Woodworking Tips
Woodworking Tips Index
Fine-Tuning Miter Cuts

One of the most frustrating jobs for most woodworkers is cutting miters. No matter how carefully I work, sometimes the joint just isn't as tight as I'd like. Today's power miter saws make the job of cutting miters much easier. But it's still a rare occasion when I'm completely satisfied with the fit of the joint. There are almost always some small gaps.

fine tuning miter cuts Until miter saws come equipped with micro adjustments, I've found that the best way to "dial-in" those critical cuts is by shimming the workpiece in the saw. This means mitering a couple of scrap pieces and testing their fit.

If the gap is at the back of the miter, position the shim behind the workpiece and away from the blade, see photo. This trims off a little from the front, tightening up the miter near the back edge.

If the miter is open at the front, place a shim near the blade. This will have the opposite effect of putting the shim away from the blade.

This technique should only take a few minutes and a couple of scrap test pieces, but you'll end up with a perfect fit.
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