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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Curious to know the Forum's opinion on how one should feed a miter cut on a table saw. For lack of better words, I'll refer to the two choices as "pull" and "push" as shown in the top and bottom photos below. I was taught to use the push (bottom) approach as it keeps the board tight to the fence and the stop block if one is used. I had never considered the "pull" approach until I saw a friend use it which he described as what he was taught.
My concern with the pull approach is that if the cut were to bind, it could pull the board and one's hand into the blade.

Is there a "best" approach or does this fall into the "each to his/her own preference" category?

Sorry about the sideways photos again.
 

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You could use a clamp to secure the work and then it doesn’t matter. The clamp can improve the push cut too as either one tends to pull or push the board sideways.
 

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My preference is for the pointy bit to enter first as the back end is more likely to have any tearout, and in most cases that'd be on the inside of a joint. That and I like what Jon says about (not!) pulling the hand into the blade.
 

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1st picture method for a rough cut and miter knife to finish...
 

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I'm confused about the "push/pull" terminology as well as in my mind, they are both push cuts. Having said that, using a clamp to hold the work piece and keeping your hands away should negate the possibility of having your hands pulled into the blade. I've always used the orientation in the second picture.
 

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I use the first picture method.
 

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Mentally, I have to have the material on the right hand side of the miter . Don’t know why , maybe cause I’m right handed?

If tear outs a concern, I’d clamp it and have a piece of mdf as a sacrificial piece
 

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Discussion Starter #10
All points are good and I apologize for the confusion generated by the push/pull terminology. To Chuck's point, I use a clamp and add the backer board as suggested by Rick. Stick's suggestion of using the miter knife has a lot of merit.

Thank you one and all.
 

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Stick's suggestion that you make a rough cut, then use a miter trimmer is how I now make miters, particularly for picture frames. A clamp is also a good idea, and full kerf blades that are less likely to deflect than thin kerf. When you use the miter trimmer (pictured), you see just how much a blade deflection affects a miter corner.

This is a Grizzley miter trimmer. Wife gave it to me to make frames for her art. Be really careful of the blade, it will slice a finger right off if you try to lift it by the blade opening. It has a small handle to lift with welded to the framework. About $190. Miter Trimmer | Grizzly Industrial It also has accessory wings with a stop to help support the cuts and cut equal lengths.

Trims ends glass smooth both perfect 45 and 90 degree trims. Just trim lightly, about 1/32 nd to 1/16th. Thicker trims don't turn out as well. Did I mention keep your fingers away from the blades!!!! I mounted it on a sheet of ply and put steel handles at the balance point.
 

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I thought what he meant was to turn the miter gauge around in the slot. That gives better control if you are trying to miter something fairly wide.
 

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I thought what he meant was to turn the miter gauge around in the slot. That gives better control if you are trying to miter something fairly wide.
That is what I had imagined too,Chuck, and it sent shivers up my spine to think about pulling a cut through the back of the saw.
I always use he left side of the saw to do everything. Only occasionally will I rip or Crosscut on the right side. But I see Utube vids where others do just the opposite, they rip on the left side of the blade ans also cross cut the same.

One time a wood worker came to my shop and wanted me to help them with their box joints and they cut them from right to left. I always cut mine from left to right.

Herb
 

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I use the left side miter slot too, with the head tilted to the right. I can see using the other slot if you're mitering something like a picture frame molding and can't flip the part upside down to cut the opposite hand miter. I don't know about other brands, but Delta's miter gauge comes with tapped holes in the top of the fence on the head and the outer end of the bar for an accessory clamp.
 

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To my joiners' mind the best way is to use a mitre saw - on which there is far less chance of the material moving the wrong way, especially if a length stop is fitted. If it must be done on a table saw then I suppose I'd opt for a mitre fence with a length stop and cut from the inside edge to the outside on the grounds that any spelching on the outside is going to be less noticeable and easier to disguise than it would be on the inside, where flaws are generally more immediately apparent
 

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I can use my Bosch sliding miter for the rough cuts, but even slight errors add up on picture frames, which is why I use the trimmer. It is also very good for making face frames because you get a perfect and flat 90 degree cut. The Bosch is very close to perfect, and with a good blade in it, does a good job. Not sure how a cheapie (HF) would do.
 

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Hi, your best bet is to not use the miter gauge at all and just spend an hour or less and build a very quick cross-cut sled. You don't have to make a fancy cross-cut sled, but once you start using a cross-cut sled you will very rarely use your miter gauge. The cross-cut sled is:
safer to use
easier to use
more accurate to use
Go out to Youtube and find a simple cross-cut sled to make.
Later if you want you can make a very fancy cross-cut sled. I use a sled for cutting miters, exactly 90 degree cuts and just cutting. I almost never use my miter gauge.
 

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Mike; for sure the OEM miter gauges aren't precision tools, at least the ones I've seen/used.
But some of the 3rd party ones are really a major improvement (over the OEM ones).
I keep meaning to build a sled but for panels I'd rather just use my circ. saw and a straightedge
I just don't have the space in my garage to swing 8' sheets. The small stuff, well that's why I bought the Osbourne EB-3.
https://www.sharpen-up.com/best-miter-gauge-reviews-top-5-picks-for-2017/
 

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Mike; for sure the OEM miter gauges aren't precision tools, at least the ones I've seen/used.
But some of the 3rd party ones are really a major improvement (over the OEM ones).
I keep meaning to build a sled but for panels I'd rather just use my circ. saw and a straightedge
I just don't have the space in my garage to swing 8' sheets. The small stuff, well that's why I bought the Osbourne EB-3.
https://www.sharpen-up.com/best-miter-gauge-reviews-top-5-picks-for-2017/
I am drooling again after looking at that,Dan.
Makes my V27 look kind of puny

Herb
 
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