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How to Fix the Miter Gauge Slot on a Sears Table Saw

Miter gauge slots must be in perfect condition for accuracy and safety when running a table saw. Sears Craftsman table saws have a steel miter gauge slot that will rust over time. When the miter gauge is placed on the saw, it must travel smoothly back and forth inside the slot without hesitation. When a miter gauge slot gets rusted, it causes the miter gauge to bind. This can result in kickback. To get your Craftsman miter gauge working properly you need to sand and lubricate the slot.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Air compressor with air nozzle
  • Sandpaper, 100-grit
  • Hardwood block, 2-by-3-by-7/8-inch
  • Soft cloth
  • Acetone
  • Sandpaper, 180-grit
  • Paste wax
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    • 1

      Scrape along the length of the miter saw slot with the tip of the screwdriver. Force the screwdriver into the corners of the miter slot as you scrape away any residual rust, grit, dirt or built-up sawdust. Use the air nozzle to remove dust and grit from the slot.

    • 2

      Fold the 100-grit sandpaper around the block. Force the block into the miter gauge slot. Begin sanding with a back and forth motion along the length of the miter gauge slot. When the block begins to slide without binding, remove the block. Use the air nozzle to blow away any dust.

    • 3

      Squirt acetone inside the miter slot. Use the cloth to further clean the miter slot. Spray inside the miter slot with the air nozzle to dry the slot.

    • 4

      Bend the 180-grit paper around the block. Use the block to continue sanding inside the slot until the slot is shiny and clean. Spray off with the air nozzle.

    • 5

      Rub the paste wax inside the miter slot using the soft cloth. Work the wax up and down the length of the slot until you can see the wax covering inside the slot. Let the wax dry overnight.