Miter be a better way?

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Forum topic by muleskinner posted 08-08-2016 05:17 PM 581 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2460 days

08-08-2016 05:17 PM

So I’m building this five-sided box.

“Why a five sided box?” you may ask. I don’t know, I just am. Anyway, after a quick high school trig refresher, I came up with my dimensions and angles. )I’m almost embarrassed to tell you how much pencil lead it took me to figure out the segment lengths of a pentagon that circumscribes a 5” diameter circle)

My miter saw has a rather crude scale but detents for for 90, 45, 35(!?), 30, and 22.5 degrees. The 90, 45 and 30 I know from experience are accurate and assume the others are as well. But dialing it in to 36.0 degrees was problematic … make a cut, check it with my cheap ass General protractor, repeat till I’m satisfied. My first attempt was unacceptable even by my low standards, yielding only five pieces of stove wood. Then after a measurable reduction in my scrap bin, I got close enough.

But even ‘close enough’ is not perfect.

So my question is, what tools, techniques, sacrifices to the gods, do you use to get dialed in to those perfect miters?

-- Visualize whirled peas

7 replies so far

View DirtyMike's profile


637 posts in 926 days

#1 posted 08-08-2016 05:23 PM

a miter saw.

View hotbyte's profile


991 posts in 2999 days

#2 posted 08-08-2016 05:37 PM

Perhaps use your protractor to set a bevel gauge dead on 36* and then setup miter saw with bevel gauge.

View jbay's profile


2333 posts in 923 days

#3 posted 08-08-2016 05:57 PM

I take a block of scrap wood and cut the bevels on both sides of it.
Then I cut 5 rips out of it, (maybe 1/2 thick or so) Put them together dry fitting and see how the joints are.
Make adjustments, repeat until gaps are tight.

Here is an example I had showing 6 sides, but concept is the same.

View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2460 days

#4 posted 08-08-2016 06:22 PM

mike—how do you get the registration on your saw precise to a tenth of a degree? Maybe mine is just too crude for what I’m expecting from it.

hotbyte—I think one of my problems is my protractor’s scale is too small to provide the precision needed to get 36.0 degrees nuts on. On that front I did order a digital protractor that claims to be accurate to 0.1 degree.

jbay—Now that’s what I’m talking about … simple solutions for the clueless.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View oldnovice's profile


6896 posts in 3392 days

#5 posted 08-08-2016 06:28 PM

I use router bits for angles like those because I don’t want to tilt my table saw blade as it just tales too long and typically, just when I get it set, I need it back to perpendicular.

Eagle America has a number of angles, except the one you need.

Harvey Tool also has a number of different angles but NOT 36°!

So, in my case I would not make a five sided box … yes I would but I would still use a router in a router table, get the closest bit, and add a fixture to get the correct angle or tilt the router itself.
As you see, I am a routerholic!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Aj2's profile


1426 posts in 1822 days

#6 posted 08-08-2016 09:14 PM

This is where a handplane shines.I cut my miters on my Scms with a Forrest chop master blade.It gets me very close but some woods behave better then other.So I use a Ln Iron miter plane and shoot the 45s to near perfecting.
You could easily do the same in fact if you stuck with it by this time next year you could be making that box with tapers side. A low angle jack plane with the bevel up will fit your needs well if this is the kind of work you like doing.
Good luck


-- Aj

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 1477 days

#7 posted 08-08-2016 09:24 PM

Incda M1000 miter gauge.

Wixey digital angle gauge.


-- Madmark -

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