The Bars

First things first In order for a miter gauge to work well, the bar has to fit snugly in the slot on the saw. Too much play and the accuracy goes out the window. The problem is that table saw slots vary in width from one manufacturer to another. A "one-size-fits-all" bar won't work.

The solution is to undersize the bar on the miter gauge and then have a mechanism that allows you to fit the bar to the slot. This may not sound like exciting stuff, but you'll find that it's very important.

What 1 found was that the makers have come up with a number of ways to accomplish this. And some work better than others.

The Accu-Miter (upper right photo) and the Incra both use expandable nylon washers set into the bar to adjust the fit. The washers intersect the edges of the bar so that when you turn a set screw in the center it expands into the slot. Ifs easy to do and when I tried it, I was able to get a really good fit in just a matter of minutes. And it seemed like die the nylon washers made the bar slide very smoothly.

The Osborne uses a similar method that also makes the job easy. It has three slots cut into the bar with a set screw in the center of each. When you tighten the set screws, the bar expands slightly at these points to fit snugly in the slot.

The middle photo at right shows how the Kreg approaches the problem. The aluminum bar has five nylon set screws threaded into the edge along the length. You have to slide the bar to one end of the saw table or the other to get at the set screws so vou can adjust them to barelv kiss" the sides of the slot. All in all, it takes quite a bit of fidgeting and I didn't think the fit and "slide" was quite up to snuff. The Woaihaven uses a similar system with metal set screws that are used to adjust small, fiber plugs.

The bar of the Rockier is unique (bottom right photo). It consists of a thin bottom piece and a thicker top piece fastened together with set screws through slotted holes. Y\Tiat you have to do is spread the two pieces until the bar fits snugly in the slot and then tighten the set screws. In theory it sounds good, but I found it was hard to manipulate all this to get a snug fit.

The Bars: A Custom Fit

A The expandable nylon washers set into the Accu-miter bar make adjustment easy. Simply turning a set screw expands them into the slot.

It takes a little finicky work to adjust the nylon set screv.s threaded into the edge of the Kreg miter gauge bar and get a good fit.

To fit tne bar on the Rockier Sur^Loc, you spread tie upper and lower piece to fill the slot and then tgnten down a set screw.

Accu-Miter

Approx. $190

Vernier r lutmurible nylon washers

Fence extends to 40"

Expandable nylon washers

Osborne EB-3

Approx. $190

incra 1000

Approx. $150

Preset stops 18"

■■■ The head of the Incra WOO is about as sophisticated as they come. Over 180 degrees of travel, stops every five degrees, and a vernier scale allow you to zero-in on any cut

- The easy-to-read scale on the Kreg miter gauge allows you to fine tune your setting to tenths of degrees.

A. he tinely machined head of the Wo go "5. a- . ■ i'zoi are indexed by simply inserting the threaten ■ *:: :

The three-point adjustment mechanism of the Osborne EB-3 s what sets it apart

- The easy-to-read scale on the Kreg miter gauge allows you to fine tune your setting to tenths of degrees.

■■■ The head of the Incra WOO is about as sophisticated as they come. Over 180 degrees of travel, stops every five degrees, and a vernier scale allow you to zero-in on any cut

A. he tinely machined head of the Wo go "5. a- . ■ i'zoi are indexed by simply inserting the threaten ■ *:: :

-. - ~ and the other to adjust and . v the Trace, so it's a little tricky.

The '..iree-point design of the _ . ■ . is meant to give exceptional • " to 'die gauge. My only knock . - : arm was that the fence had a b _ : when the brace was fully s so for a 45° cut.

THi 0TH£8S. The heads of the other - e j a. gec are refined versions of the standard protractor style that .. r; r-robably familiar with. But "j a number of differences.

For exam r . - -\ihaven shown above is abets as dose to perfection as pas? : i . - ver a range of list and all tit oc— ;n angles can be quickh inserting the ■ \ :• . - ■ through holes in the head. When not in use, the indexing knob is stored in a nut at the end of the bar.

The Kreg is pretty similar to the Woodhavett. Again, you simply use a knob or pin inserted through holes in the head to find the pre-set stops.

The three-point adjustment mechanism of the Osborne EB-3 s what sets it apart

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

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.

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