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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm making a base for a small box and I'm having problems with the miter joints. I cut them on my table saw using an Incra V27 miter set to the 22.5 deg notch. I normally don't have trouble cutting 90 deg or 45 deg miters because I have tools to help me set the angles precisely. However, I don't have anything for setting up a 22.5 deg angle. I used a stop block when making the cuts and I verified afterwards that all like pieces are the same length.

For reference purposes, the cherry frame is roughly 4.5" x 8" and the frame pieces themselves are 1" wide. The stock is 0.5" thick.

My question is how would you recommend that these cuts be made? Would you use a table saw or a miter saw?
Do you sometimes get the same imprecise results and then fine tune the angles with a plane or sanding block? Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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I think you need one of those framing gizmos that Tom uses. He swears by it.
 

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Tom should be by shortly -- he's the expert on it. He makes some mighty fine accurate and tight joints.
 

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I'm making a base for a small box and I'm having problems with the miter joints. I cut them on my table saw using an Incra V27 miter set to the 22.5 deg notch. I normally don't have trouble cutting 90 deg or 45 deg miters because I have tools to help me set the angles precisely. However, I don't have anything for setting up a 22.5 deg angle. I used a stop block when making the cuts and I verified afterwards that all like pieces are the same length.

For reference purposes, the cherry frame is roughly 4.5" x 8" and the frame pieces themselves are 1" wide. The stock is 0.5" thick.

My question is how would you recommend that these cuts be made? Would you use a table saw or a miter saw?
Do you sometimes get the same imprecise results and then fine tune the angles with a plane or sanding block? Thanks in advance for your help.
@chuckgray,I'm, fairly sure "Infinity Cutting Tools" have a 22.5 degree bit if that could help,or maybe not.Just sayin'
 

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John, I'm not sure what you're referring to. Do you have any specifics about the framing gizmo?
look for the lion miter trimmer/knife threads...
http://www.routerforums.com/tools-woodworking/90322-lion-mitre-knife-goes-under-knife.html
http://www.routerforums.com/tools-woodworking/85705-miter-trimmer.html
http://www.routerforums.com/show-n-tell/89185-finished-my-lazy-susan.html
http://www.routerforums.com/starting-off/39662-accuracy-general-hints-tips.html

if I was a betting man man ...
your blade has wobble - needs stiffeners or the arbor is sloppy..
and it isn't absolute 90° to the table..
 
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I like the table saw over the miter saw for precision cuts. No flex in the head like a chop saw or slider. You should use a zero clearance insert, make sure your blade is square to the table, etc.

Frank howarth on YouTube has some videos on how he does the miters on his segmentation pieces, might be worth a look.

A shooting board and plane can help clean up joints some, but if they are too far out of whack your pieces willl get too short.
 

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Hi,
I use what used to be called a Lion miter trimmer. The picture shows how it looks, how it works is that the lever moves a set of extremely sharp cutters back and forth. You pre-cut the frame pieces to about 45 degrees and about 1/16th or so over size. The steel base has a stop for a small arm or mini fence. You slide your workpiece against the fence, then push maybe 1/32nd past the blade, then slide the blade across, trimming off a very tiny amount. This produces an exact 90 or 45 degree angle that is glass smooth. Theoretically you can cut other angles this way, but it is specific to picture frames, or making exact 90 rails and stiles. Mine is a Grizzly and has a couple of arms with a stop block to make sure lengths are exactly the same. This tool was originally made in the 1880s. My wife bought it for me to make frames for her paintings.

What you're makeing is going to require using something like a 22.5 degree router miter bit. You could also do this on a perfectly set up miter gauge, or my other alternative, which is a perfectly tuned Rockler table saw sled, which has a huge scale showing the exact angle in at least hundredths of a degree. But I had a lot of problems using thin kerf blades because the blad deflected just enough so I couldn't get a straight cut and ends wouldn't match up. Using a full kerf blade helped a lot.

