20 extrusion. It’s a few dollars more now than when I got it, but the thing was dead flat. Good way to get a 6ft straightedge if nothing else.

For t-nuts, Grainger has some that’ll fit I think, but I got mine off eBay. You want the 80/20 3204 t-nuts.

View jonah's profile (online now)

jonah

1382 posts in 3114 days


#10 posted 10-24-2017 03:02 AM

You could also get a 1×1” extrusion if you’re going to be putting a sacrificial face on it and don’t need it to ride along the table top. That’s what Allan Little did, but I figured I’d go with the bigger extrusion and only add the sacrificial face if I needed to down the road.

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