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June 29, 2017

Steve’s Table Saw Miter Sled

Table Saw Miter Sled – Viewer Built

 

Steve's Table Saw Miter Sled 2A table saw miter sled is one of the most useful table saw accessories that can be made by the woodworker in the workshop. In this woodworking article we will take a look at the table saw miter sled that Steve from Tropical Cairns, Australia built in his well organized woodworking shop.

(Steve learned how to make a sled for by watching and studying our free woodworking video, How to Build a Table Saw Miter Sled. He also accessed our free woodworking plans for the table saw miter sled.)

Notice that Steve is using a very flat plywood as the base for his table saw miter sled. Both the front and rear fences of the miter sled are of straight grained material. This is especially important for the tall fence closest to the woodworker as this section of the table saw sled serves as a cross cut sled. So, it is imperative that this fence is straight across when material is placed along it to be cross cut.

(Based upon the photo it looks like Steve is able to cross cut a board that is 4- 6 inches wide. So, essentially this table saw miter sled design also has the additional capacity of serving as a cross cut sled.)

Steve's Table Saw Miter Sled 1The interior fence system for Steve’s table saw miter sled is comprised of 3/4″ straight grained material that form a balanced 90 degree angle at the saw blade kerf. Theoretically, we want a 45 degree angle to both the left and right sides of the fence. More importantly, we want to ensure miter fence has a perfect right angle so that the sum total of our miter joint equals 90 degrees.

It is also worth noting that Steve has used a sealer for his table saw miter sled. By doing so, Steve who lives in the humid tropics has helped ensure that his miter sled for his 10 inch table saw will remain flat and true.

Note: When using a table saw miter sled for cutting miter joints or making a cross cut, do not be tempted to switch table saw blades.  It is recommended to use the the same type table saw blade as the original blade that was used to cut the sleds zero clearance saw kerf. The zero clearance saw kerf ensures against any wood tear out.

When cutting miter joints what methods do you prefer?

Do you prefer to a miter joint with a miter saw or table saw?

Many woodworkers cut miters with a table saw miter gauge. What is your preference?

 

More Miter Sled Videos:

Mastering the Miter Joint

Let’s Make Spline Miter Joints

Let’s Make Picture Frames with the Tablesaw Miter Sled

Miter Sled Article:

How to Make Perfect Miter Joints

 

Let us know how it your table saw sleds out for you. If you have sled photos that you’d like to share, feel free to contact me.

 

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University


Box Joint Fence for the Dado Crosscut Sled

What’s the Purpose of the Adjustable Box Joint Fence?

Box Joint Fence - Dado Crosscut Sled for the TablesawThe adjustable box joint fence for the dado crosscut sled allows the woodworker flexibility when he or she is creating wood joinery on the table saw. The box joint fence is simply a woodworking accessory used to assure uniform spacing when making wood joinery such as box joints (finger joints) and evenly spaced dadoes. Also, by employing the adjustable box joint fence on the dado crosscut sled, the woodworker can quickly make the repetitive cuts necessary for creating decorative dentil moulding. The addition of the optional box joint fence enhances a woodworker’s ability to work systematically, accurately, and efficiently while at the same time, working safely. Box Joint Fence - Dado Crosscut Sled for the Tablesaw

How to make the Adjustable Box Joint Fence

The adjustable box joint fence is comprised of (2) 1″ rails of straight grained maple. The rail closest to the woodworker is stationary while the interior rail can slide laterally. This lateral rail has a T-track set in a groove. (The T-track is concealed from view.) The heads of (2) 5/16″ T-bolts are held within the T-Track. Holes are drilled thru the stationary fence so that the T-bolts can extend thru this fence. The threaded T-bolts are then fastened with the black star knobs.To adjust the box joint fence simply loosen the star knobs, adjust the box joint fence left or right so that the peg is aligned from the dado saw kerf the desired amount. Once the star knobs are secured, it is time to make the cuts.Dado Crosscut Sled for the Tablesaw



Adjustable Box Joint Fence - Dado Crosscut Sled for the TablesawIn the photos, you’ll notice a series of 1/4″ holes towards the bottom of the adjustable box joint fence. These are spaced at 1-1/2″. A  peg that is 1/4″ diameter then fits into one of the holes to make for the desired spacing of cuts. This adjust works well for dadoes, finger joint operations, or for creating dentil moulding. (Of course, the dado crosscut sled can also be used to cut other wooden joints such as half laps, rabbets, tongues, and tenons. Simply remove the 1/4″ peg for these woodworking operations.)

