An Easy Way to Bisect an Angle
Seasoned carpenters know that the best way to measure things is not to measure them at all. Instead of using a tape, a protractor, or some other measuring device, simply use the tools at hand, and mark where you want to cut. Here’s a simple way to bisect an angle when you need to miter a corner that is more or less than 90°. This is the sort of challenge that mitering the trim around a wainscot panel on a stairway presents.
As shown in the drawing, take a couple of 12-in.-long strips of 2-in.- wide paper (drywall tape works fine), align the first strip along one edge of the panel, and tape it in place. Align the second strip, and tape it to the first at the front and back of the overlap as shown. Fold the taped assembly in half at the new corner where the papers intersect. Take this to your miter saw, line up one edge with the fence and the other with the blade, and you’re ready to make your cuts. This works for both acute and obtuse angles.
Mike Stevens, Carlstadt, NJ