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Thread: how do I measure length of rail?

  1. #1
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    how do I measure length of rail?

    I have an approx. degree of slant of 42.5* in my attic bedroom. Lets call it 45* .
    If I use my formula that came with the stile/rail set, I can cut perfectly fitting door frames.
    My problem: How do I cut a door frame that has a 45* angle, and is only 3 pieces for the door frame.
    How do I know what length to cut the pieces on the angle?
    is there a mathematical formula that takes the width of the piece, the length I need and the angle?

    the door, as well as the face frame, is going to look like a carpenters triangle. I can figure out the hinge stile side, and the bottom rail side, but how do I figure out the length of the long rail side.(Im calling it a rail because it will have a tenon on each side)
    Human Test Dummy

  2. #2
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    pythagarus a squared plus b squared equals c squared. a and b being the leg and base of the right triangle and c being the hypotenuse.

    A way to confirm Al would be to take a sheet of plywood and draw it full size then you can work right from it.
    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

  3. #3
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    thanx, I think the plywood idea might work better since using small decimal numbers and then having to add on the tenons.

    Im in over my head
    Human Test Dummy

  4. #4
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    If I was doing it I would cut the bottom and the side. Dry fit them together and measure the last leg.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  5. #5
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    yeah, but I have to know the exact angles on both ends, not something that is easy to dry fit for me.

    like I said, Im in over my head. figuring out angles and lengths might be a bit too difficult for me to make doors. If it was a nice 45 degrees same length on 2 sides, Id have a bit easier chance.
    Human Test Dummy

  6. #6
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    whenever Im doing something like that I always draw it out Allen, then I can not only measure the pieces but also fit them together over the drawing. just be very "retentive" when you are drawing it out, tenons and all. use dashed lines for your concealed parts like the tenons so they don't muddy the drawing
    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

  7. #7
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    I think I can get the face frame good enough if I draw it out, but if I use a cope set to make the doors, even off 1/32 of an inch will make the doors unusable.
    Not sure I can figure this out.
    I can get the exact measurements and angles using math.
    Problem is, I cant execute a 43.356 angle.
    Its been eating at me all day and night yesterday. Didn't think I would run into a wall like this.(no pun intended)

    This was an add on in the attic, I didn't need it as I have a beautiful large dresser that matches the bed(cherry and maple), I just thought Id be a big shot and build built ins to match the knee wall panels I put in.
    Now Im having second thoughts. (Unless I redesign the cabinets, and leave the attic ceiling slope alone, just build the cabinets up to the slope)

    Im going to spend the day shortly trying to draw out and make the first frame, wont even attempt the top door. I want to have a pleasant weekend.

    I was almost ready to put my entire shop on craigs list yesterday after hours of frustration. I don't need the stress.

    Unfortunately, I know my limitations when it comes to woodworking. Its supposed to be fun.
    I don't want to have nightmares over this, I just lack the know how and experience.
    I have a hard enough time building cabinets square with easy to make doors and frames, making doors and frames for uneven trapezoid cabinets, well, its above my pay grade. Im not ashamed to admit I may have to toss in the towel on this one.
    Last edited by allen levine; 07-12-2013 at 12:45 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by allen levine View Post
    I think I can get the face frame good enough if I draw it out, but if I use a cope set to make the doors, even off 1/32 of an inch will make the doors unusable.
    Not sure I can figure this out.
    I can get the exact measurements and angles using math.
    Problem is, I cant execute a 43.356 angle...
    Actually, the angle won't be that hard to do if you carefully adjust the miter gauge for your tablesaw.

    Also, don't cope the joints. Use mortise and tenon joinery. Make the two 'legs' first - each a bit longer than needed - and join them. Lay the assembled 'legs' on top of your over-length 'hypotenuse' piece, and adjust the positioning until you get the shape/angle you need. Then scribe the ends of all the pieces to get finished lengths. Cut to fit, and that's it. You're done.

    You'll have a little bit of 'wiggle room' with the panel, since it needs to float. Final assembly may be a three handed project, though, what with fitting the panel and the tenons at the same time.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  9. #9
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    the face frame for the first slanted cabinet top went well.
    I basically listened to those here, laid it out, then laid the piece under the frame after I attached the bottom rails.
    It came out pretty good.

    since this is the head knocking area of the attic, the top triangle will NOT have a door. (whoooosh)
    My wife wants that space left open, just put a door on the bottom, so we can put old photos and other things we don't want to put back in the attic, want it accessable, but probably wont take it out more than once a year.

    I still don't know how Im going to measure that triangle area on the next cabs for a door. Maybe use the same process, but with a door, eh.
    I ordered a hold down clamp so I can make a coping sled for the angled pieces of the doors when I get to them.

    Im going to make all the base cabinets with the drawers first, finish them completely so we can get back into that bedroom for a few months, then Ill work on the triangle top cabinets going up the slope of the ceiling.

    I think we are going to stay downstairs as long as my daughter doesn't move back in

    in the picture, you cant tell how much I had to cheat with the wider face frame, the top of the cabinet was off, but I screwed it in, and with the frame, you cant see its off 1/4 inch(wrong angles) Noone will know except the few that read this thread, and Im never letting any of them upstairs to look at it.

    Im not doing any more woodworking this weekend. gonna spend some time with the wife.

    in the end, if I cant figure out how to cut rails/stiles for the doors accurately with the router set Im using for all the other doors and drawers, I pack each triangle cabinet into my truck, take the bits, the sleds, and the cherry lumber to someone here who can do it.(it will only be 2 doors)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 100_1469.jpg   100_1470.jpg   100_1471.jpg   100_1472.jpg  
    Human Test Dummy

  10. #10
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    Allen do you have a sliding bevel gauge? take the angle off your drawing with it and transfer it to your miter gauge on your saw and then to your router table. use a scrap piece of lumber first then go for the money shot
    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

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