How do you accurately and consistently set your table saw blade to 45 for mitered corners?

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Forum topic by Kade Knight posted 02-14-2013 03:22 AM 7031 views 1 time favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Kade Knight

63 posts in 3400 days

02-14-2013 03:22 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’d like to hear everyone’s ways of consistently setting their table saw blade to 45 for mitering corners of boxes, frames, etc. It seems that no matter what I do, I always have to cut practice pieces, readjust, cut, readjust, cut, readjust…...I just want to set it once or readjust once for perfect miters! HELP!

20 replies so far

View Manitario's profile


2818 posts in 4342 days

#1 posted 02-14-2013 03:33 AM

get a good set of set-up blocks, or a protractor or once you know you’ve made a 45 deg. cut cut yourself a block at exactly 45 deg and keep it for reference.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View jumbojack's profile


1691 posts in 4083 days

#2 posted 02-14-2013 03:36 AM

for a long time I used an artist plastic 45 degree triangle. This Christmas I received Wexley, so now I use that.

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

View waho6o9's profile


9194 posts in 4036 days

#3 posted 02-14-2013 03:41 AM

When you take the side movement out of the miter gauge and
have it running at a right angle to the blade your joinery will improve a lot.
It did for me anway.

Building a sled is helpful as well. You can search LJ’s in the top right part of the site and
you may get something like this:

And welcome to LJ’s Kade!

View Loren's profile


11505 posts in 5107 days

#4 posted 02-14-2013 03:58 AM

Make a jig. Leave the blade at 90. A jig allows you to reference
the cut from the outside face of the miter.

There are electronic devices for setting perfect 45
degree blade tilts, and other mechanical ways to
do it. In making cuts however operator error,
miter gauge slop and weirdness of the table top
can be factors.

View mbs's profile


1720 posts in 4399 days

#5 posted 02-14-2013 04:12 AM

Do you have some kind of friction, like sandpaper, to hold the piece firmly against the fence?

Some other thoughts
1) See if your miter saw is more repeatable.
2) Get close and clean it up with a shooting board.
3) Use a trimmer to clean up miter

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4767 days

#6 posted 02-14-2013 04:25 AM

I use a Wixey digital angle gague and it is dead on accurate. I have used it to set miters on over 120 boxes and have excellent results. A clean and sharp blade is also important.
My Incra HD1000 miter gague is also a key factor when adjusted properly.

View MrRon's profile (online now)


6321 posts in 4702 days

#7 posted 02-14-2013 06:49 PM

I use the Wixey digital gauge to set the blade. For miter cuts, I use the miter gauge with the blade set at 90°.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 4617 days

#8 posted 02-14-2013 07:37 PM

I have the Incra 1000HD and its great. But anytime I need critical miters, I remove the sacrificial fence I keep on it. Over time, the wood of the sacrificial fence does warp and prevent wood from sitting accurately against the fence.

To align, I use a square to get the blade perpendicular to the miter fence. Then, I test it by making a regular hexagon out of same length wood segments. Inaccuracies are compounded and multiplied by the larger number of miters…so it’s easy to fine-tune the setup when creating a multi-sided polygon. Interior angles of a hexagon are 120 degrees, so set the detents of the miter gauge to 30 or 60 degrees for the miters.

-- jay,

View b2rtch's profile


4922 posts in 4507 days

#9 posted 02-14-2013 08:30 PM

Use a home made sled, you do not have to adjust the angle every time, only once.

-- Bert

View ToddJB's profile


8874 posts in 3589 days

#10 posted 02-14-2013 08:35 PM

I was under the impression the Wixey gauges only worked on vertical planes… they can also work on horizontal?

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View History's profile


399 posts in 3440 days

#11 posted 02-14-2013 10:42 PM

Use a miter saw, it’s the more appropriate machine for the job.

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 4289 days

#12 posted 02-14-2013 10:57 PM

I assume you mean the bevel of the blade. For this I’m with Greg and Mr. Ron. Wixey gauge
For miters, IncraHD1000

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View SamuraiSaw's profile


519 posts in 3423 days

#13 posted 02-15-2013 01:59 AM

”Use a miter saw, it’s the more appropriate machine for the job.”

The appropriate tool for these type of miters is a table saw with a crosscut sled designed to accomodate a 45 degree bevel. I use a Wixey to confirm the 45 degree bevel and a well tuned crosscut sled to make the cuts.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 4149 days

#14 posted 02-15-2013 03:10 AM

For my boxes , I tilt the blade to 45 using my Wixey digital angle gauge. For miters like for a picture frame I have a cheap old miter gauge that I tweaked to EXACTLY 45 and then locked it down and never change it. I use another miter gauge for angles other than 45.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 4617 days

#15 posted 02-15-2013 03:15 AM

My $400 miter saw is worthless for that application. It’s for crown molding when I use caulk to cover the gaps and to chop down long boards so my more accurate table saw can give better and cleaner cuts.

-- jay,

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