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Most accurate miter cuts (frames, etc...) Incra?

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Forum topic by SoCalWoody posted 05-30-2019 03:32 PM 1279 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SoCalWoody

4 posts in 796 days


05-30-2019 03:32 PM

Good morning,

I am new to this forum and I have always enjoyed woodworking and plan on building out my shop with equipment and supplies to get going. My first goal will be frames for various art pieces and I want to produce very high quality products and eventually get into more elaborate joinery work.

My question is, I want to be able to create the most accurate cuts possible, my miter saw doesn’t do a good job of this and I’ve spent a long time getting it as accuracies as possible. It would be fine for most trim work, but not what I am trying to accomplish.

I’ve researched and came across Incra Miter Gauges and these look very promising, but I’d like to get some feedback here on how to produce the most accuracy cuts as possible. I will be working with various types of wood, though I prefer walnut and the pieces would be large as I like robust looking art frames.

Thank you!


15 replies so far

View JayT's profile

JayT

6427 posts in 3375 days


#1 posted 05-30-2019 03:37 PM

If you are doing a lot of frames, consider a miter trimmer. Rough cut with the miter saw, finish with the miter trimmer. It will give a cleaner and more accurate finished cut. It’s very much a single purpose tool, but for what you are talking about, it might well be the best tool for the job. If doing a lot, I would find one of the dual bladed, foot operated units.

Edit: Like this one. https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv/tls/d/tarzana-ctd-guillotine-in-good/6897213392.html

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

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HokieKen

18461 posts in 2302 days


#2 posted 05-30-2019 03:49 PM

A cheaper solution (though more time consuming) than what JayT suggested is a shooting board with a hand plane. Once tuned properly, it can give very consistent and clean miters every time.

Edit to add: I do use an Incra miter gauge on my table saw and highly recommend it. But with any tablesaw and any miter gauge, there is going to be some variables that make perfect, air tight mating miter cuts every single time impossible. At least that’s my opinion…

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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SoCalWoody

4 posts in 796 days


#3 posted 05-30-2019 04:30 PM

In terms of length, using either the shooting board or miter trimmer, how do you get the exact length dialed in?

View JayT's profile

JayT

6427 posts in 3375 days


#4 posted 05-30-2019 04:59 PM

Stops on an extension table is the most accurate and fastest way. If you look at the CL posting I linked, there is a gold colored stop system on the right wing. Cut both sides a bit long, use the trimmer with your frame on the left wing to get an accurate 45 on one end, switch the piece over to the other side with the stop and trim that one to length. Now you have two matching pieces. Reset the stop for the other sides and repeat.

For a shooting board, it would be a bit more difficult. You could make an extension table and add a stop system (Kreg makes a good one). If not using that you would have to cut and trim the first side, use it to mark the second and then sneak up on a perfect fit.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

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SoCalWoody

4 posts in 796 days


#5 posted 05-30-2019 06:50 PM

I like to work with walnut and other darker woods creating robust design pieces. Would the miter trimmer be a good solution for larger pieces of walnut, or would it apply too much pressure for the tool?

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3953 posts in 2962 days


#6 posted 05-30-2019 07:07 PM

Shooting boards is a very good way to make perfect miters. The hardest part will be learning how to sharpen you tool.
To make two matching side we stack them together lining up the ends.
You will be surprised how precise you can be with just the feel of your fingers. You will be able to detect a few thousands difference between two pieces.
I use a low angle miter plane made by Lie Neilson #9 my bench hook is not very fancy but very capable.
Don’t be surprised if it takes you a good year to learn. Well worth the time spent when you find your self mitering everything from pine to hickory. :)
Good Luck

-- Aj

View JayT's profile

JayT

6427 posts in 3375 days


#7 posted 05-30-2019 07:10 PM

Not unless you are building giant frames out of timber. A miter trimmer is designed to just shave the end down a bit at a time, not make the whole cut. That’s why you rough cut just a bit long on the miter saw first. The blades of a miter trimmer need to be razor sharp to work well and since they are angled, they are shearing just a small part of the board at at time, not the whole width at once. For any reasonable size, they will do a fantastic job.

Here’s a video of a very similar model to the one I linked above

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVubB9N-T2g

Again, this tool has one very specific purpose and it’s designed to do it very, very well. If you are doing a lot of picture framing, it would be a good investment. If you doing a little framing and a lot of cabinetry or furniture building, then a shooting board is a lot more versatile.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View pottz's profile

pottz

18854 posts in 2148 days


#8 posted 05-30-2019 07:16 PM


If you are doing a lot of frames, consider a miter trimmer. Rough cut with the miter saw, finish with the miter trimmer. It will give a cleaner and more accurate finished cut. It s very much a single purpose tool, but for what you are talking about, it might well be the best tool for the job. If doing a lot, I would find one of the dual bladed, foot operated units.

Edit: Like this one. https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv/tls/d/tarzana-ctd-guillotine-in-good/6897213392.html

- JayT


here is a smaller version of the one jayt shows which i use myself to make frames or when i want a perfect miter corner.they sell for around 2-250 bucks.

looks like i was posting at the same time jayt.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

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JayT

6427 posts in 3375 days


#9 posted 05-30-2019 07:23 PM

^^ Yep, one of those for a few. Foot powered one for doing a bunch.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Jared_S's profile

Jared_S

466 posts in 1123 days


#10 posted 05-30-2019 08:58 PM

I have a lion miter trimmer, if i was doing picture frames with any frequency I’d have a morso or similar miter chopper.

Morso:
https://youtu.be/cG9j8035F3A

View SoCalWoody's profile

SoCalWoody

4 posts in 796 days


#11 posted 05-30-2019 10:54 PM

Thank you all for helping me with this. It seems the best solution to perfect miter cuts would be the lion miter trimmer. I can make the cut on my table saw and then transfer to the trimmer to get perfect joints. I’ll have to come up with some kind of jig with stops to make sure my lengths are perfect as well.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3645 posts in 4108 days


#12 posted 06-12-2021 06:55 PM

My first miter saw was a Delta. It did not do compound cuts. It was because of that it was so accurate. I ticked off a friend, who owned a framing shop, saying I could get cuts as good as hers with it.

I noted she only had a Dewalt compound and relied on other toys common to picture framing shops to do her work.

I showed her a couple of my frames and they seemed to annoy her even more. They were TIGHT.

The old Delta was a breeze to fine tune and, with stops, gave me dead on joints, even with twelve sided frames.

Now, I have a Dewalt and a Bosch. I miss my Delta.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

8257 posts in 1738 days


#13 posted 06-12-2021 07:10 PM



I have a lion miter trimmer, if i was doing picture frames with any frequency I d have a morso or similar miter chopper.

Morso:
https://youtu.be/cG9j8035F3A

- Jared_S

Gonna go out on a limb, that Kenny’s suggestion to use a shooting board is gonna be more affordable :-)

For the cuts I really like Following this path.

https://www.lumberjocks.com/topics/314908

-- Think safe, be safe

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

523 posts in 761 days


#14 posted 06-13-2021 02:07 PM

I’ve had an Incra Miter1000SE for a long, long time. I find it to be particularly accurate and like it a lot. I love it so much, I broke down earlier this year and bought an Incra TS-LS fence system as well…. It should be here in a few weeks.

But, I do keep a shooting board and use it regularly as well. I do a lot of hand plane work, though. So, using (and maintaining) them is second nature.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View Jimarco's profile

Jimarco

60 posts in 2271 days


#15 posted 06-13-2021 05:48 PM

Plus one on a miter trimmer… buy an extra blade to have one to use while the other is being sharpened.

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