If you have ever had to frame a door, window or make a picture frame you are probably aware of what a compound miter cut is. For those of us who have not yet done so, a miter cut by definition is a single cut at an angle for the length of the member. If you have to account for more than one angle, i.e. vertical angle and horizontal angle on that single cut, this would be a compound miter cut. If you look at any door frame or door casing in your house at the upper most corners where the sides meet the top, the decorative molding is cut at an angle allowing for perfect connection or seam between the pieces of molding. Achieving a perfect compound miter cut on a table saw is not difficult as long as you follow these simple steps.
- A table saw
- A miter gauge with stamped degree marking
- Bevel gauge or adjustable triangle
- Stop block
- Safety glasses
- Make sure that the table saw blade is sharp and cutting 90 degrees to the table top. You can use the carpenter’s square to check the blades squareness.
- Remove the auxiliary fence from the saw if you have one.
- Set the bevel gauge to the angle that you need the blade of your table saw to cut at.
- Set your miter gauge to the angle degree that you want to cut your piece to.
- If you are going to be making more than 1 cut using the same degree marking you can clamp stops to your miter gauge to prevent movement of your degree marking.
- As always make sure to put on your safety glasses while working with a table saw and double check to make sure all clamps are tight.
- Once you are all set and ready go ahead and start the saw, allowing it to gain speed before feeding your piece onto the blade.
- Using one slow controlled movement feed the piece past the blade, making sure to keep the piece against you as you go. To prevent injury from kickback stay to the side of the wood as you feed it past the blade.
- After your piece is cut turn off the saw, allowing the blade to completely stop spinning before removing your piece.
- Repeat until all pieces have been cut.