A stop block, in a nutshell, makes cutting multiple pieces of wood on a miter saw faster and easy. 

This simple reusable jig is used in woodworking to mark an edge so multiple pieces of wood can be cut quickly and uniformly.

It can get tiresome to stop and measure each piece before you cut it, so built-in stop blocks keep you working at a steady and fast pace.

Hold-down clamps that come with most power miter saws are useful for securing a stop block when making repetitive cuts. But they’re only useful for cutting short pieces because they limit the length of board you can cut.

For bigger projects like decks and railing, long cuts of wood typically won’t fit within a standard stop block. And let’s face it, cutting these pieces shouldn’t take up most of your time. This time is better spent on getting these pieces together and your project complete. 

However, you can make an extended stop block using a framing square. This technique works well for making repetitive cuts between about 16 inches and 23 inches long. 

Here’s how you do it:

A framing square clamped to a miter saw as a stop block.

First, use two spring clamps or short bar clamps to secure the framing square to the saw’s fence. Extend it out to the length you need the board to be.

Check to confirm that the distance from the blade to the vertical tongue of the framing square equals the desired length of the pieces you’re cutting. 

A lumber board on a miter saw being pushed toward a framing square stop block.

Then, carefully slide the board up against the edge of the square’s tongue and make the cut.

Finally, repeat to make repetitive cuts and produce pieces of all the same exact length. 

Watch the video above for the demonstration!

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Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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