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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi. Does anyone have any idea of how I could best make a group of perfectly equal-sized, equilateral triangles? (Each of the three sides of the individual triangles would be around 5" long.) I've attached an image of something that would be similar to what I'm trying to make. I spoke to a guy at my mill but he was unsure as to the best method to use as his blade was too small to handle it. He suggested making a template and trying to cut individual triangles from a 6 x 6 inch post. What he said could work, but does anyone have a better idea that would generate uniform pieces? Thank you!
 

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I'd build a one-off sled for the table saw, set to the correct angle.

Set a stop, run the stock in to the stop, cut, flip the stock, run it back in to the stop, keep going until dinner.

The problem is not the method, the problem is the angle.
 

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If you need them to stack together like that, maybe glue up a panel that's the size of the whole group. Then carefully layout each side, cut on a bandsaw, and clean up the cut using a jointer or a hand plane. Then, if you look at the group, all of the cuts are parallel to one face or another, so you can make the little triangles with straight cuts using a fence on the band saw. Maybe tape or hot glue the pieces back together between cuts if that makes it easier. Might not really need to though if you're careful with your layout lines and not moving the bandsaw fence until you're sure all the cuts at that depth have been made.
 

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I would make them hollow, still very dangerous to cut. Since the angles would be a sixty degree miter you would need to set your saw on a thirty degree angle and run the wood vertical against the fence. It also tends to snipe at the end of the cut so it would be better to use a board a couple inches wider than the finished part and trim the snipe off after you have the cut made. The ends would be mitered on a forty five degree angle with a part to insert.
 

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A 10" table saw set to 30 degrees

If you use a 10" table saw and set the blade over to 30 degrees, you will get the necessary 60 degree included angle at the corners. Now the issue is the length of the sides. The 10" blade will only have about a 3" depth of cut at 30 degrees, so that's your limitation for the sides. You can rip any length pieces first, then cut them to your 5" dimension afterward.

Using a bandsaw, you will need 5" height under the guides. Then you would follow a line scribed on the top of the piece, not very accurate, and then you will need to sand the surfaces precisely..... not all that easy either.

If you have a 12" tablesaw, you can get a greater depth of cut at 30 degrees, so your sides can be longer. A 14" or 16" table saw would be even better.

A zero clearance throat inset is a must in this case because the thin edge will drop down into the gap and you will lose accuracy or worse yet, it may jamb and kickback.
 
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I would start with a 6X6 finished to height and length of triangles on planer. Cut triangles oversize with bandsaw, make a sled for belt or disk sander and finish the two sawn edges to size. Sander sled would have a stop for final size when sanding second face.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If you use a 10" table saw and set the blade over to 30 degrees, you will get the necessary 60 degree included angle at the corners. Now the issue is the length of the sides. The 10" blade will only have about a 3" depth of cut at 30 degrees, so that's your limitation for the sides. You can rip any length pieces first, then cut them to your 5" dimension afterward.
So if I rip it on a regular, 10" table saw, on a 30 degree angle, then what you're saying is these angled cuts would just be a good, uniform starting guide that I could then follow through to the full 5" depth on another saw, like a bandsaw? (After I had cut out each individual piece from the length?) Am I following you correctly? Thanks so much for this.
 

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How wide are the sides?

So if I rip it on a regular, 10" table saw, on a 30 degree angle, then what you're saying is these angled cuts would just be a good, uniform starting guide that I could then follow through to the full 5" depth on another saw, like a bandsaw? (After I had cut out each individual piece from the length?) Am I following you correctly? Thanks so much for this.
If the sides are 5" in length, then the only answer I have is a bandsaw. Yes, you could rip a 3" kerf and finish them with another saw, maybe a handsaw if you don't have a bandsaw.

What I was saying is, a 10" blade at full cutting capacity at a 30 degree angle will only be about 3", maybe a bit less and that's the limitation.


A table saw gives a smoother cut and is more accurate than a bandsaw, BUT it is limited to the depth of cut. You specified that the blocks need to be very accurate, so I suggested a table saw. IF you need them a larger size than 3", you would need a larger table saw OR a bandsaw and a lot of sanding on a large disc with a jig. All of this is possible, you just need the appropriate machines.
 
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Some methods posted are impossible due to blade height, others have inherent inaccuracies.
Why not simply take 1" X 5 or 6" planed board or ripped MDF, whatever.
Set normal miter saw to 30 degrees.
Clamp stop in place at appropriate dimension.
Alternately flip work piece over between cuts to get 60/60/60 pieces 3/4" thick.
Carefully stack & glue edges flush, optional brad nailer handy here.
7 ply of 3/4" = 5&1/4'.
Can be fined tuned to any size with planer and miter saw ajustment.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Great. So I might start with a table saw and finish with a Japanese pull saw and a sand. Really appreciate your help with this. :)
 

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I have a 10" table saw, a 12" miter saw and a band saw that can clear 5 inches. Thanks guys.
A lot of workable ideas here. The old saying, "If I only had an hour to chop down a tree, I would spend the first 45 minutes sharpening my ax" is very much in play here. If you use a bandsaw or similar, you'll end up working the sides for quite a time and it will be difficult to sneak up on and hit the 5" exactness you're targeting. I would build two custom sleds I could run against a rip fence, each consisting of two lengths of 3/4" material, a base and an angle. The work would be screwed to the angle and the screw holes located in areas I would cut off later.
I would have to use two of these sled because my 12' (130mm) TS will only cut 4", so I'd make a separate sled for the top cut, then flip it and attach to another for the bottom cut.
Personally I would keep the blade vertical and attach the wood to the sled at an angle. Running this through the saw both hands would be on the sled and nowhere near the work or the blade.

The TS to japanese rip saw to hand plane has some appeal, but it would take longer I think.
 

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this may be a bit different ...

Get yourself a 4" or 5" thick slab,about 36" long and 5" wide. Layout your cuts including the blade width on both sides of the slab. It will require some serious accuracy. The advantage to this method is that you are not dealing with separate smaller pieces at angles which are difficult to control accuractely.

Set the table saw to 30 degrees, making a kerf across the slab at the maximum depth of cut possible and at the spacing necessary for a completed cut to be correct at 5". Now you have a kerf 1/2 way through. :smile3: A miter gauge fence extension is the only way to insure accurate cuts since it will show the kerf to help align the succeeding cuts.


Now, flip the slab end for end and align the kerf to the 30 degree kerf on the miter gauge fence, so that the next cut will be a clean, all the way through. Alternate flipping end for end with just turning it over to use the previously cut surface as the side for the next block.

Full disclosure here, I haven't done this, so there may be issues I haven't thought about!:surprise2:

Some ideas here may be useful:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/leg-brace-alternative-method-challenge-33352/

 
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Solid equilateral triangles

Since these are basically segments that you would cut if you were doing a segmented bowl, I would use a chop saw or a jig on the table saw to cut segments. Look up instructions on how to cut segments for a segmented bowl. It will take a trial piece to get the stop set right on which ever saw you use.

Take a long board and cut your first angle. Measure the length of the cut side and set the stop at this length and then flip the board to make the last cut. If your board is a little wider than it needs to be, your pieces should come out perfect.
 
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