Question on Building a coffin

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Forum topic by Keith posted 09-07-2015 05:26 PM 1195 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Keith's profile


12 posts in 2283 days

09-07-2015 05:26 PM

A friend is of a friend is soon to pass on and the friend asked me to build him a pine coffin with old west shape.
I do t know how to cut the 58.5 degree miter for one of the corners as my table saw only tilts to 45 degrees.
Can’t get my brain to wrap around this problem. I’m sure its simple to do (if you know how). The part of the coffin i need the miter cut on is 16” long and 20” high with the miter cut on the 16’” sides. How can the cut be made with the panel laying flat on my table saw. Or is that possible?

Thanks for any help.

Ps…wife will not come near shop till casket is gone. Lol

8 replies so far

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3010 days

#1 posted 09-07-2015 05:41 PM

Instead of putting the board flat on the table, can you put it on end and use a tall auxiliary fence on your table saw?

Or do you have a radial arm saw? It would make the 58 degree cut with the board flat on the table.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2470 days

#2 posted 09-07-2015 05:45 PM

I do t know how to cut the 58.5 degree miter for one of the corners as my table saw only tilts to 45 degrees.
- Keith

I hope I understood your question correctly.
90°-58.5°= 31.5°,You could set the table saw blade to cut at 31.5°. set up your table saw to cut at 31.5 degree.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 2800 days

#3 posted 09-07-2015 05:58 PM

The other alternative is to mark it, cut it a little proud with a handsaw and use a plane to bring the joint together.
This is what they did in the West (if they used the plane).

-- David in Damascus, MD

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2994 days

#4 posted 09-07-2015 07:18 PM

The limit of the table saw is 45 degrees, half of a 90 degree corner.
Your corners are bigger than 90 degrees because you are building a 6 sided box.
If your bevel is 58 degrees then you are trying to cut half of a 116 degree corner
The indicator on the saw shows a vertical blade angle ( what is actually 90 degrees) as 0 degrees.
So, as said above, you have to subtract the angle you want from 90 degrees. 90 – 58.5 = 31.5 degrees because the saw indicator is reversed and counts up from 90 to 0. Well, actually from 45 to 0.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2511 days

#5 posted 09-07-2015 07:40 PM

You may want to check the statutes in Florida.

Here in Texas I could be buried in a rubbermade tub, (shhhh, don’t tell my wife)!

I am working at building my own roaster and toaster, (box to cremate me in), although I know that in a few states there are some laws that make a store bought box a requirement.

Also, if you are allowed to use a box that you built for your friend, make sure the undertaker doesn’t attach a surcharge to family for the job. That is against federal law.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View greg48's profile


601 posts in 2781 days

#6 posted 09-07-2015 10:33 PM

Sounds like you have gotten adequate response for your miter question, but before building the casket, you may wish to check with the local cemetery as to their requirements. I built one for a friends father and we had to observe some maximum outside dimensions so that the box would fit into their standard concrete sarcophagus.

-- Greg, No. Cal. - "Gaudete in Domino Semper"

View Keith's profile


12 posts in 2283 days

#7 posted 09-08-2015 01:55 AM

Thanks guys, I think I’ve got it. Iwas trying to work from 0 degrees with the blade straight up not considrring to figure from 90. Got the miters cut and they fit almost perfect. As far as the legal aspect ?? I will ask the friend if he has considered it .

Thanks again for the solution

View evilbadger's profile


8 posts in 1001 days

#8 posted 09-22-2015 07:04 PM

Sounds like an interesting project Keith.

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