How to cut 60 deg bevel?

ElisabetKJanuary 18, 2006

I'm replacing one of those triangular under-eave brackets on my house - it is just three pieces of 2x4 and looked like a simple job, even for a total beginner like myself. Then I got stuck:

The ends of the straight pieces are beveled - just the last half inch or so. The angle is about 60 degrees from the end of the piece (i.e. 30 deg from the long edge), and I've figured out that the only way my mitre saw could cut that angle is if I hold the piece perpendicular to the fence. However, I can't hold the 2x4 steady enough to get a good cut (I tried several times on scrap). Part of the problem is that of course there is a gap in the fence for the saw blade, which gives me even less to hold the board against. I've tried placing another board along the fence to help steady things but no luck.

Is there a trick I'm missing? What is the right tool for this job? I looked for a miter box at the hardware store but none had a way to cut that sharp an angle from the end of a long piece of wood.

By the way, I did try just doing a 45 deg bevel but it is noticably different from the other trim on the house - this piece is just above eye level next to the front porch, so I want it to look right.

Any ideas appreciated! I figure there must be an easy way to do this since similar brackets, all with ends beveled like mine, are all over my post-WWII neighborhood.

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Another method is to mark the cut lines on all four sides of the 2x4 and use a hand saw.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 12:56PM
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I have a hard time getting a straight cut without a miter box. Maybe I need a better hand saw...

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 4:08PM
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Use a table saw and a tenoning jig to hold the piece vertical.
Better yet, Call a few lumber yards or cabinet shops. More than likely they would make the cuts for you for a little cash.....I Know I would.......


    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 9:54PM
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thanks - good idea about finding someone else to make the cuts. What really helped is your giving me a term to search on - I was able to find how to build what I need once I knew the word "jig". (I'm a total beginner, obviously!) Here is what I need, and I think making it falls into my skill level (and budget, too!).

"Wide-Angle Miter Saw Jig"

Here is a link that might be useful: Wide-angle miter saw jig

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 2:16PM
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Great, glad it helped.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 4:10PM
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Another alternative would be to cut a 15 degree triangle and place that on, for example, the right side of your miter saw's bed. Slide it back against the fece.

The piece to be cut will be placed against that triangle, with the triangle piece effectively becoming the new fence.

Now swing the saw 45 degrees towards the right, to the same side that the triangle is on.

With the saw at 45 degrees to the "right" and the triangle kicking your workpiece 15 degrees to the "left", you'll end up with a 60 degree cut.

Careful with those fingers,


    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 8:39AM
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By using a square piece of plywood as a base, set the 2X4 along the base at a 90° angle to the fence of a miter saw. That would make the board parallel to the blade with the saw set at a 90° crosscut, or at 0° cut. That means that if you made a cut on the 2X4, you would be splitting it in two along its length.

Set the blade for 30°, then line up the 2X4 cut line with the blade. That will give you your 60° angle cut.

I hope that is a little clearer than mud!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2006 at 12:18PM
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