Pictured below is my second attempt at this. The first time I used a table saw to cut the slots, and this time I used a band saw. I liked using the bandsaw for this a lot better, but I don't know how to properly measure my cuts.
Here's was my process:
Cut two 14" pieces of 2x4
Use my miter saw to angle the ends to 45 degrees. After applying a corner clamp, it became clear that it wasn't a perfect 45 degrees, but it was pretty close.
I had the 9" (on the long side) cross brace from my previous attempt, and I had a right angle triangle block that was conveniently the perfect size to help me align it such that it would go into the other 2x4's about half way. Using the right angle triangle block, I positioned the cross brace by hand such that it was going into both the other 2x4's equally and then traced around it in pencil.
Sadly, my new bandsaw saw was missing the miter slide (I've emailed the manufacturer and hope to receive it soon), so I had to make the cuts freehand.
As you can see, the bubble on the level is all the way to the right. I'm not necessarily looking for perfection, but I would like to at least get the bubble in the center section on the level.
I wish I still had enough math skills to draw this on paper and determine where my cuts should be, but sadly I don't so that's why I just tried to position pieces and trace around them. And to be honest, the fact I even made it all fit together is encouraging to me. But there are two things I need to improve on:
- How to make more accurate measurements
- How to accurately cut said measurements
Hopefully when I get my miter slide (or whatever it's called) that will help with 2). But I'm open to any suggestions. I think one issue is that I have trouble holding the pieces straight when cutting because 2x4's are curved around the edges. I do have a planer, so perhaps if I used it (or even my table saw) to make the wood more square this would be less of a problem.
On 1), I know there are often many ways to accomplish the same thing. So my hope is that someone can suggest a simpler method, but if the best path is simply to improve my math skills, then it is what it is and I will accept that.
@Graphus, thank you in advance :). And thanks to everyone who answers helping me in my journey to be a real woodworker!
And yes, I know what some of you are thinking, "that guy would make a fantastic hand model". I just don't have the time right now though, so please no solicitations!