In Tricks of the Trade

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Pattern-Cut Finials

The traditional way to make a square finial on a bandsaw is to mark and cut the pattern on one side of the blank, then tape the offcut back on to the blank in order to guide the cuts on the adjacent side.  This is difficult to do with an intricate pattern because it’s hard to keep the offcut in one piece.

I use a sled with a handle for steering it.  First, I screw the finial blank to the sled (Photo 1).

Next, I screw a pattern to the top edge of the sled and follow the pattern to cut the first side of the finial (Photo 2).  Then I unscrew the finial, rotate it 90°, screw it back on the sled, and cut the next side (Photo 3).

The sled’s side supports are an important safety feature–they keep the finial from being pulled down by the saw’s blade during the second cut.

Dan Miller


Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

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