Square your miter gauge - the best method!

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Blog entry by jamsomito posted 10-15-2020 01:25 PM 1286 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

I was struggling to get my miter gauge square. Tried to the miter slot, to the blade, but I could never get it quote right no matter how much attention I gave to the process. Then I came across this method demonstrated by Garage Woodworks:

I didn’t even use a dial indicator – don’t even own one. I just clamped something with a point perpendicular to my fence.

The idea is simple – hold a square on your miter gauge and move it forward and back. If the distance to your fixed point is different in a forward position than a back position, your miter gauge is out of square. I used feeler gauges for precise adjustments, but you could even do it by eye.

Make sure your square is in contact with your fixed point for the whole travel of the miter gauge forward and back, and you’re square!

I found this method the quickest, easiest, and most accurate of anything else I’ve tried. Hope it can help someone else.

1 comment so far

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5737 posts in 2436 days

#1 posted 10-18-2020 03:03 PM

All good measurements/setups should use a common reference. Setting up a table saw begins with the miter slot as the reference because it’s the one thing that usually is fixed in place and shouldn’t move over the lifetime of the tool (I’d hope so!).

So your technique has the following attributes:

Reference from the miter slot (check!)
Uses a known, seemingly accurate fixture for setup (akin to a precision straight edge) (check!)
Uses an accurate/sensitive measuring device securely fixed in place (I use a magnetic base) (check!)

This technique is a winner! Very easy to use and quite accurate. It’s nearly impossible to tweak out the last few thousandths on a miter gauge since most have a single screw to lock the alignment of the miter bar to the head. This usually will introduce some movement when tightening. I use shims of paper between the head and sliding fence to dial it all in.

Great reference Jamsomito! This should be common knowledge here as it is simple and quick with just a few basic shop tools.

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