What Is a Table Saw Miter Gauge?

The table saw is a great investment for any workshop. Many professionals use it as their go-to device for any cutting needs necessary. However, others shy away from it because they don’t know what the table saw miter gauge is for. If you don’t use it correctly, you get inconsistent cuts.

A miter gauge is a device that holds the workpieces in place while you sand or cut them. It’s a standard component on benchtop sanders, band saws, and table saws.

Typically, miter gauges have long metal arms that go into the miter gauge slot or track. That arm fits snuggly to prevent sideways movement, though it’s loose enough to move within its guide track.

From there, you have a fence attached to the track arm. The back of the miter fence features angle degrees on its face, which are stamped or printed on. There’s also a handle or knob attached to it to hold the miter fence at your preferred angle once you choose it.

Why Do You Use a Miter Gauge?

You use a table saw miter gauge to support your workpiece while you make cross-cuts. It lets you cut straight ends that are perpendicular to the face or side resting on the miter fence. However, you may adjust it to a different angle as necessary.

How Do You Square the Miter Gauge?

The miter gauge has to be square with the saw blade to offer precision and accuracy with the cross-cut. When you buy the table saw, you must square it, and it might require realignment over time.

However, you can’t adjust the track alignment. If you alter the trench of the tabletop, it destroys your ability to guide the miter gauge smoothly and accurately.

With that, you can’t use the saw blade to square the miter gauge. Any alignment issues of your saw blade transfer to the miter gauge. Some people don’t notice it with 90-degree cuts, but if you add an angle to the miter, it compounds the end of your workpiece.

You need a square with a longer edge to align the miter gauge correctly. That way, you can easily see any misalignment issues.

To adjust the miter fence, you should:

  • Loosen the bolts locking the miter fence into place
  • Put the short edge of your square against your fence
  • Align the longer edge of the square with the edge track that’s closest to the blade
  • Tighten your miter fence

Generally, the process is easy and quick, and you don’t require an expensive square to do it.

How Do You Use the Miter Gauge?

The table saw miter gauge supports and aligns the wood during the cut. Just as a rip fence is used for rip cuts, the miter gauge is there for cross-cuts.

To use the miter gauge effectively, you must:

  • Align the miter gauge
  • Set the blade height
  • Position your miter gauge
  • Set your preferred miter fence angle
  • Mark the cut
  • Put on safety gear and check that the material is right up to the miter gauge
  • Make your cut when the blade is running at full speed by sliding the miter gauge forward and feeding the wood slowly
  • Turn off the table saw

Conclusion

Power tools are almost a necessity to help you with your woodworking hobby or job. The table saw is something you’re sure to use for many years to come. However, you need a quality miter gauge and must set it up and use it correctly. Now, you know how to do this and why you need one!

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Itamar Ben Dor

My father is a practical engineer, and as a hobby he was also involved in construction, renovations, carpentry and woodwork at home; So there was always tools, saws, drills and more at home. Already I was a little kid Dad and I would renovate the house. Once we built a shed for garden tools, once we did flooring for the garden, once we renovated the bathroom and that’s the way it is. Long before there was an internet, directories and plans. We would build things, kitchen cabinets, install electrical appliances, do flooring, pour concrete and more ... I in this blog want to pass on to you the experience I have gained over the last 20 plus-minus years since I was a child to this day and give you information about the best tools, project plans, guides and more.

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