miter gauge not cutting 45's right - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-15-2012, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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miter gauge not cutting 45's right

So i have been working on making a picture frame and up in till now it has been going well. I have got to the point of cutting the miters I cut most of them on my miter saw and then the two long sides were a little to long and i didn't want to try and cut them on my miter saw so i decided to use my table saw to cut the miters so i adjusted the miter gauge using what I thought was a square combination square but after i cut them I dry fitted the frame and none of the miters that i cut on my table saw fit very well with the others that i cut on my miter saw. Using my Inca guaranteed square square i checked the corners to see if they were 90 degrees and the 45's i cut on my miter saw are close but not perfect and I'm not happy with how it looks.Using mu Inca square i was able to determine that my cheap combination square is relay far from being being anything close to accurate. I am thinking of getting a good 45 degree square on getting a good triangle then adjusting my miter gauger with it and take a little bit off each piece so it is perfectly 45. But i dont know which square is a good one to get. Is there a better way to get my miters perfectly lined up?

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post #2 of 13 Old 06-15-2012, 10:08 AM
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Like you I have "experienced" the problems with my decades old combination square not being square.

A recent thread on the Hand Tools forum about combination square recommendations caused me to go back and check mine, which has gathered dust for at least 15 years. No surprise it is as bad as I recall. No name, just "Made in USA" stamped on it.

When I gave up on the concept of a combination square ever being true, I purchased fixed squares. It took me 3 attempts to get one which is true. The last one was a DIN standard reference edge, I bought 90 deg and 45 deg versions from Grizzly.

For the future, I highly recommend getting a fixed and accurate square.

For the present, does your mitre gauge allow for 90 deg swing to the right? If so you can swing this 90 deg to the right and then align against your fence. I expect once the mitre gauge is aligned the 45 deg indent on most mitre gauges should be much closer.

It is not uncommon for me to need to "tweak" some mitres by light sanding to fit.

Good luck.
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post #3 of 13 Old 06-15-2012, 10:18 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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use a draftsman's triangle

Generally they are very accurate. You can make a simple test by striking a line against the 45 degree side then rotate it and strike another pencil line and see if they are parallel.
Set the 90 degree toward the rear and the point of the 45 into the miter guage. The "open" angle of 45 degrees is 135 degrees, if you rotate the miter head around.

Make both miters on scraps and see if they form a perfect 90 when mated together. It will either be perfect, less than 90 or greater than 90 degrees. If it's less than 90 increase the angle, if greater decrease the angle setting until you get it correct.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 06-15-2012 at 07:44 PM.
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-15-2012, 10:24 AM
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I used to use a plastic drafting triangle to set the miter gauge AND to set the SCMS blade. Now I use the MiterSet for the table saw gauge.
My miter gauge is this one. Kreg
I bought the MiterSet before the Kreg gauge.
I check the gauge setting with the MiterSet each time I change the angle, but it's always right on.
BTW, MiterSet makes another gauge specifically for segments.

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Last edited by Gene Howe; 06-15-2012 at 10:35 AM.
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-15-2012, 11:10 AM
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The problem may not be with the miter gage but rather that the piece is moving along the gage as you cut. It is very hard to cut a 45 degree with a TS and a miter gage without the piece moving. Before you throw the gage out, try one of two things.
1. glue a piece of sandpaper to the front of the miter gage or 2. clamp the piece to the gage instead of holding it with your hands. (or do both things)

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post #6 of 13 Old 06-15-2012, 11:10 AM
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Maybe I need some pricier combination squares but the stanley's I have, I can always seem to feel a little play in the head. For setting up, I've found those speed squarers pretty accurate and they aren't that expensive, even the glass filled plastic ones have been dead bang.
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-15-2012, 12:09 PM
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I'm not familar with the Inca saw however with most saws if you set the miter gauge flush with the front edge of the saw table at 90 degrees the 45's fall into place. The best thing to do is start with the indicator adjusted at 90 degrees and try a miters with a 4" or 5" piece of scrap and see if the two of them make 90 degrees with a framing square.
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-15-2012, 12:42 PM
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Not that it truly helps your current situation, but once you've got 45ļ figured out, Wood has a free download right now for a table saw miter sled.

LINK

I was lucky and my miter saw (Hitachi C10FCE2) is pretty dead on, at least with all the measuring tools I've thrown at it, and by the results of a couple of frames. I picked up three triangles from Michael's that I feel are accurate, for around $10. I will say that I'm not sure I would mix methods next time. Use the same tool start to finish to avoid compounding errors.

IMO, of course.
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-15-2012, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the suggestions.I know that i shouldn't use 2 different saws to cut the miters but the pieces were not very long and i had no good way to hold then down on my miter saw and the last time i ever held anything under 8 inches down with my hand on a miter saw it kicked back and edge of it went in to my hand and cut it so bad that i should of gotten it stitched up.
The more i played around with the miter gauge the more i relished that it was not very good. Since i bought the saw for 300 and it was worth closer to 500 i decided that i should spend the money and get a good miter gauge so i went to rocker and bought the incra 1000. I just got home with it and i haven't had a chance to test it out yet.

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post #10 of 13 Old 06-15-2012, 02:07 PM
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Another thing to consider, for rectangular mitered frames, is that the two opposing pieces have to be exactly the same length. if one is a little bit longer/shorter than the other this will also cause gaps in the miter when you go to glue up. A solution that I have seen is to stack the two pieces with one end flush to each other and trims them both in one cut on the miter saw.
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post #11 of 13 Old 06-15-2012, 03:00 PM
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The Incra 1000 is a good mitre, but even the Incra's should be checked. There are 4 screws which hold the fence to the rotating piece. Possible something moved during shipment. I would not expect any major tweaking, but worth checking.

The last time I "assumed" something was tuned it was a bad assumption.

Once you have checked the Incra you will appreciate the accuracy and repeatability.
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post #12 of 13 Old 06-15-2012, 03:16 PM
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Incra is good quality meter you just need to tweek it to perfectness
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post #13 of 13 Old 06-15-2012, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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thanks i checked it at 90 and It needed a tiny amount of adjustment but it was easy to do. I have done some test cuts and they turned out relay well.

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