Cutting hexagons on a table saw requires a basic idea of geometry. Hexagons are six-sided polygons that can be drawn by using a compass and a straightedge. Three sets make the six-sided form of two parallel cuts, which are rotated at 60 degrees.
To cut a hexagon, you will need to gather some tools such as a drawing compass, pencil, ruler, sliding miter gauge, stock such as plywood, wood, or particleboard, and of course, a table saw.
Suppose you have an ongoing project that requires properly sized hexagons. In that case, you need to follow these steps carefully to make a symmetrical hexagon with a sliding miter gauge to make sure that the sides are shaped at correct angles.
Cutting A Hexagon On A Table Saw
First, you have to set up the board you are cutting on a flat surface to draw a hexagon’s shape. If the workpiece you have is a reliable, single piece of wood, keep it in a position where the wood’s grain will run vertically.
Then draw a circle on the piece of wood; the circle should be big enough so that the hexagon shape you want to cut can fit inside it properly. Next, mark and measure a line that will divide the circle in half, horizontally.
In this step, you have to measure the radius of the circle that you drew. A radius is half of a circle’s width. At the end of the dividing line, mark and measure the length of the radius, from this point to the inside edge of your circle.
Mark another 6 points around the circle’s edge by using the same measurement. Connect these dots by making a line to form a complete hexagon shape.
Next, make some cuts along the bottom, and top edges of your hexagon with the table saw fence by creating sharp 90-degree crosscuts. With the miter gauge, trim the remaining four edges.
Next, set your miter gauge to 30 degrees angle at the center’s left and place one of the crosscut edges across the miter gauge. Line up the mark for the side you are cutting next to your saw blade.
Then slide your miter gauge, keeping the stock in place, straight toward your saw blade trimming the edge.
Now you have to rotate the hexagon stock shape clockwise so that the miter gauge can be aligned with the edge you just cut. Position the next marked edge to your stock.
Slide your miter gauge while keeping the stock in a position right towards the saw blade and trim the edge smoothly.
Now rotate the hexagon stock shape clockwise until the second side, which was previously crosscut, is in line with your miter gauge. Keep the hexagon stock in a position to cut along your next marked edge.
Lastly, slide the miter gauge keeping the stock in position, forward toward your saw blade, and then trim the edge.
In the last step, rotate the hexagon stock clockwise to perform the final cut by trimming the previous remaining edge. By turning it clockwise, the edge that you cut will be aligned to the miter gauge.
Position the hexagon stock to cut through another marked edge. Again, slide your miter gauge with the stock in position straight towards the saw blade and then trim the edge. This completes the hexagon shape.
Alternatively, you can make a simple hexagon cutting jig. This way, you can make repeatable hexagon cuts in the future without having to go through all these steps. Take three-quarter-inch plywood.
Line up the fence and temporarily glue the runners into place. Drill some pilot holes using a countersink bit into the runners. Now, take some screws and permanently attach the runners.
Make sure the head of the screws is fully sunk into the glued down runners. If you have some paste wax lying around, now is a good time to use it. Apply a thin coat. Make sure to cover all the wood parts.
The reason why I am recommending this is that it will enable the sled to slide a lot smoother and cause less friction. Make sure to create a kerf line. Don’t go too much further.
Now, take a look at a hexagon graph and fit that into your mind. The six sides are the tough part to cut. You will also need to make sure the angles are at 120-degrees. Try to make one that is 2-inches on each side.
It is relatively easy to make a hexagon on a table saw if you have the right type of materials to attempt it. If you follow all the steps diligently, then this task will be done in no time.