While miter saws are incredibly useful in the workshop, they come with a serious drawback if you’re cutting small pieces of wood…
There’s a large opening through the fence around the blade. This renders cutting small parts safely and accurately an uphill struggle. It also complicates trim work or making frames.
Obviously, you want to avoid those little pieces of timber flying across your workshop so what can you do about it?
The solution is straightforward and involves making a simple but effective secondary fence for your miter saw. This fence sits on the saw and creates a zero-clearance slot for your blade.
Why Do You Need a Secondary Fence?
There are many worthwhile reasons for adding a sacrificial fence to your miter saw.
- You’ll minimize the chance of small pieces of timber becoming dangerous projectiles
- A secondary fence gives you added support
- You’re much less likely to experience tearout from the back of the cut
- It’s easy to write notes on the fence, particularly handy if you’re working with complex angles
- You can add a stop block
- Marking up the next cut is simplified by using the line in this sacrificial fence
- Secondary fences are great if you’re making frames
- You’ll enjoy increased accuracy on 90-degree straight cuts
Now you can see why you need a fence, how can you make one?
The good news, it’s incredibly simple!
How To Make The Most Effective Miter Saw Fence
- Cut a piece of plywood or MDF 7 inches wide to use as the base for your fence
- Cut another piece 4 inches wide for the fence itself
- Length for both pieces should be around 30 inches
- Join the strips of wood together using some glue and 2-inch brad nails. Make sure you carefully mark out where the saw blade will cut and avoid placing any nails in that center portion. The last thing you want is your miter saw blade smashing into a nail
- Drill some pilot holes and use some 1-inch screws then clamp the pieces together until dry
- You can make sure your secondary fence stays in place by using some ½-inch dowels. This also makes it easy for you to take the fence off when you don’t need to use it
- Make a cut at the center of your fence at 90 degrees
- Drill ½-inch holes through into the table below at 45 degrees (left), 90 degrees and 45 degrees (right) so the ½-inch dowels can be accommodated
With that, you’ve got a great secondary fence in place you can easily remove.
We hope you’ve found this brief look at making a secondary miter saw fence has given you food for thought and inspiration to rack one up for your favorite miter saw.
It’s really not hard work to get one of these sacrificial fences in place and you’ll enjoy greater scope and safety without much cost or effort.
Drop us a line with any queries or feedback you have and we’ll get back to you promptly.
Come back soon!