How to Square Wood on a Table Saw
Cutting the ends of two boards that have been joined together to create an even edge isn't always easy. Here, DIY experts demonstrate how to get a clean edge.
Find the height of the miter saw’s deck. This is a critical measurement because the height of the infeed and outfeed tables must be equal to the depth of saw deck to ensure seamless support. For accuracy, use a marking gauge instead of a tape measure to measure from the top of the saw deck down to a flat surface. A small combination square will maintain the precise measurement until you change it.
Mark out the pieces of the project on a sheet of plywood. One sheet of 3/4" birch plywood provides all the wood you need for the project. The two sides, two top pieces and four panels all come from one 8’ piece of plywood. After those 8 pieces have been cut (marked with an X), any remaining pieces can be used to make smaller pieces -- including the feet for the miter saw. The required cuts are 9" wide x 8' long for two sides; 9" wide x 16" for four box ends; tops cut from the remaining wood. A shoot board can be used to guide the circular saw through the long cuts.
Mark out the notches on each of the two side pieces. Use the same combination square with the precise measurement from step 1 to mark the depth of the notch. The width of the notch is the width of the swing of the bevel of the miter saw, plus 6".
Set the table saw fence to the proper depth, once again using the combination square measurement from step 1. Measure from the teeth of the saw blade.
Place the first side piece on the table saw and make an upside down plunge cut to start the notch (Image 1).
For the crosscuts, use a circular saw. To finish cutting out the notch, use a hand saw (Image 2).
Repeat these cuts for the second side piece.
On a large, flat surface, set the two side pieces upright with the box ends between them.
Screw gussets into the corners to help you keep your miters square (Image 1).
Screw the corners together flush and remove gussets before putting on the top. Put a top on each box (Image 2).
Make two skids out of some of the leftover plywood. A skid (Image 1) comprises two pieces, a top and a bottom. Chamfer the bottom skid so that it fits between the sides of the box easily. The walls of the work station are 3/4" so use a piece of 3/4" plywood to measure the end of the chamfered skid (Image 2).
Screw skids in place (Image 3). Screw the saw to the skids.
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