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Miter sled

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Project by DouginVa posted 01-23-2013 09:16 PM 3752 views 48 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Miter sleds seem to be popular projects on LJ in recent weeks. I guess I’m no exception. Like the others mine was taken from Woodsmith Shop plans. My first attempt ended in disappointment when I just couldn’t get the 45 fences aligned at 45 degrees. Then an idea came to me. I have a Wixey digital protractor and although the Woodsmith Shop plans didn’t call for this I think it makes life much easier. Build your fence pieces according to the plans and after the rails, blade guard and handles are installed, push the sled through the saw blade till the blade reaches the blade guard. Power down the saw and leave the blade embedded in the fence at full height and place your Wixey protractor along the blade. Zero it out, then spread it open to 135 degrees like in the pic below. Place your fence along side of the protractor and screw it in to place.

I couldn’t take the photograph with the blade up and in place because I added a front fence and that prevented the protractor from fitting in that space. The front fence was another improvement that I made that Woodsmith Shop plans didn’t call for. I also see that others picked up on that and installed a front fence on their sleds too.

Once the fence is secure and locked in at 135 degrees you can screw the fence down from the underside of the sled. Place the protractor on the other side of the blade and repeat the process for the other fence. No fuss, no muss! I had the fences at a perfect 90 degrees to each other and perfect 45 degrees to the blade in a matter of minutes. A ran a test cut on some poplar scrap and had a perfect miter on the very first try.

I started this sled a couple of weeks ago and I have some picture frame moldings that I made that have patiently been waiting their turn to be cut. That’ll be coming up very soon.

-- Just a man with his chisel.........





16 comments so far

View mariva57's profile

mariva57

473 posts in 752 days


#1 posted 01-23-2013 09:39 PM

Nice work, the original shape of the jig.

-- The common man thinks. The wise man is silent. The stupid man discusses.

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

14578 posts in 1422 days


#2 posted 01-23-2013 10:04 PM

Excellent sled, explanation and pictoral documentation!!!

Yeah, miter sleds have been a recent focus on LJs. Looks like I may be following suit, in the not so distant future. Looks like a GREAT excuse to add to the shop capitol assets, ie; the Wixey Digital Protractor!!!

Thanks for the motivation and the process description! Makes it look like even I could build and accurate miter sled!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View madts's profile

madts

1298 posts in 1087 days


#3 posted 01-23-2013 10:06 PM

I have made several of these miter sleds and have found that the 45.5 degree is not as important as the 90 degree angle. Get the 45.5 as close as you can but work on the 90. If you cut each piece of a frame, in sequence one end on the left side, the other end on the right. Do the same thing throughout. Then you will have a tight frame. Normally a good square will get you close enough to very tight joints.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View GenuineGeek's profile

GenuineGeek

157 posts in 728 days


#4 posted 01-23-2013 10:26 PM

Very nice jig. This inspires me to remake mine.

-- Don't try to figure it out... just turn it.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15073 posts in 2423 days


#5 posted 01-24-2013 12:47 AM

Nice work.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Rick152's profile

Rick152

14 posts in 699 days


#6 posted 01-24-2013 12:51 AM

Nice work I see one of these in my near future.

-- Rick

View sbuckle's profile

sbuckle

54 posts in 785 days


#7 posted 01-24-2013 04:12 AM

Nice jig! I tried to line up my angle pieces off the blade with a 45 degree square and I would post a picture of it on LJ but….I had over 15 screw holes in my fence pieces, whenever I tried to join two pieces only to find out they were off by the smallest amount. Unscrew, move, screw back down! I have it where I need it to be….ain’t pretty but it works fine!! On mine I added toggle clamps to hold down my work and keep my hands out of the way.

-- Thanks for looking! Steve B.

View jeff's profile

jeff

689 posts in 2212 days


#8 posted 01-24-2013 05:30 AM

great sled and write up DouginVa…i now see how the Wixey works when you commented on my miter sled post…fantastic…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View doordude's profile

doordude

1085 posts in 1730 days


#9 posted 01-24-2013 06:36 AM

nice work,but looks like pretty envolved to make

View Bill_N's profile

Bill_N

235 posts in 1026 days


#10 posted 01-24-2013 10:24 AM

I need to get busy and add the miter fences to my sled
Very nice job on yours

-- I have the Saw Dust Fever

View Bob817's profile

Bob817

653 posts in 1130 days


#11 posted 01-24-2013 01:18 PM

That came out real nice, Good job!

-- ~ Bob ~ Newton, N.H.

View DouginVa's profile

DouginVa

487 posts in 1020 days


#12 posted 01-24-2013 01:25 PM

There were some minor flaws that you can’t see from the pics. I used drywall screws and the heads broke off a couple on the underside of the sled…...I really gotta stop using them. They’re crappy screws for woodworking, but I’m cheap so I use them. And the aluminum rail didn’t line up perfectly with the fixed fence. I had to enlarge the holes with a rat tail file a little bit so the extensions would line up in the same plane as the fixed fence.

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

View madts's profile

madts

1298 posts in 1087 days


#13 posted 01-24-2013 04:08 PM

Very nice jig. I posted wrong in my first attempt. Do not know there the 45.5 came from.
I have made several of these miter sleds and have found that the 45 degree is not as important as the 90 degree angle. Get the 45’s as close as you can but work on the 90. If you cut each piece of a frame, in sequence one end on the left side, the other end on the right. Do the same thing throughout. Then you will have a tight frame. Normally a good square will get you close enough to very tight joints.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View DouginVa's profile

DouginVa

487 posts in 1020 days


#14 posted 01-24-2013 04:39 PM

Madts;

I caught on to the typo on your first post. I understood what you meant. However, and this is big, it is vitally important that each side of the miter be at 45 degrees to achieve a picture perfect miter (pun intended). While your end result may be 90 degrees overall the resulting ends of the miter will not match up.

For example, I took the same two pieces of poplar that I used above and re-cut them using my Incra miter gauge. To demonstrate the point I cut one side at 47 degrees and the other at 43 degrees. I didn’t take a lot of time to fine tune the measurement on the angle so the end result was not exactly 90 degrees. But the end result is one end of the miter is now wider than the other. When you’re dealing with picture frames and cabinet joinery that makes all the difference in the world.

Class dismissed…..;)

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

View Verne Buehler's profile

Verne Buehler

57 posts in 706 days


#15 posted 01-24-2013 06:44 PM

Very nice, I love digital readout.

-- Verne, Iowa, vernebuehler@q.com

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