Custom Angle Jig For Coffin Lids?

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Forum topic by wedjlok posted 11-19-2013 03:51 PM 1894 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1616 days

11-19-2013 03:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw jig angle jig coffin lid

This is mainly a question, and my first post…

I make wooden coffins, toe pincher style, small boxes about 13” long or so and usually used for jewelry boxes, decor, etc. So my issue is that when I go to make the lids, it’s a bit of an annoyance to cut the angles on a table saw. I have a book (Do It Yourself Coffins For Pets And People, by Dale Power) that suggests making the lids in two pieces and doweling them together, which is the direction I’d like to go in (a left side and a right side doweled together). That way, I don’t have to use boards that are as wide as the lid itself when finished, but only half as wide.

So the book shows a jig (two actually) that allows you to take a board and do the upper angle cut and the lower angle cut for the coffin lid. It’s a bit confusing to me, to be honest, and the angles are not the ones I am using, nor for the size since the jig in the book is actually for a life sized coffin.

Would you have any suggestions about making a jig for this purpose? I have a pic on my Etsy shop so you can see exactly what I’m talking about:

Any help would be great!

5 replies so far

View UpstateNYdude's profile


914 posts in 1949 days

#1 posted 11-19-2013 04:07 PM

Wouldn’t a tapering jig solve your problem? Set the top angle on the jig and then cut, set the bottom angle cut again.

-- Nick, “I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

View Loren's profile


10262 posts in 3614 days

#2 posted 11-19-2013 04:08 PM

This may trip you out:

1. raise your table saw blade to 3/4” high.

2. Make an attachment to your table saw fence which
protrudes flush with the left side of the table saw
teeth or extending a bit past. The blade should barely
graze the board (called a template guide board here).

3. Make a template of the shape you want in 1/4” or thicker

4. Tape your template to the piece you want to cut out
using double sides tape or use screws if you can tolerate
the holes in the finished part.

5. Run the template against the template guide board,
trimming the workpiece underneath to match the
template (or a little bit larger if the template guide
board extends past to blade teeth).

Use push blocks to handle the work piece.

The same technique works with the band saw and router table.

The problem with taper jigs for this cut is little variations will
make the obtuse corners at the widest section of the
coffin lid not always match up. It can be fussy to track
down the issues, though of course a shape can be refined
easily on a belt sander or with a hand plane.

View wedjlok's profile


3 posts in 1616 days

#3 posted 11-19-2013 11:05 PM

Great idea, although something I would have never even considered. Thanks! I’ll have to give them a try.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2647 posts in 2888 days

#4 posted 11-20-2013 01:24 AM

If I were to make these (I do make a LOT of boxes) I would make the whole box, top ,sides and bottom all glued up and finished. Then cut off the lid in a band saw and attach hinges. Perfect fit ,quick and easy.

-- Website is

View wedjlok's profile


3 posts in 1616 days

#5 posted 11-20-2013 01:35 AM

Great idea. I had considered that, just like making a one piece cabinet box and then cutting it open. It’s an odd shape, so the fit would be perfect that way each time.

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