I’m building the “Classic Five-board Step Stool” in your free online plans. The stool’s legs tilt away from the top 8 degrees, and they require a pair of notches near the top to receive a stretcher on both sides. The shoulder cuts for these notches must be angled, but how do I do that? On a table saw, I can set the (blade) angle only on one side. I’ll appreciate it if anyone can tell me how to resolve this issue. – Solomon Bhaskaria
Tim Inman: Flip the board over, or reset the guide for the “off side” cuts.
Chris Marshall: Solomon, here’s an easy way to clear up your quandary: don’t tilt the blade. Instead, you need to swivel your miter gauge 8 degrees in one direction off of 0/90 degrees, cut the appropriate shoulder with the leg workpiece standing on edge, and then swivel the miter gauge 8 degrees in the opposite direction from 0/90 degrees. Now flip the leg workpiece over to cut the second shoulder. Mark the shoulder cuts carefully first, so you can keep the cutting angle clear when determining which shoulder to cut with each of the two miter gauge settings.
In the photo for this cutting step (shown below), it’s difficult to distinguish that the long scrap fence attached to the author’s two miter gauges is actually swiveled and not square to the blade. (An 8-degree swivel is a visual subtlety that’s difficult to capture on camera.) We apologize for the confusion, and I hope my explanation here helps clear up the procedure for you.