A different kind of miter sled

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Project by KevinH posted 02-05-2012 12:51 AM 11141 views 42 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been struggling with getting the mitered corners for a keepsake box dialed in just right, especially since I was having to adjust my saw to a 45-degree bevel cut with each attempt. I’d like to make several of the same box, so I figured a jig would save some aggravation.

All of the miter jigs I’ve seen cut the 45 with the angle measured horizontally from the plane of the blade. The sides of my boxes will be 3 1/2 inches high, or so. My 10-inch TS blade doesn’t have enough depth of cut for that, so I designed a jig with the angle set 45 degrees measured off the vertically from plane of the blade. I plan to use this jig for boxes that have sides between 6 and 15 inches long, maybe a little longer, and perhaps up to an inch wide. The jig as built will handle box sides that will be up to 10 inches deep when completed – far deeper than I plan to use right now. I added a stop in the form of a board with a 45 bevel on the left side of the bed of the jig as seen in the 2nd photo.

To use the sled, I crosscut the box side to length, plus about 3/32”. Then I slide it into the jig, bottoming out against the stop. Before I make the cut, I hold the piece in place with a speed clamp. My hands are then free to push the jig at the ends of the jig, well away from the blade.

The jig is made from materials I had on hand: 1/2” baltic birch plywood, scrap 4/4 red oak, glue and screws.

The angle is not yet exactly 45-degrees from verticle. It’s just a bit wide of that measurement, so the corners have a gap on the outside. I will experiement with several thicknesses of index cards at the top of the jig to get it dialed in just right.

Any comments, suggestions or cautions are appreciated.

-- Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance. --Kevin in Happy Valley

23 comments so far

View RONFINCH's profile


143 posts in 3461 days

#1 posted 02-05-2012 12:58 AM

Well, that’s definately one way to “get er done”!

View a1Jim's profile


117746 posts in 4114 days

#2 posted 02-05-2012 01:06 AM

Interesting sled.
When I do mitered corners I just mark what side of the blade the miter was cut on marking one “L” and the other”R” then them I make sure that each parallel side is exactly the same measurement and the miters always come together nicely .
It doesn’t mater it the left is 44 degrees and the right 46 degrees because the will always form a 90 degree when put together.
Sorry for the rant.

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2843 days

#3 posted 02-05-2012 01:07 AM

Good thinking, that will be my next jig.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Dusty56's profile


11852 posts in 4225 days

#4 posted 02-05-2012 01:13 AM

Nice jig and I’m glad that you are already working on closing up the gap : )
When I saw the pictures , I was going to ask if you had made any provisions for adjustment.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View jeepturner's profile


941 posts in 3329 days

#5 posted 02-05-2012 01:17 AM

I use my table saw to cut my miters now. I have a chop saw, but ever since I started making sleds for the table saw, it gets less and less use. I have a sled that I use with the stock laying flat and the blade at forty five degrees tilt. I use the wikey<—(sp?) to set my angle.
I like the idea of your sled though. I see some possibilities there for the sixty degree cuts.
As far as safety, always clamp the stock if at all possible, and keep the fingers away from the cutting path. Some folks will attach extra wood where the blade exits the sled, or some other kind of guard.

-- Mel,

View degoose's profile


7259 posts in 3892 days

#6 posted 02-05-2012 01:48 AM

I just use my 12 in SCMS … it is a hitachi and I move it to the 45 mark and cut… it is perfect every time and can do up to 4 in or so…
No brainer… good equipment makes it easier..

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 3856 days

#7 posted 02-05-2012 03:53 AM

I had problems just today cutting mitres like that. After the first cut, I had to flip the board, and the sharp corner slid under the fence. I was not happy…

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View Bearpaw's profile


262 posts in 4257 days

#8 posted 02-05-2012 05:30 AM

I have used sleds like this in the past and they have worked. I have two different methods now. The first is the Angle Cube from Rockler at $34.99. It will put your blade on the mark in reference to the table saw top. The other is to cut a scrap piece of wood about 1/16” over the dimensions of my panel, attach my material with double face tape and use a 45 degree router bit in my trim router.

This is what I like about woodworking. There is no real wrong way to do it as long as you get the finish product you want with what you have available.

-- "When we build, let us think we build forever." John Ruskin

View sswilcox's profile


20 posts in 3885 days

#9 posted 02-05-2012 06:52 AM

I call BS. This is obviously store-bought, as evidenced by the bar code still on the product. I still like it though. Favorited.

-- sswilcox, Oregon

View NormG's profile


6493 posts in 3541 days

#10 posted 02-05-2012 07:54 AM

Great jig.

Also Jim that is a great method to have right on 90’s. I had heard that before but had totally forgotten about it

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

View Joshuah's profile


152 posts in 3230 days

#11 posted 02-05-2012 08:09 AM

Not knocking the craftsmanship at all, but i disagree with sswilcox, i don’t think this is store bought! I think that tag is probably from the store bought wood, but either way I favorited this too!

-- -Joshuah

View jeepturner's profile


941 posts in 3329 days

#12 posted 02-05-2012 03:35 PM

I agree with Joshuah, and I too am not knocking the craftsmanship. I don’t think it was store bought. I think Kevin is frugal, and left it on there as a time savings.
Thanks for the post Kevin.

-- Mel,

View Tokolosi's profile


678 posts in 2892 days

#13 posted 02-05-2012 04:26 PM

Bloody brilliant!! Love it. Nicely done!

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4268 posts in 3702 days

#14 posted 02-05-2012 07:16 PM

Obviously not store bought for a variety of reasons.

Thanks much, Kevin, for the post, you did my thinking for me.

A1Jim’s point is well taken.

I was planning to build something to do this, not wanting to buy a mitersaw for occasional use…......or make a slightly different item for my RAS….....

But now with something to follow, I will definitely make one of these, this looks too easy.

And also later make one for the RAS. I, like a lot of people, don’t like to cut up the RAS table with miter cuts. But I already have some elevated platforms for the RAS, so it won’t involve much. I have a quick and dirty jig already, but it is not very easy to use.

Here in Las Vegas, leaving this afternoon for Portland…...I’ll wave at all you folks in Oregon as I pass over, including a1Jim.

As an aside, I make my own miter slides from 3/4 inch aluminum flats, a strip of 1/4 inch hardboard slightly narrower glued with super glue to make the sandwich. Then I align everything up, and then glue the slides to the bottom of the jig with super glue again. You can add screws if you are compulsive. The super glue part of it is an old Niki trick…. Niki was a jig master.

Niki is deceased.

......sorry for rambling on…too little blood in my caffeine stream…..(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View atceric's profile


65 posts in 3561 days

#15 posted 02-05-2012 07:53 PM

Looks great. I’m wondering if this could be adapted to cut any angle. If the tilted side had an adjustable angle brace behind it, you could cut at varying angles for different projects.

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