Cutting a Triangular Obelsik

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Blog entry by Jim Jakosh posted 09-14-2012 01:31 PM 2129 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Lizzardhead, this one’s for you!!
Dave once asked me if I could make a 3 sided obelisk. I have been thinking about it and I cut a scrap of spalted beech cut to a triangular shape and set it under the bench while I thought about how to hold it. I came up with this method to safely cut the triangular piece to the center point. I made an L shaped support from scraps and then fastened the bottom of the triangle to it with 2 screws.
I first marked off the center of the triangle on the top and the bottom of the piece. Then I drew a line from the bottom corner of the first side to cut to the center of the top.
I mounted the triangle to the L block with one screw and spotted the second hole location when the side to cut was truly vertical.

Then I cut it on the band saw from the center of the top to the bottom outer edge.

I repeated that process for the the other two sides to draw the line to the top center from the base and had to use a piece of scrap under the part to support it during the cut. I cut though it in the process, but that’s okay.

The last cut was the tricky part because the center is no longer at the top of the piece because I cut that away. So I used a square to transfer the center from the bottom to the top and mark it and draw a line to the base for the last cut.

I found that you lose about 30% of the length in this last cut so you have to plan for that for your final height of the piece. On a 4 sided obelisk, the start height is the final height.
This was not a project but a just a test to see how it worked and it cut very easily and safely in this way.
Here is the final obelisk with 2 coats of Clear Matte spray:

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

4 comments so far

View chrisstef's profile


17487 posts in 3061 days

#1 posted 09-14-2012 01:44 PM

Jim … i treied cutting one of these when i was doing my lombardi trophy replica … it melted my brain trying to figure it out. Youre a smart fella i say! I will use this, thank you.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View wiswood2's profile


1138 posts in 3750 days

#2 posted 09-14-2012 04:02 PM

Great job.

-- Chuck, wiswood2

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20764 posts in 3160 days

#3 posted 09-14-2012 05:22 PM

I’m glad someone will get some use of this,Chrisstef. I knew I could do it, but it took a while to find out how.
The important part is that the side you are cutting is vertical and held that way through the cut. I tried holding it on a spacer block and it would roll from side do side. You will need to start with a longer than you need block for the loss on top and some off the bottom if you don’t want any holes in it. Like if you want a 10” high obelisk, I’d start with a 14” blank. Good luck…...........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2744 days

#4 posted 09-15-2012 01:57 AM

That is very a impressive solution. I got a pounding headache just trying to follow along! If I ever need one of these, I’m gonna hire you to cut it.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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