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How to Cut Coves on a Table Saw

Cutting coves is usually completed on a shaper, but with a few pointers from DIY experts, cove cuts can be made on a table saw.

More in Home Improvement

  • Time

    2 hours

  • Price Range

    $500 - $1,000

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard


Step 1: Set the Guides

The first method of table saw cove-cutting employs two boards set across the blade that act as guides for the board being cut. Adjust the angle of the cove by adjusting the height and angle of the guides.

Step 2: Cut the Board

With an 1/8" blade set into the saw, use the two guides to run the board at an oblique angle. Push toward the blade to avoid kickback. Cut slowly, making several passes. Raise the blade 1/16" every time you make a pass. This method creates rough edges on the board from the teeth of the blade. Sand the board after the cut is complete.

Step 3: Use the Cove-Cutting Shaper Blade

A dedicated tool for cutting coves (Image 1) on a table saw works much like a shaper blade. The cove-cutting shaper blade makes the cut more smoothly than a regular table saw blade (Image 2).

Use the cove-cutting shaper blade the same as a regular blade. Set the two guides to the angle required and run the board slowly across the blade, raising the blade slightly each time a pass is made.

Step 4: Make a Full Cove Cut

If the guides are set so that the blade is centered between them, you’ll get a full cove cut. Oblique coves can be made by changing the angle of the blade. You can also use the cove-cutting shaper blade with the table saw fence as your guide to achieve a different look.

make a full cove cut

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