Another method is to use the Wixey angle gauge to tilt a table saw blade to an exact angle, with a full kerf blade. See picture. I'd want to use a perfectly set miter gauge to hold those small parts, and a good sacrificial fence.

I would not use a miter saw or chop saw, just not accurate enough to suit me, even my Bosch saw isn't accurate enough for this precision work.

But for your project, the router bit approach would work well. Finally, even with all of that, sometimes a little cover up is required, and for that, Timber Mate filler has worked best for me. Takes stain and finish well and stays put even in the tiny amounts I actually use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

The Lion Miter Trimmer looks like a fine tool but I can't justify the price for as seldom as I would use it. I like the idea of the 22.5 deg chamfer bit but I'm not sure how to safely use the router with the small pieces.

Stick, you've always got a myriad of good ideas and I appreciate that. I checked the blade angle with my Wixey and it shows to be right on 90 degrees. There doesn't seem to be any play between the blade and arbor. Is there a way I can check for wobble? I'm using a Freud Industrial Glue-line blade, 1/8" kerf.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi,
I use what used to be called a Lion miter trimmer. The picture shows how it looks, how it works is that the lever moves a set of extremely sharp cutters back and forth. You pre-cut the frame pieces to about 45 degrees and about 1/16th or so over size. The steel base has a stop for a small arm or mini fence. You slide your workpiece against the fence, then push maybe 1/32nd past the blade, then slide the blade across, trimming off a very tiny amount. This produces an exact 90 or 45 degree angle that is glass smooth. Theoretically you can cut other angles this way, but it is specific to picture frames, or making exact 90 rails and stiles. Mine is a Grizzly and has a couple of arms with a stop block to make sure lengths are exactly the same. This tool was originally made in the 1880s. My wife bought it for me to make frames for her paintings.

What you're makeing is going to require using something like a 22.5 degree router miter bit. You could also do this on a perfectly set up miter gauge, or my other alternative, which is a perfectly tuned Rockler table saw sled, which has a huge scale showing the exact angle in at least hundredths of a degree. But I had a lot of problems using thin kerf blades because the blad deflected just enough so I couldn't get a straight cut and ends wouldn't match up. Using a full kerf blade helped a lot.

Another method is to use the Wixey angle gauge to tilt a table saw blade to an exact angle, with a full kerf blade. See picture. I'd want to use a perfectly set miter gauge to hold those small parts, and a good sacrificial fence.

I would not use a miter saw or chop saw, just not accurate enough to suit me, even my Bosch saw isn't accurate enough for this precision work.

But for your project, the router bit approach would work well. Finally, even with all of that, sometimes a little cover up is required, and for that, Timber Mate filler has worked best for me. Takes stain and finish well and stays put even in the tiny amounts I actually use.
Great ideas Tom. I think I'll give a try to tilting the blade on my table saw and see how that works. By using the Wixey, I believe I can set the blade angle on the saw more accurately than setting the angle on the miter gauge. If that fails, I'll go with the Timber Mate filler.
 

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Great ideas Tom. I think I'll give a try to tilting the blade on my table saw and see how that works. By using the Wixey, I believe I can set the blade angle on the saw more accurately than setting the angle on the miter gauge. If that fails, I'll go with the Timber Mate filler.
The big deal is cutting every piece on any particular segment to exactly the same length as its opposite pair. If one is even slightly off, getting the angle perfect doesn't matter much. Stop blocks for longer pieces. For short ones, put a block on the fence to set the piece against. A sacrificial fence will help with tearout. I'd use a really good draftsmans triangle to set the miter gauge exactly 90 to the blade so you don't get an unusable compound angle. I also had to perfect the fit of the miter bar so there is zero slop in the fit as you slide it. You're already using a full kerf blade.

Let the Timber mate dry completely, then sand smooth. You can get the filler in a variety of colors to match the wood you're using. While I'm thinking on this, I have begun using the new 3M flexible sanding sheets. The stuff lasts forever, and wrap around the sanding blocks shown in the picture. These make sanding a frame much easier and faster, particularly the beaded parts.
 

