How do you make a pyramid on TS to use as a post cap

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Forum topic by Bureaucrat posted 06-14-2008 05:27 AM 1807 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18340 posts in 3794 days

06-14-2008 05:27 AM

Topic tags/keywords: endcap question oak tablesaw milling arts and crafts

I am trying to cut a pyramid to sit on top of some bed posts. I have taken a square piece of 3/4” stock, set the rip fence at 3/8” away from the blade, tilted the blade 12 degrees and set the height to allow for a small plateau in the center. I ran the stock through cutting the north edge, then the east, south and west. When I was done, none of the diagonals that ran away from the plateau corners met the corners of the piece.
Then I tried a second strategy cutting the North face, then the south, the west and then the east. This time, 2 of the diagonals went from the plateau corners to the corners of the piece. Still not what I’m looking for.

Probably not all that clear what I’m trying to do, but does any one know how I can get the diagonals to run correctly.

PS. I checked the TS blade and fence for accuracy.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

7 replies so far

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3886 days

#1 posted 06-14-2008 05:42 AM

I’m not sure what you’re trying, but I tell you how I put the chamfers on the ends of post. Depending on the length you need, cut your post then set the fence for a reference, or use a miter gauge with a stop, set a little longer than you need. Using the miter gauge cut each angle and rotate the piece until all four sides are done. If the far end was square, they should all come out the same.

View FlWoodRat's profile


732 posts in 4051 days

#2 posted 06-14-2008 10:15 AM

You said that you checked your TS blade and fence for accuracy. Did you check your miter gauge? If your miter is square to the blade AND you use a stop block all of your diagonals should line up. Good Luck.


-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View matter's profile


210 posts in 3911 days

#3 posted 06-14-2008 12:58 PM

I’d use the miter saw. It would give you more visibility to account for any inaccuracies

-- The only easy wood project is a fire

View Doug S.'s profile

Doug S.

295 posts in 3850 days

#4 posted 06-14-2008 02:15 PM

How are you holding that small square as you’re running it through? You said you’re setting the fence at 3/8” so I’m guessing this small piece is just going through with push sticks (which is a bit scary)?? If that’s the case, my first suspicion is that it’s not staying tight to the fence. I think I’d try screwing this (thur the back) onto a piece of 3/4 MDF or ply to give you a bigger surface to keep against the fence.

-- Use the fence Luke

View jcees's profile


1068 posts in 3941 days

#5 posted 06-14-2008 03:29 PM

I need more info too. I’ve done quite a few pyramids for my porch, fences, mailbox et al and I haven’t experienced your problem. The ones I’ve made are in the neighborhood of 7 to 9 inches square and were made up of four pieces biscuited together in order to not expose any end grain to the elements. I made very sure that the work pieces were “dead” square before running them through the tablesaw. As my 10” blade won’t cut all the way to the peak either, I used a flush cutting saw to sneak up on them then refined them with a file and sandpaper.

Working with thinner [3/4”] stock, I’d have to use a sled or some other device to make the operation safe and to make sure the piece didn’t move on me while being cut. You might want to check ALL of your devices for square too. Make sure you can count on them. Good luck.

Some pics of your setup might help too.


P.S. You can see how they turned out here—

-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View bbqking's profile


328 posts in 3865 days

#6 posted 06-14-2008 10:10 PM

When I cut pyramids, I measure down from the top of the pyramid ( end of uncut stock ) to where you want your tapers to begin. Then I mark the piece on all 4 sides at this distance. Then set your blade tilt and saw to your mark. If your pyramid does not come to a point, it will instead have a small “flat” spot but come to a peak. If you want a plateau on top, move your stock in and cut it now. No one will ever know that it wasn’t a perfect pyramid. If you want a perfect pyramid, move the stock in on either side of the “flat peak” and cut a hair off either side till they meet. That’s a lot of words for a simple cut, but try it once and you’ll know what I mean.

-- bbqKing, Lawrenceville

View Tony Z's profile

Tony Z

205 posts in 3932 days

#7 posted 06-14-2008 11:36 PM

Those results are usually because the stock is not square. Check that.

-- Tony, Ohio

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