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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is probably pretty rudimentary, and as skilled as I am this has always eluded me and left me doing tons of "trial and error" cuts.

When you have to cut a length of board with and angle at one or both ends, how do you properly measure/cut it so that the angled ends line up and the length is right?

I'm not sure if my wording makes sense but hopefully someone understands what I'm talking about because I'd really like to know how to do this properly lol
 

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MEASURE ONCE, CUT TWICE
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This is probably pretty rudimentary, and as skilled as I am this has always eluded me and left me doing tons of "trial and error" cuts.

When you have to cut a length of board with and angle at one or both ends, how do you properly measure/cut it so that the angled ends line up and the length is right?

I'm not sure if my wording makes sense but hopefully someone understands what I'm talking about because I'd really like to know how to do this properly lol
Get yourself a protractor first thing.

Check the angle you need the two boards to be. Divide that by 2 for the degrees to set the saw at.

Cut 2 short bits of scrap to confirm the angle.
If the angle checks out with the short bits, use them as guides for your finished pieces. Hold or tack the short bits exactly where you need them, and then measure the space between. Remove your bits, measure them, add the in between size you measured and cut your piece(s).
 

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Angle at one end.....measure to the long point of the angle and Mark your board. Measure to the short and mark....draw a line between the two and there is your cut line.

Multiple ways to do angle at both ends. One way is to cut your board to the length of long to long. hold it in place and Mark the shorts. Draw lines and cut the resulting angles. Ron
 

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As far as getting the angle right, I have used the method that pugsy showed for years, and it works just fine. It does not provide x number of degrees, but it gives you an exact template to set your saw. If you want to go "high tech" google Starrett 505 protractor; it's a reasonably priced protractor that gives you the angle of the corner as well as the angle of your cuts. For lengths, I generally toss a couple of short scraps in my apron so that I can fit them into or against the corners I am measuring to and from, rather than continuously adding or subtracting thicknesses in my head. Overall though, Dave hit the nail on the head; patience, practice and experience. But it's a relatively short learning curve, so you'll be doing fine after a few more corners.

Oh, didn't notice at first, but now see that this is a month old thread. Heck, you're probably already an expert at this!
 

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if your talking about finding the correct angle then use a protractor or get a starrett angle finder.. if your referring to getting the lenght of the pc cut correctly . your best best is to error on the side of it being long you can take more off a hair at a time if you have to til it fits
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Not to sound flippant, but there is no easy way, just patience, practice and experience. The progress from apprentice to journeyman to carpenter is gauged, in part by the size of the scrap pile.
LOL, I'm already forming quite the pile.



My current project is a large aquarium stand that I've decided must have a ridiculous amount of trim in an absolutely non-standard shape requiring probably 100 cuts, a few of which are pieces that are too small to re-cut if I mess up.

The worst part is that I'll have to pre-cut and mark each pieces and where it goes, then take the stand home, reassemble it and put all the pieces of trim back in the right spots.

My problem is with the short parallelogram pieces. If I make one too long then I have to completely re-cut the piece because my hand would otherwise be WAY too close to the saw blade.

If I can pull this off and make it look as nice as the CAD sketch I'll be well on my way to being an expert (and maybe broke depending on how much I screw up lol)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm an idiot! I'm going to just butt join the trim pieces together.
It may not look as nice as angled cuts do, but I think I'm going to paint the entire stand black anyway.
 

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MEASURE ONCE, CUT TWICE
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I'm an idiot! I'm going to just butt join the trim pieces together.
It may not look as nice as angled cuts do, but I think I'm going to paint the entire stand black anyway.
Oh no...say it ain't so....It will show like crazy.

Keep plugging away and do it right.
 

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It sounds like you are attempting to make metered cuts, if so take a piece of off cut and cut a notch the width of the material. Hold the piece you want to miter up to the place where you want to install it and slide the notched piece over it, press it against the box and mark. That will be the cut location of the long point of the miter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh no...say it ain't so....It will show like crazy.

Keep plugging away and do it right.
it makes me sad, but the daunting part is those tiny little 2" pieces in the corners.

I changed the design to reflect butt joints, and it made me sad when I looked at it.

It sounds like you are attempting to make metered cuts, if so take a piece of off cut and cut a notch the width of the material. Hold the piece you want to miter up to the place where you want to install it and slide the notched piece over it, press it against the box and mark. That will be the cut location of the long point of the miter.
sorry, I don't quite follow.
 

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Many of your very short miters seem to be around your posts and should be the same length. Set a stop on your miter saw and use a push stick to hold the short pieces.

Added: Forgot to mention clamp your long piece so it doesn't move.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Many of your very short miters seem to be around your posts and should be the same length. Set a stop on your miter saw and use a push stick to hold the short pieces.

Added: Forgot to mention clamp your long piece so it doesn't move.

That was my thinking too, except there are some small variations due to the way the wood has naturally twisted slightly.
 

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That was my thinking too, except there are some small variations due to the way the wood has naturally twisted slightly.
Would be easiest to make one miter on a long piece, put it where it goes. and mark the short point. Do you have a table saw? Can mark the short length, use a zero clearance miter sled and line it up to the kerf.

You can calculate the length by the multiplying the number of outside corners by the trim thickness and adding the length you want to cover. For instance your trim is 1/2" thick and you want to wrap a 3½" face, with two outside corners.
2*1/2"+3½"=4½" long point to long point

Can also secure your belt sander, cut your pieces 1/16" to 1/32" proud and sand to fit.
 

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What you're attempting to do is to wrap trim around the outside and inside corner. The inside corner is the long point of the miter and can be measured as if it were a square cut. The outside Corner is the short point on the miter, to avoid attempting to calculate what the distance is for the miter cut you can simply hold up a piece of trim and measure from the inside corner to the outside of the trim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Would be easiest to make one miter on a long piece, put it where it goes. and mark the short point. Do you have a table saw? Can mark the short length, use a zero clearance miter sled and line it up to the kerf.

You can calculate the length by the multiplying the number of outside corners by the trim thickness and adding the length you want to cover. For instance your trim is 1/2" thick and you want to wrap a 3½" face, with two outside corners.
2*1/2"+3½"=4½" long point to long point

Can also secure your belt sander, cut your pieces 1/16" to 1/32" proud and sand to fit.
I do not own a table saw, but I really wish I had one, as soon as I get a chance I'm going to buy one.
 
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