Miter bars - make or buy?


legenddc

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I need to make a few different sleds for my table saw and I'm curious if you all tend to make your own miter bars or buy them for your sleds?

Last time I made them and it was challenging. Without moving the table saw fence I found some were too tight and some were too loose. I currently have limited shop time so I was thinking of purchasing some to speed up the project.

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I make mine out of a harder wood.   If they don't slide nicelyl, I spread some pencil marks on the sides of the bars and slide them back and forth to see where they rub the most and use a card scraper to shave  them a little.  Rinse and repeat unitl happy.

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The last time I had to make a miter bar, I had the same inconsistency issue off of the saw. Then I remembered that on a whim I had bought one of the Bridge City mini planes with the skids (it was cute and under $70). With only minimal fiddling, I was able to dial it in to caliper consistency along the whole length. It's earned it's keep several times since.

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I feel like I've had equal luck time wise going both ways. I bought one steel bar with adjustable ball bearings that I ended up having to add tape to in order to get snug. My homemade oak ones normally need some sanding and waxing, but I haven't had any warping problems I've heard warnings about and have the advantage they are the exact length I want. FWIW, next time I make one I plan to try making it out of UHMW (and am keeping my eye out for an cheap cutting board).

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/14/2023 at 10:02 PM, pkinneb said:

I make mine out of the faux wood (plastic/wood) they sell at home centers for outdoor trim. works great and can be cut and shaped with power or hand tools.

That's a good idea. I was also thinking of keeping my eye out for a plastic cutting board around the right size.

 

I did end up buying the ones from Peachtree and used it on the picture frame sled that I made. With my limited time in the shop lately it was definitely the way to go.

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