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Chuck there is one more thing you need to look at and that is stock preparation. The stock needs to be square and straight. If the stock is not straight then you will never get the joints to closeup correctly because there is already error in you angles to start. The Lion trimmer is a good tool but if the stock is not straight then you still have the problem of registration to the blade.

Looking at the picture of your joints my first thought is that your blade might not be parallel to the miter slot and/or your blade is not square to the table. I would also make sure that there is no slop in the miter gauge bar in the slot. If the alignment of the saw and miter gauge is correct then I would look a possible blade deflection or vibration. Also make sure you don't overfeed the stock, this could cause problems also.
 
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Mike, great information. Stock preparation is really important, and don't wait too long between jointing and planing and assembly. It doesn't take long for a twist to appear, and even a small twist or warping will thwart you.

And setting up your table saw is too easily assumed and very often overlooked. Thanks for the reminder.
 

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Chuck the angles didn't look that bad except they aren't tight which makes me think that Stick's suggestion that you may have blade wobble may be correct. I had the same problem once and a set of stiffeners cured it. Some blades, especially thin rim blades, get pulled and pushed as they go through early grain and late grain (I.e. The wood density keeps changing which causes the blade to wander or wobble.) also, check your setup to make sure it's accurate as others have said.
 

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Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

1.... The Lion Miter Trimmer looks like a fine tool but I can't justify the price for as seldom as I would use it.
2.... I like the idea of the 22.5 deg chamfer bit but I'm not sure how to safely use the router with the small pieces.

Stick, you've always got a myriad of good ideas and I appreciate that.

3... I checked the blade angle with my Wixey and it shows to be right on 90 degrees.
4... There doesn't seem to be any play between the blade and arbor. Is there a way I can check for wobble?
5... I'm using a Freud Industrial Glue-line blade, 1/8" kerf.
1... once you get your hands on one.. there's no going back... LeeValley has one that is almost as good as the Lion and better than the Grizz.. you'll find you'll you'll use it for much more than..
2... small parts holders and/or a sled..
3... zero the wixey on the table and not the plate away from the blade in several locations then check your blade w/o changing any settings....
same for the throat plate..
also check the face of the miter gauge for 90° to the table...
you're looking for table and throat plate flatness...
4... Table Saw Test 2: Checking Arbor Flange and Saw Blade Run-Out | In-Line Industries
and of course there is YouTube...
make sure your arbor washers are clean and flat...
5... good blade.. add stiffeners just the same..
swap for a full kerf blade and test on some scrap...
 

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Maybe it is just the picture, but it looks like the small pieces on the left hand side are longer than the right hand ones.
A router bit is not going to help you with what your are doing. I use my table saw ,like you do. I can truthfully say that even with careful attentions to everything, not every cut comes out right every time, so I make a substantial amount of extra stock to recut as needed. Also keep in mind that you are adding errors on top of errors such that when you get to the last cut it is not uncommon to have to do a little hand tweeking with a sanding block.

On 45 deg corner cuts you have only 4 miter cuts,here you have 8 cuts. You have doubled your margin of error.

I agree with Tom and his method with the Lyon trimmer, but he has the ability to shave off a micro bit to tighten things up, the same as a plane or sanding block.

Remember that a Machinist makes things that fit every time, and wood worker MAKES things fit.

Herb
 

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your miter gauge is sloppy in the the miter slot...
if you are using the take up washers it is sloppy... remove them...
layer the side of the bar w/ UHMW tape till you get a snug fit.. problem fixed forever...

Self Adhesive Tape UHMW 3/4"X6' | Klingspor's Woodworking Shop

adding a layer of 3'' wide to your fence is a giant step forward..
adding a layer of 100 grit PSA sandpaper to the face of your miter is a plus too..
no PSA paper...
use contact cement ot a dry rub on glue stick...

.
 

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Maybe it is just the picture, but it looks like the small pieces on the left hand side are longer than the right hand ones.

Herb
pay heed here...
off by a 32nd adds up big time... even a 64th will do it...
 
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