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Accuracy: Miter saw vs TS Miter sled

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Forum topic by Poplarguy posted 11-20-2018 05:19 PM 918 views 0 times favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Poplarguy

21 posts in 87 days


11-20-2018 05:19 PM

I make a lot of small picture frames during the holidays for gifts. I like them to be perfect.

I’ve been using a Dewalt DWS 780 Miter saw with a sharp Freud blade and I’m not overly thrilled with how tight my miter joints are. I wind up doing a lot of finish sanding/filling on them which is a pain because I’m using some pretty hard woods. They’re close, but not perfect.

I’m considering the Incra miter sled because I’ve been happy with the repeatable accuracy using other products I have from them, but they’re not cheap. I don’t mind spending money for a quality tool, but I don’t want to spend money without getting a perfect joint, repeatedly.

Is anyone out there using an Incra miter sled and doing a volume of frames on the TS, or built their own miter sled?


41 replies so far

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GrantA

665 posts in 1604 days


#1 posted 11-20-2018 05:34 PM

I have not used the incra sled but I’ve been thrilled with their miter gauge and router plate fwiw
You’ll be much happier with any sled coming from the miter saw.

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GrantA

665 posts in 1604 days


#2 posted 11-20-2018 05:37 PM

This caught my eye recently, if you do a lot of frames it seems like a handy setup. Not a replacement for a sled or good miter gauge though
https://woodworker.com/cast-iron-miter-trimmer-mssu-876-782.asp?search=Miter%20trimmer&searchmode=2

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Poplarguy

21 posts in 87 days


#3 posted 11-20-2018 05:53 PM

Thank you Grant, yes I’m running their router plate, LS Positioner on the router and a box joint jig for the TS and I know they make quality stuff for sure.

I’ve seen those miter trimmers, but I believe they do need to be cut with a miter saw first, then run through that trimmer. So there’s now 2 steps to each cut. Plus, I don’t see it being an easy thing to force a blade to chop through, say, a 1” x 2.5” wide cherry or oak frame!

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pottz

3486 posts in 1181 days


#4 posted 11-20-2018 06:11 PM



Thank you Grant, yes I m running their router plate, LS Positioner on the router and a box joint jig for the TS and I know they make quality stuff for sure.

I ve seen those miter trimmers, but I believe they do need to be cut with a miter saw first, then run through that trimmer. So there s now 2 steps to each cut. Plus, I don t see it being an easy thing to force a blade to chop through, say, a 1” x 2.5” wide cherry or oak frame!

- Poplarguy


i have one and if you like perfect corners it will get it done.yes its an extra step but for frames its the way too go.they shave a very thin slice off so you need to cut your pieces close to finish length then clean it up with the trimmer.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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Kazooman

1236 posts in 2149 days


#5 posted 11-20-2018 06:14 PM



Thank you Grant, yes I m running their router plate, LS Positioner on the router and a box joint jig for the TS and I know they make quality stuff for sure.

I ve seen those miter trimmers, but I believe they do need to be cut with a miter saw first, then run through that trimmer. So there s now 2 steps to each cut. Plus, I don t see it being an easy thing to force a blade to chop through, say, a 1” x 2.5” wide cherry or oak frame!

- Poplarguy

I have one of the original Lion miter trimmers. You are correct that you make a rough cut first and then clean it up with the trimmer. You do not take off large bites of wood. You take thin shavings. Once you get the fence set accurately every single miter will be dead nuts on 45 degrees and the mating surfaces will be as smooth as glass. You cannot beat these for picture frames.

The other option is to use a plane with a shooting board.

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HokieKen

6999 posts in 1335 days


#6 posted 11-20-2018 06:22 PM

I use the Incra HD1000 miter gauge and it has virtually replaced my cross cut sled. I can dial it in to dead on miters when necessary. Use a ZCI and add a sacrificial face to the fence to back up the cut and I think you can get clean cuts at dead 45 repeatedly at much less cost than the full sled. Not that I would discourage owning the sled! I just see at is being better suited for larger work. I think the miter gauge would be sufficient for making frames.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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John Smith

1478 posts in 359 days


#7 posted 11-20-2018 07:02 PM

one of the better investments I ever made was the old cast iron guillotine trimmer.
if you plan to do much precise miter work, it is well worth checking into.

.

.

