45 degree miter joints with table saw + sled -- struggling! - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 Old 08-03-2011, 08:08 AM Thread Starter
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45 degree miter joints with table saw + sled -- struggling!

Hello, new to the forum. I'm a hobbyist wood worker on the evenings and weekends. I've always taken a liking to making and building small projects (chess/checker boards, wood and puzzle games as of late) or repairing the deck, or something on a larger scale. I don't consider myself an expert, but I have plenty of material I reference (Woodsmith, Wood mags and the 'internet' of course) to keep me on track if need be.

However, I'm at a particular stopping point on a project and it's with a joinery skill that I've always struggled with: 45 degree miter/bevel cuts.

I only own a table saw (lower end, Skill 10"), so I've really taken a liking to using cross-cut sleds, so it was a no-brainer to me to make some sort of common jig you see everywhere. I've tried two methods that have just failed for me and I can't figure out how to remedy it and be successful (and accurate, to boot)

Method 1: I have a cross-cut sled for 90 degree cuts (kerf down the middle) and I've taken a 45 degree right triangle and going off the blade. I'll screw in a wood guide/fence at the 45 degree angle to the blade.

Method 2: I recently built another cross-cut sled, but this time I used my Wixey digital angle gauge, set the blade to 45.0 (with a tenth of accuracy) angle and tried cuts that way with a stop block, ect. (pictured)

Both methods seem to be what everyone else does, yet I can't get true 45 degree cuts. Sometimes the angles are slightly acute, some obtuse.

I wonder if it's: wobble in my blade, not having enough weight for my table saw (which is on it's own collapsible stand) to cut out more vibration, or just me? I really don't know anymore and it's plain frustrating.

Any tips of suggestions are welcome.
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post #2 of 20 Old 08-03-2011, 08:44 AM
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It doesn't take much variance to be off on a miter or a bevel. You might have answered some of the problem with slight bits of movement.

I would check all the parts to the procedure, from first checking the sled to see if there is any slop. I would check the miter and bevel angles with a plastic drafting triangle. I use a large 45/45/90, which likely costs a lot less than the indexable jigs that are sold.

Having a differential of any amount, added to a differential from another part of the procedure adds up to a very surmountable problem in getting good miters and bevels. I have a similar bench saw that I use just to take to jobsites. I notice that doing height or bevel changes can affect the other setting. Example: If you set the height, and then set the bevel, and then change the height again, check the bevel for accuracy.









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post #3 of 20 Old 08-03-2011, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adosch View Post
Hello, new to the forum. I'm a hobbyist wood worker on the evenings and weekends. I've always taken a liking to making and building small projects (chess/checker boards, wood and puzzle games as of late) or repairing the deck, or something on a larger scale. I don't consider myself an expert, but I have plenty of material I reference (Woodsmith, Wood mags and the 'internet' of course) to keep me on track if need be.

However, I'm at a particular stopping point on a project and it's with a joinery skill that I've always struggled with: 45 degree miter/bevel cuts.

I only own a table saw (lower end, Skill 10"), so I've really taken a liking to using cross-cut sleds, so it was a no-brainer to me to make some sort of common jig you see everywhere. I've tried two methods that have just failed for me and I can't figure out how to remedy it and be successful (and accurate, to boot)

Method 1: I have a cross-cut sled for 90 degree cuts (kerf down the middle) and I've taken a 45 degree right triangle and going off the blade. I'll screw in a wood guide/fence at the 45 degree angle to the blade.

Method 2: I recently built another cross-cut sled, but this time I used my Wixey digital angle gauge, set the blade to 45.0 (with a tenth of accuracy) angle and tried cuts that way with a stop block, ect. (pictured)

Both methods seem to be what everyone else does, yet I can't get true 45 degree cuts. Sometimes the angles are slightly acute, some obtuse.

I wonder if it's: wobble in my blade, not having enough weight for my table saw (which is on it's own collapsible stand) to cut out more vibration, or just me? I really don't know anymore and it's plain frustrating.

