Compound Miter Cuts Without Any Formulas

Quote of the Day

I refer to that time as their second bottle phase.

— My mother on the teenage years of her children. My brothers did down one or two beers 🙂

You will find many carpentry web sites that give formulas for determining the cut angles for compound miter cuts (example). This is always a painful exercise because it is hard to set the saw angles just right. I watched this video that has an elegant solution to the problem.

If you want to read the article associated with the video, see this location. You can also try this PDF.




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7 Responses to Compound Miter Cuts Without Any Formulas

  1. Ronan Mandra says:

    Thanks for this as well as your other work

  2. Christina says:

    I have Dewalt DW175 miter saw. I have problem with cutting board 45 and 90 degree. Do you sharing tips? I want to décor crib for my daughter next week

    • mathscinotes says:

      I am sure you are concerned about making tight joints. Everyone has issues with this at some point in their woodworking career. Since you are using a miter saw, I will focus on that type of tool.

      Here is what I do to ensure I have tight joints:

      • Make sure you have a sharp blade
      • Make sure your fence is properly adjusted. By properly adjusted, I mean that it is at 90° to the bed of the saw and 90° to the saw blade when making a cross-cut. This point is really part of calibrating the saw, which is discussed here.
      • Calibrate your stops. Your saw has stops at 45° and 90° (see your manual). These can be calibrated. This web site discusses the technique that I use. If I am doing really precise work, I sometimes even cut a practice picture frame out of scrap. If you can cut 4 good miters for a picture frame, your saw stops are very well calibrated.

      The calibration operations may seem tedious but I only perform them once a year and they take less than an hour (you get faster over time). I get very good results.

      Good luck on your project. I love the way the woodworking community always tries to help one another and I like to give back to the community.


  3. Lori says:

    Thanks for your sharing. I am going to buy miter saw cut metal and wood. I wonder two brand Hitachi with Dewalt from this site. You have many experience, give me your advice

  4. Dale Ray says:

    Thanks for sharing this, really helpful !

  5. Jobi Johnson says:

    I am glad to be here and read your very interesting article, it was very informative and helpful information for me. keep it up.

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