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Thread: Cutting a 60 degree Miter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Carrollton, Texas
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    141

    Cutting a 60 degree Miter

    I would like to build a triangle shaped box.

    I need to cut 60 degree miters for each of the joints.

    How do I go about this cut? I have a table saw and miter saw (not compound). Each side of the triangle is six inches wide and 18 inches long.

    I'm thinking I need some sort of jig. Or maybe a hand saw is the answer.

    Thanks!!
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    SF Bay Area, CA
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    Teresa,

    If you have a miter saw, you can do this. However, instead of putting the long side of the stock against the fence, you'll need to put the short side (end-grain) of the stock against the fence. You'll want a safe/comfortable way to secure the stock but put the scale to 30 degrees and make your cut and you'll have this acute angle.

    Also, you could make a jig for your table saw in the same manner with a sled and a stick riding in the miter slot.

    Try to start with as wide board as possible to make the cut and then rip the width you need. The wider the board, the safer the cut.

    HTH
    Crown Molding: cut, cope, cuss, caulk, chill....

    Did you know SMC is user supported? Please help.

  3. #3
    TJ, if you haven't got it figured out I will be here all day today and Sunday. Bring your wood down and I will show you how to make a simple jig to take care of the cut. Steve
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    I'd do it with a cross-cut sled on a table saw. I'd first build the sled (if you don't have one already), and then add a support thing that holds the workpiece up off the sled at 15 degrees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Chappell Hill, Texas
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    4,418
    Actually, you need to cut each piece @ 30 for each joint.

    If you are just making this one triangle, I would use a miter saw. I would start with a piece of wood 7-8" wide and 18" long, and make the cut as Chris suggested. That extra width gives you a small flat at each end of the piece to rest against the fence during your cut (as opposed to cutting a 6" wide board, which leaves nothing to rest against the fence. If the 7-8" wide board still does not give you enough of a safe-feeling that your board won't move, then masking tape/otherwise clamp in a sacrificial wood aux. strip in front of your saw's fence. And, you can cut it first to see exactly where your saw line is. Quicker precision.

    After cut on both ends, rip to width.

    Todd

    EDIT: Yea - what Chris already said.
    My level of WW skill can be summed up with this:

    If I had to buy something that I could make today, I couldn't afford it.

  6. #6
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    Ah, hold on...you need to cut this standing on edge, right? I blew through my answer without noticing this little, but important detail.

    I'm curious to hear what Steve might come up with. Sitting here thinking, I guess you would need to think in terms of standing the board on its endgrain on top of the TS and then eith tilt the board 30 degrees with a jig to hold it at that angle or hold the board at 90 and tilt the saw to 30.

    I don't know the size of your miter saw but even a 12" one can't handle a 6" wide piece of lumber standing on its edge so that idea is out. Sorry about the confusion earlier.
    Crown Molding: cut, cope, cuss, caulk, chill....

    Did you know SMC is user supported? Please help.

  7. #7
    Teresa,

    The other suggestions seem to be for a flat triangle rather than a box. If you want a box, like a flag-display box, you can make a U-shaped tendoning jig that fits over the TS fence, with a vertical piece on the blade side. Clamp your piece to the U and against the vertical. Tilt the sawblade to 30 deg. and cut it like a tendon. I have made several flag-display boxes this way.

    Bob
    Spinning is good on a lathe, not good in a Miata.

  8. #8
    If I just need to do a couple cuts I take a short-cut from the way Bob described. I will atttach a sacrificial fence with double stick tape to my fence and tilt the blade to 30. I stand the stock I'm cutting on end against the fence and take a piece of scrap ( 1x2 or so)and set it on edge on top of the fence then clamp it on both sides to my stock. I then simply push it past the blade keeping it tight to the fence. The piece clamped on will keep it from slipping down as the miter is cut. Taking the time to make a u shaped jig would be better and really not take too long. Like Bob said youstill need to clamp it because you are removing all but the feather edge when you miter your stock. Steve
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Carrollton, Texas
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    141
    Thanks, everyone.

    I was embarrassed to ask the question because I kept thinking I just wasnt getting it!

    I started the thought process with OK, I need a triangle with three 60 degree angles and I want them mitered. Easy enough; set the table saw blade to 30 degrees and cut the miters, after all, two thirties yield a sixty. Naturally, what I ended up with was 120 degrees.

    Forgot that little detail that the saw blade is already at 90!!

    Steve, thanks for the offer. I am back working a five day work week, so I am actually at work today. I may drop by on Sunday, but I have a pretty full schedule this weekend.

    I thought about standing the boards on edge and cutting them with the miter saw but I didnt want to do something like that without checking with you guys first. I had the same thought about using the table saw and treating it as though I was cutting it like a tenon.

    I am also nursing tendonitis in my right elbow and I am not even suppose to be in shop for another couple of weeks. Yeah, right.

    Have a great weekend and Memorial Day!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    New Haven, CT
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    1,399
    You could cut that angle by using your tenoning jig on your table saw.

    Dan
    A flute without holes, is not a flute. A donut without a hole, is a Danish.

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