Cutting miters - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
Old 03-22-2019, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Cutting miters

I am at my wits end with this. All I’m trying to do is form an X inside of a square. I can’t for the life of me figure out the correct angle for this. Does anyone have a good tip or a good method of doing this?
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Old 03-23-2019, 01:04 AM
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I donno ... that's a bit vague

I'll take a stab at it regardless. A square has 90 degree corners and the sides are of equal length. To make a "X" inside, you would bisect the corners, drawing a diagonal across from corner to corner, which gives you a 45 degree angle. That oughta do it...

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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Old 03-23-2019, 02:02 AM
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Are you trying to do something like this?

If so, then, yes the cuts are 90* and 45*

But it only works if the frame is truly SQUARE, with all sides equal length and all corners at 90*

(If you've got a rectangle instead of a square, the answer is different)
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NVwoodworker is offline

Old 03-23-2019, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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I’m sorry guys I posted this after my bedtime last night and I was pissed off because I went through a whole 2x4x8 trying to make these damn things. I have posted a photo of the end table I’m building and the RECTANGLE I’m wanting to place the X into is facing the front of the photo. It’s 24” wide by 18” tall.
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Old 03-23-2019, 12:14 PM
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I would just lay a length of 2x4 where you want it and mark it from the back. Cut to those lines. Install.

In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
Terry Q is offline
Old 03-23-2019, 12:24 PM
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Lay a straight edge on the diagonal from inside corner to inside corner. Measure the angles. Those will be your saw angles.
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Old 03-23-2019, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Q View Post
I would just lay a length of 2x4 where you want it and mark it from the back. Cut to those lines. Install.

In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
That is what I would do as well, use the lines to set a bevel square, use bevel square to set saw blade.

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
― Marcus Aurelius
FrankC
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Old 03-23-2019, 03:25 PM
where's my table saw?

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Stretch and tape a sheet of paper across the opening......

Rub the corners with a piece of crayola to trace the outline on the paper. Now you have an exact template of the opening. You can now draw your pieces on the paper creating the size and width that you think you want .... it's only paper and you haven't wasted any wood yet ...... When it looks good to you, make the pieces using the angles from the paper template. The intersection will be the most difficult to make, a cross lap joint is required. Again the paper template will help you with that. If both ends are the same, you are fortunate, if not minor adjustments can be made.

Here's the closest link I could find:

and this:
https://sawdustgirl.com/20-x-leg-bench/

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:40 PM
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If you want to use math to calculate the angle of the diagonal of a rectangle, then trigonometry (or a calculator with trig. functions) is your friend:

(example: inv tan 24/28 = 40.6*)
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NVwoodworker View Post
If you want to use math to calculate the angle of the diagonal of a rectangle, then trigonometry (or a calculator with trig. functions) is your friend:

(example: inv tan 24/28 = 40.6*)
Don't get hung up on the math.

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
― Marcus Aurelius
FrankC
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:44 PM
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I bought a roll of the 36" red builder's paper from the Box Store
just for such problems. I am severely mathematically challenged
and often times the only way I can figure something out is to make
a full size template or prototype to work from. (like WoodnThings said).
less stress on the nerves and saves material.
you'll get it - just don't overthink it.
you can get inexpensive angle finders at HF and other Box Stores.

.

.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --
John Smith_inFL is offline
Old 03-25-2019, 08:51 AM
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Or the "no math method.

Build the square or rectangle. Lay it over the stock to be fitted and with a sharp pencil mark the angles on the stock. Bring the stock to the miter saw and adjust the saw to match your markings. It will give you both the angle and the overall length and you won't have to use any measuring devices at all.

But make sure that your rectangle is square first (by measuring the diagonals with either a ruler or a story stick).
Packard is offline
Old 03-25-2019, 12:21 PM
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I would make the "X" with a lap joint in the middle, then trim to fit, taking very light cuts as I get close.

Tools:
* Table saw to make the lap joint.
* Miter saw to trim the ends of the arms to fit.

Instructions:
* Make the "X" oversize. On the table saw, cut and press fit the lap joint, but do not glue it. (Let us know if you need instructions for making a lap joint.)
* Find the exact center of the "X" in the middle of the lap joint and mark the spot.
* Mark a centering line at the end of each arm. The line should go down the middle, parallel to each arm.
* Mark a spot near the end of each arm on the centering line, close to where the corner should be. The spots must be the same distance from the center mark, and slightly "inside the square hole." You will use these spots to center the "X" in the square hole for marking.
* Mark a number (1, 2, 3, 4) on each arm so you remember which is which. (When you are trimming the arms to fit, you don't want to keep trimming the same arm by accident.)
* Hold the "X" against the outside of the square hole with the marks facing in. From the inside, line up the centering lines on the corners of the square hole. Adjust the spots on the lines so that they are the same distance from the corners, thus centering the "X" in the hole. Ask a friend to hold the "X" while you make the marks. It would help to have a light under the table while you work.
* Use the edges of the square hole to mark the corners near where the "cuts" will go on the "X". The marks should be 45 degrees and come to a point on the centering line.
* Before making the cuts, check your work to make sure the "X" is centered by measuring from the cut marks to the center spot. They should all be the same distance.
* Cut outside the marks, so that the "X" is slightly too large. Leave yourself room for trimming.
* Reassemble the "X" and test the fit carefully. Trim the corners a tiny bit at a time on a miter saw, reassembling and retesting each time. Trim the four arms evenly, so that the point of each arm stays on the centering line and the distance from each point to the center stays equal. Test after every cut; don't be tempted to make multiple cuts and then test. Keep taking tiny bites and testing the fit until it is perfect. Remember: You can always cut off, but you can't "cut on."
* Clamp and glue the lap joint.
* Sand off the marks and finish to match.

Next question:
How will you attach the "X" to the frame? Press fit and glue?
Tool Agnostic is offline
Old 03-26-2019, 09:26 AM
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the angle where the x elements meet will not be 45 degrees, unless the width and height of the opening are equal. with the 24" x 18" opening, your angles will be 37 degrees and 53 degrees (using math). or, you can cut them to fit, then trace the overlap onto each other and cut out the half lap that way...
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:29 AM
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Clarification:
The procedure I posted expects a square shape hole. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it should have more-or-less equal sides. The OP said, "... form an X inside of a square."

I also assumed that the square hole is already built based on the photo. That is why I added my comment at the end about how to attach the X. If the square hole does not exist, then I would think about jointing the X in the square to make everything stronger, but that's a different story.
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:44 AM
where's my table saw?

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It's easier to work on a paper template ......

If your template is accurate, a tracing or rubbing of the actual opening, you can try all sorts of different widths and configurations without wasting any wood. The diagonals can become the centerlines of the pieces to be set in. OR ......
There are other ways to create an "X" in an opening, one of which is to run the pieces on only one side of the diagonal. Like this first image OR cross over them like the middle image, and finally the way we talked about:

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 03-26-2019 at 10:54 AM.
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