I want to use some left over wood from a table i did to build a 1ft^3 storage box to use in the living room.

The wood has a beautiful pattern but it is plywood so i do not want to expose the edges.

Is there any way to accomplish the 45 degree cuts on the edges without a table saw?

something like this: enter image description here

  • 2
    A circular saw and a straight cutting jig will get the job done, but you might have a little trouble with accuracy. Or a router table with a 45° lock miter bit.
    – Doresoom
    Feb 2, 2015 at 20:50
  • @Doresoom i'd love to have a router table. But i don't. Does homedepot help with that as they help cutting larger plywood in smaller planks? ...and i can't see how to do it with a straight cutting jig at all. but that may be an option. can you elaborate please?
    – gcb
    Feb 2, 2015 at 20:55
  • 2
    I'm not sure if the track saws that big box stores have will cut a miter. As for the circular saw, most can be mitered up to 45°. Just clamp a straight edge along the same direction you want to cut, and keep the shoe of the saw pressed against it.
    – Doresoom
    Feb 2, 2015 at 21:19

3 Answers 3


Your circular saw should be able to cut the 45 degree angle, there should be a lever to allow you to tilt the plate thus tilting the bade. Something like this enter image description here

Then to get a Straight cut you need a guide along one edge. You need something longer than the piece you are cutting and wide enough to clamp it to it and have enough room to run the saw along the edge for a straight cut. Something like this, although this is a special clamp guide, you could just use something a bit wider with some other clamps.


If you have a limited amount of woodworking tools you could use molding. It will cover the seams. Use an "external corner" molding. You can cut it with almost any wood saw. It is usually available in several species of wood. It will stain, paint or finish like the panels.


When the occasion arose and I did not have a table saw for repeated accurate cuts, I got a piece of 3/4" plywood, in your case maybe a 2'X3' piece would do, plunge the blade of a circular saw through the plywood or better yet cut a 1"X6" hole in the middle of the plywood to set a circular saw blade through. Using fender washers and screws, clamp the saw to the plywood locking the base of the saw in tightly. If you don't mind a few holes in the base of your saw, screw directly through the base after you drill a few holes in it as close to the corners as practical. this Is what I did, they come in handy for other purposes too. As a mention, needless to say you need to govern how long the screws are so they don't go all the way through, if they do, grind them flush.

Turn the whole thing over so the saw is under the plywood and the blade is the only thing showing, just like a table saw. Set your angle, set a scrap piece of wood for a fence, adjusting it for it being parallel with the blade using scraps to test cut and check the width of your cut, then make your parts for your box. With a little planning you may only need to change the fence 3 times or so to do the whole thing. Once you get the fist cut set up right, draw a line on the table to serve as a parallel reference to save all the tweaking for each cut.

As a caution, no there is no guard, yes you can cut your fingers off with this, same as a table saw.


Last tip, get yourself a decent blade for this type of cut, the joinery will turn out sweet, using tape along, not across, the joints to hold it all together until the glue dries. The link is for a 24 tooth blade, some folks may say you need more teeth, I have seen some blades with 10 teeth cut satin smooth cuts, this is all you will need.

  • 3
    I admire the thoroughness and enthusiasm of this answer, but building an impromptu tablesaw is only something I'd suggest to a strong-intermediate/advanced woodworker with solid experience with a real tablesaw. There are just too many things that can go wrong and fingers are precious. Feb 4, 2015 at 2:21
  • Any power tool warrants respect, a respect for what it can do to body parts if handled the wrong way. I agree with what you say. the OP did not speak of his experience, or lack of it, just a need to find a way to do a task that was suited for a table saw, or perhaps a router, which can really tear you a new one if handled wrong. I was giving an answer to the immediate need.
    – Jack
    Feb 4, 2015 at 2:37

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