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KREG
KREG PLUS NEWSLETTER
NOVEMBER 2016
Easy Upgrades for Better Crosscuts
Right out of the box, a new table saw is equipped with the basic gear you need to get started making cuts and building projects. But making a few upgrades can deliver safer, easier, and more accurate cuts. In this edition of Kreg Plus, we’ll discuss ways to upgrade the miter gauge to give you better cutting performance.
Important, but Incomplete
The miter gauge is used for crosscuts, miters, cutting pieces to length, and joinery like dadoes and rabbets. The problem is a stock miter gauge leaves a lot to be desired. The head on most miter isn’t very wide; this doesn’t provide much support for cutting a long workpiece. Also, during crosscutting, the back edge of a workpiece is prone to tearing out as the blade completes the cut. Finally, there’s no good way to quickly cut multiple parts to the same length.
Add an Auxiliary Fence
Thankfully, the resolution to all of these issues is simple and inexpensive. It starts with an auxiliary miter gauge fence. The fence is a strip of plywood that’s screwed to the miter gauge. Most saw manufacturers include holes or slots for screws to attach the fence. The fence increases the bearing surface for greater control and backs up the workpiece, as well.
Easy Fence Upgrades
An ordinary flat, straight piece will work as a fence, but you can add a couple of upgrades to make yours even better. A small rabbet along the bottom edge helps prevent dust and chips from interfering with the placement of the workpiece. Applying a strip of adhesive-backed sandpaper to the face provides a non-slip surface to assist in holding the workpiece steady during cuts. Attaching the fence so that it extends past the waste side of the blade will allow you to push waste pieces safely clear of the blade. The kerf created by the blade serves as a handy reference for lining up a layout line for accurate cuts.
Step Up to a Stop Block
Many projects require cutting several parts to an identical length. The key to doing it accurately and quickly is adding a stop block. A simple block of wood will work, but, once again, there are some easy upgrades. Consider adding a “lip” by rabbeting the back side. That allows the block to “hook” over the fence to stay square and stable. You can even add a “micro adjust” screw and a cutout for dust relief if desired.
Add Repeatable Accuracy
You can improve your miter gauge even more by adding a length of T-track to your fence. That way you can add a measuring tape and a better stop, like the Kreg Swing Stop. This lets you cut longer parts without altering the stop setting.
The Total Upgrade Option
Of course, there’s always the option of simply upgrading your entire miter gauge. Aftermarket miter gauges, such as the Kreg Precision Miter Gauge System, offer these kinds of features and are much more accurate for setting angles.
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