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Hi guys I am wondering what is the easiest consistent way to cut small pieces of wood.

Here is an example I recently recreated and it was a pain the butt. That piece is around 2 inch long.

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So first mitre cut I did on a mitre saw and it was easy because I was cutting it down from a longer piece so I could hold it with my hand.

Second mitre cut (in hindsight could also be easy if I made the cut in the middle so I could flip it over and comfortable hold the other end to make the cut) but now I had to make on this 2 inch piece that was hard to secure on a mitre saw without getting fingers too close. I made this jig https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XskT3uaYmiM and it was possible though it wasn't fun since it's not super stable.

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Finally cutting it to width in the end I couldn't use the jig on the mitre saw (even though it had the rip capacity but turning it perpendicular to the fence was impossible to hold in place) so I did it by hand.

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If I was going to do it again I would first cut it to width on a table saw and then make 2 mitre cuts in the middle of a longer piece of wood so I can hold each side with my hand to avoid having to secure small pieces.

But that got me thinking is there no power tool that makes all this easy? I know you can make all kinds of jigs and cut just about anything on a table saw but I would really prefer not to cut small pieces of soft pine on something so powerful.

Are there not mini table saws or mini mitre saws that have design that allows for more clamping? Should I use a band saw with a fence since I can get my fingers a lot closer? What about nicer mitre boxes you see in Lee Valley would they be a good option? Of course cutting by hand is the easiest re: safety/logistics but I still find it hard to get decently aligned cuts.

Thank you

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    There is a lot going on in this series of questions, and maybe more than what can be simply answered. Maybe edit this so you just ask what think is your main question: how to mitre small pieces? Though, you've already answered this, really. Jigs, clamping, and knowing your tools is at the core of woodworking, perhaps even more than knowing all that much about the material in some ways. – jdv May 4 at 1:00
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    Is there a tool that could make this piece easily? Sure. Factories are full of specialized jogs or tools suitable for churning out 100s or 1000s of pieces. For the home shop, it's about trading off some special tooling for clever application of your technique with what you have at hand. – jdv May 4 at 1:02
  • Yea I guess my main question is if there is a specialized tool that acts like a mitre saw but works well with pieces 1-2 inches and smaller without jigs and other mcguivering. Sounds like the answer is no - not popular enough to be sold to regular woodworkers. – Woodworking Devil May 4 at 3:04
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    This is definitely too many queries in one, and for here needs more focus. This is the type of query that's a much better fit for a regular forum than a Q&A venue like this. That said, I have some insights for you. – Graphus May 4 at 9:04
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    With a bracket like this if you get the cut ends dead-on 45s (assuming they're going into a perfect 90, adjust as needed for the actual angle if not) the finished length isn't critical. If you're off by even a couple of mm / 1/10" it makes no difference. – Graphus May 4 at 9:08
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To answer your specific question about mini saws, I'd say no -- there isn't anything I'm aware of that meets that description.

That said, one option would be a sliding compound miter saw with a sacrificial table and fence. This is an L of plywood or thicker material (that's well clamped to your saw) that you cut partially but not completely through. You need to build it pretty well in order for it to not to fall apart, so glue at the butt joint and screws where you know you aren't going to hit them with the sawblade.

Here's some terrible art to explain. Viewing from the side, the existing saw fence is red, existing saw table is blue. Sacrificial wood is on top. Strict dimensions don't matter, but the depth is important to keep you from sawing through the entire fence. Workpiece goes onto the green wood (X).

sacrificial fence

Once you have that, set the angle on the table and lock the slide in a position where it doesn't cut the entire sacrificial fence in half. If your saw has a dado stop, that might help as well, though they aren't always perfect at stopping the downward push at exactly the same height.

Feed a long stick (ripped to width already) in one side, holding it firmly, and cut the first angle. Flip the stick 180 (barrel roll, not end-for-end) and cut the other angle. (Hoping they're the same. Otherwise this is more awkward.) Once you've cut a few, you'll be able to mark on the fence where you want to line up. Once the stick is down to a foot or so, throw it onto the kindling pile and get another long stick.

Don't lose fingers playing with 2" pieces near a miter saw blade. I have gory photos to prove that I know of what I speak.

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  • Thank you that's certainty a better option than what I was doing. Are there other easier solutions maybe something like a band saw or miter box? Or maybe it's easier done than it sounds. – Woodworking Devil May 4 at 4:41
  • Or something like this youtube.com/watch?v=6tx6jjyvFr4 what makes me uneasy is the fact that major tool brands don't make those and this is no name chinese generic type of product. Is there a reason these are not more popular? – Woodworking Devil May 4 at 5:12

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