Any tips of suggestions are welcome.
it look's like the blade is up maybe a little high. Just make it so the teeth just cut the wood say 1/8" ? This would cut down on wobble . I have cut 45 on my saw that come out fine. But i don't do it very often . I see from the picture that it look's like a driect drive ? and with vibration i doubt you will be able to do what you want to with 45. Just my 2 cent's
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post #4 of 20 Old 08-03-2011, 09:14 PM
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I had the same type problems. Saw a jig in some book to cut the 45,s without moving the blade angle. Made the jig. Have used it for years with no more problems. I will send you some pics tomorrow.
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post #5 of 20 Old 08-03-2011, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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del schisler, cabinetman:

I believe you're both right. I'm going to chalk this up to vibration + wobbling. After I thought about it some more today, it made perfect sense. What you see in the picture looks a bit 'honky' but it did the trick. The bricks were, by far, the heaviest thing I had sitting in the garage that stacked that flat and nice, and the bungy chord I've used on the blade raise wheel before when setting very short blade heights @ 90 degrees for kerfs.

I'm going to say it's not 'perfect' yet, but it's better than what it was yesterday. Whatcha think?

vhuffines:

Always looking for new ideas. Do post them! I'd like to see your approach.
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post #6 of 20 Old 08-03-2011, 11:12 PM
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Good call on those bricks, I might have to steal that! I like that result, too.

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post #7 of 20 Old 08-04-2011, 07:41 AM
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personally i prefer method 1, the blade at 90 deg and the material at a 45. once you build the jig to slide well and produce as good a 45 deg as you can get, keep it. then, tweak the 45 degrees with some masking tape aaded here or there to get the 45 perfect. it may also drift over time. to check, take a straight board with parallel edges, cut two 45's on the same jig (side). putting them together and check with a reliable square, this will double the error and be easier to see and correct.

Last edited by TimPa; 08-04-2011 at 11:34 AM.
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post #8 of 20 Old 08-04-2011, 07:54 AM
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del schisler, cabinetman:

I believe you're both right. I'm going to chalk this up to vibration + wobbling. After I thought about it some more today, it made perfect sense. What you see in the picture looks a bit 'honky' but it did the trick. The bricks were, by far, the heaviest thing I had sitting in the garage that stacked that flat and nice, and the bungy chord I've used on the blade raise wheel before when setting very short blade heights @ 90 degrees for kerfs.

I'm going to say it's not 'perfect' yet, but it's better than what it was yesterday. Whatcha think?

vhuffines:

Always looking for new ideas. Do post them! I'd like to see your approach.
Look's like the cut's aren't 45 yet maybe the sled at the frount of blade and back of blade are off just a little . I would check that. I don't know which way the wood was feed thro the widest part or the smallest probly the widest part went thro last? check i bet the sled is off eather frount or back. measure it . Are the cuts smooth also i mean real smooth no little ripples every so slite will make a difference also. Maybe a blade with more teeth. try that now that you have the vibration down.
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post #9 of 20 Old 08-04-2011, 11:48 AM
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Finally got those pictures. I could not figure how to attach to the post soo you will need to look in my albums. I think some of these may be what Timpa is saying.

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post #10 of 20 Old 08-05-2011, 04:58 AM
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I think I may be saying the same thing others have said, but i would use a diferent type of sled or modify the one you have. Woodsmith has free plans for a nice one I've been meaning to build. http://www.woodsmithshop.com/downloa...6-miterjig.pdf

you'll have to register to see it (registration is free)
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post #11 of 20 Old 08-05-2011, 08:34 AM
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What blade are you using for these miters?








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post #12 of 20 Old 08-05-2011, 10:37 AM
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What blade are you using for these miters?











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I belive from the first post it is a combo blade?? I thank i mention a different blade maybe 60-tooth blade is the best choice if he doing a lot of continuous cross-cutting ? This would cut better for what he is doing ?
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post #13 of 20 Old 08-05-2011, 11:03 AM
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I belive from the first post it is a combo blade?? I thank i mention a different blade maybe 60-tooth blade is the best choice if he doing a lot of continuous cross-cutting ? This would cut better for what he is doing ?
Knowing what blade...and tooth count, may be a contributor to the accuracy (or lack of) of the cut. If it's a dull blade, or too high of a tooth count, there may be some resistance while cutting that may affect the positioning of the wood. It could be lifting it or shifting it. It's possible that a more aggressive blade, (or a sharper one) would make the cut more effortlessly.








