Workbench Tip: How to Cut Small Trim

comments (5) October 24th, 2010 in blogs, videos

thumbs up 73 users recommend

Video Length: 1:42
Produced by: Ed Pirnik

Tablesaws and miter saws are fantastic tools that make the process of woodworking infinitely easier and faster however, they're not always the appropriate tools for cutting wood. If you've ever tried to cut small box parts like edging or splines on a tablesaw, you know how difficult a proposition that can be--too much power for too small a piece of stock. In cases like these, it's a better idea to pull out a small miter block.




More on Working with Small Parts

How to Handle Small Parts
Make Short Work of Small Parts
Designing Boxes

The block used in this episode of Quick Cuts is dirt simple to make, and when used in conjunction with a Japanese-style saw, it works even better. As Fine Woodworking's art director Michael Pekovich points out, with the block mounted in your vise (rabbet wall towards you), a Japanese saw, which cuts on the pull stroke, will effectively pull the stock into the miter block's fence while at the same time sawing the material. It's a win-win combination. Check it out in our latest video workbench tip.

posted in: blogs, videos, boxes, small parts, miter block, box building, splines, trim

Comments (5)

Fiveoaks Fiveoaks writes: What a simple but effective solution. Yes, I've used my band saw depending on what blade is installed but this is now a no brainer.

And to Moshup_Trail; cutting small strips on a table saw is easy. 1.Plane your material to proper thickness and 2. Cut the strips so they fall to the left of the blade. Use a strip cutting jig, you can find plans on-line, for repetability.
Posted: 10:50 am on October 30th

saschafer saschafer writes:

A bandsaw is ideal for that kind of thing. I recently cut some strips that were 2' long and 3/16" square in cross section that way.


Posted: 9:04 am on October 26th

jgourlay jgourlay writes: This is a great starting point. I REALLY wish FWW would do a whole series on "small parts with hand tools". Some examples. Need a thin piece, like a box side, that is to short and too thin to successfully/safely be thickness planed? How do you do that?

Or generating the strips he's cutting without a tablesaw? Narrow dados and rabbets with handtools in very thin stock?
Posted: 8:52 am on October 26th

Moshup_Trail Moshup_Trail writes: How about getting the thin strip to begin with? I've got some nice walnut I'd like to use for inlays and I'm scared to rip such a tiny strip in a table saw.
Posted: 6:22 am on October 26th

JJerman JJerman writes: What a great tip. I have cut small trim for inlay work or accent strips and I found cutting on the table saw can be dangerous. Often times the tiny offcuts will get caught by the moving blade and fly in different directions. I solved this problem by securing an L-shaped support to the mitre gauge allowing for a clean cut to be made into the support piece so that the offcut doesn't get drawn into the gap between the blade and table saw insert. Seeing this tip reminded me of the usefulness of hand tools. Thanks.
John Jerman
Posted: 3:51 pm on October 24th

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