Tip: Fixing A Miter Slot

The problem with buying a used tool is that often there will be problems and damage that you can’t find before you buy it, and you will have to fix it yourself. On my table saw, the miter slot on the left side of the blade was either damaged, or poorly machined to begin with. The standard 3/4″ guide bar would not slide freely through it:

It hung up about 2/3 of the way in.
Since I will be making a new accessory that uses that slot, I need to fix it so that the bar slides smoothly.

My solution is to take a plywood block that is cut to 90 degrees on the edge and use that to hold a file square to the table as I mill the sides of the slot:

I was careful to do both sides of the slot evenly, although it is doubtful that the amount taken off would have any serious impact on alignment.

Luckily, the slot on the right side of the blade was in better shape and didn’t require the same treatment.

I made a video showing how I did it on my rebuilt table saw:

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The second half of the video goes over pulling nails and I talk briefly about hammers. I point out the two types of claw hammers and demonstrate how the curved claw hammer is the overall better nail puller, but the straight claw hammer can be handy in certain situations. If you have limited space, or the nail head has broken (or rusted) off, the straight claw can be very handy:

Also worth noting is how thick the tips of the claws are. Thin ones will be able to pry into smaller gaps, when removing trim. The thicker ones will not break as easily when doing rough work. Where the claw comes to a “V” is important too, since the finer that is, the smaller the nail you can pull with it.

There are a lot of considerations when buying a hammer, including the grip. I prefer a wooden handle with a straight grip. I find that the hatchet style handle is not well suited to swinging a hammer for long periods.