Miter Cutting Sled
& How to Use It

By "Niki" Nissim Avrahami
May 2006

Everybody knows the miter sled that comes in so many versions, this one is my version.   Instead of messing up with angles, protractors etc.   I used a big plastic triangle dedicated to the sled.

Another thing that I did not see (or its kept as a top secret) in any of the sleds in books or the Internet is, some mean or Stop to locate the frame member precisely for each cut so they will be at the same length. +- 1/64 and no square.   I made special "limiter" with fence to overcome this problem.

The cutting method is "Left" and "Right" to overcome any small deviations from 45*.

The rest is on the pictures.

I used melamine 3/4" for the sled.

I used 5/16" floor panel strip, one from each side of the table, (I donít have miter slots).

About cutting the pieces to final dimensions, I mean the OUTER dimensions (if you need a frame of say, 30" x 20" outer dimensions, Cut the pieces to 30" and 20" respectively) BUT...  If you noticed, at the first picture, I positioned the triangle at the center of the kerf.   If you are using 1/8" kerf blade, it means that blade will cut 1/2 of the kerf (1/16") at every cut so, if we are cutting every piece from both side (and we are), this 30" and 20", will be reduced by 1/8" and you have to take it into account and add this 1/8" (ie 30-1/8 and 20-1/8) to both dimensions so after the cut you will get exactly 30" x 20".

The thickness of the frame, in the picture, is 13/16" but, I think that if the blade is higher, it will cut less into the triangle.

I screw the hold down clamps to the sled per width.   See the end of this writeup about the Hold Down clamp.

I'm an amateur and for the number of frames that I am making, those hold down clamps are OK for me.   If you are planing to cut many frames and in different width, it will be much better if you make something more adjustable with slot at 45* or T tracks.

The pieces are around 25" x 12" (our measuring system is different).

My table is aluminum and the melamine slides on it very smooth.   If you like you can use plastic laminate covered plate, which will give you even smoother "slide" or, just glue a few strips (say 4) of "edging strips" that they use to "iron on" on melamine edges.   It will give you less contact area and less "drag". I like the things simple.

Originally, I'm Israeli and live in Poland for 2 years.   I know that they are studying at school a bunch of professions so I can assume that woodworking is one of them but I'm not sure.

It's a hobby.   I retired from aviation 5 years ago and about 10 years ago, I started woodworking and fall in love, but its very good to have some hobby for retirement; otherwise, you don't have any reason to get up at the morning.   I saw such guys, they look like a dead fish and got old very fast. (yes I'm 61).

It's challenging, rewarding and I love it.   Anyway, it's so different to what I was doing before.

"Hold dowd clamp-amateur style"

Take a clamp, remove the fixed jaw, weld it to angle iron, make two holes and screw it on whatever you want.


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