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

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AlaskaGuy

4757 posts in 2506 days


#8 posted 11-20-2018 07:33 PM

You might also consider using a shooting board

https://youtu.be/azyxM5lNOCo

Disclaimer I have done this myself but it’s on my bucket list.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Aj2

1867 posts in 1994 days


#9 posted 11-20-2018 07:38 PM

Shooting board for me. That’s the only way to satisfy the perfectionist inside :)

-- Aj

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Bill_Steele

450 posts in 1928 days


#10 posted 11-20-2018 07:49 PM

I think a table saw sled or a miter gauge (a good one) will be more accurate than a miter saw.

I’m considering making a jig like the one in this video.

Not only is it important that you can dial-in repeatable accurate angles, but you must also have accurate length parts. The sides have to be exactly the same length. I think a shooting board would definitely help when you need to remove a sliver of wood to get a tight fit. I wonder though how a small change in the length affects the fit when you have multiple parts.

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CaptainKlutz

592 posts in 1691 days


#11 posted 11-20-2018 08:13 PM

+1 Miter jig
Either make/buy a TS miter sled,
OR
make a 45 miter jig for miter/chop saw
(use blade set for 90, jig is trimmed to exactly 90, while blade cuts roughly in middle, into (2) 45’s by cutting ends on each side blade)
Forget which thread had a chop saw miter jig posted, but I know several examples exist.
Chop saw miter jig works best with full thickness blades to reduce wobble, especially on sliding miter saw.

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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msinc

569 posts in 700 days


#12 posted 11-20-2018 10:19 PM


This caught my eye recently, if you do a lot of frames it seems like a handy setup. Not a replacement for a sled or good miter gauge though
https://woodworker.com/cast-iron-miter-trimmer-mssu-876-782.asp?search=Miter%20trimmer&searchmode=2

- GrantA


one of the better investments I ever made was the old cast iron guillotine trimmer.
if you plan to do much precise miter work, it is well worth checking into.

.

.

- John Smith

It’s the other way around…a miter or table saw, no matter what you do to it, is not a replacement for that tool. I also make a lot of picture frames {year around} and there is no way I would do it without a miter trimmer. I got mine from Rockler. It wasn’t exactly cheap, but it will make perfect miters every time. You still have to cut a 45 close to the length, you don’t use the trimmer to cut through a solid board at 45 degrees. It will shave a very thin “see thru” piece of wood off the frame or you can shave off like 1/8” if you have to, but it works better taking a little at a time.
One other suggestion is to make a framing table to glue the frames together…it is very easy and works way better than any store bought clamp set up.

Edit: one last piece of info, you really must make certain that you are working with dead perfect straight and square boards before you try to miter them into a frame. Any aspect of the wood that is not perfectly straight and dead perfect square will not result in a perfect miter.

View Poplarguy's profile

Poplarguy

21 posts in 87 days


#13 posted 11-20-2018 11:31 PM


This caught my eye recently, if you do a lot of frames it seems like a handy setup. Not a replacement for a sled or good miter gauge though
https://woodworker.com/cast-iron-miter-trimmer-mssu-876-782.asp?search=Miter%20trimmer&searchmode=2

- GrantA

one of the better investments I ever made was the old cast iron guillotine trimmer.
if you plan to do much precise miter work, it is well worth checking into.

.

.

- John Smith

It s the other way around…a miter or table saw, no matter what you do to it, is not a replacement for that tool. I also make a lot of picture frames {year around} and there is no way I would do it without a miter trimmer. I got mine from Rockler. It wasn t exactly cheap, but it will make perfect miters every time. You still have to cut a 45 close to the length, you don t use the trimmer to cut through a solid board at 45 degrees. It will shave a very thin “see thru” piece of wood off the frame or you can shave off like 1/8” if you have to, but it works better taking a little at a time.
One other suggestion is to make a framing table to glue the frames together…it is very easy and works way better than any store bought clamp set up.

Edit: one last piece of info, you really must make certain that you are working with dead perfect straight and square boards before you try to miter them into a frame. Any aspect of the wood that is not perfectly straight and dead perfect square will not result in a perfect miter.

- msinc

Thank you, that is helpful info. I’m looking into those miter trimmers now, it seems my first impression might’ve been a bit off. That might be the way to go.

I appreciate the info from all.

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

1117 posts in 2431 days


#14 posted 11-21-2018 01:02 AM

-- Jerry

View GrantA's profile

GrantA

665 posts in 1604 days


#15 posted 11-21-2018 01:37 AM

Reading the comments in favor of the trimmer, you seriously might consider getting one of those a d a handsaw miter box, no noisy tools, virtually dust free and a pleasure to use!

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