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post #14 of 20 Old 08-08-2011, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Knowing what blade...and tooth count, may be a contributor to the accuracy (or lack of) of the cut. If it's a dull blade, or too high of a tooth count, there may be some resistance while cutting that may affect the positioning of the wood. It could be lifting it or shifting it. It's possible that a more aggressive blade, (or a sharper one) would make the cut more effortlessly.
I am using a CMT 10"" 50T Combination Miter/Table Saw Blade P10050 on my table saw.

On a side note to this, I did do some 45 degree beveling on some scrap wood this weekend (beveling was done on wood about 1/4" thick) and it turned out surprisingly well. So my initial test cutting a 1x2 at the full 1.5" height at 45 degrees might (like most pointed out) perhaps too tall and makes the blade more unstable.
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post #15 of 20 Old 08-08-2011, 09:36 AM
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Is there any reason not to cut them normally and then clean up with a shooting board & plane?
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post #16 of 20 Old 08-08-2011, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Is there any reason not to cut them normally and then clean up with a shooting board & plane?
Ha, well probably I don't own a plane. I was just trying to maximize the accuracy as much as I could in one cut is all. However, that is a good idea as I do own a miter box, but not a very good handsaw saw. I guess I could go clean it up, it just gets tough when I'm trying to cut for accuracy and to-length.
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post #17 of 20 Old 08-08-2011, 10:23 AM
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I am using a CMT 10"" 50T Combination Miter/Table Saw Blade P10050 on my table saw.

On a side note to this, I did do some 45 degree beveling on some scrap wood this weekend (beveling was done on wood about 1/4" thick) and it turned out surprisingly well. So my initial test cutting a 1x2 at the full 1.5" height at 45 degrees might (like most pointed out) perhaps too tall and makes the blade more unstable.
You might try a more aggressive blade (less tooth count...like a 32T).








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post #18 of 20 Old 08-08-2011, 12:04 PM
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Ha, well probably I don't own a plane. I was just trying to maximize the accuracy as much as I could in one cut is all. However, that is a good idea as I do own a miter box, but not a very good handsaw saw. I guess I could go clean it up, it just gets tough when I'm trying to cut for accuracy and to-length.
In my limited experience you are hard pressed to get more accurate than with a well tuned plane when you can take off shavings so thin you can see through them. However - it does take some practice and work to tune up a plane to be dead on accurate & to use it successfully. David Charlesworth has some videos that are pretty good about precision planing & tuning. He is however, very dry and not the most dynamic presenter.
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post #19 of 20 Old 08-08-2011, 01:18 PM
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Ha, well probably I don't own a plane. I was just trying to maximize the accuracy as much as I could in one cut is all. However, that is a good idea as I do own a miter box, but not a very good handsaw saw. I guess I could go clean it up, it just gets tough when I'm trying to cut for accuracy and to-length.
I belive if i were only doing one than mess around and get it to fit. But you want to cut it and fit not adjusting all the time. Have you seen if the blade has any wobble when it is stoped? i mean the blade is real stiff no shake like maybe a loose bearing ? Any wooble will get you a few degree's off and the 45 wont fit . Looking at the picture frame the cut it open up at the frount which mean's that the 45 is not set right we all know that. But why the slead from the frount to back is not set right. You need something that is 45 and put it in the sled and set it . Make the cut if it doesn't come out right. My guess it will never will . I belive the construction type saw is made for construction which the 45 doesn't have to be perfect. In house constructon 45 are good enough even if 47 or around 45. they are nailed and than to the next one building a house their are lot's more error's and it doesn't matter that much with with in reason. Not like building a picture frame. Do you know a framing shop in your area? If so have them cut you a big 45 on their Guillotine frame cutter. Every frame shop will have one of these. They perfect 45. Than you will have a perfect 45 angle to work with . Good luck
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post #20 of 20 Old 08-08-2011, 06:09 PM
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I used to have a Ryobi BTS 21. I had several issues with that saw, but the last straw was when I discovered why I was unable to get accurate cuts. It was a direct drive saw with the motor on the right side. While I couldn't manually detect any end play in the motor, by the time it came up to speed, the blade had shifted to the right by almost 1/32".
Bought a Ridgid 4510 the next week.

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