How to Cut Angles on a Table Saw
A table saw has many uses. Some of these uses are not as apparent as others. A great woodworking tool for cutting sheet goods and ripping lumber can also be used to cut angles. The top of a table saw has two grooves in it, one on either side of the blade. These grooves make it possible to create a jig that can be used to cut angles.
Building the sled. Draw four lines on one side of the 3/4 inch plywood that match the two grooves on the tabletop of the table saw. Be certain that the width drawn on the plywood is exactly as the width on the table saw. The space between the grooves is as equally important.
Rip the lattice to the exact width of the grooves in the table saw. Secure the lattice on the lines drawn in Step 1 with wood glue and brads. Next, cut the 2-by-6 inch lumber into two pieces; one that is 24 inches long and the other 48 inches long.
Attach the 24 inch 2-by-6 lumber to the topside of the sled centering it over the blade. Place a bead of glue between the 2-by-6 and sled. Secure by installing the screws from the bottom side of the sled. Repeat this for the 48 inch 2-by-6. These will make the jig stable while cutting the desired angles and also provide a solid fence for holding the lumber to be cut in place.
For a 45 degree angle, use the square to place a small piece of plywood to the top side of the sled at a 45 degree angle. Secure it with the drywall screws. Do not allow the screws to go below the sled as this will scratch the table saw. Cut this all the way through and remove the screws.
Secure the cut piece of plywood on the sled to use it as a fence. Hold a piece of material against this fence to cut a 45 degree angle. This is good for ceiling mold, cabinetry mold and picture framing. To cut other angles, simply lay out the desired angle on a piece of wood and secure it to the jig as done with the 45 degree angle.
- Always wear safety glasses.
- Countersink all screws and brads.
- Do not raise the table saw blade any higher than necessary to make cut.
Michael Straessle has written professionally about the construction industry since 1988. He authored “What a Strange Little Man,” among other books, and his work has appeared in various online publications. Straessle earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in professional/technical writing.