if you'll pardon the contradiction, the heart of a miter gauge is in the head. After all, a miter gauge is designed for making accurate cuts at a variety of angles. This is what the head allows you to do. And a top notch miter gauge should be easy to adjust, dead-on acairate, and stable during the cut A QUICK LOOK. Well, when 1 put these gauges through their paces, 1 found that there's quite a bit of difference in how the head of each one is designed to do the job.
One of the miter gauges, the Osborne shown in the photo at left is quite a bit different from all the others. The adjust-ment mechanic:" of the Osh uses a system that features a tv, ¡> piece, telescopir g brace that pivots on the bar and the fence. To set the angle, you loosen a knob that locks the two pieces of the brace, pivot the fence to the desired spot, and then relock the brace.
To find a pre-set stop, you com press a spring-loaded button on tht bottom of the brace so that it seats in a detent on the inner bar. It take-both hands — one to compress tht
A The fence on the Osborne EB-3 has everything you could want. It has a non-skid face, and a long extension that carries the stop.
Until you know how it ■■■.:r«.? the adjustable stop on the Rockier ioo^ s a tit .-•r;nge But this "slide under" design can k : -■■.'. -andy
But this pin isn't threaded into the head, and if you're not careful, it can easily end up on the shop floor.
The easy-fo-read scale on the Kreg was a pleasant surprise. I didn't have to strain my eyes or make a guess to get a perfect setting. And it takes precision a step further by including a vernier scale that allows you to make adjustments to Vi oQ (lower tight photo on opposite page).
The Rockier takes an unusual approach to adjusting the head. If you turn it upside down you'll find a circle of teeth, like a gear, on the underside of the head. These teeth mesh with teeth on the bar to lock the head at the desired angle. It works well to keep the head firmly in position. But this system has one serious drawback. The spacing of the teeth only allow adjustments in 1 V20 increments. If you want anything in between, you're out of luck.
HIGH TECH. If you take a look at the lower left photo on the opposite page, you'll see a miter gauge head that's the opposite of the simple . j Rockier. At first glance, the head of ^ the Incra WUO looks a bit intimidating. The numerous detents around the outside of the head provide accurate stops every 5° over a 180" range. And a few in between. The mechanism on the end of the bar is a pivoting, toothed lever that mates with the detent to set the angle. And if this isn't enough, it lias a vernier scale thrown in for good measure. But despite its complex look, it's easv to use and offers a lot for your monev.
And to round things out, there's the Accu-Miter. Compared to the others, I thought it was a bit rough. This one has been around for quite a while and the heavy, cast-metal head is a bit of a throwback to die old style of miter gauges. You'll find that the adjustment mechanism isn't set up at the factory like the others, and it's not nearly as easy to operate.
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There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.