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Cutting Octagon Legs on Bandsaw

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Forum topic by Ericc22 posted 02-24-2017 02:47 AM 1834 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Ericc22

10 posts in 1225 days


02-24-2017 02:47 AM

Greetings,

I have 2 1/2” square lumber that I need to turn into octagons. These are going to be legs for a table. I am looking for suggestions on how to use the bandsaw to make the octagon shape.

I first tried tilting the table on the bandsaw. It would not get past 42 degrees, but even if it would, it would not work as the tilt takes away my ability to use the fence. Without the fence, and with that tilt, it is hard for me to make an even cut for the full length of the rip.

Any other suggestion? FYI, I am a newbie with very limited skills!


17 replies so far

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9x9

62 posts in 1078 days


#1 posted 02-24-2017 03:12 AM

You can make a “V” block jig. Put square lumber in it where it’s set up like a diamond and run it along the fence cutting the corners ( @ 3 o’clock or 9 o’clock ). Once you have it set up just rotate 90 degrees & cut next corner. It would be a lot easier on a table saw but assume you only have a band saw.

-- Youngsville, LA

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TungOil

747 posts in 333 days


#2 posted 02-24-2017 03:15 AM

my first choice would be to cut them on a tablesaw.

If I were to try this on the bandsaw, and I was unable to get the table to tilt the full 45 degrees, I would make a V shaped jig to run the parts along, then clamp that jig to the table.

It’s curious that your table will not tilt fully, check it for something binding or otherwise preventing full tilt. If you do get full tilt, you can probably set up your fence and a couple of feather boards to guide the stock and make the cuts.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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Ericc22

10 posts in 1225 days


#3 posted 02-24-2017 03:27 AM

Thanks for the feedback.

Yea, I only have a bandsaw. I do know a tablesaw is a better option but I don’t have one.

So the next question is, what is a v jig, and how do I make one (without a tablesaw)? Or do I buy one?

Sorry – I am a newbie!

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runswithscissors

2564 posts in 1863 days


#4 posted 02-24-2017 04:04 AM

Can you place your rip fence on the right side of the blade? That would let you see the cut (cutting on the left—uphill—side of the stock). And gravity would be your friend rather than opponent.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

1506 posts in 1226 days


#5 posted 02-24-2017 05:49 AM

A v-jig is basically cradle that will hold your square legs at a 45° angle on the flat band saw table. Simplest way I can think of to make one is cut a v shaped notch in a board and attach those pieces at each end of another board you sit on the table of your bandsaw. You need to find a way to hold the leg securely in the cradle so you can slide the cradle along the fence to cut the corners off the square legs.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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dalepage

317 posts in 679 days


#6 posted 02-24-2017 06:38 AM

I would make a sled to ride in the crosscut slot in the table, rather than using a fence. Like the first answer, it would have a V to hold the piece at 45 degrees.

-- Dale

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runswithscissors

2564 posts in 1863 days


#7 posted 02-24-2017 08:18 AM

Nathan: He doesn’t have a table saw to cut the V with.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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Ericc22

10 posts in 1225 days


#8 posted 02-24-2017 02:15 PM

Hi Everyone, and thanks so much for the feedback.

Unfortunately I can’t place my fence on the right side of the blade. Wish I could – that would be a great solution. I’d have to make a fence with clamps and some square stock.

I’ll see how I can come up with some V blocks. My other option is to just handplane the oak legs into octagons.

All other suggestions are most welcome!

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

1506 posts in 1226 days


#9 posted 02-24-2017 02:51 PM



Nathan: He doesn t have a table saw to cut the V with.

- runswithscissors

Probably should have been clearer. The V would be cut on bandsaw as a notch in the flat face of a board. Make 2 of them and attach at the ends of a long strip to form the cradle.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

747 posts in 333 days


#10 posted 02-24-2017 03:49 PM

Coming at this from a production mindset- I would simply find a scrap of plywood, cut a “V” notch near one end, clamp it to the bandsaw adjacent to the blade and push the leg over the V to trim the shape. make sure the notch is deep enough to still ride on the leg when you are cutting the last side (since it will already be cut). Clean up with a hand plane and you are done- no need for a fancy sled. When done, throw the plywood jig in the burning barrel.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1011 posts in 1833 days


#11 posted 02-24-2017 05:14 PM

I made a jig to cut a hexagon column on my band saw without tilting the table. I’ll take a pic when I get back home tonight.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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Ericc22

10 posts in 1225 days


#12 posted 02-24-2017 05:26 PM

That would be great Brian – thanks!!

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Kelly

1821 posts in 2783 days


#13 posted 02-24-2017 07:07 PM

If you cannot place the fence on the right, can you just clamp a piece of plywood to it to serve as a fence?

As to the limited tilt, check your stops to make sure it isn’t bottoming out on one of the adjustable bolts serving as a stop.

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waho6o9

8034 posts in 2415 days


#14 posted 02-24-2017 07:47 PM

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bbasiaga

1011 posts in 1833 days


#15 posted 02-27-2017 02:16 AM

Sorry for the late response…been a busy weekend. Mine is similar to wahoo’s.

Start with your rough shape, draw the pattern on it that you want, in this case, the hexagon. Screw the base in to this end.

 photo 20170226_194316_zpsabcggcao.jpg

Then on the other end, draw the same pattern. One screw is to hold it where you want it, the other is to prevent it from rotating.

 photo 20170226_194307_zpsbu6bwxzs.jpg
Mine rides in the miter slot.
 photo 20170226_194326_zpssxoqi7qo.jpg

If your piece is larger or smaller, you just move the L shaped brackets closer to or farther from the edge.
This was from a set of plans in woodcraft magazine, I believe. May have been woodworkers journal. It was part of making a hexagonal lamp, which you can see in my projects.

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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