How to Cut a Hexagon With a Table Saw

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Cutting the hexagon
Cutting the hexagon (Image: David A. Claerr)

If you have a project that requires accurately sized and proportioned hexagons, follow these steps for a precise method to draw a symmetrical hexagon and use a sliding miter gauge to ensure that the hexagon's sides are cut precisely at the correct angles. Click on the thumbnail diagrams to enlarge them.

Things You'll Need

  • Table saw
  • Sliding miter gauge
  • Stock such as wood, plywood, particle board, etc.
  • Drawing compass
  • Ruler
  • Pencil

Set up the stock you are cutting on a flat work surface to draw out the hexagon. If the stock is a single, solid piece of wood, orient it so that the grain of the wood runs vertically. Draw a circle on your stock, sized so that the hexagon you want to cut will fit inside it exactly. Measure and mark a line that divides the circle exactly in half horizontally.

Drawing the circle
Drawing the circle

Measure the radius of the circle, which is half of the circle's width. Make a mark at the endpoint of the dividing line and measure with the radius length from that point across the inside edge of the circle, intersecting the circle at the next point, as shown in the diagram. Mark six points around the edge of the circle using the same measurement. Connect the points with lines to form the complete hexagon shape.

Drawing the hexagon
Drawing the hexagon

Make cuts along the top and bottom edges of the hexagon, using the table saw fence to assist in making straight 90 degree crosscuts. The remaining four side edges will be trimmed using the miter gauge.

Trimming top and bottom edges
Trimming top and bottom edges

Set the miter gauge at a 30 degree angle, to the left of center. Place one of the previously crosscut edges along the miter gauge and align the mark for the next side you are cutting to the saw blade. Slide the miter gauge, with the stock in place, forward toward the saw blade and trim the edge.

Cutting with the miter gauge
Cutting with the miter gauge

Rotate the hexagon stock clockwise so that the edge you just cut is aligned on the miter gauge. Position the stock to cut along the next marked edge. Slide the miter gauge, with the stock in place, forward toward the saw blade, and trim the edge.

Rotate the hexagon stock clockwise until the second side that was previously crosscut is aligned with the miter gauge. Position the stock to cut along the next marked edge. Slide the miter gauge, with the stock in place, forward toward the saw blade, and trim the edge.

Make the final cut to trim the last remaining edge by rotating the hexagon stock clockwise so that the edge you just cut is aligned on the miter gauge. Position the stock to cut along the next marked edge. Slide the miter gauge, with the stock in place, forward toward the saw blade, and trim the edge. Your hexagon is complete.

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