Miter gauge on table saw

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Forum topic by Medickep posted 10-30-2013 07:07 PM 1023 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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531 posts in 1159 days

10-30-2013 07:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: miter gauge education table saw resource

In keeping with my TS education I decided it was time to learn exactly how to use the miter gauge on my TS. I have a chair I want to build and need to offset the legs at an angle. Since only one side on most of the pieces will be offset, the easy way would be to use my chop saw for the angled cut first and than make the 90 degree cut at the desired length.

But I wanted to know how to use the miter gauge with great accuracy as my chair has a piece, which is angled on both sides.

I have the Rigid TS3650 and everything is accurate enough for a hobbyist. I don’t have a board mounted to the gauge yet, but think I’ll need to as well as look into some sort of clamp that works with the miter gauge.

My real question is how do you make a dead on miter gauge cut without using the fence, as I’ve heard never to do so. If the piece I have is 13” long and I want one side to be offset 15 degrees, without loosing any length!

Thanks in advance!

-- Keith

5 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


4825 posts in 2235 days

#1 posted 10-30-2013 07:35 PM

The miter gauge is accurate on its own, without the fence. You are correct that when making through-cuts you should not use the miter gauge and fence together. However when making tenons, it is perfectly acceptable to use the miter gauge and fence together. In that case it is a partial cut, so there is no small part to get caught between the blade and fence.

I highly recommend a sacrificial fence on your miter gauge. It will prevent tearout whn cutting tenons with a dado blade. A strip of 3/4” plywood works fine.

Good luck!

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

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8101 posts in 2850 days

#2 posted 10-30-2013 07:47 PM

You can use the fence during a cross cut… surface to mount a block of wood, 3/4” thick, to use as a stop or length limiter. Once past the wood block, you’re out of danger.
Definitely make an auxiliary fence for the miter gauge.
If you need absolutely dead on angles, I’d get one of these. MITERSET
I have one and, the one for segments, also. They are the cat’s meow.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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4527 posts in 1934 days

#3 posted 10-30-2013 08:11 PM

You can also use the tablesaw fence only as a reference to set distance, clamp your work to the miter fence then move the tablesaw fence out of the way before powering up the saw and making the cut.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

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531 posts in 1159 days

#4 posted 10-30-2013 08:47 PM

Thanks for all the replies. Until I do it with a scrap piece (kids sleeping now) I don’t see have I can use the kerf cut in the miter fence to make the exact same cut again. I suppose I can clamp a block to the back of the wood too!

-- Keith

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531 posts in 1159 days

#5 posted 10-30-2013 10:18 PM

Apparently I’m more of a visual learner than I thought. After I slapped a piece of scrap onto my miter gauge I turned the miter to a 15 degrees and made a kerf cut through my fence. Than I lined up a piece of wood to the closer edge of the kerf cut. This made the angled cut exactly as I needed. This may seem like a no brainer to you guys but as a brand new table saw owner, this was the first time I made a none rip cut with it!

Yes, I feel a little silly right now!

-- Keith

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