Miter cut at 45 degrees

Table saw miter sled

Making 45 degree miter joints seems pretty straightforward, and it's the type of joint in witch we think for many of our woodworking projects. But if you follow my blog and my YouTube channel, you will discover that it is not a wooden joint that I like to use a lot. And that is because the results that I get when trying to join wooden strips in this way are not very good. The theory for making these miter joints is very simple, but for some reason it seems that I am not skilled enough with the miter saw that I have, or it is not a good quality miter saw. So I decided to make a woodworking jig to miter cut, or for making 45 degrees cuts, with the table saw.

Some table saws that we can buy bring their own miter saw guide, but I made my home table saw with a circular saw, so let's see how I make this guide adapted to my home cutting table.

How to Make the 45 Degree Miter Guide

So, to make this guide to miter cutting, the first thing I have to do is put some marks with painter's tape on the board of the table saw. One of the marks will tell me what the cutting direction of the disc is, and the other mark tells me where I have the maximum cutting height. I also put the guide strip into the slot and push it until it hits the screw that, as you know, I have as a stop in the slot.


Mark the position in which to put the guide bar

Now I put the base of the miter jig sled on the table saw top, and I center it with the cutting direction of the disc. I put the base so that the maximum height of cut is, more or less, in the first third of the base, and I mark the position in which I have to screw the runner.

Screw the guide strip to the base

I screw the runner strip so that it is more or less at 90 degrees with the front of the base ...

Cut the groove in the guide with the table saw

and cut a slot in the base until the runner meets the safety screw in the slot.

Put the triangle on the base of the guide

Now I center a plywood triangle on top of the base of this woodworking jig. With the runner against the screw in the slot, the vertex of the triangle should be slightly forward of the point that gives the maximum cutting height of the disc.

Put the triangle in the exact position

So, with the edge of the square against the edge of the slot that I have just cut in the base, I help myself with a piece of wooden strip and a plastic square to set each side of the triangle exactly at 45 degrees with the slot in the base. If I want this table saw miter sled to work well, here I have to be as precise as I can be.

Glue the triangle and screw it to the base

And being careful not to move it, I drill a guide hole. I apply glue to the triangle and insert a screw in the guide hole from the back of the base. Now I have to reposition the triangle with the help of the two squares, I drill three other guide holes and I insert three screws. And with the squares I check that the triangle is in the perfect position on the base of this miter sled.

Cut the groove at the vertex of the triangle

Now I have to re-cut the slot, as I need the slot to enter in the triangle a bit from the vertex.

Try cutting at 45 degrees on a table saw

And now I can make a test cut, so I put a workpiece against one side of the triangle in this table saw miter jig, and I make a 45 ° miter cut at one end.

Cutting with this guide to miter cuts was very easy for me, so I was encouraged to make all the 45 degree cuts I need to make a simple wooden frame. And it is surprising that with this carpentry guide I get better cuts than with the miter saw I have, so surely from now on I am encouraged to do more projects with this type of wood joints.


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6 comments on "Cutting miter joints with the table saw"

  1. Excellent information, really for me as a beginner that is for me as a hobby, they are really good tips.

    I appreciate you share your knowledge ..

    Greetings from Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, Mexico

  2. A question, which method do you recommend, that you do not use a specialized tool, (jointer or Kreg) to join the pieces, without nails or screws?
    Good topic by the way.

    1. Enredando No Garaxe

      To hold the joints together while the glue is drying, use a clamping strap. To reinforce an option is to make a guide to cut a slot and insert a reinforcing sheet

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