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Forum topic by jacob34 posted 06-14-2012 04:36 PM 972 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jacob34

454 posts in 950 days


06-14-2012 04:36 PM

I have been trying to get miters on my table saw with out making a jig. I just put the blade at 45 and used the fence and sacrificial board. Now I know I could have made a jig and probably will but in this situation I just wanted to see what I could do without it. I knew the method I was using wasn’t the most accurate but it frustrated me to the point I decided to buy a miter saw. I am at this point trying to decide was I smart because my level of woodworking experience makes it way easier to have the saw or weak because my frustration caused me to buy a new tool.

I must admit as with most of us on here it doesn’t take much for me to buy a new tool. And I did know the method I was using well would be sloppy, I mainly did it to see how far off it would be. As I am cutting sides to a box that are six inches tall I did not want to stand them up on my table saw. I have a miter box with hand saw but it is cheap and caused me to seriously break my no beer while running power tools rule.

I do know this miter joints should not be this hard so I know it is something I am over complicating in my process but I am working up toward dovetails and think this must be figured out. Anyway thanks for reading my thoughts and happy cutting.

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log


33 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

7724 posts in 2334 days


#1 posted 06-14-2012 05:01 PM

What kind of table saw are you using?

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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chrisstef

11112 posts in 1693 days


#2 posted 06-14-2012 05:19 PM

I cut my miters on a compound miter saw due to the crappy slot in my Craftsman tablesaw. I like to back up the miter saw with a shooting board and a handplane to make a crisp 45.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View DamnYankee's profile

DamnYankee

3235 posts in 1248 days


#3 posted 06-14-2012 05:36 PM

I cut very accurate miters on my TS (you can se examples in my projects).
Here are some points I’ve found helpful/key

- make sure (check) miter is TRUELY square with blade
- make sure (check) blade is TRUELY at 45-degrees
- use zero clearance insert
- use backer board attached to miter
- test cut
- make sure each of your opposing sides are TRUELY the exact same length (on many projects it matter a WHOLE lot more that they are teh exact same length than that they are exactly a specific length (i.e. exactly 6”)
- and the truely key point (IMHO) is SNEAK UP on the cut! Make sure your last cut on the miter is less than the full width of your blade – the slighter the better.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

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jacob34

454 posts in 950 days


#4 posted 06-14-2012 05:49 PM

Loren I have a rockwell RK7240.1 10” table saw. chrisstef I just purchased one and am looking forward to getting time in the shop to try it out. DY I don’t have a zero clearance insert, all good advice, problem is I seem to find that my motor is well out of true or moves on me however you would put it. I need to go in and see if I can tighten the mounts, I just noticed it when I tried to put my cross cut sled back on and the blade rubbed one side of the slot.

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log

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BinghamtonEd

1423 posts in 1056 days


#5 posted 06-14-2012 05:49 PM

+1 to everything DYankee said, I think his last piece of advice is the one I would emphasize. Cut it a tad long, then sneak up on it. A lot easier to take more off than to put some back on.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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jacob34

454 posts in 950 days


#6 posted 06-14-2012 05:53 PM

I think that was part of my problem BinghamtonEd I kept trying to take off small amounts and ended up getting farther and farther in trouble instead of stopping and relaxing. I am still new and sometimes should rethink instead of fixing on the fly.

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log

View Loren's profile

Loren

7724 posts in 2334 days


#7 posted 06-14-2012 05:56 PM

Miters are about the trickiest joint to get right.

Most non-cabinet saws will experience blade healing when
the motor is tilted at 45 degrees. The solution is to leave
the blade at 90 degrees and make a jig that holds the
work at 45.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View jacob34's profile

jacob34

454 posts in 950 days


#8 posted 06-14-2012 06:03 PM

Loren I thought about that and honestly I just knew the table could roll to 45 and wanted to try it out. one of those things that a year or more down the road and I will think it was goofy to try. fortunately or unfortunately I am new enough to woodworking that I get some goofy ideas and don’t realize the impracticality of it or the fact that another process would cut the time and difficulty in half. I am just a woodworking kid trying to become a woodworking adult and having growing pains.

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3032 posts in 1173 days


#9 posted 06-14-2012 06:08 PM

Poopie, If you have a good saw that is accurate otherwise you can go down to the Office store and buy a couple of Staedtler drafting triangles. Set one up against the blade and resting on the deck… If you are using the 45° angle, your cut will be 45° unless the blade/arbor or motor is drifting.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View DamnYankee's profile

DamnYankee

3235 posts in 1248 days


#10 posted 06-14-2012 06:12 PM

I personally found that the healing Loren mentions is not so much the blade, but rather the board moving ever so slighlly along your miter – this can be a hair towards the blade or a hair away. My fix to this was to use self-adnesive 220 grit sandpaper on the front of my miter fench. This eliminates movement while cutting. The wider the piece being cut the more pronounce this movement can be. If you have a tendency to push teh board towards the blade the cut will get “wider” the longer you are cutting (wide board). If you do this on matching miters you will find the gap in the miter is wider at one end (say the bottom) than at the other. This is made more pronounce because both miter cuts were “widen” at the roughly same rate.

Bottom line – use some sandpaper attached to the front of you miter fence, and a stop block is also helpful in this regard.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View DS's profile

DS

2131 posts in 1107 days


#11 posted 06-14-2012 06:14 PM

One option, if your saw isn’t accurate at angles, is to cut square first, then use a 45 degree router bit in your router table to make the angles. There are several bits available at common angles to make polygonal shapes.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15959 posts in 1553 days


#12 posted 06-14-2012 06:47 PM

I use a dedicated sled with two incra sliders for the slots and the TS blade at 45 deg. I like the sliders. In 5 minutes or less I can tilt my blade, get the sled off the shelf, place it on the saw, and raise the blade to the proper height. I make a test cut on a scrap and measure the angle. I rarely have to adjusts the blade angle. So far the Incra sliders are holding up well and cutting accurately.

helluvawreck
https://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- 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 Don W's profile

Don W

15221 posts in 1254 days


#13 posted 06-15-2012 12:43 PM

jacob, you got some decent hand planes, make a shooting board.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15706 posts in 2904 days


#14 posted 06-15-2012 02:02 PM

- make sure each of your opposing sides are TRUELY the exact same length (on many projects it matter a WHOLE lot more that they are teh exact same length than that they are exactly a specific length (i.e. exactly 6”)
- and the truely key point (IMHO) is SNEAK UP on the cut! Make sure your last cut on the miter is less than the full width of your blade – the slighter the better.

+1 for what Rob said (above). I find this to be the biggest and most overlooked factor in getting good miters for boxes.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View tyskkvinna's profile

tyskkvinna

1308 posts in 1672 days


#15 posted 06-15-2012 02:39 PM

I seriously despise the table saw and avoid it whenever possible. I can do this because of the large variety of other saws I have available to me: compound mitre saw, mitre saw, bandsaw(s), panel saw and if all else fails a drawer full of manual saws.

The mitre saw is my favourite saw for general use and I will do whatever I can on it.. I am sure you will love it!

I figure I could spend the time to figure out how to do a lot of things on the TS that I bring to other saws… but I’d rather spend my time happy and making things, than fussing about with getting things perfect on a tool I’m not in love with to start.

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

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