What are the Dimensions for the Dado Crosscut Sled?

Dado Crosscut Sled for the TablesawThe dado crosscut sled for the tablesaw is made from 1/2″ Baltic Birch plywood. This particular sled is 18″ x 26″ wide. All 3 fence rails are made from straight grained hard maple that measure 1″ x 5″ x 26″. A 6″ section of a 4 x 4 is fastened where the dado blades exit the sled. This block provides additional safety for the woodworker as it helps to conceal the dado blades from the woodworker’s hands.

Note: The adjustable box joint fence is simply a great accessory for the dado crosscut sled. I highly recommend the basic dado sled as it will help to advance your woodworking skills. Remember, the dado sled offers the woodworker control and precision. These two factors are key ingredients to being able to work with confidence. Once you have built the dado sled, you can simply add the box joint fence as you desire. Let me know how it works out for you.
Adjustable Box Joint Fence - Dado Crosscut Sled for the Tablesaw

Woodworking Power Tools

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University


Review…Ulmia Miter Clamps and Pinch Clamps

Ulmia miter clamps and pinch clamps for miter joints - Ulmia miter clamps for woodworking projects

Ulmia miter clamps and pinch clamps for miter joints

Ulmia Miter Clamps and Pinch Clamps

Ulmia miter clamps are simply amazing woodworking tools. A number of woodworkers have inquired about the Ulmia miter clamps used in the articles and videos of this blog. So, here is my response and a woodworking tool review of the Ulmia Miter Clamp set and Ulmia Pinch Clamps. These are terrific tools for clamping corners. Read on and you will understand why.

Over 30 years ago I took a deep breath as I purchased what I thought at the time were expensive woodworking tools for joining miter joints. The Ulmia miter clamps consist of a set of specialized pliers and clamp rings. There are also the smaller spring pinch clamps for securing an dead-on fit for the smaller miters. These clamping devices had a prominent place in my tool box 30 years ago and they still do today. Back then for a young carpenter serving my apprenticeship they seemed pretty pricey. However, the purchase was made as an investment and over time the investment has paid off handsomely. It’s hard to count the number of times that the Ulmia spring clamps and spring pinch clamps have been used on various wood projects. Simply put, these clamps have made the quality of my finish carpentry and woodworking in the shop much better. Here’s why.

Ulmia Pliers, ring clamps, and picture frame miter joints - Ulmia Miter Clamps and Pinch Clamps.

Ulmia Pliers, ring clamps, and picture frame miter joints.

As finish carpenters and woodworkers we often work with miter joints. We may cut miters for all types of moulding…crown, base, chair rail, you name it. Anytime we fit and glue miters we need to secure the joint until the glue sets. The same applies to many other miter situations with wood projects in the shop and the Ulmia miter clamps do a superb job. These tools are a cinch to work with as they allow the woodworker to simply go from miter to miter with ease. The Ulmia pliers and ring clamps work well on larger miter joints when more pressure is needed to secure the joint. The Ulmia spring pinch clamps perform well for the smaller miter joints requiring less pressure. I recommend these tools in a heartbeat and chances are you’ll be glad to have them when gluing miter joints in your woodworking shop. The Ulmia miter clamps allow the woodworker to work more accurately while working faster. The Ulmia miter clamps and spring pinch clamps definitely allow the finish carpenter and woodworker to work with a greater sense of self confidence. Simply align the miter joint and fasten the miter clamp. Keep in mind, these priceless tool will last you a lifetime.

Here are examples of why I enjoy working with the Ulmia miter clamps and spring pinch clamps.

Ulmia Spring Pinch clamp secures a glued miter joint - Ulmia Miter Clamps and Pinch Clamps

An Ulmia Pinch clamp secures a glued miter joint.

Related Videos and Articles:

Let’s Build a Jewelry Box…Part 3

Let’s Make Picture Frames with the Dedicated Miter Sled

Mastering the Miter Joint

How to Make Perfect Miter Joints


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

 

How to Make Perfect Miter Joints

Making Perfect Miter Joints

 

“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”
Michael Jordan…(1963- )Former American professional basketball player, businessman.

There’s something nice about seeing wood joinery that is well done. It’s a if the craftsman is making a statement about his knowledge of the trade, his set of skills, and his pride in craftsmanship. When you see miter  joints that are clean and tight the craftsman is sending a message that he knows what he is doing because he is well practiced and he cares about his craft. It can simply be seen in his work.

