How to 45º miter cut with the table saw

Table saw miter sled

When we think about how to make a 45 degrees miter joint, well, it seems to be something quite easy. And it is the kind of wooden joint we can use in lots of woodworking projects. But actually, if you follow this woodworking blog and my woodworking channel in YouTube, you already know that this is not a wooden joint that I use too much. The problem is that I don’t get nice results when I try to make perfect 45 degrees joints. Theory is quite simple, but for some reason I am nor very skilled using my miter saw (a very cheap miter saw, that can be the reason). That is why I decided to make a tale saw miter sled. I hope it will help to improve the miter joints I make.

How to make a miter sled for table saw

Then, to make this table saw miter sled, first I put some painters tape marks on the table saw top. One mark is perfectly aligned with the disc direction. The other mark is at 90 degrees with the disc, and I align it with the centre of the disc. I also put the runner in the groove in the top of my table saw, and I push it until it hits the screw I have in the groove (I installed that safety trick when I made the table saw crosscut sled).

How to put the runner under the table saw jig

Now I put the base of this miter sled on the table saw top, and I align the centre of that base with the disc. I want the centre of the disc (the maximum height of cut) to be, more or less, in the first third of the base. And I make some marks so I know where to screw the base to the runner.

Screw the runner under the base of the miter jig

And I screw the board to the runner. The runner must be, more or less, at 90 degrees with the front of the base. In this miter sled it is not important if the runner is not at a perfect 90 degrees angle there.

Cut a slot in the base of the miter sled

Next I insert te runner in the groove in the top of the table saw, and I cut a slot in the base. I cut until I hit the screw in the grove.

Centre a square triangle on the miter sled

Now, I have a plywood right-angled triangle. This one must have a perfect 90 degrees angle.

I centre the triangle on the base of this miter sled. And  with the runner still against the screw in the groove, the 90 degrees angle must be some millimetres beyond the centre of the disc.

How to set the triangle on the miter sled

Like this, I can put the edge of the square against the edge of the slot. And with the help of a plastic architect’s square and a wooden strip, I make sure that the short sides of the triangle are at a perfect 45 degrees angle with the slot in the base. This is probably the most important step making this table saw miter sled.

Glue and screw the triangle to the miter jig

I drill a guide hole, I put some glue in the back of the triangle and I insert one screw from the back of the base.

Now, with the help of both squares, I move the triangle until it is once again in the right position. And very carefully, making sure I don’t move the triangle, I drill three guide holes and I insert the screws.

Finally I use both squares to make sure the short sides of the triangle are exactly at 45 degrees with the groove in the base of this table saw miter sled.

Use the table saw to cut a slot in the triangle

Now I cut, so I also have the slot in the vertex of the triangle.

How to use the table saw miter sled

Finally I can check how this table saw miter sled works. So, I put a small wooden strip against one side of the triangle, and I miter cut one end with this miter sled.

And because it was very easy to miter cut using this table saw miter sled, I decided to make all the 45 degrees cuts to make a simple wooden frame. And the thing is that it was surprising to discover that this table saw jig works better that my cheap miter saw. I think now you will see more miter joints in this blog and in my woodworking channel in YouTube.

Perfect miter jointsMitre joints frame

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