miter bar stock

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Forum topic by andyfl posted 06-11-2011 12:33 AM 6957 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2746 days

06-11-2011 12:33 AM

Anyone use 3/8×3/4 6061 aluminum bar available on ebay to make miter bars before? Its quite a bit cheaper than the nice anodized ones that the woodwork stores sell. I’m getting ready to make a crosscut sled and might try some out.

4 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3852 days

#1 posted 06-11-2011 02:55 AM

I wouldn’t make miter bars out of standard aluminum. It’s pretty soft
and flexible. You can get steel bar stock that works pretty good, but
I’ve bought miter bars for less than $20 apiece and it’s worth it to get
a steel one, IMO. Some of them have an adjustment gimmick of some
sort, which I recommend over fussing with aluminum.

You can use any hard and hard-wearing wood as a miter bar for sleds –
especially when doubled in both miter grooves, wood works well.

HDPE plastic is another useful option, though a little fussy to work with.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 3917 days

#2 posted 06-21-2011 04:55 AM

I believe it was Gord Graff who posted about making your own miter gauge using 3/8 X3/4 bar stock, saying it was inexpensive and readily available. I searched high and low, talked to welding shops, machine shops big box stores, little box stores, chain stores and friends who knew someone but I could not find this bar stock anywhere. I’ve been looking off and on for it since Gord posted it maybe around 18 months ago. I thought about using aluminum channel, but from what August is saying it may be worth while to try the aircraft quality aluminum. I’ve used some of the HDPE plastic for sliders on a couple of jigs also, as Loren suggests, and I agree with him it is fussy to work with and the static electricity from working with it makes it stick to EVERYTHING. Do not put it through your dust collector if you want to donate the sawdust to animal lovers!

Just did a search for Gord’s post ( and it was 1227 days ago! Where does the time go?!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3289 days

#3 posted 06-21-2011 04:08 PM

I buy bar stock in various sizes from Fasteners, Inc. their prices are reasonable, and most common sizes are
in stock. It comes in 1 and 3 foot lengths. If nothing else, GL Huyett has an online store and you can
order direct from them and get exactly what you need. Good luck on your project.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3263 days

#4 posted 06-21-2011 04:30 PM

IMHO, aluminum bar stock would work very well as miter slot guides for jigs to which the bar is attached to a piece of wood, such as would be done on a panel sled or maybe a miter sled where the bar is attached to a piece of sheet good along it’s length. There isn’t much danger of it bending in those cases. I would be reluctant to use aluminum for something like a normal miter gauge where the bar has to depend solely on it’s own stiffness to keep things together. It might be a little soft and flexible for that application. Also, if you keep them coated with wax, wear should not be too big of a problem.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

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