Cutting Angles on a Table Saw

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There are several different ways to cut angles on a table saw. Find out how a professional woodworker uses a table saw to cut angles in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Woodworking Tools Use and Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dave Trull at The Trull Gallery, and I'm going to talk to you today about how to cut angles with a table saw. There's a couple different ways to do it. One is by turning the blade and the other is by turning your stock against a straight blade. We're going to start first by angling our stock against a straight blade and we're going to do that using a miter gauge. This is a standard miter gauge and all I've done is added a sacrificial fence to it to give it a little bit more stability. Most miter gauges will run anywhere from about 45 degrees to either side of 90 and by simply loosening the handle, we can make an adjustment, pick the angle we want. In this case we'll set it up to be 45 degrees. We'll lock down our angle and now we're ready to make our first cut. Okay, before we make the cut we're going to go ahead and put on our safety glasses and hearing protection and we'll go ahead and make the first cut. We're going to turn on the saw and hold our stock firmly against our miter gauge so it doesn't slip. If you can clamp it, that's even better. So that's one way to make an angle cut with a table saw. And as I said you can change the angle of that, either side of 90, usually 45 or 50 degrees so you can get pretty much any kind of angle you need. The other way to cut an angle with a table saw is to adjust the angle of the blade itself. Go ahead and get rid of our miter gauge. Right now the blade is 90 degrees to the table. Again with most table saws you can tilt that about 45 degrees either to the left or to the right depending on your table saw. Now, I'm going to go ahead and tilt that over and again we'll just take it over to 45 degrees so you can really see the angle of the cut we're going to make. So, that's set at 45 degrees. I'm going to go ahead and lower that blade down. Normally, you work with your fence to the right side of the blade and to make a cut like this that puts a lot of pressure on the stock. If you can move your fence to the other side, it's a little bit safer. I'll actually show you how to do it both ways because some of your saws, some of the older saws don't let you move the fence to the other side. So, let's go ahead and make our first cut here and as you can see we have a nice 45 degree cut. It's nice and clean but as I said you have to be a little bit more careful. If your blade tilts away from the fence, that's great. In this particular case my fence can go to either side of the blade. We'll go ahead and just make a second cut and this time the nice thing is we're going to get the same cut, the same quality of cut. We don't have the added pressure of the blade forcing the stock up against the fence giving us a little bit more hazardous cut. So this is a little bit safer of a cut. So we'll go ahead and make this cut now. Okay so here you see we've just made the same cut on opposite sides of the board. It's done exactly the same way, one just gives you the option of working a little bit safer. Okay, so that's a couple of different ways to cut angles on a table saw. I'm Dave Trull with The Trull Gallery, The Fine Art of Furniture Making.

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