You may have noticed that your table saw allows you to tilt your blade to create specific angles. In most cases, this tilting method is used to cut bevels but it does not have to be just for that specific purpose.
A table saw can cut quite a few angles if you know how to make it work for you. Take a look at this guide to learn how to cut an angle on a table saw.
Can a Table Saw Cut Angles?
The table saw almost always has a built-in ability to tilt the blade to a specific angle. In most cases, the blade can be adjusted up to 45 degrees from its traditional standing position. When you adjust that angle, the blade tilts to the setting you specify.
While we often associate table saws with things like straight cuts and rip cuts, they can actually do quite a lot if you just know how to use them. Now, the table saw wasn’t originally designed with the intention of cutting angles. The primary intention was more like ripping lumber. However, the saw is very capable.
You do need to be sure that the saw you are using does have the capability to adjust the angle of the blade. You will also want to be sure that your angles are accurate. It’s a good idea to check this on occasion just to be sure before you make a cut that isn’t right.
Here’s the thing. When you just need to cut a simple angle, it’s really very easy to accommodate this. You don’t need any special equipment or adjustments. You don’t have to make any crazy jigs or anything like that.
You just need to know how to properly adjust the saw that you are using in order to make said cut on the saw.
Why Would I Need to Cut Angles?
If you’ve been in the woodworking industry for any length of time, you already know that not all projects have straight, solid cuts. While you can do a lot with a straight cut, there are simply times when you need something different.
It’s totally possible that you have something like a miter saw at your disposal but if you don’t, using the table saw to make other types of cuts can come in really handy.
It all depends on what you are doing. We could create an extensive list here of ways to use angles but you get the idea. It could be for a project or a simple adjustment to a design you are working on. You should know how to put your saw to use to accomplish these things.
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The Process for Making Angle Cuts on a Table Saw
It’s time to get down to business! Follow these simple steps to be able to cut an angle quite easily on a table saw. You will find it’s very simple and doesn’t take a ton of work to accomplish.
1. Safety First
Before you get started, be sure to power down and unplug the saw. This just keeps you safe while you get it set up and ready to make the angled cut. You should also plan to use the appropriate safety gear as well.
We recommend gloves and safety goggles at a minimum. In some cases, you might want to consider a face mask and possibly even a work apron. These little things can go a long way to protecting you from debris and dust while you cut.
2. Measure & Outline the Wood
Now it’s time to get the wood ready for the cut. We recommend figuring out exactly where the cut is going to run on the wood. You can use a tape measure or even a ruler to make your marks.
Here, you should mark the beginning space on the wood, as well as the ending space for the cut. You should also measure and mark your angle spots on the wood so you know exactly where you will need to cut.
You can measure the angle here and later line that up with the angle of the blade. Simply use a wood pencil to create a path for the blade. It’s like a pattern that you can follow when you are cutting.
3. Prepare the Blade Height
Now, you need to get the blade ready. Adjust the height of the blade to accommodate the material and the angle of the wood. Typically raising the blade to 1/4 of an inch will be ideal for an angled cut. However, it is possible that the material you are cutting will require more or less height as well.
4. Prep the Wood at an Angle
Now, this is where it gets slightly more challenging. You need to set the wood at an angle. You will use a miter gauge and a taper jig to accomplish this.
Place the miter gauge on the table, against the edge of the drafting triangle. You can use a jug on the opposite side of your board. This simply can help to hold it in place. It’s not necessarily required.
Use the fence as help here. You can either move the fence to brace your jig or you can move it to help brace the miter gauge. Use it how you are comfortable but it will help brace the material so you can make a more solid and accurate cut.
The trick here is your board is going to be at an angle, rather than your blade.
5. Make the Cut
Now it’s time to make the cut. Plug in the saw and power it up. Make sure you have on your safety gear and start pushing the wood and the fence towards the blade at a steady pace, keeping the angle.
This is one cut where you will need to move slowly for accuracy and a clean cut. When the wood has been sliced through, stop moving. You can power down the saw and then remove the wood from the miter gauge. Double check the angle for accuracy and then move on to the next part of your project!
Making an angled cut on the table saw just requires you to know how to set the appropriate angle. You can angle your blade and work that way as well but this method helps you cut a full piece at an angle. Angling the blade is more common for a bevel cut instead.
We hope that this guide is helpful to you. It’s a simple process once you get a feel for setting up the angles!