As you (and Kevin have noted) an adjustable stop would solve the problem.
All along I've been using the stock mitre that came with the saw over thirty
I've made up my mind to buy a decent mitre gauge with a larger fence and
adjustable stops built into it. I was thinking I could use one even before
this problem started. I've seen a number of reviews on them so I'll go
through them and select something suitable.
That was standard issue on a couple of old T/S I had.
The miter gauge had a couple of holes thuru which you could insert a
3/8" dia. rod (I would use a 36" length), then tighten in place with
A 2nd rod, about 12" long, had a hook and could be clamped beside the
Make a story board as a means of setting the length.
If you screw up the setting, make a new story board.
A couple of good sleds as has been suggested (T/S blade and dado)
along with a piece of plywood screwed to a standard miter gauge face
is a lot less expensive and IMHO, a whole lot more useful.
I have been using the "Dubby" for about 10 years and am very happy with it.
Actually I have both the right and left side Dubby. One Dubby will cost you
about the same price as a better grade after market miter gauge.
I also have a Kreg miter gauge with stop that I use mostly for squaring
stock and cutting short pieces to length. The Dubby has a pretty large
capicity but is also easy to use for small pieces.
The "Dubby" type of attachment I'll consider when the time comes to upgrade
from a contractor's saw to a cabinet saw. Along the same lines the Exalibur
and Jessem add-ons are interesting. ~ Stuff for future consideration.
I'm going to go to Lee Valley and have a look at a Kreg and Accu-mitre.
Considering that the Accu-mitre is more than twice the cost of the Kreg,
it's unlikely I'll buy it, but I'll examine both and see how I like them.
I bought my Kreg just as Kreg had bought the rights to manufacture the
gauge. Just to let you know, I considered 3 brands, Incra, Kreg, and the
The Osborne was the most disappointing as when adjusted to one of the 45
degree settings vs. the opposite setting the fence wobbled. The adjustment
support flexed "VERY" easily. I could see how inconsistent miters would be
common. I tried 3 of these jigs and they all had the problem.
The Incra jigs all IMHO took up too much real-estate behind the fence which
limited the width of the stock being cut.
The Kreg was not with out its problems however Kreg was very helpful in
resolving the problem, as opposed to Osborne. Basically the Kreg uses
indexing pins that either fit too tightly or too loosely. Kreg ended up
sending me a replacement that they pulled off the line and tested before
shipping. Osborne simply denied a problem.
One thing that I do appreciate with the Kreg, it is 99% aluminum so it is
light weight and easy to handle.
Swingman has an Accu-miter and IIRC he is pretty pleased with his.
I would say from your position in the wheelchair most of the usual
ways of getting a stop block reference are going to be a PITA. What
happens is you end up sneaking up on your final stop block position,
and as happened too many times to count just when you've got it almost
perfect and you're dialing in that last adjustment the bugger slides
or the clamp slips off and you have to start all over. And this is
when you can actually see what you're doing, much less trying to do it
from a seated position. This is where having the stop block attached
to a good fence that always locks down perfectly and has a measurement
scale to use as a reference becomes very handy. If you move the fence
too much you still know where it was supposed to be.
But failing that, you could just clamp a block of wood to the table
farther away from the final setting and use shims to get it less than
the final setting. Take out shims until you get where you need to be.
I'm assuming that the half lap is not in the middle of a long board
that extends beyond the table. The other way is to attach an extended
fence to the miter gage, but then you won't be able to see the stop
block so I think clamping to the table will work better.
In the future, if you don't already have one, I would definitely build
yourself a good sled with some hold down clamps so all you have to
worry about is pushing the sled through the cut. While you're at it
make two so you can use one for dado cuts.
Screw on a scrap length of wood to your mitre gauge, one that goes
beyond the blade. Lift the blade higher than the wood and cut it off.
You now have a reference for your cut lines at the exact position the
blade is. Bring the blade down to the height you want for the half
laps, line up your mark with the wood attached to the mitre gauge &
Bob's your uncle.
As mentioned by others, some sort of 1/2 sled that rides in the mitre-
slot. Could be purpose-built for that project if quantities
justify..or make it versatile enough for all your lap-joint needs. I
wish I knew more about what your requirements are... in terms of a
more long-term utility.
You can probably guess most of my requirements and as I'm sure you know, the
bottom line with me and woodworking is all centred around control ~ another
hand on the particular tool I'm using since if mine are often occupied, I
can't move around much. That difficulty is a frequent problem in my world
and the problem with the half lap cuts is just one of many similar ones. I'm
going to Lee Valley tomorrow and I'll probably pick up the Kreg mitre jig
after a little hands on examination. It's something I should have done a
long time ago, but I kept putting it off.
The saw is a contractor's type table saw sold to my friend about ten years
ago and it lives in his garage. So, it gets used on a non regular basis as I
refuse to take advantage of his good will. I build something for myself and
then I attempt to talk him into letting me build or help him to build
something for himself. When the time comes that I can rent my own workshop
somewhere, then I'll upgrade to a cabinet saw and maybe a few other pieces
of big iron. Until then, I'll have to be mostly satisfied with what I've got
because I just don't have the space to store it all.
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