Table saws are an incredibly versatile tool in any workshop, and with a little practice, you can cut some really intricate shapes and angles. In this blog post, I’m going to show you how to cut a 60-degree angle on your table saw.
In simple words, to cut a 60-degree angle on a table saw, first, set the blade of your table saw to 30 degrees. Next, make a rip cut along the length of your workpiece. Finally, rotate the workpiece 60 degrees and make another cut along the length of the workpiece.
Keep in mind that the exact same process can be used for any other angle, simply adjust the measurements accordingly. Let’s get started!
How To Cut A 60 Degree Angle On A Table Saw
This depends on the type of table saw that you’re using. Consult your owner’s manual in order to be sure, but it usually involves tightening the rip fence into place and then adjusting both pieces so that they overlap slightly in front of the blade.
Since this is just a reference guide for novice woodworkers, we won’t get too much into the specifics–just take note of how much overlap you need when performing your test cuts.
Step 1: Measure
The first step is to pick out the wood you want to use and cut it down to the appropriate dimensions. Once you’ve got your piece of wood cut to size, lay it flat on a sturdy table (or work surface) and measure how tall the piece is.
Be sure to allow for the thickness of the saw blade you’ll be using, plus an additional 1/8 inch or more. Mark this measurement on the end of your board for reference.
Next, measure another piece of wood to the same dimensions as your first board. Cut it down so that it is exactly twice as wide as your first board is long.
This two-by-two board will serve as a guide so that you know where to position your workpiece against the table saw’s rip fence when cutting angles, and having one edge the same length as the other will ensure that you get perfectly parallel cuts. Read more here How to cut tapered legs on a table saw.
Step 2: Layout
Once you have both boards measured, lay them flat on top of each other with their edges touching.
Step 3: Glue
Once the two boards are touching along their entire length, they can be glued together to form a single piece. Make sure that the top board is oriented so that it’s exactly twice as wide as the bottom board.
This way when you’re cutting your angles, you’ll have a nice line on the table saw fence to indicate where each of your cuts should begin and end. Let the glue dry before continuing with this project.
Step 4: Prepare Fence Fixture
To make things easier for yourself, we recommend preparing a fixture that will allow you to attach and remove your workpiece quickly and easily without having to modify or fiddle around with your actual table saw setup every time you want to cut an angle.
The fixture is simply a piece of scrap wood with two slots in it. The outer slot is slightly larger than the size of your workpiece, and it should be deep enough that your saw’s rip fence clears the edge of the workpiece by at least 1/8 inch when pivoting around its corner.
The inner slot should be just wide enough for the table saw blade to fit through (or whatever width your actual table saw blade happens to be).
Step 5: Make Test Cut
Before making any cuts on your actual workpiece, make a test cut or two on some spare scraps; this will help familiarize yourself with how much pressure needs to be applied in order for each cut to pass all the way through without getting jammed.
We’ve found that it helps to keep your test cuts relatively shallow because this makes it easier to detect any binding that might be caused by slight misalignments when making wider cuts with your workpiece.
Also, if you’re working in an enclosed space like a garage, do yourself a favor and unplug the saw when making these test cuts; nothing is worse than having shavings or splinters fly into your face after accidentally hitting the trigger for just one second too long.
Step 6: Cut Angles
Now that you’re familiar with how much pressure needs to be applied to each side of the blade in order for it to cut all the way through both pieces of wood at once, go ahead and cut some angles! Read more here How to cut stright edge on a table saw.
Make sure to take your time when cutting angles, and be aware that the saw blade will pull the workpiece slightly while it’s spinning. This means that you’ll need to help guide your workpiece into place and apply more pressure than you normally would when simply ripping a straight line along one side of the table saw fence.
Each angle is cut by passing the workpiece through once on each side of the rip fence at exactly the same time. If this is done correctly, both pieces of wood should come out completely intact with no cracking or splintering whatsoever. If either piece comes out split or torn up, however, this likely means that not enough pressure was applied along its length.
In this case, you may also need to adjust your saw blade or rip fence slightly to make sure it’s coming out straight. Once you get the hang of how much pressure is necessary, each piece should only take about 10 seconds to cut.
Step 7: Clean Up Edges
Once all of your angles have been cut out, clean up any rough or splintered edges with sandpaper or a plane. You should also run through each angle with an orbital sander to make sure it’s completely smooth before moving on to the next step.
Step 8: Sand and Finish Angles
Finally, once each angle has been sanded it’s ready to be finished sanded or stained/painted! If you’re planning on painting them then this step can be skipped entirely. We finished ours by staining some of them with a walnut wood stain while leaving others unfinished in order to show you what they look like when finished.
The Steps Involved In Cutting The Angle Accurately:
Here are the steps:
- Cut a 45-degree angle on the end of the board
- Flip over and cut the opposite 45-degree angle on the other end (this step is not necessary if you’re cutting out squares or rectangles and plan to sand and finish them afterward)
- Attach your workpiece to a piece of scrap wood with clamps; make sure this piece of scrap wood has two slots in it.
- Carefully guide your workpiece through both sides, making sure that your saw blade passes through each slot. It should be clear when it’s done correctly because your scrap wood will come out a split in half instead of torn up like when the blade binds:
- Trim off any rough edges and sand/finish as desired (optional).
The most important thing to watch out for when cutting angles with a table saw is making sure there’s nothing else in the way of where you’re trying to cut; if something like a scrap board or pencil gets in the way, it’ll likely get ripped up and can cause damage both to your workpiece and saw. Read more here How to cut circle on a table saw.
Another trick we found that helped us avoid damaging our blade or ripping up our wood was using a pair of vice grips to clamp onto the edge of the metal table in order to help guide our workpiece in.
Also, just an FYI: all of these cuts were done on a Bosch 10-inch Job Site Saw, which is similar to this one. Although the specific saw model may differ, the steps involved are still all the same.
Tips For Preventing Tear-Out And Achieving A Smooth Finish
- Apply downward pressure when passing the workpiece through, and use a speed setting of 2 to 3
- If you find that your wood is tearing out or leaving behind splinters, try tightening the blade by turning it counter clockwise 1/8 to 1/4 turn.
- If your wood is cracking while you’re passing it through, try loosening the blade by turning it clockwise 1/8 to 1/4 turn.
- Sanding or chiselling the edges will make the angles look more polished and professional; although this step can be skipped if you plan on painting them as we did.
- If you have trouble with the blade binding or tearing up your workpiece, try making two passes on each cut.
- Once you’ve got this down it should only take about 10 seconds to cut each angle.
I have shown you how to cut a 60-degree angle on your table saw. By following these simple steps and using the correct measurements, you can ensure that your cuts are precise and accurate. This process is a great alternative to buying your angles from a lumberyard or specialty woodworking store.
Q: What’s the best way to cut a 60-degree angle on a table saw?
A: The best way to cut a 60-degree angle on a table saw is by using a chisel and following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Q: What are some other ways to cut a 60-degree angle on a table saw?
A: Some other ways to cut a 60-degree angle on a table saw include using a miter gauge or jig, or making multiple passes with the blade set at different angles.
Q: What are some things to keep in mind when cutting a 60 degree angle on a table saw?
A: Some things to keep in mind when cutting a 60-degree angle on a table saw include making sure the blade is sharp and that the fence is set at the correct angle. Additionally, it’s important to use a push stick or other safety device to keep your hands away from the blade.