Q. I often see small boxes with near invisible joints and would love to know how to make them. I have an excellent miter saw, a great table saw, and a wonderful planer, among other tools. There are lots of different ways to cut parts for a basic miter-joined frame: with a handsaw and miter box (Photo 1), with a table saw and miter gauge (Photo 2) or special miter jig, or using a dedicated crosscut saw, such as a radial-arm saw, compound-miter saw or sliding compound miter saw (Photo 3). This custom tablesaw blade revolutionizes wood joints with a single cut that allows for custom drawers to be folded together in a cinch. Better drawers involve mitered cuts, dado cuts, finger joints, and generally just a lot of work for something small and simple.
Setting up perfect miter cuts can be time-consuming. After attaching the miter-slot guides (adjust width for your saw table), put the jig on the tablesaw and cut a kerf 7 1/2 into the base. The miter joint does not require a lot of special tools or setup time, yet it’s useful in a variety of applications. A hand saw, circular saw, or table saw may be used to make a mitered corner. Table saws are ideally suited for ripping lumber, that is making long cuts with the grain of the wood. However, one common accessory (which typically is included with your purchase of a table saw), known as a miter gauge, can make the table saw just as useful for making cross-cuts (typically cutting a piece of wood to length, against the grain of the wood).
Can a table saw cut miters and bevels as accurately as a compound miter saw? What if you were to learn that it could be even more accurate? Here’s how! A mitered rabbet joint is a good choice when you want the good looks of a mitered corner, but with the added strength and self-aligning properties. Matthew Teague demonstrates how to build a table saw jig for keyed miter joints.
Tablesaw Miter Jig
The finger joint, like the dovetail, is often found on classic examples of furniture. Figure 3-73 shows the fixture mounted to the miter gauge and ready to use.