I'm not too surprised- I've used my disc sander for this as well.
It's just more work than cutting it dead on the first time. But when
I just had a little table saw that was hard to adjust properly, the
disc sander was invaluable.
One additional thing to be careful about is the
the front and back pieces (and similarly the two
side pieces) pieces must be the the same width
from 45 degree cut to 45 degree cut. For example
when making picture frames, all of the corner cuts
can be perfect 45's, but if the top piece is 1/16"
longer than the bottom, things will not fit.
Until I understood and took care about this I had
an awful time. I would check and recheck my
angles, and every one looked good, but a dry fit
showed they did not fit together. I would
carefull sand the angles eliminate any gap in the
joiint, but the if the pieces matched up on the
inside of the corner, one would be a tad long on
My suggestion is you get a 45-45-90 draftsman
triangle, and this should let you set you blade to
a 45. Be carful to not get avoid the teeth that
stick out beyond the plae of the blade. Then be
very careful about widths. A sled with a stop can
Miters require time and exactness. I have found that to make exact, very
precise miters, several thing need to be considered. Board width and
thickness, precise lengths and accurate cutting.
For me, it just too many variables. When I need an exact miter, I cut the
piece long and then using my 12" disk grinder, I adjust, sand, fit and
adjust again until the fit is perfect. This works well up to 5" or less.
For longer miters, I take the time to set up the tablesaw for precise 45's.
I always setup using a miter sled and set the angle by measuring the sled to
blade angle - not tablesaw to blade.
See picture below
I do a lot of the same type of work you do. I never could make a
decent dovetail so I used box joints to begin with and made a jig to go
on my router table. These worked fine but I wanted an alternative so I
got a cheap one of these:
With a belt&disc sander you can make very accurate 45 (or any) degree
miters by sanding them. What I do for flat sides, tops, etc is first
make certain that all the corners are 90 degrees. Then I set the top
resting table to 45 a degree tilt using a square, draw a line about
1/4" above the bottom of the side I want ti miter and sand down to that
line using the belt. For trim and any long pieces I want to miter the
ends of I use the miter fence on the lower table and push the end of
the piece into the disc. It all takes a little practice and a steady
hand but the miters are clean, smooth and above all accurate. This
machine also makes removing very small amounts (like 1/16") very easy.
I couldn't do without it now.
Now, THAT looks like a good idea. I hadn't even thought of that cut --
simple, easy, and the spline and spline cut are included at no extra
charge -- what a deal!! Provided, ... ????
Do you cut them this way? How do the joints come out? Absolutely
precise, as in DEAD NUTS on or leaving a bit to be desired?
For those interested, take a look at:
There are probably other sites/vendors but I generally use MLCS for
router bits. I've had good results (ordering and using) their products.
Yes, it is difficult to precisely get 45 degrees. When you put all the
pieces together, any errors add up and are more noticeable.
A different approach is to set up for 45 degrees as accurately as possible
but cut the two bevels that join up as complimentary angles.
If you are tilting the table saw blade to get a bevel at 45, run the second
piece through vertically using a tenoning jig such as
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 185 .
For miters, I use a specialized sliding table that has two guides at 45 to
the blade but very accurately set to 90 degrees between them.
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