Why cant i cut 45 degree cuts for a box?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Cole Tallerman posted 557 days ago 3060 views 0 times favorited 51 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

387 posts in 687 days

557 days ago

So I just got a new sawstop contractor saw, and i cant seem to get perfect 45 degree cuts. I made a jig for picture frames that cuts at perfect 45 degree cuts but when i tilt the blade as if to cut the angles for a box, the joints don’t line up. I made a cross cut sled just for this but the blade angle needs to be at 45. All i do is i turn the hand-wheel untill it stops turning because sawstop claims that everything is aligned and so far, everything is. Do I need one of those digital blade angle readers? Also, when i feel like ive hit the 45 degree stop, With a little more effort the hand wheel will turn another half turn. Is there something wrong with the angle stop?

Thanks in advance!

51 replies so far

View DS's profile


2080 posts in 923 days

#1 posted 557 days ago

Um yah, you’ll probably want to check all your new saw’s setup, especially the 45 degree hardstop adjustment.

It will be worth it, regardless of the company statements.

FWIW, my new saw took almost a week to settle into the new environs, so I repeated the initial setup at that point too.

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

View paratrooper34's profile


760 posts in 1454 days

#2 posted 557 days ago

My experience with table saw blades have taught me to use a square or something like that when setting the blade angle. Whether it is 45 or 90, whatever. The scales on the saws are just not accurate enough to guarantee setting the blade by them. For rough measurements, they are good. For stuff that matters, use external reference.

-- Mike

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

387 posts in 687 days

#3 posted 557 days ago

I checked everything except the blade stop and it was dead on. I will try this weekend. What would you suggest i use as a true 45 degree angle? ive used the head of a combination square before.

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

13943 posts in 1070 days

#4 posted 557 days ago

I don’t own a saw stop, but I’ve yet to see a table saw (or any piece of machinery) with that kind of precision built in. You’ll need something to set the blade exactly. one of those digital blade angle readers would be one option. A good 45 degree scquare would work as well.

-- There is nothing like the sound of a well tuned hand plane. - (timetestedtools at hotmail dot c0m)

View CharlieM1958's profile


15544 posts in 2721 days

#5 posted 557 days ago

Yep, you definitely cannot bank on just turning the crank until it stops.

I don’t know about the Sawstop, but with my saw, even when properly adjusted, I can throw the angle out of a perfect 45 just by turning the handle too hard or not hard enough. I always use my digital angle gauge to be sure.

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

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

387 posts in 687 days

#6 posted 557 days ago

What digital angle gauge should i use? I just spent $2,000 on a table saw so im not looking to break the bank

View patron's profile


12847 posts in 1843 days

#7 posted 557 days ago

if you have a good square

cut a board at the 45 angle
and taking the other piece
mate it to the first angle
if it is square
you got 45

if not tweak till they do 90*
(i’m sure there is an adjustable stop bolt
for the stop)

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

13943 posts in 1070 days

#8 posted 557 days ago

then a plane and shooting board wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

-- There is nothing like the sound of a well tuned hand plane. - (timetestedtools at hotmail dot c0m)

View shampeon's profile


1071 posts in 686 days

#9 posted 557 days ago

One of those $20-30 digital angle gauges are pretty much perfect for this. Like a Wixley:
I got mine for like $19 on sale.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View a1Jim's profile


109375 posts in 2079 days

#10 posted 557 days ago

When cutting on a miter gauge your material will tend to crawl (move) this can change the angle and the length, it’s very critical for parallel sides to be exactly the same length.

-- Custom furniture

View lab7654's profile


232 posts in 749 days

#11 posted 557 days ago

I use a speed square, those are long enough to give a good idea of where you are at. They are usually pretty dead on when it comes to accuracy, even the cheap plastic ones.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

View 47phord's profile


174 posts in 739 days

#12 posted 557 days ago

I always set my saw with a metal framing square I bought years ago. It’s dead-on, and I know that my saw is set right the first time.

View knockknock's profile (online now)


134 posts in 675 days

#13 posted 557 days ago

Tallerman said: “ive used the head of a combination square before.”

As long as you combination square is not poorly made, remove the ruler and the head should have a good 45.

View crashn's profile


515 posts in 968 days

#14 posted 557 days ago

what you did not mention is that are your cuts short (less than 45) or long (more than 45). Even when set with a guage, square or digital tool, make test cuts in scrap and sneak up on the perfect angle.

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View GarageWoodworks's profile (online now)


401 posts in 659 days

#15 posted 557 days ago

I NEVER trust my positive stops for blade bevel angles. It wouldn’t take much sawdust to throw off your positive stop in your table saw.

The fastest and most accurate method for checking 45 is to use a dial indicator and an accurate 45 degree reference.

-- Subscribe on YouTube:

showing 1 through 15 of 51 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase