A friend asked if I could help come up with a good way to create a ‘wooden quilt’ wall hanging about two feet square that his wife wanted for her sewing room. The picture above is one of four identical 3-1/2” square x 1/4” deep patterns that are located near the corners of the larger pattern. While different size members are involved in the larger pattern, the jig I came up with can be used to make the entire quilt pattern.
The pattern is quite interesting in its 3-dimensional look. If it looks the same each time you look away and look back again, there’s something wrong with your eyes – or with mine. I never know for sure what I’ll see, but usually it’s either – a downward view of three identical 3-D blocks coming together at their bases – a symmetrical 3-D ‘hip roof’ over blocks in the shape of a cross – or a pair x-shaped, 3-D “><” shaped blocks with a higher triangular-shaped block rising out of the “V” in the back of the other blocks. You may well see a different pattern.
To make the block pieces easier to cut in multiples, I made a few adaptations to a fairly common miter sled as shown below. Hidden by the slotted hardboard stop is a short section of aluminum track. The combination of the track and the slots allows the that stop to be placed anywhere in its range. For this pattern, the stop is so located that its bottom edge is the stop for some of the cuts – while the edge parallel to the blade is used for others. There is another slotted, adjustable stop secured to the front of the sled using two round-head bolts into two barrel-bolts. The latter is used for cutting the square members of the pattern.
To use the jig for this pattern, two different widths of wooden strips are cut as a preliminary step. Then, by using two edges of the top stop and the front stop, all of the pieces of this pattern can be cut accurately – and in any quantity desired, without further adjustment to the jig. The sample pattern shown above was cut with an 80-tooth blade, and assembled and glued without the need for edge sanding.
The jig is made to run in the single miter slot I have on my saw – and works quite well. Still, I would have used two slots if I had them. The base is 3/4” MFD; the angled pieces and ‘blade block’ are scrap pieces of Philippine Mahogany; and the blade guard is 1/4” plexiglass. To avoid cutting too deeply into the ‘blade block’, I place a stop block on my table saw fence which is then located about a quarter inch off the right side of the sled. This sled is not limited to cutting ‘quilts’ of course, and works quite well on any 45 deg miter cut up to about 4” in length.
If anyone has questions, please post them.
-- Dave O.