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4,285 Posts
I miss him too.
He was a definite asset to this forum.

where's my table saw?
27,895 Posts
Dead thread revived here ......

There is a good phone app for calculating miter joints for slanted sides -

Used to calculate the sides joints of my first box (pine and veneer)
Jay C. White Cloud - Good to see a post from you. Hope you find your Origami...
Sorry to disappoint, but Jay C. White Cloud has been gone for a year. This is a thread from last year that was revived. I miss him too.

The OP is long gone with 3 posts to his name.
Jay C White Cloud a.k.a. 35015 is also long gone.
There was never enough information given to come to a workable conclusion in my opinion by the OP, who is long gone..... regardless.
It's probably best to let the thread return to the archives. :|

4 Posts
Discussion Starter #23
Hello all,

Thanks to the many suggestions that helped guide me to a solution, and apologies for the lengthy silence. This project took a long time, but I should have come back here to report back sooner than this.

First, thanks to woodnthings and others who gave me some great suggestions. Really appreciated it. Second, I'm posting below my step-by-step directions for making a slant-sided box using a compound miter saw. This was my first woodworking project, and I needed directions like this to figure it out. Perhaps someone else will now be able to use these, or some of you old hands could take a look and tell me how it could be improved.

I'd like to try this again, but with a table saw. The compound miter saw was fairly accurate, but some of the corners on the boxes didn't come together as cleanly as I would have liked. Perhaps a table saw would be more accurate.

I'll try to post a photo on here as well to show you the finished projects. Thanks again for the help. It was great to hear from so many different folks.

Here's my instruction sheet:

Instructions for making a slant-sided, open top box using a compound miter saw

Rip wood to 3 ⅛”, or whatever height you’d like for the box walls. Remember that as you increase the height of the walls, you must lengthen the walls on all four sides in order to keep the bottom tray from shrinking. Here’s another way to think of it: A box with lower walls will have a larger base than a box of the same length and width with taller walls. I’ve found that 3.125” works well for a basic box.

Run workpieces through a table saw to cut the top and bottom faces of all four sides of the box at whatever angle you’ve chosen for your slant-sided box. A good choice is 38 degrees, since this angle allows you to use the saw’s preset stops for the miter and bevel cuts.

If you’d like to calculate the miter and bevel for a different degree slant, use a calculator such as the one on Jansson’s page.

Or follow these common slant, miter, and bevel combinations:

A 38 degree slant requires a bevel of 33.9 degrees and miter of 31.6 degrees. Many compound miter saws will have these angles premarked, making it easier to make accurate cuts.

A 24.5 degree slant requires a bevel of 40 degrees and miter of 22.5 degrees.

A 45 degree slant requires a bevel of 30 degrees and miter of 35.3 degrees.

Note that all of these measurements are from vertical, meaning a 0 degree slant would give you a shoebox-type of box and a 90 degree slant would give you a flat board.

After cutting the top and bottom faces of all four walls, keep the blade at that angle but drop it down to a ½” or so. Now cut a groove into the inside faces of the box sides, close to the bottom of each wall. Make the groove large enough to slide a ¼” piece of plywood into it. The plywood will be the base of the box. Most table saw blades are less than ¼” wide, so two or even three passes will be necessary. On the second and third pass, it’s not necessary to cut as deeply into the workpiece, so lower the blade even further. Set this groove about ¼” to ½” from the bottom.

Now that you have four walls cut on the top, bottom and inside face with cuts all of the same angle, it’s time to make the compound cut at the corners.

The cuts are made with the inside face of the board facing up, and either the top of the box or the bottom against the fence, depending on which end of the wall you’re cutting. The outside face will always be facing down as you cut.

Tilt the blade to the appropriate bevel angle for your project, then swing the blade to the right to the miter angle you need. As you cut, the piece you’ll use will be to the left of the blade and the scrap will be the portion to the right of the blade. Cut with the inside face up, the bottom of the box to the fence, and the top facing you. The outside face of the box faces down. It’s important to cut with the inside face facing up: the saw will cut a clean edge as it enters the workpiece, but may “blowout” the workpiece as it exits on the other side. This blowout can be sanded off when the box is finished, and it’s easier to do this on the outside of the box than on the inside.

After you make the first compound miter cut, set the workpiece aside and make the same cut on the three remaining sides of the box.

Now swing the blade to the appropriate miter angle to the left.

The piece you end up using will still be to the left of the blade, and scrap to the right, but now you will put the top of the box against the fence. Make your cuts on all four pieces. Use a fence to make sure the two ends of the box are the same length and that the two sides are the same length.

Tape the sides of the box together to ensure the angles were correctly cut. Cut the base out of ¼” plywood and glue up the box.


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