Doing Jointery on Your Table Saw
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is one of the most rewarding parts of any woodworking project.
Ranging from simple, attractive miter and bevel joints to
the more complicated lock corner and finger joints, this tip
will cover the wood joinery that can be done on the Mark V
in the table saw mode.
3-1. Some examples of how miter cuts can be used
to form four-, six- and eight-sided projects. Click
on image to see larger view.
and bevel cuts are made with the stock held at an angle (other
than 90°) to the saw blade. For instance, anytime you change
the miter gauge from its normal 90° position, you will be
sawing a miter. Some examples of miter cuts used to form four-,
six-, and eight-sided figures are illustrated in Figure
3-1. The cut pieces, joined to make forms, are called
important to remember that a miter cut angle is always one-half
of the joint angle. The joint angle in a four-sided picture
frame is 90°, but the cut angle is 45°. Use the following
formula to determine the correct miter gauge setting for a
project with any number of segments: Divide 360° by the number
of sides and then divide the answer by 2. To apply this formula
to an octagon, for example, divide 360° by 8; then divide
the answer, 45°, by 2. This will yield 22-1/2°, which would
be the correct setting for the miter gauge.
any miter cut, set the miter gauge at the desired angle, and
secure the lock knob. Warning: Place the miter gauge in
one of the slots so that the face of the gauge is angled toward
the blade. If you mount the miter gauge so the face is angled
away from the blade, the wood may bind and kickback. Note:
Since most miter cuts are made at 45°, the miter gauge has
positive stops to help you quickly adjust the gauge to 45°
left or 45° right. However, it's wise to check critical setups
with a drafting triangle or combination square.
workpiece where you want to cut it. (It's best to measure
from the inside corners of the miter.) Align the workpiece
with the saw blade and clamp it securely with the miter gauge
3-2. To make a miter cut, set the miter gauge at
the desired angle, then proceed as if you were crosscutting.
point on, the procedure is similar to crosscutting. Make a
five-point check. All five locks-power plant, carriage, table
height, table tilt, and quill-should be secure. Turn the machine
on, set the proper speed and let the machine come up to speed.
Push the workpiece slowly past the blade (Figure
3-2). When the cut is finished, turn the machine off and
let the blade come to a complete stop before removing the
workpiece or scraps.
3-3. A fence extension that is faced with sandpaper
provides a high friction surface that helps to keep
the workpiece in place as you are sawing.
sawing is no more difficult than straight crosscutting but
accuracy is most critical. An error of 1° doesn't sound like
much, but when it's repeated on even just four parts, it adds
up to frustration at assembly time. Make it a habit to test
machine settings on scrap stock. Saw the good material only
when you are sure the setting is perfect. Guard against drift
which is the tendency of the blade's rotation to pull the
workpiece-perhaps just enough to spoil a perfect cut. A fence
extension that is faced with sandpaper helps keep the workpiece
in place (Figure
3-3). Hold the workpiece securely; use the miter gauge
some things that will cause inaccurate miter joints:
alignment of the machine.
saw blade or incorrectly set teeth.
warped or otherwise imperfect to begin with.
allowed to drift.
made too fast.
segments must be perfectly matched in size and shape if they
are to join together in a perfect union. Use this formula
to determine the segment length:
width - rabbet width x 2 + picture length = frame length
for 8" long picture:
2" - 3/8"
= 1-5/8" x 2 = 3-1/4" + 8 = 11-1/4"
3-4. The miter gauge stop rod can be used to gauge
the length of the segments.
gauge stop rod can be used as shown in Figure
3-4 to gauge the length of the segments. Square a piece
of stock to this length. Set the miter gauge to the angle
needed, and miter both ends of the segment. Then use it to
set the miter gauge stop rod. Warning: Never position the
miter gauge stop rod so that it crosses in front of the blade.
Other segments are cut from one length of stock by mitering
it at one end, then holding the mitered end against the stop
rod. Be sure that you turn the stock over for each new pass.
3-5. (A) A miter gauge extension with an adjustable
stop can be used to cut mters on wide stock. (B) Construcion
details of the miter gauge extension. Click on image
to see larger view.
gauge extension with an adjustable stop can be used to cut
miters on wide stock (Figure
Cuts with a Fixture
Cutting close, tight miters is much easier when you use a
sliding table fixture (Figure
3-6). The fixture is easy to make and is well worth your
time and effort, because a fixture that is well built and
set up accurately will enable you to cut perfect 45° miters
every time. The strips that slide in the miter gauge slots
are cut to fit from hardwood. Use screws to secure the strips
to the base; then cut a 12" long saw kerf into the fixture.
3-6. (A) The sliding table fixture can be used to
make close, accurate miters with ease. (B) Construction
details of the sliding table fixture. Click on image
to see larger view.
one end of each hardwood fence at 45°. Use glue and screws
to secure one of the fences into place at 45° to the saw kerf.
Once the glue on this fence has dried, use an accurate square
to position the other one; secure it with glue and screws.
So that the stock will have less tendency to drift while being
cut, attach fine grit sandpaper onto the fixture with rubber
this fixture, always cut matching miters. This is done by
cutting the first corner of the stock on the right side of
the fixture and the second corner on the left side.
that all fixtures, in addition to being carefully made, should
be protected so they will maintain accuracy. Carefully sand
all parts before assembly. Use glue and screws to join components.
After assembly, apply several coats of penetrating sealer
with a light sanding between coats and another light sanding
when the final coat is dry. Wax and buff those surfaces that
make contact with the machine.
to Bevel Cuts