When you need to cut an angle on the edge of a board more acute than 45 degrees, the safest method is to use a bevel jig on a table saw. While adjustable bevel jigs can be purchased, a very simple and practical 45-degree bevel jig can be made in moments with a little bit of plywood and a few screws. This jig can hold your workpiece securely, and the table saw's blade can be bevelled to make cuts with an angle of greater than 45 degrees.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 24-inch-by-24-inch piece of 3/4-inch-thick plywood
- 16-inch piece of 1-by-2 lumber
- Table saw with fence
- 1-1/2-inch wood screws
- Power drill with pilot bit and screw bit
- Combination square
Rip the piece of plywood in half on the table saw. Cut one half of the plywood to 16 inches by 12 inches, and cut the second half into two pieces at 12 inches by 12 inches.
Set your table saw's bevel to 45 degrees. Bevel one edge of one of the 12-by-12 pieces of plywood, as well as one of the 12-inch edges of the large piece of plywood.
Place the non-bevelled piece of plywood flat on your table. Position the bevelled edge of the large piece of plywood flat against the top of the non-bevelled piece, with the point of the bevel against the edge of the bottom piece's face. The bevelled board should extend upwards at a 45-degree angle. Pre-drill and attach the two boards with a few screws.
Position your combination square inside the jig to verify that the angle of the upper board is 45 degrees to the face. Place the remaining bevelled board in between the two connected boards of the jig to act as a support. The bevelled edge of this final board will fit underneath the top angled board you installed in the previous step, and the bottom edge will be perpendicular to the lower board. Attach the spacer with screws to both the top and bottom boards of the jig.
Place the jig on the table in front of you so that the point where the top and bottom boards are connected (at the 45-degree bevel) is on your left. Position the piece of 1-by-2 on the front edge of the bevelled board, flush with the bottom of the bevelled board. The edge of the 1-by-2 should rise above the face of the bevelled board by 3/4 inch. Attach it to the bevelled board with wood screws.
Tips and warnings
- To use the jig, adjust your table saw's fence so that the right side of the jig rides along the fence, and the left (bevelled) side of the jig is against the blade. Simply place your workpiece to be bevelled onto the jig against the 1-by-2 edge, and push the jig through the saw blade. You can adjust the fence to accommodate thicker or thinner wood, or alter the bevel angle of the blade to cut a more acute angle on the workpiece.
- When working with power tools, always wear appropriate safety equipment, particularly safety glasses.
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