Workshop Tip: Quick, perfect octagons for turning
A tablesaw and a tilted blade make it easy to cut a perfect octagon
This is a great trick for quickly cutting the corners off a spindle turning—or anytime you are trying to make perfect octagons. It’s amazingly simple and requires no math or layout. Begin with any length of square stock, set the tablesaw blade at 45°, and raise it up high. With the saw off and a corner of the stock resting on the table, pinch one face against the blade. Now simply slide the rip fence over so that it is just touching a corner of the workpiece, and lock the fence in that position. The rip fence is now set to cut off four corners and create a geometrically perfect octagon. I first learned this trick from my father-in-law (thanks, Josh). I’ve used it for years, and it always comes out right.
—PETE MICHELINIE, South Pomfret, Vt.
Illustrations by Dan Thornton
From Fine Woodworking issue #282