Review of the Osbourn 3 miter gauge

Well if you read my review of the Kreg miter gauge, you know that I am on a mission to find a miter gauge that will lock dead solid at what ever setting you chose. The Kreg that I bought did not, so I returned it and bought the more expensive Osborne 3.
Things I like about the Osborne 3 miter gauge.
1. The fence will extend to about 40 inches. 2. The miter degree settings are easy to read. 3. The miter gauge has a steel guide bar and adjusts easily to fit your table groove. 4. The miter gauge comes pretty much assembled. 5. The miter gauge is rock steady at 0 degrees and is relative easy to repeat that setting.
Before I get started let me begin with why I like to cut angled miters with the end of the board to be cut at the trailing end of the board. When cutting the trailing end of the board there is less of a chance of tear out on the back side of the cut because the blade is cutting towards the end of the board and does not bend the wood fibers back. If you cut the miter end first with the rest of the board trailing the cut, the chance of tear out on the back of the cut increases dramatically because the blade will try to bend the fibers back as it exits the wood and they will probably break off unless you are using a freshly sharpened blade.
Things that I do not like about the Osborne 3.
1. With the comment above in mind, when cutting a 45 degree miter with the end of the fence closest to the blade trailing the leading end of the fence the telescoping angle adjustment bar is extended past its limits to be able to not flex. The intersection of the 2 bars has an over lap of about 5/8" of an inch. There is no way an accurate 45 degree cut can be made. There is simply too much flex in the telescoping bar at that particular 45 degree setting resulting in a 1 or 2 degree change in the setting. Using the other 45 degree setting with the leading end of the fence nearest the blade dramatically increases the chance of tear out on the back side of the cut. Basically the telescoping gauge goes from 45 degrees closest to the fence to 0 degrees in the middle of the bar back out to 45 degrees at the guide bar end of the telescoping end of the gauge. The degree setting near the guide bar end of the gauge decrease in accuracy the closer you adjust to the 45 degree mark. Basically it becomes sloppy on that end of the bar and the fence move back and forth dramatically.
2. While a stop is provided with a stick on rule, the rule is covered up by the stop and you cannot see the rule to make an accurate setting unless you stoop over and look under the stop adjustment block. Some one was not thinking on this particular feature.
3. If you intend to use the stick on rule there is no provision to zero the fence back if you move the fence closer or farther from the blade. This would make the rule useless.
4. There is slop in the spring loaded angle indexing pin and the hole that it engages so if you do not push the fence tightly to one side of the indexing hole the setting may or may not be repeated consistently. Since this is mostly done with feel after adjusting visually to get close this can be easily over come.
The slop in the bar at the 45 degree setting may be a deal breaker for me. A $180 miter gauge should not have this inherent problem. So maybe tomorrow I try out an avoided Incra.
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On Wed, 23 Jun 2004 01:10:10 GMT, "Leon"

sled. Gage blocks.
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Yeah, I have a left and right Dubby. Great for all cuts except the stop has no rule to reset perfectly and I have to switch to a miter gauge to square the end of a new board. There in lies the problem.
wrote:

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On Wed, 23 Jun 2004 02:24:52 GMT, "Leon"

so make yourself a set of angle gage blocks. they *dont* change angle on ya....

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Speaking of miter gauge reviews, has anyone actually used this:
http://www.jointech.com/smart_miter.htm
I saw it at a WW show in Sacramento a month or so ago and it looks good. But the hawkers always make things look good.
Wayne

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Yes I have seen it. Strictly for narrow stock and with the jig set up at the angle in the picture your chances of tear out is greater. Also I have dealt with tools with detents like the one use on this jig and saw dust tends to jam up the spring loaded detent. And again way over priced IMHO.
If you like the concept, and it is a good concept, look at the Dubby.
http://www.thewoodshop.20m.com/dubby.htm and http://www.in-lineindustries.com /

