Beach house #20 – sad miters.

So, it turns out my fancy sliding compound miter saw… sucks.

See this little test column base cap I did? I ripped an angle on it on the table saw, planed it down smooth, and then cut it into mitered pieces on my compound miter saw.

Lovely, right?


Well….. no. Not if you can get up close and actually see the joins – every single one of them is out of whack by up to 1/8″! That may sound like a small amount but believe me, it’s very visually obvious. I’m like, embarrassed for actual carpenters to come see this thing, it’s that ugly. I even tried to fill the gaps with some “cedar” (not) colored caulk, which only made things worse.

So I always knew I was never any great shakes with detailed carpentry stuff, but I thought I was better than that, so I checked my saw – all the angles are off! It has to be pressed to one side while cutting 90-degree cuts, so its horizontal angles are off as well as its vertical, miter-angle cuts. I’m sure my own lack of skill would have made for less-than-perfect cuts anyway, but it’s super disappointing to think that I had this great, expensive piece of machinery that would solve all my mitering problems and then…. then it’s all wonky and I don’t know how to even approach fixing it.

I may try another couple of miter cuts on my table saw. That $40 piece of yard-sale-crap has no pretensions of being a piece of precision machinery, but at least I sort of know how to adjust it, as far as it can be adjusted. If I can’t get that to work I may ask my neighbor the cabinet-maker… or I may just give up and do straight butt-joints with non-angled tops. It doesn’t look terrible, and I’m sure I could pull it off, at least.


Disappointing. :(

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