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How to Cut in Half at an Angle - Create Matching Widths

How to Cut in Half at an Angle - Create Matching Widths

I'm dedicating this YouTube video as an educational tip, you see, many woodworkers build projects and upload them to YouTube and often time skim through important specifics of the project that we are left to figure out on our own. I'm guilty of this practice! That's not necessarily a bad thing as those are the times we learn the most but let's make it easier for the next guy and he can have the next hill. I have 2 identical pieces of plywood that were cut from the same piece down the middle and are both exactly the same width, stick around and I'll show you a simple method of how to cut a 45 degree angle down the middle of one piece creating 2 identical pieces with the exact same width. we'll see you at the end.

So I have a piece of wood that I want to cut/rip into 2 strips. We know that the center mark of the wood is typically our guide in any other scenario if we are just ripping the piece in half and we typically cut the piece  90 degrees from blade to table saw top, but in this particular case we want to cut these in half at 45 degrees. I'd like to share two simple methods.

1) We know that 45 degrees is half of 90 so if we wanted to mark a line on the top face as our reference cut line we would just offset by half the width of the piece (1/2" inch thick plywood for example) or in this case 1/4" on both sides of the center line. So 1/4" offset to the left or right of the center line. For the cut, place the piece on the table saw and set your fence so that the offset mark on the face is directly in the center of your blade. For safety we will angle the blade away from the fence with the fence being on the right side of the blade. As with any kerf cut, there will be reduction in material so that's the reason for centering the line to the blade center, ensuring equal kerf reduction on both sides.

2) I prefer this method. You really don't even need that math though if you just mark your lines. Let's just take what we have laying around the shop which most of you should have a miter gauge either from your table saw or your band saw, you can use that to mark a 45 degree line. Start with your center point line again but also mark a center point line for material thickness, sticking with the 1/2" thick piece of plywood, measure 1/4" from the top or bottom face, you should have markings that look like a plus sign. From here grab your miter gauge and set to 45 degrees and mark a line right through the center point of your plus sign AKA the center points of each faces. Make sure that it crosses the center point of the board thickness as well as through your center line and do this for both sides and you'll end up with a plus sign with an X directly through it. At this point you are ready to make your cut. Set your fence once again, just as in suggestion 1 to where the 45 degree line lands in the middle of your saw blade. Once again I prefer to point the blade away from the fence with the fence on the right side of the blade. You are ready to make your cut. Compare both halves and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You did it!

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