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Hi Leon,
I had the EB-3 for awhile and found some of the same problems that you described. The main one being the flex in the fence extension when crosscutting or mitering long stock. I found it to be a problem even when doing 90 degree crosscuts. It wasn't as bad as what you described with the extension as the leading edge during miters, but it was enough to really annoy me. As far as the resetting of the fence to zero if you move it, I simply made a mark on the gauge aligned with the left edge of the subfence (I found this tip here: http://www.newwoodworker.com/instleb3scale.html ). This worked very well, and I never had a problem realigning the fence. I also really liked the ease of switching the fence from left to right. The other big gripe I had was the miter bar - it was extremely sloppy and poorly designed, IMO. I never got 100% of the slop out of it.
So, I sold the EB3 and bought a JDS Accumiter and haven't looked back. I use the gauge all the time and never have to think twice about it. I only bought the 18-34" version (vs. the 24-48" version), but I haven't found that to be too limiting. I still use my panel sled for a lot of cuts, but when I have to make 20 pieces exactly the same length (like a recent job I did making raised panel doors), the Accu-miter always gets the nod. You might want to give it a look.
Mike
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I'm missing somthing here...
Why won't a sled cut many pieces the same length ???
I have used the JDS before and it is very heavy and quite accurate but a sled with a stop block will also cut many pieces exactly or at least mine does...
I ain't knocking the JDS, I just want to hear about your sled.
Mike in Mystic wrote:

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You're right - the sled will do the job, but the only sled I have at the moment is pretty large and really designed for large panel crosscuts. Also, it isn't really set up to do stop-block operations with pieces longer than about 20" to the left of the blade. My sled is a full 40" wide and can handle 25" wide panels and weighs a LOT. I know, I need to make a smaller one to do things like this, BUT I have the Accu-miter, so that hasn't been a priority :) With the Accumiter, the integral tape and stop block allows me to just dial in what I need and make the cuts. I didn't mean it to sound like a sled won't work, as I know they can and do.
Mike
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That's what I thought... thanks for the clarify.
Mike in Mystic wrote:

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I have 2 Dubby sleds, left and right, with adjustable fences that cut dead on accurate from 90 to 40 degrees and each has an adjustable stop that is good up to about 50" IIRC. The problem I have thought is that there is no measuring scale to set the stop. I often make in excess of 100 cuts of the same length and do not want to upset the stop setting if I need to cut a longer board in the middle of the cutting cycle. It is far easier for me to set the sled to one side, switch to a miter gauge to square the end of the board and go back to the sled. My 2 stock miter gauges however seem to never cut a perfect 90 degree angle with out some adjustment. I want a miter gauge that I do not have to verify the 0 degree setting is going to cut a dead on 90 degree cross cut.
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I have a MUCH larger miter guage than anything you can imagine. My guage weighs just under 19 lbs. since it goes on a 34-350 12"-14" saw.
I can set it to 90 and it will stay...
I just can't lift the damn thing when I need it.
I'm just before building ANOTHER sled that does nothing but crosscut. I'm also think about running some mini t-track down the fence, so that I can have a floating stop.
I believe the "sled" concept to be the best of all worlds on a table saw.
I also own a contractor saw that I was going to sell, but will remain now, to do nothing but dado's.
Leon wrote:
My 2 stock miter gauges however seem to never cut a perfect 90 degree angle with out some adjustment. I want a miter gauge that I do not have to verify the 0 degree setting is going to cut a dead on 90 degree cross cut.
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That would be "gauge"... I got to get these fingers checked....
Pat Barber wrote:

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I emailed David Osborne about the problem with the flex in the telescoping arm and his "QUICK" replly came with in 4 hours. He indicated that I clearely had a a unit that was out of "specs", and suggested checking another Osbourn 3 if I returned mine. The store owner and I checked another unit and it indeed had the same problems.
I do not doubt for a moment that some or most of these units perform as advertised. and Divid Osborn said,
The guide typically is rock solid even at 45 degrees forward. We could not sell so many of these, nor would Norm Abram use one on his TV show if they were sloppy.
I guess Norm was lucky.
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On Wed, 23 Jun 2004 21:03:03 GMT, "Leon"

Not one, but two. He started with an EB-2 and later got an EB-3, which he currently uses. I don't remember if I chronicled when the change occurred.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
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I betcha that the units that he received were tested out and reboxed before he got his hands on them.
wrote:

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You can surely BET on that, whatever Norm gets from manufacturers is virtually assured to be a hand picked/adjusted/tweaked unit
John
On Wed, 23 Jun 2004 23:15:32 GMT, "Leon"

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Precisely, and that is what brought a chuckle from me when I read David Osborne's comment about Norm using the Osborne 3. He inferred that the if Norm uses it, it has to be good. Too bad the rest of us don't get that consideration.
IIRC there was the "famous" inspected by tag laying in the box that the Osborne 3 came in. I wonder if what he was inspecting? Contents or quality?
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That reminded me that I wanted to check to see if you had...
A'yup! There it is: http://www.woodbutcher.net/images/normstools/31-396.htm That was a surprise arrival, wasn't it!
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