Trying new woodworking skills #14: Table top miter problem

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Blog entry by BJODay posted 11-23-2013 02:50 AM 1851 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Fixing one mistake, creating another Part 14 of Trying new woodworking skills series Part 15: Mitering success »

The plans I’m following call for table tops made up of glued-up boards. I have some very nice Qsawn oak boards with very straight grain. I thought it would look better if I mitered and rotated pieces along the board so the grain would “follow” around the perimeter of the tops.

I like my miter saw so I cut the boards for the smallest table using it. Well for some reason I got some flex in my blade so the cut is not perfectly straight. I’m using a thin kerf 12” blade.

I can match the inside:

I can match the outside:

But I can’t match both! I’ll come back to this problem later.

I purchased an Incra Miter 1000 a few months ago. My reason for the purchase was to use it for cutting small blocks for cutting boards. I thought I’d give it a try for this table top.

Well I had squared it up but I must have been off a smidge. Going around the top this added up to 4 smidges.

I squared it up again. This time I did a test piece using some pine. I had trouble holding the piece firmly against the miter gauge fence. It is a small piece and the slight pull makes the miter inaccurate. The fix for this is to buy or make a sled to attach the miter gauge to. This way I could clamp the piece to the sled and hold the piece without putting my fingers at risk. I could buy the Incra sled. My wife will be happier if I make one.

While cutting the pine scrap pieces to run my test, (I cut them close to size using the miter saw), I noticed the miter saw making noise. It sounded like a piece of wood or a chip was wedged up under the blade guard. I unplugged the saw and checked. The guard was clear. I checked the blade and found it was loose. This explains my curved miter cuts. I also realized the blade is pretty dull.

So a new blade this weekend. I’ll think about the sled a little bit more.


2 comments so far

View jumbojack's profile


1691 posts in 3637 days

#1 posted 11-23-2013 05:55 AM

Sharp tools go a long way toward good joints. Use an artist square, the plastic ones, to set your gauge. Check your miter slot to blade with a dial indicator. Brian at Garagewoodworks has a great one. Getting four 90s can be a challenge. A doable challenge.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 4017 days

#2 posted 11-24-2013 09:29 PM

Great idea for the piece, I agree get the saw set with the artist square and test until they meet.

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

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