Why cant i cut 45 degree cuts for a box?

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Forum topic by Cole Tallerman posted 10-09-2012 10:33 PM 7970 views 0 times favorited 51 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2423 days

10-09-2012 10:33 PM

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


3045 posts in 2659 days

#1 posted 10-09-2012 10:39 PM

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


915 posts in 3190 days

#2 posted 10-09-2012 10:41 PM

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

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Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2423 days

#3 posted 10-09-2012 10:42 PM

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

Don W

19050 posts in 2806 days

#4 posted 10-09-2012 10:43 PM

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.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4457 days

#5 posted 10-09-2012 10:44 PM

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"

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Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2423 days

#6 posted 10-09-2012 10:49 PM

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


13641 posts in 3579 days

#7 posted 10-09-2012 10:53 PM

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

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Don W

19050 posts in 2806 days

#8 posted 10-09-2012 11:09 PM

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

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View shampeon's profile (online now)


1895 posts in 2422 days

#9 posted 10-09-2012 11:20 PM

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


117417 posts in 3816 days

#10 posted 10-09-2012 11:23 PM

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.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View lab7654's profile


266 posts in 2485 days

#11 posted 10-10-2012 12:01 AM

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


182 posts in 2476 days

#12 posted 10-10-2012 12:17 AM

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)


466 posts in 2412 days

#13 posted 10-10-2012 12:46 AM

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


528 posts in 2704 days

#14 posted 10-10-2012 01:12 AM

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


539 posts in 2395 days

#15 posted 10-10-2012 01:26 AM

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:

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