In Tricks of the Trade

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Here’s a hi-tech way to set your tablesaw’s miter gauge to within 1/10 of 1° of any angle. It really works well for cutting picture-frame miters.

The key is to use a digital angle gauge. I bought one designed for woodworkers that has as a handy magnetic base.

For this degree of accuracy, you’ll also need to adjust your miter gauge—one way or another—so it doesn’t wiggle in the saw’s slot.

To set your miter gauge, clamp it to the saw as shown. Place the digital angle gauge on the top of the saw, push the device’s zero button, then move it to the miter gauge’s bar. Adjust the bar to the angle you want.

You’ll find that the digital angle gauge is so sensitive that even tightening the miter gauge’s head affects the reading. The trick is to tighten the miter gauge most of the way when you’re within 1° of your target, then tap the bar by hand until you’re spot on. Fully tighten the gauge and you’re good to go.

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