Miter saws make it easy to cut precision angles in wood with little effort. But, if you’ve spent any time around a miter saw, you know that the miter table only allows you to adjust the blade for angles up to 45 degrees.
But, what if you need to cut greater than 45 degrees? It may seem intimidating at first but learning how to cut a 60-degree angle is a pretty straightforward task. Once you’re finished with this guide, you should feel confident enough to make any angled cuts you need to.
What You’ll Need
Step I: Preparing Your Jig
Since a miter saw is only capable of making cuts up to 45 degrees, we’ll need to make a simple jig before we’re able to perform a 60-degree cut.
We’ll be using a piece of wood stock to make the jig. Whatever you have lying around is fine. I usually reach for a scrap piece of 2x4 when making a jig, but any decent piece of wood you have will do just fine.
First, place your miter saw on top of your work bench and adjust the saw to 30 degrees. Make sure the fence is securely locked in at 30 degrees, as you’ll need a perfect 30-degree jig to get a proper 60-degree angle for your finished product.
Before you get to cutting, make sure you’re wearing appropriate safety gear. Safety goggles and gloves are a must. You may also want to consider some quality earplugs as well.
Once you’re ready, it’s time to cut your jig. Place your wood stock securely against the fence and cut through the wood. Allow the blade to stop spinning completely before removing your jig from the saw table.
Your jig now has a 30-degree cut in it. If the piece of wood stock you’re using is long and protruding off the saw table, trim it up so that it’s only about 6” long in total.
Step II: Making the 60 Degree Cut
Now, we’ll use our jig to show you how to cut a 60-degree angle.
Adjust the saw again, so that it’s set to cut at a 30-degree angle, and place your jig against the fence. Use a clamp to secure the jig against the fence, and make sure it can’t move at all. This step is critical in ensuring that your final cut gives you a perfect 60-degree cut.
With your jig in place and your saw set to 30 degrees, you’ll be able to achieve a 60-degree cut.
Place the piece you need the 60-degree cut in against the jig you’ve created, making sure that your piece is right up against the jig. Now, you’ll be able to cut your piece at the 60-degree angle you need.
Here’s how it works: Since the jig you’ve created was cut at a 30-degree angle, it adds 30 degrees on top of whatever angle you’ve set the saw to cut. In our case today, we needed a 60-degree cut, so the 30-degree jig plus the 30 degrees the saw was set to cut gets us to 60.
You can create jigs for any angle from 1-45 degrees, which will allow you to use your miter saw to cut wood at any conceivable angle. This cool trick makes any miter saw all the more versatile.
Step III: Checking Your Work
If you followed steps I and II, you should end up with a perfect 60 degree cut in your finished product. But, you can still double check your accuracy with a protractor before you get to the installation process.
This guide will help you brush up on how to read a protractor if you’re a little fuzzy from your last high school geometry lesson.
All you’ll need to do is place the origin point of the protractor at the very tip of the piece of wood you just cut the 60-degree angle in. Make sure that the 0-degree line is perfectly in line with the edge of your wood. Next, follow the angle of the wood upwards so you can read the measurement. If you’ve done everything correctly, you should have a perfect 60-degree angle.
Using a miter saw is woodworking 101, but when you need to cut an angle greater than 45 degrees, things get a little more difficult. Fortunately, learning how to cut a 60-degree angle is as simple as creating a jig and making your cut.
After reading this guide, you should be a pro when it comes to cutting a 60-degree angle. Once you’re finished with this project, we’ve got some great ideas for what you can tackle next right here!