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any tricks for miter cuts?

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Forum topic by mzimmers posted 555 days ago 1072 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mzimmers

94 posts in 2499 days


555 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: miter precision cutting

I’m building a small box with miter cuts for the edges. I need to get the dimensions really exact on this one. The first cut is easy, of course, but the second cut (on the other end of the wood) is more problematic. I’d like to put a stop block on the miter saw, but I’m concerned about how effective this would be with a board that’s had a miter cut on it.

Any tips/tricks from the lumberjocks cognoscenti?

-- M. Zimmers, central CA


22 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4693 posts in 1161 days


#1 posted 555 days ago

Maybe have a stop block with a miter on it?

Keep debris from the corners though.

View mzimmers's profile

mzimmers

94 posts in 2499 days


#2 posted 555 days ago

Yeah, I was thinking about that. At first, I was concerned about the pieces sliding against each other, but that’s probably not a big issue. My miter saw isn’t easy to clamp stuff to, unfortunately.

-- M. Zimmers, central CA

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waho6o9

4693 posts in 1161 days


#3 posted 555 days ago

Make a sacrificial fence, bolt it to the miter saw, I used 1/4×20 thread
bolts on my Ryobi miter saw, and the results were acceptable.

Practice on scraps until you’re pleased with the results.

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mzimmers

94 posts in 2499 days


#4 posted 555 days ago

Not sure I follow you…you mean to temporarily replace the existing fence? Actually, that’s not a bad idea…the fence on my Bosch compound miter is definitely the worst part of the saw.

-- M. Zimmers, central CA

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4693 posts in 1161 days


#5 posted 555 days ago

Just make a fence and put it on top of the existing fence.

A fence and a base at 90 degrees.

View patron's profile

patron

12947 posts in 1925 days


#6 posted 555 days ago

you could even sticky tape it on

cut the miter down thru it

then you know exactly where it is cutting
(but still use a stop block)

if the parts are different lengths
do the first two
then the other two

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

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

3047 posts in 591 days


#7 posted 555 days ago

When I was making picture frames for several sized pics, I also wanted the miters to be exact because I was only going to oil them and didnt want to use filler if there was any gaps. But the frames were different sizes so I couldnt make a jig for sizing. the only good point was these were going to be square frames, not rectangles.
What I did was cut the first piece to the exact size, then used it to mark each of the three other sides. When I cut each side I cut it “just a hair” long. then I crept up on the line by making very tiny cuts. I also learned that a ratcheting strap was the perfect thing to use as a clamp and each frame was perfectly square when it dried.If your box is small you may be able to do the same thing.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Straightbowed's profile

Straightbowed

717 posts in 882 days


#8 posted 555 days ago

shoot it with a jackplane on the shooting board and you can tweak them in perfect just an idea happy new year

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

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Straightbowed

717 posts in 882 days


#9 posted 555 days ago

tablesaw is best for miters use a sled with a stopblock that does’t touch the outside corner

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3202 posts in 1397 days


#10 posted 555 days ago

I never have trouble with miter cuts anymore.
Since I stopped using them.
Other joints like mortise and tenon offer advantages such as self-aligning when gluing up projects.
I like mortise and tenon, through mortise and tenon, dovetails, boxjoints, biscuit joints, butt joints, then any other joint besides a miter, then miter joints (in that order).

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View teejk's profile

teejk

1205 posts in 1269 days


#11 posted 555 days ago

watched a pro do it once…second miter marked exactly where he wanted it but left it long on the first pass and then probably 8 cuts to finish it (with the saw running) and only taking a hair width at a time. he also used a match-book cover to create a tiny bevel on the cut to ensure the visible edge was tight even if it meant a bit of a gap on the non-visible part. easy tuning if the perfect joint is desired (that little shim removes most of the “meat”) and sandpaper can bring it back to perfect.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2161 days


#12 posted 555 days ago

This might do the trick.

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/75004

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

876 posts in 694 days


#13 posted 555 days ago

I do my mitered boxes on a simple table saw sled, kind of like the top sled here, by Doug Stowe. The main difference between that one and mine is a flip stop, allowing wraparound grain. Since the outside face is UP, the stop easily works with mitered edges.

Last month, I made a batch of 25 3” splined cubes, for my wife to give jewelry gifts to her friends. After a single test cut, I had one QC fail out of 100 corners. I had cut material for 30, but never assembled 4 of the kits.

The key to any accurate four sided miter is an angle setting accurate in two dimensions (45 one way, 90 the other), and opposing sides that are identical lengths. I’ll usually shoot for a hair over 45, to make sure any error will still allow the outside corners to close.

I do not trust miter saws for this kind of work. They usually have too many issues with arbor runout or moving mechanism for items that are examined as closely as a small box.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View mzimmers's profile

mzimmers

94 posts in 2499 days


#14 posted 555 days ago

Wow. Thanks for all the suggestions, guys. (This forum is fantastic.)

Barry: I’m hear what you’re saying, but my little garage/shop is very limited on space, and I don’t have a table saw. I did invest in a pretty decent miter saw (the Bosch 4212L), so I try to do as much as I can using it. I also have some pretty good blades for it. The saw is capable of making very good, very repeatable cuts…IF I can secure the work. But the fence is a weird shape in back, and just doesn’t give many options when it comes to clamping.

So, now I’m thinking maybe I should just build a new fence. I wonder how well a piece of high-tech plastic would work for this. (I should have done this last year when I was taking a CNC class!) Hmm…maybe this is a good discussion for its own thread.

-- M. Zimmers, central CA

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1743 days


#15 posted 555 days ago

I have this set…it’s wonderful:

http://www.amazon.com/Lock-Miter-Degree-Joint-Router/dp/B005WFEWF2/ref=pd_cp_hi_2

It might not help you this time, but it can the next time.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

showing 1 through 15 of 22 replies

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