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Oak Park Mitre Gauge - Need Setup Help..

4026 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  menor
Hi All,

I recently got the Oak Park Mitre Gauge for doing sliding dovetails for table legs, drawer fronts, etc. Having some problem setting it right.

The project is Angle Leg Table - similar to Bob and Rick's.

Using my own 14 degree 1/2 dovetail bit, I cut the slots in the legs. The bit height was precisely 5/16 ths. This was done with my regular tall fence. Made a setup block with an identical slot - for use in the next step - cutting pins on the 3/4" apron stock using the mitre jig.

Setup the jig and bit height using the setup block. Cut pins using the Pin Fence. They are WAY loose. When I raise the bit, I can get the pin to fit snug - but then I also get a 1/32 - 1/16 gap between the leg and the apron shoulder - i.e. the correctly fitting pin is 'too long'.

Why is this? Am I correct that - given the fixed offset spacing between the pin fence indexing pins - that there is only one absolutely correct height setting - that being 3/8"?

Or what am I doing wrong?

Any suggestions short of recutting the legs (which I could do - I left enough leg length - 'just in case'..:>) on how to correct it?

I'm thinking of shimming the Aprons with about 4 sheets thickness of 20# laser printer paper - cutting the first half of the pin - removing the paper - cutting the second pin half. After setting the correct original bit height with the setup block, I would think cutting the pins this way would make them slightly wider - while retaining the correct height and eliminating the apron shoulder gap. Should this work? Comments?

Any comments and suggestions greatly appreciated!

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Hi Chris

1st.let me say "the deeper the bit the tighter the fit" Bob and Rick

When using the Oak-Park Mitre setup put the dovetail in and use the 3/8" brass bar on top of the black jig to set the height, 3/8" is the norm, but you can use 5/16" if you want BUT both parts for the dovetail joint must be set the same.
Use the jig to cut both parts of the dovetails. :)

That's to say once it's set don't move it up or down.

To repair what you now have, I would put in a 3/4" dado slot and then cut some stock to put in the dado, a plug so to speak, let it dry and then flush trim the leg with the flush trim router bit and then start over.

If you have a 3/4" or 1" dovetail bit, that would best for the plug and would give it a nice touch (walnut/cherry/ ??, but it takes more work than the standard dado slot.

But this is just my 2 cents. :)

Bj :)
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Thanks BJ,

I decided to take a shot at the paper-shim approach - and it worked perfect. No need to recut the slots in the legs.

Using the setup block I made when originally cutting the leg slots (5/16ths) - I setup the mitre jig so the bit (14 degree, 1/2") was exactly the same 5/16ths.

On my 3/4" apron stock, after cutting the 45 degree mitres on the mitre saw (same as Bob and Rick' Angle Leg Table) I cut the pins as follows:

On the first pin-half (pulling the gauge) I first placed 4-sheets of stapled (staple outside the clamping area) 20# laser printer paper cut to the approx dimensions of the stock width next to the pin fence, then clamped the stock over it. Cut the half-pin.

On the 'push stroke' (starting with bit hidden in the fence) I first removed the paper shim, reclamped the stock square with the table - and cut the 2nd pin half.

A bit of a pita - but it resulted in a perfectly fitting 5/16 deep pin, and no gap between the apron shoulders and legs (as I had before)

Perhaps someone from Oak-Part will answer my question about there being only one absolutely correct bit height - apparently 3/8" - to get perfect fits?

Anyway, if you use a 5/16ths bit height - or otherwise find you are getting a loose fit, set the bit depth exactly the same - and try the paper-shim width-correction. Just might work for you, too.

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Hello All

Hi everyone. My name is Ray, from Utica, NY. I will be visiting Poland soon, and I am hoping to meet my Polish relatives. I also hope some people from here may help me in contacting my relatives before my visit. Thanks and looking forward to meeting some great people on here!
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