The Making of 'MY' Octagon #1: I DID IT- made an octagon

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Blog entry by TJ65 posted 01-26-2011 06:08 AM 4857 reads 1 time favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Guess What I did it!!!!!!! Made a perfect Octagon and hopefully another as this was just the test case. I want to thank each and every one of you who helped. On the forum 1-how do you make an octagon - 2-making octagon cont . As I couldn’t have done it without you all. My problem mainly is my lack of Maths skills to put it mildly – they suck!!! Angles, triangles, numbers are all in the same boat in my way of thinking. Difficult, hard, impossible!
Anyway as I wanted to do a perfect octagon I thought I would try to do it with the help of numbers-in the way of rulers, protractors, gauges. Well they all failed – or should I say I failed at trying to use them.
Me and numbers (except money) is like oil and water. A couple of times I was close but not quite then I would just confuse myself by just looking at the numbers, now which way again up or down. Inevitably I would get it wrong.

Initially I started out trying to calculate the angle by getting what I thought was 22.5 and cutting out a paper or cardboard version so I could then make a cardboard cutout of each octagonal piece. Well this was just annoying. (But that was only decided after trying to fit it all together for 3-4 hours.) So another day another way-I was sort of close so I decided to cut out 3mm MDF version of the pieces. Now being so small I didn’t want to use a mitre saw either power or hand cutting. So I used the bandsaw and tried from there. But I found that each length was different, only slightly but great enough to worry as it was stated in the forum a few times They all had to be the same length. Another Worry – just how was I going to do that.
Another day and another plead for help from LJers. Mike(Stefang) showed me in the forum a jig that was made for the disc sander to attain the correct length for each piece. Well what could I loose. So I made a rough version of that. Surprisingly it works a treat! At least something was going right!! Anyway there still was the problem of trying to get that perfect angle so I could use the jig to.
Another day passed and I decided fresh in the mind to just THROW ALL NUMBER RELATED OBJECTS AWAY, like rulers and protractors and head to the incorrect mitre gauge that was on the disc sander. I knew it was out, but how far, I got a 45 degree triangle and saw just how far out.

Triangle to reuse for attaining correct angle for next time.

Your thinking that was the end. Well in fact it took another few adjustments before I found the right one. Mainly because I was using a slick on my new jig that was not square!! (WHAT AN IDIOT !!) So I had to redo all that I had done after thinking that I had finally done it.

my version of Mikes jig and the now ‘straight’ edge

All pieces exacly the same!!

Well after sanding slightly checking, adjusting several times I was very pleased but not quite believing that I had actually made an octagon.

OMG!!! I did it. Now the hard part, making another!! But that’s another story!!

-- Theresa,

25 comments so far

View Dez's profile


1172 posts in 4994 days

#1 posted 01-26-2011 06:12 AM

I knew you could!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3726 days

#2 posted 01-26-2011 06:12 AM

Great ! looks good with flawless joints.

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2842 posts in 4601 days

#3 posted 01-26-2011 06:23 AM

Well done Theresa, way to go, never say never or wharever. Now you can celebrate AUSTRALIA DAY
with that lot of your mind.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View oleCB's profile


77 posts in 3598 days

#4 posted 01-26-2011 06:35 AM

Awww.. We knew you could do it!!!

-- There was only one perfect carpenter... It wasn't me!

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3839 days

#5 posted 01-26-2011 06:56 AM

Congratulations! You really made it.

-- Bert

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 4024 days

#6 posted 01-26-2011 07:13 AM

Way to go!

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2659 posts in 4443 days

#7 posted 01-26-2011 08:14 AM

: )

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


19833 posts in 4593 days

#8 posted 01-26-2011 08:41 AM

My Oh My!! ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5077 days

#9 posted 01-26-2011 11:36 AM

thumbs up!
Pat on the back!
Gold star.

Perseverance .. congratulations!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View degoose's profile


7279 posts in 4272 days

#10 posted 01-26-2011 11:45 AM

Now make one with the grain flowing all around…
Nah Just Kidding you…nicely done and nicely documented..
Even I can follow these instructions…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View TJ65's profile


1397 posts in 3967 days

#11 posted 01-26-2011 11:59 AM

Thanks guys
Just had to share!! It certainly was good to actually achieve this after spending sooooo many hours TRYING!
Thanks Debbie had a smile at your comment.
Larry – grain all the way around – EASY!!!!!!!! ? !!!

-- Theresa,

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3837 days

#12 posted 01-26-2011 01:54 PM

Great Job, Theresa. I have been watching this with interest. I knew you would figure it out. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View revieck's profile


270 posts in 3987 days

#13 posted 01-26-2011 02:14 PM

Looks like your ready for segmented bowlturning! Keep up the nice work and you’ll get there!

-- Don't be at the airport when your ship comes in!

View Pete Jansen's profile

Pete Jansen

250 posts in 3838 days

#14 posted 01-26-2011 02:34 PM

Way to stick with it. After a couple of failures I would have gone back to rectangular frames and 45 degree angles. =)

Nice job, should be an awesome finished project.

-- Lovin' sawdust in beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 4614 days

#15 posted 01-26-2011 03:05 PM

Great JobTheresa you can do anything when you put your mind to it, way to go

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