Ripping Miters on plywood panels

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Forum topic by DKO posted 12-05-2011 01:00 AM 2957 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 2563 days

12-05-2011 01:00 AM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw techniques ripping mitered panels

I am making plywood pedestals for an art gallery. I would like to miter the panels so that there is no visible joint. My question: How do I rip the miters accurately and safely on a right-tilt table saw? I recall doing this once using a sacrificial fence but I can’t remember how I set it up. Anyway, any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

12 replies so far

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12 posts in 2563 days

#1 posted 12-05-2011 10:24 AM

Thanks for the help.

Here is exactly what I was looking for, sent to me by an old friend and mentor of mine who teaches classes about jigs and fixtures.

View DKO's profile


12 posts in 2563 days

#2 posted 12-05-2011 05:01 PM

Jonathan: Not if you use the jig described above – the off-cut slips under the Jig top. I’ve used it in a production setting (meaning lots and lots of cuts) and have never had a kick-back. It is important to set it up correctly, but if done right, there is no kick-back – the off-cut is always small enough to fit under the jig top. Thanks for your concern.

View DS's profile


3030 posts in 2618 days

#3 posted 12-05-2011 05:33 PM

This is cool… no more projectiles for the new guy to try and catch!—hahaha!

Your diagram is a bit hard to see… is there a link so I can download it directly?

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View DKO's profile


12 posts in 2563 days

#4 posted 12-05-2011 06:29 PM

No link, sorry. This is a handout from a course called Jigs and Fixtures offered by Cerritos College Woodworking Manufacturing in Cerritos California. A great woodworking school at a community college. A hidden gem.

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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3048 days

#5 posted 12-05-2011 06:48 PM

Are the pedestals to be painted? I have made numerous ones out of MDF with a rabbet joint, sanded and rounded over, and they visually disappear in the gallery.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View AlbertaJim's profile


47 posts in 2627 days

#6 posted 12-05-2011 07:01 PM

I’m not sure whether you have a router table or not but a miter lock bit would work very nicely as well.
It might be a bit of a pain to set up but it will do what you wish.
Almost all bit manufacturers have them.

-- My Boss was a carpenter

View DKO's profile


12 posts in 2563 days

#7 posted 12-05-2011 07:03 PM

Yeah, they will be painted, so I am also considering the simpler construction that you suggest but here’s the rub: The client wants them to be lightweight so I was thinking that I might make frames overlayed with a 1/4 or 3/8 inch skin (either ply or maybe a lighter weight MDF) which will lighten the load a bit but still maintain rigidity. They will be used by the local school district so they will get a lot of wear and tear.

There is also the issue of cost meaning time spent so the simpler construction might be the only way to go.

Whatever the final decision, having the skill of making a mitered corner like this is a good thing to know how to do anyway so…

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3846 days

#8 posted 12-05-2011 08:35 PM

These miters are a pain to do. If you have a contractor saw, forget it. The
weight of the motor will make the blade heel and throw off the cut.

The way to do it is make a big 45 degree jig that rides on the fence
and leave the blade at 90. Make sure your setup is as parallel as you
you can make it and all that. If you have a saw that can hold a
45 degree angle without heeling, make sure you have hold downs
fore and aft of the blade because the slightest lift or warp of the
stock at the point of the cut will result in a compound error that
makes for gaps in the assembly.

These cuts can also be roughed on the saw and corrected with
a 45 degree router bit with a straight edge guiding the cut.

I prefer, if possible, to avoid these long miters and make a rabbet with a
narrow tongue. If the work is to be painted your options are wide
open though.

View DKO's profile


12 posts in 2563 days

#9 posted 12-05-2011 08:47 PM


Do you have plan for the 45 degree jig that you mention?


View MrRon's profile


5190 posts in 3441 days

#10 posted 12-06-2011 07:29 PM

This is the way I would do it. Glue a 2×2, the length of the pedestal to the plywood, forming an inside corner where the inside corners of the plywood edges just touch (no bevel). Then glue a square section of wood same thickness as the plywood to form the outside corner. You can plane a small bever to each edge for accent. I have attached a sketch.

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3393 days

#11 posted 12-06-2011 07:47 PM


Agree with Lee above. If they will be painted, use mdf. Just be sure to prime well before painting as mdf can soak up some paint if not primed. Don’t ask how I know this.

Good luck!

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View chrisstef's profile


17759 posts in 3204 days

#12 posted 12-06-2011 09:29 PM

hmm why not just clamp a straight edge to your piece , tilt a circ saw to 45 and rip away.

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

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