How to use compound mitre saw

Written by c.l. rease
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How to use compound mitre saw
Making a picture frame demonstrates how compound mitre saws work. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

A compound mitre is a cut in wood that contains two angles. To envision a compound mitre, think of a tapered square vase. The sides of the vase taper -6.67 degrees Crom top to bottom. If you wanted to make that vase out of wood, you would need to make a 45-degree standard corner mitre on a 20-degree pitch. The compound mitre saw is designed to make this type of cut as well as standard mitres and straight cuts. Learn to use a compound mitre saw by constructing a picture frame.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Compound mitre saw
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Pencil
  • 10-foot length of decorative trim
  • Angle finder
  • Wood glue
  • Corner joint fasteners

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  1. 1

    Set the compound mitre box to cut a 45-degree angle. Tilt the saw's head to cut 5 degrees towards the finish piece of wood.

  2. 2

    Depress the trigger on the compound mitre box and make two compound cuts, one at each end of the piece of decorative trim. Measure 24 inches from each end of the decorative trim that has been cut with the compound mitre saw and make a mark with a pencil. Rotate the saw to cut opposite of the original two compound cuts.

  3. 3

    Set the 24-inch pieces aside, spin the decorative trim and cut off the ends of the trim without changing the set-up of the compound mitre saw. Measure and mark 12 inches from both ends of the trim, rotate the compound mitre saw back to the original position and cut the decorative trim at the 12-inch marks.

  4. 4

    Place glue on each corner and use corner fasteners to hold the corners in place. Set the decorative frame flat on the ground.

  5. 5

    Examine the frame. You will notice that the interior edges of the frame are sitting off the ground and the exterior edges of the frame are sitting flat. This is the result of the compound mitre, cut with the compound mitre saw.

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