I am trying to cut a piece of wood that will be the top to a ring box. The box is 2.5"x2.5" and 1" thick, I am trying to cut a 45 degree bevel on each side but I am unsure of how I should do this. Would using a mitre saw be the best option or is this piece to small to use a mitre saw?

Essential I am trying to create this shape (section view):



In the way of tools I have a jigsaw, mitre saw, hand saw, mitre box, chisels, router, palm sander, and a drill press that I can use as a make-shift sander. I could also probably get access to a 10" band saw.


  • I don't use a mitre saw but I think you can do this safely using one (obviously being very careful not to get your fingers too close to the spinning blade) but what other tools do you have available? No point in someone recommending a table saw for this for example if you don't own one. This is doable using hand tools of course, it's slower but the piece is small and you don't have a lot of material to remove.
    – Graphus
    Jul 1, 2017 at 6:06
  • Updated question to add a list of tools that I have and the type of shape I am hoping to achieve.
    – ptrickono
    Jul 1, 2017 at 14:20
  • Take a longer piece of wood that's the right width and you can easily do 3 of 4 sides safely. The remaining side would probably be safest to do with a hand saw and mitre box. Jul 2, 2017 at 19:00

3 Answers 3


Normally, being rather new to woodworking, I refrain from providing answers to people's questions, but I think I have a method that might help here.

If you start out with an oversized piece of wood (say, 3x4x1) you should be able to clamp a sacrificial board to your piece and cut at least 3 of the 4 sides with the mitre saw set to a 45° cut. For the last side, I'd recommend clamping into a mitre box and using a hand saw. Cleaning up the piece with sanding should be fairly easy at that point.

  • 1
    ....showing that good problem-solving is possible at any level of experience :-) This can be built upon, the oversized board can be attached without clamps to make all four cuts possible using the mitre saw, the workpiece glued in using a 'paper joint' or held in place with double-sided tape or a couple of other options.
    – Graphus
    Jul 3, 2017 at 6:32

Since you have access to a router, you could use a 45° Chamfer bit. I used a similar bit to create the same (but smaller) bevels on MDF plinths we installed all throughout the house.

Unless you already have one, a quick Google/Amazon search should turn up a bit with the shank diameter that your router needs, with a 1" radius. Also, make sure your bit has a bearing, as that'll help you keep your cut depth consistent.

Happy routing!

  • Give the high speed of routers isn't this more dangerous potentially once the piece is down to its final 2.5" square? Also this is 1" thick material, are there bits for consumer-level routers that can chamfer that deeply anyway? I'd have thought it would be 1/2" shanks only.
    – Graphus
    Jul 2, 2017 at 6:53
  • I had fugured it would be safer if the workpiece was stationary, and it was the router itself that he held. Granted, since I mis-read his plan, as that assumed there was material for the bearing to ride on (Maybe he attaches it to a piece of scrap with the same dimensions?). As for the bit itself, are 1/2" shank routers not considered consumer-grade?
    – Gabe Evans
    Jul 2, 2017 at 10:01
  • The router I have only has a 1/4" shank.
    – ptrickono
    Jul 2, 2017 at 13:22

I'm not sure what you are trying to do . Do you want a chamfered edge or a pyramid like top? Note that cutting small pieces using spinning blades such as a tablesaw or miter saw is dangerous. Work with larger/longer pieces or wood to shape the piece and then cut it to length/depth afterwards.

If you are beveling the edges, this can be accomplished with a hand plane or sander.

For a pyramid top you can use a tablesaw, miter saw, band saw, or handsaw. Then sand it to perfection.

  • Understanding that it is dangerous work I could cut half of the sides using a mitre saw but the other two I would always be working with a small section of wood, I am not trying to loose a finger so if there is a better way to do this then let me know, or a better tool for the job!
    – ptrickono
    Jul 1, 2017 at 14:22
  • @user161010 Starting with a longer strip the two long sides and one cut at 90° are easy since there's plenty of material to hold on to (by hand if necessary). It's only the last cut that makes this hazardous as then you have a small piece (which would normally be the waste) that might become a projectile. Still doable I think, unless I'm missing something obvious.
    – Graphus
    Jul 1, 2017 at 16:45
  • That makes sense, however the only problem with that is that the last side I have to cut, wouldn't it be balancing on a small rectangular face of wood?
    – ptrickono
    Jul 1, 2017 at 17:38
  • I assumed the grain ran top to bottom rather than side to side. In that case all cuts could be made without dealing witha short piece held close to the blade.
    – Ashlar
    Jul 2, 2017 at 12:47
  • Yeah I thought about it again and I think the most effective way would be to have sacrificial pieces of wood stuck together using double sided tape and making the cuts that way, or buying a small hand plane to do the work but I'm not sure what kind of hand plane I would need to get.
    – ptrickono
    Jul 2, 2017 at 13:25

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