How to create a 45 degree jig

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Forum topic by Farrout posted 11-07-2013 04:37 PM 722 views 1 time favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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185 posts in 2574 days

11-07-2013 04:37 PM

I’ve read a lot of posts and articles about making miter and other setup jigs. They all presume your
jig is a precise 45 degrees.
So, how do you get an accurate 45 in the first place?
Just looking for tips.

-- If we learn from our mistakes, I should be a genius!

4 replies so far

View tengallonhat's profile


79 posts in 1176 days

#1 posted 11-07-2013 04:39 PM

I find Steve Ramsey’s method to be really easy to getting an accurate miter sled put together.

I built this one in about 2 hours.

View shipwright's profile


7087 posts in 2218 days

#2 posted 11-07-2013 04:58 PM

That’s a great video and a very good simple sled.
My method of getting an accurate 90 degrees would be to start with a perfect square, verified by comparing diagonals, and cutting it in half on the diagonal, verified by comparing the two pieces after cutting.
This can be done without any measuring devices at all other than a stick with a mark on it that can be as accurate as you like. I don’t like measuring devices.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View jumbojack's profile


1666 posts in 2044 days

#3 posted 11-07-2013 05:14 PM

shipwright, I too disdain the measuring tape. Yesterday we were erecting a patio cover. I was cutting the rafters using a stick with tics on it for layout. Used the same stick to cut the blocks as we were tying it to an existing structure. Never miss with the stick. Measurements can be forgotten from taking them to layout, but not with the stick. Make the mark, hold with the thumb and transfer to the layout piece.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2754 days

#4 posted 11-07-2013 05:38 PM

Good thought. After making zillions of measuring mistakes during the course of my short woodworking career I too rely more on story sticks and marking for cuts from the actual workpiece where the pieces are meant to fit. I still manage to make marking/cutting mistakes, but less and less as the process becomes more of an ingrown habit.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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