I want to make a serving tray with angled sides and box / finger
joints at the corners. I figured , cut the sides to length and at the
angles I want. (15deg sides) Then to make a jig to hold pieces and
tilt blade at same 15deg angle. Any tips on how to do this?
Wow, my brain hurst trying to envision this. Very cool problem. Pretty
hard to explain my thought in writing but...
I think you ar right to cut the miter and the bevel first. Yes typical
ox joint jig with with following modifications.
1. Tilted blade
2. the back fence needs to tilt back at the same angle as the end
bevel (22.5?) so the joining face of the miter cuts ar flush to the
table suface of the jig.
3. The parts will be right and left. The inside face of the box will
be against the fence. You need to make the first stop and the little
offset block symetrical and moveable from right to left.
Or buy a multi router. They don't show that specific joint but I think
it would do it utilizing the tilting table and box joint template
OK, but if you tilt the blade, the blade height will have to be
adjusted for each cut, because the workpiece will only touch the table
at one point. Also, the tilted geometry will complicate the spacing.
I respectfully disagree. The side and end still meet at 90 degrees.
They don't "know" about the flare if the pins are cut perpendicular to
the angled end, not perpendicular to the piece as a whole. Words fail
me in trying to explain it better.
Remember that the ends of the tray usually have curved edges that
don't reference well. By using the method I described in my other
post, you can always reference off the edge that will be on the bottom
of the box. That edge is always straight. Use a spacer against the
index pin on your jig to offset the first cut on either the end pieces
or the side pieces. Then all parts are interchangeable and you don't
have to deal with multiple indexes.
Never pass up an excuse for a new tool!
"We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom
that is in it - and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits
on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid
again---and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold
one anymore." - Mark Twain
Regarding the blade height thing and work piece only touching at one
point, my idea is exactly not that but to hold the piece in such a
manner that the entire face of the mitered edge is in contact with the
table. This means the fence must lean back and the piece with rise to
the left or right as you look down the line of the blade. One piece
cut left, one piece cut right.
Regardless, I am just dreaming about this and have never done it so I
could be totally wrong but history tells me I am usually only half
I built a bunch of those trays (mine had 10deg sides), but I used a
router table & incra jig to cut dovetail joints. If you're cutting
finger joints on the table saw, you have two challenges:
1. Keeping the end surface of your piece perfectly flat to the table
both fore & aft and side to side.
2. Indexing your cuts so your pins are all the same width as your
cuts and arranged so they don't blow out the angled edges.
To cope with #1, I'd screw a tall face piece to the miter gage. Be
sure it rides 90 degrees to the table vertically and is stiff enough
not to flex. Attach a cleat to the front of the face piece that will
hold your tray piece at the required 15 degree angle side to side.
Clamp the tray piece to the face piece once you have it in position,
and make your cuts.
For #2, you may find it necessary to use slightly wider pins than
usual or double your pin width at the edges. Be very careful with
layout and practice on scrap cut to the same dimensions and angles as
your finished stock.
"Every man is my superior in that I can learn from him." - Thomas
I remember seeing Norm do this with dovetails and IIRC he cut the
anlges and miters first then just routed the dovetails.
Been a while since I've seen that episode.
Let us know what you figure out and post back.
Wed, Jan 9, 2008, 8:35am (EST-3) firstname.lastname@example.org (Snog) doth
<snip> Any tips on how to do this?
Yeah. Take some scrap wood and try it. Then keep going until you
get it the way you want. Works for me.
10 Out Of 10 Terrorists Prefer Hillary For President
- Bumper Sticker
I quite agree.
A traditional English bee hive has sloping sides to each section just like
your tray and they are always made with box/finger joints. The hive is known
as the WBC type. There is one here:
A search for wbc hive joint jig or some such terms will bring up a lot of
experience and plans.
Tage Frid has plans to make just that
kind of joint. P. 93 of the book 1 if
you have it. If not, I'd recommend it
However, his plan is similar to yours.
He cuts them on a TS with a dado and an
angled block/jig similar to a normal box
I know with my skill level, I'd be doing
a fair bit of trial and error with this one.
Yeah, I don't think that is going to work. You are going to cut off any
angle you previously cut. It needs to be a single cut.
You are on to the correct train of thought of holding the wood at an angle
while making a miter cut.
Wow guys Thanks for the advice - I will be using the Table saw and
"keep going until you
get it the way you want" as JT said. This is to be a tray as gift for
a doctor that did a good job on me with some router inlay in the
One thing I figgerd out is that the Saw Blade needs to be
Tilting the blade will achieve the goal of getting the pins to line up
with the grain. However, I think it will cause other alignment issues
that I can visualize but can't articulate very well. The top of your
cut won't be parallel to the end of the workpiece that's on the
table. Try it.
If all else fails, I know this will work:
1. Blade at 90 degrees to Table.
2. Miter gage at 90 degrees to blade.
3. Workpiece flat against the face of the miter gage (not tilted
front to back).
4. Workpiece tilted side-to-side so that the angled end of workpiece
is flat on the table.
Please report back.
"I'd rather expect the best of people and be wrong than expect the
worst and be right."
Never Got Around to it...?
I Still have some incredible wood I'd like to use making a tray for my doctor.
Did find a guy that sorted it - WOOOOW is all I can say !
Its all here ---> http://www.flickr.com/photos/wb8nbs/sets/72157626223042400/with/5561562514/
| Wow guys Thanks for the advice - I will be using the Table saw and
| "keep going until you
| get it the way you want" as JT said. This is to be a tray as gift for
| a doctor that did a good job on me with some router inlay in the
| One thing I figgerd out is that the Saw Blade needs to be
| tilted...anyone agree?
| Thanks Snogger
Just tilting the blade will not do it... in addition to that the wood has to
lean so that the depth of cut is consistent with the angle on the end of the
board... Did you see the sketch of the jig I posted on ABPW? That shows the
two different dimensions in space that you need to consider.
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