Support jig to cut small wood pieces on the miter saw

Makeshift jig support for cutting small pieces on the miter saw

The miter saw is maybe not the most dangerous machine in the shop, but like with all the electric tools in the woodworking shop, the miter saw must be given the respect it deserves when working with it.

When we want to cut long pieces on the miter saw we do not usually have too many problems, as they are easy to hold and we can keep our hands well away from the saw blade. But sometimes we need to use the miter saw to cut small pieces, which are difficult to hold, clamp and keep in the desired position during the cut.

Trying to hold with our hands the small pieces to be cut, just at a few centimeters from the cutting blade, is a rather dangerous option that we should not even try. But to solve the problem in some cases we can make a simple jig support to keep the pieces well clamped while keeping the hands away from the miter saw blade.

Little blocks for leveling the small piece to be cut

The small pieces that I have to cut are some of those turned wooden curtain finials that are usually placed as decoration on the ends of the curtain rods. And in this case I needed to cut those small pieces at an angle on the miter saw. These are very small pieces, and also have the disadvantage that they do not stay level by themselves. But with a few pieces of plywood, some screws and some wood sheets, it was easy to make a support to keep the pieces with their axis both horizontal and also parallel to the support jig. This simple woodworking jig will also help to make repetitive cuts on the miter saw.

Small wood strip for pressing the sandpaper against the workpiece when cutting with the miter saw

With the curtain finial already leveled, I placed on top of it a small strip and screwed it in both ends. To keep it pressed down. Here I though that the makeshift jig was ready. But as you can see in the video it wasn’t enough, as the workpiece rotates while cutting with the miter saw.

Prevent the workpiece from rotating when cutting with the miter saw.

Luckily I only needed something to increase friction and prevent the workpiece from rotating. A piece of foam sanding block, pressed between the piece to be cut and the top strip, was enough.

Stop for making repetitive cuts with the miter saw

So I was able to cut all these small pieces without fear, with my hands well away from the miter saw blade.

In addition, by using this jig support and placing a wooden block as a stop, clamped to the miter saw fence, I was able to make all the cuts exactly the same in a repetitive manner. In this case it was only four pieces, but it was still really worth it to go through the simple work of making this simple jig to cut these pieces on the miter saw.

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