How to Cut Extreme Angles on Your Miter Saw
Make a simple jig from scrap wood to make safe easy cuts at angles greater than 45 degrees with your compound miter saw or chop saw.
A typical miter saw will only cut to a maximum of 45 or 50 degrees, but sometimes that just isn’t enough for the task at hand. This video demonstrates how to build and use a jig with a sacrificial fence to cut beyond the maximum angle of your saw.
Here’s what you will need:
- A compound miter saw
- CA (cyanoacrylate) glue + CA activator
- One 1/2-in.-thick scrap of wood (for setting blade height)
- Two 3/4-in.-thick pieces of wood or MDF as long as the table of your saw
- One 1-in. or thicker piece of wood or MDF as long as the table of your saw
- A pen or pencil
Here’s how to make and use an acute-angle miter-saw fence:
Build the base of the jig
Use a scrap of wood (or your tape measure) to raise the blade 1/2-in. and adjust the set screw to stop the depth of cut in that position. Then place a board as the sacrificial base of the jig and run beads of CA Glue along the back edge, leaving a space in the center with no glue. Spray activator along the sacrificial fence and position it on top of the jig base against the saw fence, applying pressure as the glue sets up.
Add the angle guides
Then, with the fence clamped to the saw, mark the maximum swing of the blade in each direction… and add CA glue up to the marks, leaving a void in the middle. Now install a 3-inch or wider scrap onto the base, and hold it tight to the back of the jig as the glue sets up. Cut through the scrap at 45-degrees in both directions and remove the debris, leaving a 90-degree wedge.
How to use the jig
Align a piece of trim in the wedge and back it off the rear of the fence slightly to avoid catching the cutoff during the cut.
With the blade at the zero degree position, the jig will naturally cut a 45-degree angle. Set the saw to 10 degrees and it will cut a 55-degree angle. Move it another 5-degrees and it will cut a 60-degree angle. So basically just subtract 45 degrees from your desired angle, set your saw at that point, and make your cut.
More on crown molding:
How to Install Built-up Crown Molding – Use these time-tested design principles and basic carpentry techniques to create beautiful layered crown and cornice trim details that will dress up any room in your house.
Video Vault: Cutting Crown Molding Upside Down and Backward, with Tom O’Brien – Plus a look at the jigs and tips that make this process foolproof.
How to Cut Crown Molding – Follow a few basic techniques and there should be no guesswork involved in cutting crown.