How to Set a Miter Gauge for 45 Degrees

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Setting the miter gauge on your table saw to a perfect 45-degrees can be very challenging. And, if you’re planning on making picture frames, being just a tiny bit off will be a deal breaker. But here’s great news. You’ve probably already got a tool in your shop that will give you the precision you need to set your miter gauge perfectly, allowing you to get an exact 45-degree cut.

Angles from squares

The amazing set-up tool for this operation is……a framing square. Yep, the lowly framing square. Used correctly, it’ll allow you to pivot the miter gauge to just the right spot for a perfect 45-degree angle. Thanks to the size of a framing square, you’ll get excellent accuracy.

Accurate picture framing

This video will help you get the miter gauge correctly set so you can accurately cut angles, but remember that there’s more to good looking picture frames than simply having the angles right. You also need to be consistent with the lengths of your parts. Each side needs to be exactly the same length as the opposite side. The best way to accomplish this is by using a stop block on your miter gauge.

But wait, there’s more

This is just one nugget of a tip that WoodWorkers Guild of America has for you. Make sure you’re getting the most of out your shop and your tools by checking out more great shop tips.

Discussion
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4 Responses to “How to Set a Miter Gauge for 45 Degrees”
  1. Roger Erisman

    Line up the numbers on the slot before sliding the miter gauge against it. This will save some trial and error.

    Reply
  2. Ron

    Eyeballing methods like these can get you close and if you’re lucky, dead on. How all four corners of a mitered frame come together will determine if further fine-tuning is warranted.

    Reply
  3. Larry Ruddell

    This also assumes that your framing square is square.

    Most people don’t check this very often and, when framing large items such as a house, the framing square being a little off is not usually a problem. However, for miters, it is. If you haven’t checked the squareness of your framing square recently, now would be a good time to do so.

    Reply