Since I don’t have a large workshop, I’m always looking for ways to make the best use of my tools and space. A while back, I built a table saw sled that’s been super helpful in many projects.
But then, I had an idea: Why not make it even better? So, I came up with an addon, a miter sled. This new piece isn’t a whole new tool, but something you can attach to the sled I previously made. It’s great because when you’re not using it, you can just take it off. This is especially handy if, like me, you’re tight on space.
So, what’s a table saw miter sled? Well, it’s a tool that helps you make precise angled cuts, like when you’re making a picture frame. Instead of trying to guess the angle or measure it by hand every time, the miter sled helps you get it right every time. It’s all about making sure your projects look sharp and fit together just right.
In this guide, I’ll show you how to make this detachable table saw miter sled addon for perfect 45-degree angles. Trust me, it’s great to have one in the shop and will make your woodworking projects look even better, especially if you want to make a few picture frames. Let’s get started!
How to Make a Table Saw Miter Sled Video
If you want to see how it is done, watch the video below for a step-by-step guide on how to make a table saw miter sled.
Table of Contents
- The Material you will need
- Related Questions
- What is a Table Saw Miter Sled and What is it Used For?
- Cutting Miters on a Table Saw or Miter Saw?
- How to Make a Table Saw Miter Sled
- Step 1: Build the Miter Attachment
- Step 2: Reinforce the Structure
- Step 3: Attach the Miter Attachment to the Sled
- Step 4: Check for Squareness
- How to Make Miter Cuts on a Table Saw
*Safety is your responsibility. Make sure you know what you’re doing and take all necessary safety precautions while working with power tools. Safety comes first!
Materials you will need to build a Miter Sled Jig
Miter Sled Addon
2 x Plywood Strips – 280mm x 30mm x 12mm (11.02″ x 1.18″ x 0.47″)
Plywood Connector – 240mm x 30mm x 9mm (9.45″ x 1.18″ x 0.35″)
Plywood Attachment – 390mm x 88mm x 9mm (15.35″ x 3.46″ x 0.35″)
Wood Screws, Wood Glue
M6 Bolts, Washers, T-Nuts
DIY T-track Bolts
What is a Table Saw Miter Sled and What is it Used For?
A table saw miter sled is an accessory for table saws, designed to help woodworkers make precise and accurate angled cuts, also known as miter cuts. These cuts are often used in creating frames, boxes, and various woodworking joints. The sled ensures that the wood stays in place and moves smoothly across the saw, reducing the chances of mistakes. With the aid of a miter jig, you can achieve consistent and accurate angles, ensuring your projects fit perfectly.
Benefits of a miter sled
- Precision and Consistency: With the miter sled, you can trust each cut to be spot-on. It takes the guesswork out and minimizes errors, making sure every miter joint fits perfectly.
- Safety: Using the miter sled keeps the wood stable and prevents it from moving unexpectedly, making it safer to operate the table saw.
- Time-saving: Instead of manually measuring and aligning each cut, the miter sled speeds up the process, allowing for faster project completion.
Cutting Miters on a Table Saw or Miter Saw?
When cutting miters two main tools are typically used for the job: a table saw and a miter saw.
- When cutting miters on a table saw, a miter gauge or a miter sled is typically used. These tools help guide the wood at the desired angle relative to the blade. Table saws offer versatility; with the right setup, you can handle a variety of cuts beyond just miters. However, a common downside is that setting up precise angles can sometimes be time-consuming, and there’s a bit of a learning curve for beginners.
- On the other hand, a miter saw is designed specifically for making miter cuts. With its rotating base, setting the angle for a miter cut is straightforward. Miter saws are generally quicker to set up for these kinds of cuts and tend to be more user-friendly, especially for those new to woodworking. However, they are limited in terms of the width of boards they can handle, and they might occupy more space in a workshop compared to the compact nature of a table saw’s miter setup.
For tasks like making picture frames, I use a table saw because it offers precision. On the other hand, when I need speed or have to cut shapes like crown molding, I turn to the miter saw. It’s quick and gets the job done right.
Let's Start Building!
Building the miter jig involves making the sled base, and installing it on the sled’s front fence. This is an add-on for a table saw crosscut sled for the DWE7491RS. All the parts can be cut on the table saw – you don’t need a miter saw or any other tool for that.
The jig is made of plywood (9 and 12mm) and is attached to the fence with DIY t-track bolts. The jig’s right side lets you cut long pieces, so you can make frames of any size. However, the left side can only handle pieces up to 285mm long.
