Bevel Cuts on a Table Saw – a Step by Step Guide

The table saw features a circular blade protruding through a table top. This blade is mounted on an arbor which is powered by an electrical motor. The blade is mounted on a table to provide support to the work piece and hence ease to the craftsmen.

On the contrary, bevel cuts are what requires extra support. They are different from miter cuts such that they are cut through the corner of wood at slanted angles. This task requires more effort and support.

To provide this support, a stable jig is required. This article will guide you on how to design a personalised jig for your type of table saw. Also, we will direct you on how to use this jig rightly for the desired task.


Guide to Have Bevel Cuts by a Table Saw

Building a Jig

Before discussing the guide to make your table saw cut bevel, you might need to build a jig. So, if you don’t have a jig for your table saw, here is what you need to do:

You will need:

  • 3/4″ plywood
  • 1 1/2″ oak wood
  • Measuring tape
  • Engineering pencil
  • Hanger bolts (5)
  • Pan screws (5)
  • Wing nuts (5)
  • A drill
  • Forstner and regular bit
  • Clamps (2)

Step 1: Cut the Fence Lid 

Take the smaller piece of wood and cut it exactly according to the top width of the fence. Make sure it is precise. Otherwise, a narrower or wider lid may lead to inefficiency.

Also, it is better if you use oak wood or plywood. These types of wood tend to last longer and they don’t absorb much moisture as well.

For a perfect cut, take a tapering tape and measure the width of the fence. Mark that point on the smaller piece of wood and cut it by the saw.

Step 2: Prepare the Vertical Support of Fence

Place the lid on the fence top. Take a thin sheet of any available material having a slight thickness. Place the vertical piece of wood on that sheet and align it with the lid of the fence. Make sure that the vertical piece of wood is in between the fence and blade of the miter saw.

By placing thin sheet, you lift the vertical wood slightly up. This is to prevent kickbacks by the miter slots featured on the table saw.

After that, mark the lid’s top corner margin which is joining with the vertical support. This is where you will drill holes. But before doing this, measure the lid’s width and mark it on vertical wood following the top line drawn before.

Step 3: Join the Vertical Support and Fence Lid

In the centre of marked alignments, mark 4 to 5 points where you will drill pan screws. But before that, take a forstner bit and drill out mortise at these points. The mortise should be deep enough that the head of the pan screws fits in completely.

After drilling mortise, change the forstner bit with the regular bit. Set the lid and vertical support on the fence. But make sure the drilled side of vertical wood is facing towards you so you can have a perfect estimate of where to drill.

Now drill out the pan screws on the mortise. Consequently, this will ensure the perfect assembling of your jig.

Step 4: Cut the Back Support of the Fence

After the fence lid and vertical support are tightly packed together, measure the length of the remaining vertical side of fence, starting from the fence’s lid to the surface of saw’s table. Again, this should be strictly precise.

For upright position, you can cut an inch or two above the measured length. Then trim down the excess wood by the help of a rasp or file.

Step 5: Join the Last Piece of Your Jig

Once the last piece of wood is cut, place it along the fence lid and clamp them together at both ends. Drill three pilot holes on top where the lid and this support meet. After that, remove the back support and drill hanger bolts in the fence lid where the pilot holes were drilled.

Once done, make the holes drilled in the back support wider so the hanger bolts pass through them easily. At last, join the back support and lid fastening the bolts by wing nuts.

By doing so, you can adjust the jig according to the width of the fence. If the jig is sloppy, tighten it by fastening the wing nut. If it is rigid, loosen it by slightly unfastening the nut.

Step 6: Final Step

Take a thin piece of wood having length approximately equal to the vertical support. Drill it in the back corner of your jig where you want support for the work piece.

Hence, your jig is ready now. Though making a jig is time-consuming but it can spare you a lot of time while operating.


3 Steps to Make Bevel Cuts on a Table Saw

You will need:

  • A jig
  • Digital bevel box
  • A table saw

Step 1: Set the Blade Angle

Plug out the table saw and take a digital bevel box. Place it on the table saw. Set the scale reading at zero. Now place the bevel box on the blade. The angle it indicates is the approximate angle of your table saw blade.

If you wish to change the angle, set the box scale at zero while it is on the blade. Start tilting the blade by hand wheel equipped with most of the table saws. Once the box indicates your desired angle, you are all set to make bevel cuts.

However, some table saws come with different mechanisms to tilt blade, so clearly you will be using the available option. Also, if you don’t have a bevel box you can use angle square as well.

Step 2: Align the Work Piece on Your Jig

Take the jig, set it on the fence and align work piece along with the support of jig. The time has ripe to bring your jig closer to the blade.

Step 3: Start Cutting Bevels

Finally, all you need to do is start passing your jig through the blade. Plugin the table saw, hold the jig firmly and start moving your jig. Thus, you will get the desired cuts on your work piece without any possible errors.


Conclusion

Making bevel cuts is a tricky job. The tilted blade of the table saw exerts more pressure and this might lead to inefficiency. The above-mentioned guide will help you in building the right support for your work piece. In addition, the jig will not only provide support but will help in saving time for future projects as well.

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