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Old 30th August 2002, 07:22 AM   #1
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Question Woodworking Help!

Does anyone know how to cut a 45 degree angle on a piece of 1/2" MDF? I'm trying to build a box, but the guys down at Sears don't seem to know anything or want to really help. I'm looking to make the edges connect together flush. I don't want to just make a straight cut and just screw that into the other piece of the enclosure. Looks totally unprofessional. So when the two 45 degree angle sides are put together, they form a perfect 90 degree edge. I hope and pretty sure what everyone knows what I mean. Also I'm not looking to pickup some huge and expensive tool just to make a speaker box. I have a dremel and was wondering if anyone knows how to do it on that. Or on something that isn't very expensive.
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Old 30th August 2002, 08:28 AM   #2
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What tools do you have available? Tell me and I will think of a way, but the easiest method is to use a small circular saw, (Skilsaw).

Be aware, though, that assembling a box with all mitred corners will be a real test of patience!
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Old 30th August 2002, 09:00 AM   #3
UrSv is offline UrSv  Sweden
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Yep, I table mounted circular saw of the right kind will be able to tilt the blade at an angle of 45 degress to cut it the way you want it. A normal supplier with the option to cut the stuf for you would be able to do that (at least wher I come from).


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Old 30th August 2002, 01:55 PM   #4
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Okay, I'll try to get a table saw then. My next question will be how good do the angles usually come out at? The first reply is I'll be testing my patience getting two 45 degree angles together. How come? Can't I use clamps or something? I want to make as perfect a 90 degree angle I can putting two pieces togeter. Like a cube, perfect 90 degree angles all around. Hopefully that can be done.
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Old 30th August 2002, 02:17 PM   #5
BrianGT is offline BrianGT  United States
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If you have a table saw with good fence, then you can easily get perfect 45 degree corners. I have done it before with no problems. The first thing that I do with the table saw is to put a nice straight side on one sides of the boards, before starting, then put the blade at 45degrees. I measure from the fence to the point of the blade where the outside edge will be. Make sure you measure from the point of which it cuts the wood. Then make the cut. Rotate the board 90 degrees, and do it again, and you have one of your sides completed.

Mess around with some scraps on your table saw before starting your projects. It can be the most useful tool for speaker building.

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Old 30th August 2002, 02:29 PM   #6
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You can also use a router with 90 degree V Shape bit. It makes a perfect 45 degree cut, also, if you have not cut up the mdf, you can just use the router to cut where you want the joint to be made and the fold the mdf.
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Old 30th August 2002, 02:32 PM   #7
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If I use the router, could I just make it go a little bit deeper and just but the board in half clean all together? If so then I'll take that route, cheap for me at this point. Later table saw is a definate.
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Old 30th August 2002, 02:55 PM   #8
tiroth is offline tiroth  United States
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Default Hard

Mitred corners are hard. You are building little tiny boxes? I would guess that would be much easier...less scrap when things don't work out. Could be a good learning experience, if a frustrating one.

Don't professionals usually use biscuits to get everything to line up correctly?
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Old 30th August 2002, 04:51 PM   #9
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Default Don't do that!

A 45 deg edge is not going to be very strong == the two planes of the joint will tend to slip on each other == and if the fence has any play you will drive yourself batty -- just a few degree or so on a 12" cut will leave you reaching for the jar of wood putty -- not pretty -- particuarly true with something like MDF which is heavy. <p> I have a 12" Delta Contractor Saw and a $300 fence on the thing and I rarely make cuts like this without spending 30 minutes adjusting the alignment of the blade, fence etc. Further, the tilt of the arbor must be exactly 45 degrees, etc.,etc.

For MDF and particle board, you are better off with a butt joint and then veneering the entire cabinet. For things like plywood a rabbet joint works well. To reinforce a butt or rabbet joint on the insides you can use pieces of 1 X 1 pine.

Veneering is not difficult, you can purchase veneers mail-order from a number of places, and you can knock yourself out on the number of woods to use as finishes. You can cut veneer materials with a utility knife (better still with a veneering saw which is only about $10). I am absolutely certain that if you are just starting out, using a simpler joint and then putting more effort into veneering the cabinet will yield a much better project.
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Old 30th August 2002, 05:01 PM   #10
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What does a butt joint look like? And can I use the bit on a dremel?
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