cutting a star

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Forum topic by davyj posted 06-19-2016 12:52 PM 778 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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38 posts in 2995 days

06-19-2016 12:52 PM

have seen a star cut from barn siding some where that the center of the star was an open star also. first seemed like a simple thing to do. Having no table saw, wandering if its possible to do on my miter saw? (Makita s-compound).

-- retired GM/Delphi , Retired USN/USAFR

2 replies so far

View BobAnderton's profile


283 posts in 2935 days

#1 posted 06-20-2016 05:55 PM

This is not exactly what you asked for, as this is more about making a wooden star that has beveled elements, but the same approach would make a flat star if you used flat stock. Getting the open star in the center might be a little more to think about, but this will get you rolling in the right direction I think. This does use a table saw however, so that may make it somewhat less useful for you, but it may still help in your thinking about it. Note that the 18 degree angles he’s cutting can’t be cut on a miter saw as the saw would have to be set at 72 degrees (from perpendicular). (The miter saw calls perpendicular zero).

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2837 days

#2 posted 06-20-2016 06:33 PM

Yes, you can use your miter saw to cut stars like you described. I’ve done it hundreds of times. Start with making your 72°cuts first. The 36° cuts can be easily made with the stock resting against the miter saw fence. BobAndeton’s comment above are some good pointers.

The technique I use to cut 72° miters is;
1. building the 18° jig. For this I use a 2×10 or 2×12 with a 2×6 secured flush along the edge I wish to have against the miter saw fence. Place this in the saw, cut an 18° miter. I use a smaller board on the top so I can clamp the jig to the saw fence. Sometimes I’ll use a second clamp at the front edge of the jig to clamp it down also.

2. Install a sacrificial fence against the miter saw fence. Make an 18° miter cut. The gives you a reference point where to setup the 18° jig and keeps the stock you’re cutting from creeping during the miter cut. The creeping I’m referring to is the saw blade literally trying to pull the board you’re cutting out the back of the saw past the fence. The pieces of stock that you are cutting the 72° angle on should all have 90° square cuts on them before setting up the 18° jig.

3. Use a long enough piece of stock (24” long) that you can hold in place without having your hand anywhere near the spinning saw blade. Place stock against the jig and cut. Do not move any pieces of wood until saw blade has fully stopped.

Good luck.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

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