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I went back and forth about whether to make this video or write this article. The thing is that as woodworkers, we rarely need to cut a bevel over 45 degrees, if ever. But, I found myself in the middle of a project that needed such a bevel. When I began to research for ideas, I found there was basically nothing on the internet to show how to accurately and reliably cut a bevel greater than 45 degrees on a large workpiece.
I’m sharing this for those few out there that may need a jig like this. If you do, it will make your cuts possible – and really easy.
I started by ripping the table and end pieces and crosscutting the 45 degree support pieces.
I assemble the “table assembly” which consists of the end, table, and back pieces. I’m just screwing everything together so that I can break this jig down to adjust, if need be.
I assemble the “ramp assembly” by screwing the support pieces to the back and the ramp to the supports. The ramp is positioned to register against the back piece and then is screwed down to the supports.
I use the speed square to make sure the back is standing at a 90 degree angle and then turn the ramp upside down to check that it’s at a 45 degree angle (FIG 8). I put the ramp assembly into the table assembly and try to initially position it by eye.
It was at this point that I realized the left side of the table was not near stable enough and would bounce as the circular saw slides over it. So, I added a 3/4” by 1 1/2” solid wood brace to the underside and that, in addition to the guides that will be attached later, firmed up the table. I made sure to turn the piece to a quarter sawn orientation (looking at the end, the grain runs up and down).
I attached the brace with glue and screws to keep it flush against the table (FIG 11).
Fine-Tuning the Angle
The ramp assembly can then be re-positioned so that the edge of the ramp lines up with the table’s right side.
I temporarily clamp the two assemblies to make a test cut.
I measure the length from the saw blade to the edge of the sole and set up the straight edge in the right position.
I make the cut carefully and with light pressure against the straight edge. I’m closely watching the edge of the ramp so that I can immediately stop if the cut is starting to wander.
I use a bevel gauge and speed square to measure the angle I just cut with the jig. I was about half a degree from 45 which I’m calling close enough. Trying to adjust for that small of a measurement may take the rest of my life. There’s also a certain amount of error when capturing, transferring, and measuring an angle.
If you’re not sure how to do this step, check out this video and article all about using a speed square and bevel gauge to capture and measure angles.
I can finally attach the guides with an abundant amount of care. Attaching them in slightly the wrong place will cause the cut to be uneven all the way down the edge of my workpiece.
The left side guide has to be re-sawn in half at the table saw to allow for the circular saw motor.
Now that I’m satisfied with the standard setup with a 90 degree saw and the 45 degree jig, I need to add 5 degrees to the saw and I’ll have a 50 degree bevel (the angle I originally needed in the project). My saw doesn’t have a mark for 5 degrees so I start by estimating the angle with the bevel gauge and then making test cuts and adjusting until it’s right. I use an awl to mark the correct setting.
One side note: Most of the time the cutoff will kickback into the side of the jig at the very end of the cut. It doesn’t cause a problem in any way since it’s contained within the jig itself, but it is startling at first. Be aware and take care to keep the saw as steady as you can and pressed against the right side guide.
This jig has the ability to cut large workpieces by hanging them over the side of the work surface. The final cut turns out to be very nice and even.
The steepest cut I was able to make with the depth of my saw was about 65 degrees.
This jig is a quick build that can be done in a couple of hours. You will spend most of your time dialing in the ramp, but, if you’re careful when cutting the pieces out, the angles will be where you need them. Download the plans and build your own! It’s one of those things that you won’t need often, but when you do this jig will make your life a whole lot easier.
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