Cutting a miter on a wide board with table saw

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Forum topic by Brett posted 01-16-2014 11:05 PM 3531 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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661 posts in 2852 days

01-16-2014 11:05 PM

I need to use a table saw to miter two opposite edges of board. In theory, I could tilt the blade to 45 degrees, move the fence the desired distance away from the blade, and run one edge of the board along the fence while cutting the miter on the opposite edge. The problem is that my fence can only move 24 inches from the saw but the two mitered edges need to be 26 inches apart. What alternatives do I have for cutting a miter?

I have thought about using the miter gauge to “push” the board through the saw blade, but even with an auxiliary fence, I think I will have a hard time ensuring that the edges of my board stay 90 degrees to each other. I supposed I could build a sled, but that’s a lot of work for one project. Any suggestions?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

12 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5781 posts in 2983 days

#1 posted 01-16-2014 11:17 PM

You can use a locking miter bit at the router table.

In a pinch you could use a circular saw and edge guide, but I wouldn’t expect furniture grade accuracy.

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

View brtech's profile


1046 posts in 3092 days

#2 posted 01-16-2014 11:30 PM

Aux fence on a miter gauge should work fine. Mill a board flat and straight, fasten well to the miter gauge and cut.

The usual problem with this method is accurate marking of where the cut goes. Take your time, make sure you are measuring what you need to use (top/bottom of the miter, inside/outside tooth, ...) and maybe make a practice cut.

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2208 days

#3 posted 01-16-2014 11:35 PM

You could make a very large crosscut sled that rides in both miter gauge slots and sticks out each side of the tablesaw by a foot or more.

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View shopdog's profile


577 posts in 3655 days

#4 posted 01-16-2014 11:48 PM

You can use a clamp guide and a router with a chamfer bit…or a clamp guide with a circular saw, set at 45 degrees. Or forget the clamp guide, and just clamp a straight edge, and cut with router or saw.
You didn’t say how wide the board is…can you use a sliding compound miter saw?
Or, you could make a sled

-- Steve--

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4261 days

#5 posted 01-16-2014 11:53 PM

I would use the miter gauge with a beefy auxiliary fence. Say a 2×4 that’s been jointed and thickness so its square. You can then add a couple of clamps to hold your stock to the fence while you push it through. Don’t backup the cut piece while the blade is still rotating.

-- Nicky

View WibblyPig's profile


172 posts in 3444 days

#6 posted 01-17-2014 12:35 AM

Do you own a circular saw?

-- Steve, Webster Groves, MO "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

View Texcaster's profile


1287 posts in 1843 days

#7 posted 01-17-2014 12:53 AM

This works for me and many others. Screw a bit of timber to the rip fence. Rise the blade at 45* into the fence. You now have a sort of router table set up. Cut your mitre. Make a relief cut on the heel (freehand at the saw or freehand on the jointer ) or the waste will come out like an arrow.
If you don’t leave a small flat at the tip of the cut, the job will rock around because the edge isn’t straight front to back. ( it is offset ) Round this over after glue up, or double side tape a straight edge before the cut.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2859 days

#8 posted 01-17-2014 02:08 AM

I use a sacrificial fence attached to my miter gauge for these cuts. Clamp a stop block to the miter gauge fence to assure your pieces are all the same length.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Brett's profile


661 posts in 2852 days

#9 posted 01-17-2014 05:49 PM

Texcaster, what do you mean by “make a relief cut on the heel”? Can you explain a little more? Thanks.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View basswood's profile


261 posts in 1790 days

#10 posted 01-17-2014 07:28 PM

This sounds like a good excuse to buy a sliding compound miter saw to me, unless the board you are mitering is wider than 13 inches?

You could do this on a table saw, of course, with a 26” long board anyway (by miter gauge and fence, or sled or sacrificial rip fence method)

If you ever have to miter a wide AND long board… then the sliding CMS is just the ticket.


View basswood's profile


261 posts in 1790 days

#11 posted 01-17-2014 07:52 PM

btw, I built a long rectangular box that fits snuggly over my Biesemeyer Fence. It is a smooth fence on one side and the other side is the tight miter and bevel fence.

I can use this box with either side facing the blade. And use the fence on both sides of the blade too, depending on what needs to be done.


View Texcaster's profile


1287 posts in 1843 days

#12 posted 01-17-2014 08:54 PM

Without the relief the waste is triangle shaped and crowds the fence. This also makes the final cut more of a trim cut. The blade is only raised enough to bury the tip. This technique and many others was part of the curriculum at L.A. Trade Tech in the mid 70s. You can pattern cut odd shapes with an overhang jig ( ) on the saw, triangles & parallelograms and and then mitre all the edges this way. We were taught it’s possible to do almost everything on the table saw if you have to. Didn’t someone sell his Unnecessary Table Saw awhile ago?

Still going strong! I did the 2 year, 5 day a week program on the GI bill. Before that I mostly just went surfing. I was 27 and had surfed most of the w. coast of Mexico and El Salvador. Cabinet making became the new surfing for me. Krenov just published his first book and I was knocked out!

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

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