As an alternative, you can build the entire sled from scratch. That would involve making the base, adding the miter slots runners, and building the 45-degree fence.
Miter Jig Properties:
- Material: Baltic birch plywood
- Total Dimensions: 255mm x 390mm x 21mm (10.04″ x 15.35″ x 0.83″)
- Attachment: T-Track using DIY T-track bolts
How to Make a Table Saw Miter Sled
Step 1: Build the Miter Attachment
Start by cutting two plywood strips to 280mm x 30mm x 12mm. While cutting the strips, use a push block – it’s the safest method. Angle both ends of the strips with a 45-degree cut. I use a Dozuki saw for this. Aim to get the cuts as close to 45 degrees as you can, but don’t stress if it’s not perfect.
When joining the strips, use glue and set them at a sharp 90-degree angle with the help of two squares. This step is crucial. Place painter’s tape beneath the joined area to prevent it from sticking to your work surface.
TIP: If the cut angles are slightly off, use sandpaper to refine them and get them as close to 45 degrees as possible.
Step 2: Reinforce the Structure
To give the structure some added strength, first cut out a small triangular piece and attach it to the top corner using glue. This helps strengthen the joint.
Next, prepare a plywood strip measuring 240mm x 30mm x 9mm and shape its ends at a 45-degree angle. Fix this strip to the main body with glue for additional support. After the glue settles, fasten it further with a few screws.
Find This Blog Post Useful?
Join my newsletter to receive the latest news, tutorials, and project plans sent directly to your inbox!
Step 3: Attach the Miter Attachment to the Sled
For connecting the miter jig to the sled, grab a plywood board that’s 390mm x 88mm x 9mm. Drill some 8mm holes down its length. Make sure these holes line up with the t-track on the sled where this board will fit.
While I’ve made four holes, just two will be enough. If you like, you can also shape the edges of the board at a 45-degree angle.
Attach the miter jig to the sled temporarily using double-sided tape. With the help of squares and a digital angle finder, ensure the jig forms a 135-degree angle with the saw blade. Then, secure the connecting board to the jig using glue and screws.
NOTE: Aim to align the jig so it’s at a 135-degree angle with the saw blade. If it’s not exact, it’s alright, just make sure the tip of the jig is perfectly square. This will ensure your miters will be perfectly square.
Step 4: Check for Squareness
Attach the miter jig to the sled using t-track bolts or clamps. Place painter’s tape on the jig’s tip, then make a partial cut into the jig (don’t cut through completely). Peel off the remaining tape and check for squareness. Fine tune as necessary.
This is what the finished 45-degree miter jig looks like.
How to Make Miter Cuts on a Table Saw
Using a table saw miter jig is among the top methods for achieving clean and precise miter cuts. When properly set up, the jig allows for consistent cuts every time, ensuring each piece fits perfectly.
For detailed instructions on how to use a miter sled on a table saw, refer to the steps below and the included video.
- First, attach the miter jig to your table saw sled using t-track bolts or clamps. Ensure the jig lines up well with the saw blade.
- Put your workpiece on either side of the jig, aligning the cut line with the blade. Hold the workpiece firmly in place with clamps.
- Carefully make your cut.
- Now, place the second workpiece on the opposite side of the jig and cut. Your two cuts will come together to create a perfect 90-degree angle.
Wrapping things up, having a miter sled in your workshop is a huge advantage. Its main strengths are its ability to make cuts with unbeatable accuracy and offer consistent repeatability.
This ensures every mitered edge is spot on, every time. And while some might think it’s a complex jig to make, this step-by-step guide proves how easy it is to craft one yourself. Once you’ve built it, you’ll immediately appreciate the difference it makes in your woodworking tasks.
KEEP READING: Best Beginner Table Saws
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a miter sled differ from a regular table saw sled?
While a regular table saw sled is designed for straight crosscuts, a miter sled is specifically made to cut angles with precision.
Is using a miter sled safer than cutting freehand?
Yes, a miter sled provides better workpiece support and control, reducing the chances of kickback and ensuring a safer cutting experience.
Can I cut compound miters using a table saw miter sled?
Standard miter sleds are designed for simple angled cuts. For compound miters (both bevel and miter adjustments), you’d typically need a miter saw or a more specialized sled setup.
How do I ensure the accuracy of my miter cuts using the sled?
Periodically check the angle of your miter sled against a trusted square, and always make test cuts on scrap wood before making the final cut on your workpiece.