It could be said that miter joints are definitely one of the most common joints in woodworking or carpentry. This is a joint that we are taught early on in our apprenticeships because we will be cutting miters throughout our entire career. As an apprentice it sounds simple enough to just cut a left 45 and a right 45 and glue then together to form a 90. If it were so simple then why are there open miter joints? Let’s take a look at how we can make perfect miter joints.

Perfect Miter Joint Technique

 

In this article I will share with you the best method I know to make miter joints in the workshop. My technique for cutting miter joints is using a dedicated miter sled on the table saw. The sled is simple to build and it does not cost much to build it. In fact it can be made within an hour from scrap material in the shop. Once it is built it can serve the craftsman for a long time. The miter sled if built correctly offers unparalleled accuracy. The sled can easily be set up to do production work. With a good miter sled and a sharp saw blade one can cut perfect miter joints for a picture frames that are ready to glue. Simply put the miter sled is a joy to use.

 

Watch this video…Building a dedicated Miter Sled for the tablesaw

As you can see from the photos the woodworker is making quite a few picture frames. (These wood projects are Christmas gifts in the works.) Notice the stop blocks in the pictures. The location of the stop blocks control the lengths for parts of the picture frames and by having these stop blocks in place the woodworker is able to precisely cut uniform lengths repetitively. This allows for production woodworking as all the parts can be cut accurately and efficiently. Once all the lengths are cut it is just a matter of fitting and gluing the miter joints together.

 

Perfect Miter Joints & Ulmia Spring Clamps

 

When it comes to gluing the miter joints I highly recommend using Ulmia spring clamps. These clamps allow you to properly align the miter joint and then secure it. Once clamped the miter joints will not move. Of course there are different size spring clamps for different size miter joints. My spring clamps have been with me for over 30 years and they have clamped a lot of miters. The clamps are truly worth their weight in gold. If you have yet to experience these clamps you will quickly understand when you use them for the first time. When you decide to purchase spring clamps make sure to buy enough because when you go into production mode you will be doing a lot of clamping. Keep in mind that mitering with these clamps goes quickly.

 

Working with a dedicated miter sled and spring clamps is quick, efficient, and accurate. By following this route you will see your skills and miter joints improve. When finished you can also take pride in the craftsmanship of your work for a job well done.

 

A video for mitering smaller material…Let’s Build a Bandsaw Miter Sled



 

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

 

A Hand Dovetailed Black Walnut Jewelry Box

Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.
Albert Einstein, Theoretical physicist…1879 – 1955.

Black walnut Jewelry Box with dovetails

Black walnut jewelry box with dovetails

One weekend a while back while in the shop I came across a few pieces of scrap black walnut that had some beautiful grain patterns. Before long I began to think about how I could maximize the amount of material that was available. The walnut was just over 3/4″ thick and the next thing I knew I was ripping the wood to a thickness of about 7/16″ on the band saw. For some reason I ran the pieces through the planer just to see how the grain looked and to my amazement I started to get more involved with this wonderfully beautiful black walnut.

After squaring a few ends I found myself laying out dovetails. I figured it would be a good practice and so I grabbed my dovetail saw and then before long I had my chisels paring away walnut for the fitting of tails and pins. To tell you the truth I had no idea that I was beginning to build another jewelry box. It’s as if one step of the process was leading me towards the next step. It was an unconscious act tho and I was going along for the ride. The next thing I knew I had the four corners dovetailed.

Jewelry Box of black walnut with handmade dovetails

Jewelry Box of black walnut with handmade dovetails

In the scrap bin I found some black walnut that was veneered to 1/4″ MDF on both sides. It would serve as the base of what was becoming a jewelry box. I now rabbeted dovetailed walls to glue and let in the base.

Finding another scrap of black walnut I sized a lid for the wooden box and then created a decorative profile on the router table. Now, I just needed a handle for the lid and I was a bit concerned because I was running short on the black walnut material. I suppose I could always accent the box with a different wood however, I really wanted it to be just black walnut.

As luck would have it I found a practice piece from woodturning and it became the jewelry box handle. I had previously turned a black walnut disk with a rim on the circumference. As you can see in the photos I cut the disk and then face glued it to form an arching handle. Next I installed the supports to house the lid. The final steps were applying various coats of shellac and then applying Liberon fine paste wax.

This 6-1/2″ x 12″ x 3-1/4″ box simply evolved in the workshop as I was just fascinated by the beauty of the grain. One thing led to the next and suddenly it took shape. So, now the jewelry box is in the hallway where I pass by it quite often. For some reason this black walnut hand dovetailed box continues to hold my attention.

Watch the Let’s Build a Jewelry Box videos.



The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

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