Ever found it difficult cutting angles on a table saw? You’re not alone. Transforming your boring regular wood to something sleek isn’t a piece of cake – for those new to the game. I once belonged in that category – those dazzled by the precision of the guy cutting angles on a table saw. It’s pleasing to watch but unnerving to participate in.
Cutting angles wasn’t always my thing. In fact, I earned a scar in the process. But that’s history, and to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes I made, this piece was put together to assist you. So, let’s get you started quickly!
What You Need for this task?
- Table saw
- Miter gauge
- 45-degree drafting triangle
- Ear muffs
- Protective goggles
Cutting angles on a table saw requires knowledge of some rudimentary maths especially when it concerns going above the angle 45. Also, you will need a clamp to support the wood while carrying out the task.
There are two ways to cut an angle on a table saw:
- By adjusting the angle of the blade
- Angling the wood piece using the miter gauge
The second method is considered safer due to the added support of the miter gauge. Many woodwork professionals prefer the first method for different reasons. But for a newbie, the 2nd method should be considered.
How to Cut Angles on a Table Saw - Step by Step Instructions
To help you understand the ‘how’ of cutting angles on a table saw, here are step by step instructions to guide you accordingly. Remember that you’d still need to consider the angle of the cut.
- Step 1
Choose your angle
While the miter gauge has angles from 45° to 90°, you will still have to depend on the 45° drafting triangle since the former isn’t exactly accurate – the angles are sloppy.
By combining the drafting triangle and the miter gauge, the angle is locked in and the wood is positioned ready for the action of the table saw.
- Step 2
Safeguard your senses
Before proceeding to make the cut, don your safety gears – ear muffs and protect goggles. When cutting angles, wood dust are bound to fly at angles as well, increasing the chances of them getting into your eyes. Also, loud noise from operating the table saw is capable of damaging your hearing.
- Step 3
Support the stock accordingly
To efficiently cut the stock at an angle, you need to support the stock by barricading it with the miter gauge. For a beginner, the miter gauge might prove inadequate to keep the stock in position. You will need to clamp it down to avoid unsolicited movements.
- Step 4
Direct the wood correctly
With the table saw turned on, push the angled stock in the direction of blade. You have to be careful and alert while doing this. If your hands aren’t stable or you can’t deal with the vibration, this method is clearly not for you. Once the angled cut has been made, turn off the table saw.
- Step 1
Adjust the angle of the blade
Depending on your table saw, you can adjust the angle of the blade in the range of 45° in either side of the table – left or right. Once the angle has been set, you will need to lower the blade down till only about 25% of the blade stays above the level of the table.
- Step 2
Use the fence to barricade the stock
With the miter gauge conspicuously absent in this method, you have to use the fence to barricade the stock. With older table saws, you are limited to keeping the fence on just the right side of the blade. This puts significant pressure on the stock which could affect efficiency and safety of the process. If your table saw permits you, place the fence on the left side of the blade so the stock isn’t pressured.
- Step 3
Direct the stock to the rotating blade
Turn on the table saw. With the stock adequately kept in position by the fence, push the stock in the direction of the revolving blade with conviction albeit gently. It’s important you have your safety gears on to avoid accidents.
We hope you enjoyed the tutorial. I believe every item mentioned earlier plays a vital part in ensuring the quality of the cut and the safety of the process. From protecting your senses to getting the angle right, these items are instrumental to the success of a cutting angle routine using the table saw.
If you have any questions or would love to share your thoughts regarding anything related to the art of furniture making, let us know in the comment section below and we will reply as soon as possible. And don’t forget to share the article if you liked it.