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Thread: Help with accurate 45 degree corners..

  1. #1
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    Help with accurate 45 degree corners..

    I am attempting to get accurate 45 degree miters for a 3 x 3 oak frame I am making for a sign I made. The little gap I am getting is driving me nuts! I know that it can be filled with dark putty as I am staining the frame a dark brown color. But, I want to do it right!!
    I tried using my new Bosch chop saw. I got a small gap on the angles. I used my table saw with my miter attachment from Incra. That gave me a smaller gap, but still a gap! I seem to remember a trick from high school shop. Put both pieces of the frame in a miter clamp. Keep cutting on the miter joint with a back saw until the opening is gone (cutting both pieces of wood at the same time).
    Has anybody tried this trick? If I keep playing around I will have to trim my sign to fit the frame that I keep monkeying with.
    Any suggestions welcome. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Can you post a close-up photo of the gap? It sounds like you have a calibration problem with your Bosch saw. Which model Bosch do you have?
    Scott Vroom

    If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    Bernard Baruch

  3. #3
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    I was just coming to tell you that "trick". It works well, but realize that you will be reducing the length of both pieces slightly, so you may fix one problem and create three others. If you're going to paint it, you can fill the gap with a slice of veneer to restore the original dimensions. If it's stain-grade, good luck. It's always best to test your miter joints with same-dimension scraps first, before committing to the expensive stock. Here is a good instructional video from the Woodworkers Guild of America on fine-tuning your miter gauge.

  4. #4
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    The Bosch saw that I have is the new one with the articulated arm, not the slides. I realize a machine like this is not exacting as I may need. I think it has limitations.
    I realize the "trick" will shorten the length of each piece slightly. As long as they shorten equally, I can make the sign a smidge shorter in length and height. I also think the problem I had with the Incra miter guage is that I did not install sandpaper strips to a wooden subfence as was suggested by Incra. I just used the aluminum fence and perhaps it creeped up on the cut a bit.
    I think I will try the miter clamp trick. I hope it cuts them to match better.

  5. #5
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    I know this sounds silly... I am not very computer savvy. I am not sure exactly how to upload pictures on to SMC. I can take the shot, save to my computer. But I don't know how to proceed from there

    Quote Originally Posted by scott vroom View Post
    Can you post a close-up photo of the gap? It sounds like you have a calibration problem with your Bosch saw. Which model Bosch do you have?

  6. #6
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    I have had the best luck with a 45° shooting board.

    P1020112.25.jpg

    Mike

  7. #7
    I watched a recent episode of the Woodsmith Shop titled Picture-Perfect Miters (#511). They showed how to build a table saw sled to cut perfect miters. If you can catch that episode you’ll be in business.


  8. #8
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    That clip was great! I will try that this weekend. After setting up the wooden subfence that Incra suggested, I will check to see if it is right on..


    Quote Originally Posted by Lex Boegen View Post
    I was just coming to tell you that "trick". It works well, but realize that you will be reducing the length of both pieces slightly, so you may fix one problem and create three others. If you're going to paint it, you can fill the gap with a slice of veneer to restore the original dimensions. If it's stain-grade, good luck. It's always best to test your miter joints with same-dimension scraps first, before committing to the expensive stock. Here is a good instructional video from the Woodworkers Guild of America on fine-tuning your miter gauge.

  9. #9
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    Two essential jigs for me.
    Miter sled makes exact 45 deg cuts every time. Use a stop block to ensure opposing sides are identical in length.
    Cross-cut panel sled. Cuts exact 90 deg. http://thewoodwhisperer.com/the-cross-cut-sled/ is a good one and easy to make IME
    Worth the hour or so to make them, and then use them with confidence for years to come.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Rick Thom; 01-12-2012 at 10:21 PM.

  10. #10
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    Thanks. I am going to make them both in the near future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Thom View Post
    Two essential jigs for me.
    Miter sled makes exact 45 deg cuts every time. Use a stop block to ensure opposing sides are identical in length.
    Cross-cut panel sled. Cuts exact 90 deg.
    Worth the hour or so to make them, and then use them with confidence for years to come.

  11. #11
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    I use a Jessem sliding table, but you should be able to get accurate 45 deg cuts with the Incra.
    1. use stop blocks to ensure pieces are the same length
    2. sand paper on the fence will help with stock creep, clamping the stock to the fence works better.
    3. make sure the saw blade is set to exactly 90 degrees

  12. #12
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    shooting board and hand plane.

  13. #13
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    Rick, I agree with the sled approach. I could never get them right until I made a jig like you pictured here. Cut the joint pairs using the left and right side of the sled maintaining the proper orientation of the pats for best results.

  14. #14
    The problem with miter saws, even if you have them set to a perfect 45 degree angle, is that unless you clamp the piece tight and make a very slow cut the wood will always move due to the vibration of the cut. The blade with also flex and bend during the cut enough to make it nearly impossible to get a perfect miter cut. If I have to have a perfect miter I use the miter sled I built for my table saw. I used to have a guillotine that was great but I was worried about someone losing a finger so that has been removed from my shop.

  15. #15
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    I saw an episode of Saint Roy where he had some miter type saw build specifically for picture frames. It would let you clamp the joint together and saw through the intersection in order to make them "perfect". Cool solution if you had such a gizmo. Building a shooting board and using a plane would probably be more practical.

    Then again, i recall seeing some Craftsman Miter saw that would let you set the fence to a right angle. Let me see if I can find a link... Here it is. Be cool to know if it was any good...

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