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Hi all, beginner woodworker here. I am helping my son with a fairly simple coffee table, but it calls for a 60 degree cut in a 2x2 for a cross piece. I tried this with a power miter saw, clamping the board 90 degrees to the fence and cutting -- BAD idea -- the saw kickbacked major, damaged the table insert (where the blade goes thru) and scared the crap out of me. Then tried a 90 degree jig, but still had trouble. I tried cutting with a circ saw, but unable to get angle right. Finally resorted to hand saw, and angle is OK, but the edge is not perpendicular.

Any suggestions? I was considering using a hand miter saw, and turning the piece 90 degrees to the fence like I tried with the power saw -- it may not work, but at least it wont kill me!

thanks,

hhn
 

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What other tools do you have? I suspect the problem with the miter saw may have been the blade; one with a high hook angle would do that, what about clamping the work piece down and trying it. Anyway, I think the miter box trick will work as well. If you have a table saw and tenon jig, you can stand the piece on end with the jig and cut it (if it's not too long). It could also be done on a band saw. Lastly, maybe it could also be cut with an everyday hand saw.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your input. I have a jigsaw, and tried that too, but hard to get a straight line at a shallow angle like this. No table saw. I tried a regular hand saw, and again, the shallow angle made it difficult (again, I'm not the best woodworker). Actually the best result was using a hacksaw of all things. It got the angle fine, but the end of the piece was not very perpendicular. I had been considering buying a bandsaw anyway -- would that work well for something like this?

I know I should consider a table saw, but I work in the medical field, and have seen too many bad table saw injuries -- I know if you are careful, that shouldn't be a concern, but the miter saw incident kind of freaked me out.

thanks for your help

hhn
 

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You can use the mitersaw but you need to add an auxiliary table and continuous fence. This will prevent the work from getting sucked into the gap between the factory fences and allow you to attach a block to position the work and keep it secure.

The saw at 0 degrees is actually 90 degrees. 60 is the compliment of 30. Leave the saw at 90 and set the reference block at 30. Just cut a 30 on the end of the block and keep that angle against the fence.

Auxiliary tables and fences are great for many cuts. Set the depth of the cut so you don't cut through. I'll try loading a pic. I'll just place some boards and hold them by hand to show what I mean on my saw. Your work piece can be held or clamped. Set to the left of the blade.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the explanation and the photo! That looks much more stable than what I was trying to do. One more question -- my miter saw doesn't have a depth adjustment (that I know of). So would this still work but the fence and table would be sacrificed?

Thanks again

Hhn
 

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where's my table saw?
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I'm not clear here

Hi all, beginner woodworker here. I am helping my son with a fairly simple coffee table, but it calls for a 60 degree cut in a 2x2 for a cross piece. thanks, hhn
Is it a 60 degree angle on the piece OR is it two 30 degree piece mated together.?

A 60 degree cut would require you set the miter guage to 30 degrees,.... simple. :yes:
A 30 degree cut would require a jig. For example here's a 22 1/2 degree cut using a 45 degree "jig" spacer off the fence. Acute angles, less than 45 degrees require a spacer because the saw won't swing far enough around.


The degree setting on the miter guage and the miter saw are "away from 90 degrees" so, to get a 60, set it to 30. To get a 50, set it to 40 etc.


The long version and discussion/explanation is here:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/angles-setting-miter-saw-9644/
 

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This is my depth adjustment. Your's may be similar. If you don't have one, just don't cut all the way through the jig. My first picture is only of the jig, doesn't show the work piece. Some of the other responders pictures are incorrect for a 60 degree angle, they are showing 30.

Can't upload a photo, will try later.
 

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where's my table saw?
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Huh?

My photo, the only one shows a 60 degree angle on the workpiece, not on the miter guage. Which are you referring to? If that's not a 60 degree angle on the workpiece, I'll buy you a Diablo saw blade and ship it to you.

The speed square shows 60 also, same piece of wood:




Some of the other responders pictures are incorrect for a 60 degree angle, they are showing 30.
 

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[quote="]I know I should consider a table saw, but I work in the medical field, and have seen too many bad table saw injuries -- I know if you are careful, that shouldn't be a concern, but the miter saw incident kind of freaked me out.
[/quote]

Any power tool used wrong is dangerous and can hurt you. You already had a serious warning with the kickback.

I've seen serious injuries caused by just about every tool in the shop: sanders; grinders; routers; nailers (fatal); miter saws; jointer; planer; and, the table saw.

All you have to do is misuse them, or fail to read and follow the safety warnings.
 

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Any power tool used wrong is dangerous and can hurt you. You already had a serious warning with the kickback.

I've seen serious injuries caused by just about every tool in the shop: sanders; grinders; routers; nailers (fatal); miter saws; jointer; planer; and, the table saw.

All you have to do is misuse them, or fail to read and follow the safety warnings.
+1 I might add, you can also get run over crossing the street. :smile:
 

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Warning, Warning, Warning.

Being born is dangerous. It could cost you your life!!! You start dying immediately.

It is best to stay safely in the womb.

George
 

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where's my table saw?
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Yup!

I've tried crawling back in there several times, no luck, the entrance is smaller or something. :blink:
 

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My photo, the only one shows a 60 degree angle on the workpiece, not on the miter guage. Which are you referring to? If that's not a 60 degree angle on the workpiece, I'll buy you a Diablo saw blade and ship it to you.

The speed square shows 60 also, same piece of wood:

A typical miter saw will swing on an angle to at least 45 degrees in either direction. Saws vary, my Bosch swings 60 to the right and 50 to the left, but not all brands or models swing quite that far. The OP apparently has a miter saw that doesn't swing all the way to 60 so he has to deal with the limits of his saw. There are several ways to safely and accurately make such cuts on the miter saw. I suggested one. The OP also listed his tools which didn't include a table saw.

I know what you are thinking but a 60 degree cut is a steep angle, more than 45. To draw a 60 with a speed square, you register the T shaped end to the edge of the board, just like you were going to mark a 90 degree cut. You keep the pivot point against the board edge but swing the square until you line up with 60. The cuts you showed on your miter saw and miter bar are well within the swing of miter saws and less than a 45, they are 30's. A pic with the square.
 

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I think I can load a pic of my depth adjustment. It's a bolt that contacts a tab, nut under to lock it in place. It's behind the saw. I'll loosen the lock nut and turn the bolt so the saw blade just cuts into the wood about 1/8".
Guess the pic is too big.
 

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where's my table saw?
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I don't want to take this much further

But the angle you show is 30 degrees not 60. I've worked with draftsman's traingles for 50 years and I know what a 30/60 triangle is. I used them in high school drafting, in Architecture in college, at General Motors Design, and at home and I have 3 or 4 sets, several T squares a drafting machine, and 2 drafting tables. I know of what I speak.



I stand by my assertion that you will get a 60 degree angle on the workpiece IF you set either the miter guage on the table saw OR the angle arm on the miter saw at 30 degrees, because the angle is "away from 90 degrees" or the compliment of the setting. Like this:



 
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