For picture frames: dedicated miter sled or aftermarket miter gauge?

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Forum topic by Millo posted 02-16-2011 07:24 AM 3100 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Millo's profile


543 posts in 2216 days

02-16-2011 07:24 AM

Hey everyone,

What do you use, a dedicated shop-made miter sled or a commercial miter gauge like Incra’s line?

I was looking at Incra’s Miter 1000HD and thinking about possible uses (projects I have in mind), and started to consider that MAYBE this thing could make me not require a shop-made miter sled for picture frames, only needing to build the miter key-slot (I like the look and functionality of miter keys) jig.

The reason I would like to limit my jig-making during shop time is because I only go to a community college shop for a few hours once a week… was thinking of using this on their Saw Stop. No table saw or power tools at home.

A different question: do you cut your own matting? Just curious on that one.


13 replies so far

View lew's profile


10820 posts in 2921 days

#1 posted 02-16-2011 06:19 PM

Dedicated jig so I can cut left and right pieces to cancel out any error. And, yes, cut my own mats.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Colin 's profile


93 posts in 1977 days

#2 posted 02-16-2011 07:14 PM

Cut a little (about 3/32) over-sized whichever way is faster for you then use an anvil to make the final cuts. Grizzly has one for $159 and you can buy an adjustable stop attachment for it.


View Millo's profile


543 posts in 2216 days

#3 posted 02-16-2011 08:14 PM

Lew: YES, that’s the advantage I see on doing the sled! I love that part of it.

The advantage of NOT doing it is simply saving shop time (since I only have about 4 hrs. a week) and getting something that can be used for this AND be adjusted for other things as well, like the angle I’m thinking of doing for a wall-hung mail organizer.

Cessna: Yup, I was planning to use stops but the miter sled fences have to be rather large for some of the stuff I want to frame, and with graduations… that’s exactly how I got the idea of buying the Incra tool, because of the telescoping fence w/ stop and the built-in graduations, which I wouldn’t to have fiddle with.

Colin: GREAT TIP! That is about the price of the miter gauge, though. This miter trimmer looks like a great tool, awesome.

Decisions, decisions… I still have a couple weeks to decide, though.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 2325 days

#4 posted 02-16-2011 08:29 PM

I cut my miters on the 1000HD. If you use a sacrificial fence/extension with it, you have zero clearance for the blade as well as the ability to hit the mark. The latter point is less important for shorter boards since you can use the Incra stop for repeated cuts, but it certainly helps to hit your marks on longer boards where a stop isn’t practical.

Once you lock the true angle in, the miter gauge is pretty accurate. I use an Irvin clamp to keep the board true to the miter fence to prevent any motion going through the blade.

-- jay,

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 2216 days

#5 posted 02-16-2011 08:50 PM

Cosmicsniper: yes, I was thinking of using padded clamps to keep boards tight against fence.

IS it easy to align fences made of, say MDF, where the last portion is detachable so that your cuts are supported to avoid tear-out, w. a sacrificial fence?

In the videos I JSUT saw it seems the fence they show is modular, as in not a huge long one but segmented. It seems when a fence is added, a potential error factor is added. It would be critical to make this MDF, plywood or wooden face of consistent thickness.

Do you trust getting the blade close to the miter gauge’s aluminum fence to avoid tear/chip-out?

LEW: do you have a dedicated mat-cutting system, or just use a 45-degree mat-cutter and a straightedge?

Just trying to se what people use. I see there are mat-cutting systems that cost around $300 at LeeValley.

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 2216 days

#6 posted 02-16-2011 08:53 PM

does anyone use the Incra or Osborne miter gauges to taper legs—with the aid of clamps, of course (for accuracy and safety)?

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 2216 days

#7 posted 02-17-2011 12:45 AM

Cool. Ive used a similar one, not mine.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2116 posts in 2088 days

#8 posted 02-17-2011 01:16 AM

I enjoy making shop jigs so I have a dedicated picture frame jig and also a taper jig. Both of them shop made.

-- "Just my opinion, I may be right"

View lew's profile


10820 posts in 2921 days

#9 posted 02-17-2011 03:02 AM

I have the Fletcher Bevel 32” Matt Mate. Don’t have any of the oval/circle cutting attachments. Mostly just do standard square/rectangle stuff.

My 45 degree jig isn’t very large. Probably only 18” or so square. The real advantage is that it is always the exact angle. For everything else, I use my Woodhaven miter gauge.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

555 posts in 2222 days

#10 posted 02-17-2011 03:21 AM

I bought my first after market sled last year, a Dubby. I like it. When I made lots of frames I used a dedicated sled with 45 deg fences going both ways. The nice thing about the dedicated fence is that you know it’ll be the right angle without fiddling with any adjustment. There is the arguement that having both is the best of all worlds.

-- Glen

View cabs4less's profile


235 posts in 1928 days

#11 posted 02-17-2011 05:09 AM

I use the kreg and I love it The only thing better than kreg products is thier customer service. When I do make frames I always end up having to fine tune them with a block plane. NOt the miter gauge fault I just have bad luck with miters so I cut them a little long

-- As Best I Can

View thiel's profile


374 posts in 2458 days

#12 posted 02-17-2011 05:24 AM

I’ve made a few frames with my Osbourne and they came out perfect….no hand tuning needed at all.

-- Laziness minus Apathy equals Efficiency

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 2216 days

#13 posted 02-17-2011 11:38 PM

Related but unrelated:

Has anyone used and/or recommend any of these mat-cutting systems?

Has anyone built a mat-cutting jig from plywood/MDF to use one the of the Logan or Alto or other brand of commercial 45-degree cutters? Or can I just cut matting w/ a combination square and a straightedge and 45-degree mat-cutter?

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