Cutting small pieces


OK, I won't mention past this the stupid mistake I made and came THAT close...
I have some small pieces of cedar to cut. They are already formed at 3 1/2" long, and 1 1/2" square ends. The problem is that one corner needs to be more than 90 degrees. If using a table saw, this means pushing them through a tilted blade for two adjacent sides to form the larger angle on one edge.
Question ...how to do this safely? I thought of planing by hand, and might wid up doing that after I've ruined a few pieces. Safety is the issue. I made one mistake, and now look like I'm getting ready to weld inside an old chemical drum with all the protective gear.
Thanks.
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If you have access to a bandsaw, that is how I would try it. If you must try it on a tablesaw (which I would not recommend you do), I'd make certain you have a pushstick capable of getting control of the piece, and not stand behind it or risk raising your voice an octive.
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I'm not sure I completly followed the form of the pieces but it sounds like you may want to create a quick custom sled of some sort; using a toggle clamp to hold the piece in place so you amd your fingers can stay far from the blade.
Toggle clamps are pretty cheap and you can use them again and again for all sorts of things.
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Guess who wrote:

I can't visualize which way you're needing to cut, but I'll concur w/ the bandsaw alternative. If you try something that small w/ tablesaw, you <must> have backing board ridgidly attached to miter gauge if it's an end cut and prefeably using a solid clamp for holding the wokpiece. If it's a rip, I'd have to see it to figure out tooling if it were even possible...
Alternatively, what about sanding disk on the saw?
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If I understand what you're trying to do... I'd use a large disk sander with a couple of guide blocks (larger) clamped to the sander table and slowly move the work piece into the sander using the guide. YMMV
MikeG
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if bandsawing quality of cut is good enough, than that's a good choice, or clamp to a sled. of course don't use a TS fence. you COULD clamp the pieces to a miter gauge that has a wooden fence attached. Uniclamps work great for that.
Dave
Guess who wrote:

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Why don't you just do it with a good old-fashioned sharp handsaw?
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Two gave good solutions - clamp it to a sled and use a disc sander. Now just combine those two ideas. Go to Sears and purchase the 8" or 10" sanding disk for your tablesaw and some extra sandpaper discs of the proper grit you'll need. You can also use the sanding disc (sans the sandpaper) to align your tablesaw with later.
Bob S.

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Unless you have a lot of these pieces to cut, its probably not worth making a suitable jig to cut on a tablesaw. The thought of cutting without a jig makes me cringe and want to count my fingers.
I make a lot of samllish things and one of my most used tools is a bench mounted sander with a disk and belt combo. They are relatively cheap. Basically, if you can draw an accurate line then you can sand to it accurately (and safely) by simple hand holding with this machine even if a compound angle is required. Usually I use quite course paper on the disk and fine on the belt.
Hope this helps Cheers Bill D New Zealand
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Guess who wrote:

<snip>
Forget the table saw.
Trying to do this job on one is a disaster waiting to happen IMHO.
Consider a 12" disc sander with 50 grit for this job.
Build a jig to hold piece and have at it.
My guess it will take as long to design and build the jig as it will to do the job.
Good luck.
Lew
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On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 23:45:23 GMT, Lew Hodgett

Too late.

The pieces are to be cut lengthwise on two sides to balance the increase in angle. I'm considering tilting to the required angle and clamping firmly with jorgensen clamps held flat on the table, with some room to spare, then carefully feeding into the sander, holding onto the clamps to guide it.
Once more, thanks to all for the suggestions. i'm definitely going with the sander.
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On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 14:51:45 -0400, Guess who

miter saw with a hold down or clamped to the fence would be much simpler. YMMV
skeez
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On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 14:51:45 -0400, Guess who
I will jump on the"sled" bandwagon. I will whip up a sled for one cut if that is what I need. I have several pieces of plywood with 3/4" strips glued to the bottom to ride in the table groove. I just screwgun what I need to that, make my cuts and take irt apart. The objective is to have your fingers far from the blade while the workpiece is controlled. Let your imagination work for you in setting up the jig. That is half the fun.
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gfretw,
I agree with you on the use of "quick and dirty" sled for small pieces. I've made many cuts confidently and quickly using this approach. One of my sleds has a sheet of 400 grit sand paper glued to it. I'll place the piece on top of the sandpaper and hold it in place with a GRRipper or my hand, depending on the size of the piece.
Bob
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Guess who wrote:

Make a custom miter box and cut them with a hand saw. If you carefully cut the saw slot in the miter box, the finished parts will be extremely accurate. Use the same saw to cut the slot that you'll use to cut the parts. It shouldn't take more than 15 minutes or so to whip out a box.
Barry
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If I understand the problem correctly, it shouldn't be too difficult to make some kind of jig that will clamp the workpiece, perhaps using stop blocks of some kind to set the correct position & angle of each piece. The jig could attach to the miter gauge or run along the rip fence, whatever is easiest for you to build. In either case, position it so that the top ot the tilted blade is furthest away from the workpiece.
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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If you don't have a disc sander, now might be the time to get one... Set the table a the angle that you want and feed the pieces in... if you have several, build a simple jig to maintain the angle in one direction while the table is in the other, and you can do 2 faces at once.. (IF I understand your question)
mac
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