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Newbie question regarding miter tracks, miter bars, t-tracks, etc.

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Forum topic by sirlumber posted 04-02-2018 12:40 PM 2770 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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sirlumber

1 post in 505 days


04-02-2018 12:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: miter bar miter gauge miter slots t-tracks

Hello All! I am new to woodworking, and I’ve observed something confusing. I have a multi purpose workbench that has a miter slot that’s about 3/8 deep and 3/4 wide. A gauge I bought for it did not fit because the bar itself is also 3/8 by 3/4. When I purchased it, I thought the dimensions were referring to the track size that will accept it.

I know 3/8 by 3/4 is also the common size for T-Tracks? So I guess what I have in my bench is a T-Track? It is placed vertical and to the left of the saw, which is an upside down jigsaw, so I know it’s purpose is to use a miter gauge.

So I have two questions…

1. What is the dimension of the miter gauge I’m looking for? The size that will fit into a 3/8 by 3/4 t-track. I found this on amazon. The description says its for 3/8 by 3/4 slots, so this is probably what I'm looking for, right? But what is the actual dimension of this bar?

2. Now what if you have a miter bar that is actually 3/8 by 3/4? What is the dimension of the track you’re looking for to accept this? I know by searching Amazon, I can find products that advertises itself to accept these bars. But I’m curious about the actual dimension of the track. It’s like nobody is stating the dimensions. They will only say “Accepts 3/8 by 3/4 miter bars.”

That’s the funny and confusing part when shopping for these things. Advertisers only like to mention 3/8 by 3/4. They use this number to describe the size of the bar itself, they don’t like to state the track size that’s needed. Or vice versa, they advertise this number as the slot size, and will not state the smaller miter bar dimension that will go into this slot.

But again, I’m a newbie and maybe haven’t encountered enough products. Thank you for your time and insight!


5 replies so far

View RobHannon's profile

RobHannon

288 posts in 979 days


#1 posted 04-02-2018 12:54 PM

I think you are talking about something like this,

http://www.rockler.com/rockler-36-miter-track?sid=V9146?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=&utm_content=pla&utm_campaign=PL&gclid=Cj0KCQjwqYfWBRDPARIsABjQRYwU8wgsWL79WohQDS1bDjgJYeos2Vnu19PYPMfNVwT2fBtDTPs9xB8aAt2VEALw_wcB

but a picture of your table would help.

That Rockler track is 1” x 1/2”. Incra also makes one that is 1 1/8” x 1/2”

View Robert's profile

Robert

3468 posts in 1930 days


#2 posted 04-02-2018 01:47 PM

Curious what are you using a miter gauge in a workbench for?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1622 posts in 1943 days


#3 posted 04-02-2018 03:26 PM

Hmm…
“multi purpose workbench that has a miter slot ” never seen this before?

Description is too vague to provide a good answer,
but reminds me of problem I found with miter slots .vs. gauges on Ridgid and some Craftsmen tools?

The standard cabinet saw miter slot is typically 0.755+ wide, and bars on miter gauges are usually 0.750. All of the extruded aluminum tracks I have checked are same dimensions, meaning designed to accept 0.750 wide bar in slightly larger slot.
BUT Emerson saws produced for Sears and Ridgid use a non-standard slot width, According to posts on Ridgid forums: Bar Slot = 0.745 – 0.752”, and Bar = 0.737 – 0.740”
This means most standard miter gauges are too large to fit into Emerson produced miter slots.

The folks at Ridgid continue to use this undersized miter slot for most tools I have seen. I have newer orange colored Ridgid 14” bandsaw, new oscillating sander, and old TS2424 table saw. They all use the same “undersized” miter bar.
When I built a router table with extruded aluminum miter track; is when I found my miter gauges were too loose to be useful. I bought an Incra replacement, and it used a smaller bar that fit my Ridgid equipment, but included some nylon set screws to allow adjustment of width to fit either size miter slot. Not all replacement miter gauges have this adjustment feature, so need to check actual width of bar.

Hope this helps.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2768 posts in 1671 days


#4 posted 04-02-2018 09:44 PM

The Captain has it.

The miter you link to in question #1 states it is adjustable (you can see the small holes on the side of the bar). In my mind this means it is way undersized (around 0.745”) so it will fit most any slot. These are ok in a pinch, but typically all the adjusters eventually suck in one way or another.

3/4” (or 0.750”) is considered “nominal” and actual dimensions can/will vary +/- a few thousandths around this number. The problem comes when you try to fit an over sized bar into an under sized slot. Case in point, I have an old late 60’s Craftsman TS that has slots sized at exactly 0.749 and all my “3/4” accessories will not fit (their bars are 0.750” +/-, but allow no clearance for smooth operation)

My late 90’s Unisaw has a slot that is 0.758+” and all aftermarket bars have a sloppy fit.

My solution has been to buy 3/8” x 3/4” key stock that can (sometimes) be found in over and under sized dimensions (usually only a few thousandths), but I still haven’t found anything wide enough for the Unisaw.

There are other aftermarket miter gauges that have bars which can be adjusted to better fit tight/loose slots but at least one I am familiar with (Incra) uses nylon parts that just wear away too quickly and can’t quite fill the oversized slot on my Unisaw. For this item (I really like the miter aside from this issue), I just installed 5 ball-tipped set screws through the side which allows me to adjust out the slop and still provide some durability.

View olegrump's profile

olegrump

97 posts in 671 days


#5 posted 04-05-2018 01:04 PM

Almost any miter gauge will fit a 3/8 X 3/4 MITER SLOT, which is a groove in a saw, router, sander or other work table. Once the miter is set, one holds the work firmly to the gauge and the edge being worked against the machine. “T” tracks, as the name implies, look like the letter “T” on edge. In this case, one uses a base piece, prevented from popping up by the lips of the “T”, with either a screw going into, or out of, the base piece. These are used to keep wood in place while it is being worked by various hold down devices. You Tube is rife with “ingenious” inventions using “T” tracks to hold material in place.
There are some miter gauges which have a round disk at the end, designed to ride in a slot cast into the table of SOME modern table saws. The purpose is to keep the miter gauge bar from riding up out of the slot. People are always commenting about having to remove this disk to use it in a more conventional miter slot, but the bar fits in the slot after that. There are a number of shop made fence extensions, stop blocks and hold downs one can add to a miter gauge to greatly increase it’s performance.
I would also be one who is interested in seeing a photo of the workbench you’re using.

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