How to Cut Compound Angles With a Miter Saw

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Compound angles must be cut differently than normal angles, as they are cutting two different angles at the same time. Find out how to cut compound angles with a miter saw with help from a home remodeling expert in this free video clip.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dave Trull at the Trull Gallery, and I'm going to show you how to make compound miter cuts with a miter saw. This is a more complicated cut than you may be used to, but it will allow you to do a lot of different things. If you think of crown molding, and difficult joints like that, this is a great tool to do those cuts with. So, let's get started. Compound cut is one that's cut on two different angles at the same time. And, you'll see this in some furniture making, crown molding, things of that nature, where you have multiple angles coming together at once. And this, as I said, this is the perfect saw to do that. The first thing we're going to do is set the table angle, and then we'll set the head angle. And, once we get those set, we can go ahead and, in one pass, make a compound angle cut. Now, first thing we're going to do, as I said, was we're going to go ahead and change the angle of our table. And, for this cut, we're going to set it at 30 degrees, and we'll go ahead and lock that down. Once we get this set up, now we want to tilt the head. Okay, at this point, we just want to loosen our head mechanism, the head lock. And, I'm going to tilt to the right. The next thing I want to do is double check my fence. You can see if I was to make the cut right now, I'd actually cut my fence. So, what I'm going to do is loosen this up, and slide that out of the way, and tighten it back down. I want to check my other fence also, because the blade's actually going to come in this way. I want to make sure that I'm going to clear it. And, you can see here that I would, in fact, catch that top corner. So, I want to go ahead and slide that fence out of the way as well. Once I have it in the right position, I'll go ahead and lock that back down. Now, we can go ahead and bring our stock in to where we want our cut to go. We're actually going to use our clamping mechanism to hold the stock in place, so that it doesn't slide one way or the other while we're making our cut. Even though you think you may be able to hold it in place by your hand, the power of the saw, especially cutting at two angles, is going to want to pull that in a different direction. So, lock it down once you get everything set in place. Okay, at this point, we can go ahead and plug our saw in, and get our safety equipment on. We'll be using both our eye protection and hearing protection. And, we're ready to make our cut. You can go ahead and bring the saw up. And, with a compound cut, I like to leave everything in place until the blade has stopped. I don't like to bring the blade back up, just as a safety issue. Once that's done, we can go ahead, take the scrap out, pull out - unclamp our stock. We got the long angle here, and the short angle here. Okay, so real quickly, that's how to make a compound cut using a compound miter saw. I'm Dave Trull at the Trull Gallery, the fine art of furniture making.

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