If your miter saw has a removable throat plate, you can customize your saw with a “zero-clearance” throat plate that makes it easy to line up the cut. With this tip from reader Robert Irwin, you’ll be able to line up crosscuts faster and cut boards with less tear-out.
Here’s how: Remove the original throat plate, and cut a plywood piece to the thickness and width of the saw’s original throat plate. They’re easy to make, so cut a few extras. Mark, drill and countersink any screw holes and install the wood throat plate. Now cut into the new wood throat plate with your miter saw blade to create a zero-clearance opening. To use, mark the cuts along the board edge, line ’em up with one edge of the zero-clearance opening, and make perfect cuts every time.