make a 5 pointed star out of wood

If you’ve ever seen a 5-pointed wooden star and wished you could have one for your own wall, read on. Not only will you learn how to make one, but you’ll also learn how to make one any size you want, and you don’t even have to be a math whiz to do it.

While not difficult to make, a 5-pointed star requires the use of some basic woodworking tools. The tools listed here are the minimum tools needed to build a star. If you have more advanced tools to use, the speed, accuracy, and ease of building will improve. Will need:

  • a puzzle
  • a miter saw
  • wood glue
  • Wood

choose an angle

We will make a three-dimensional star that has a straight crest, running from the center of the star to the tips of each point. The angle of this ridge can be anything you like, but I’ve found that a 30 degree angle looks great and gives the star a good amount of depth. Experiment to find the angle you like best.

cut the wood

Start by cutting 10 rectangular pieces of wood. Long, narrow pieces look best, and the lengths and widths need to be identical for the star tips to meet properly. An electric miter saw works well for cutting the pieces to size, but you can always make the cuts by hand if you need to.

I would suggest starting with rectangles no larger than 3″ x 10″. The thickness of the wood should be ½” to ¾”. Once you get the hang of it, the size of the star is limited only by the woodworking tools you have available.

chamfer the edge

Once the rectangles are cut, one of the long edges of each piece should be cut at a 30 degree angle (or whatever angle you choose). Adjust the base of the saw for the desired angle of cut and use a ruler as a guide so that the saw cuts the length of the entire piece of wood. Be sure to start each cut at the same point on each piece so that the width of all pieces is identical after you make the cuts. You can hold the beveled edges of two pieces together and see the basic shape of one of the star points.

order the parts

After all the cuts are made, place 5 rectangles in one stack and 5 in another stack. Mark each one in the first stack with an L to indicate that it will be the left half of the point. The other stack is marked with an R to show that it is the right half.

cut the dots

Take a piece from the R stack and place it in front of you with the beveled edge on the left side, facing down. Measure down from the top right corner, 1/5 of the way to the bottom right corner. For example, if the length of the piece of wood is 5 inches, measure down 1 inch and make a mark. Now, use a pencil to draw a line from that mark, to the bottom left corner. Measure, mark and draw a line on the remaining pieces marked with an R.

All the pieces in the L stack are marked the same way, except the 30 degree bevel will be down on the right hand side, and the measurement will be made 1/5 of the distance from the top left to the bottom left . Mark and draw lines on all the remaining pieces.

Once all the pieces are marked, make a cut along the lines of each of the 10 pieces. Make sure the saw is set to 0 degrees because you don’t want a bevel on this cut. Again, a straight edge can be helpful in making this cut nice and straight.

Glue the L and R halves together

With all the cuts done, you can now glue the L and R pieces together. Use good quality wood glue which will make a nice strong bond. When you’re done, you should have what looks like five star points. Set these pieces aside until they have dried completely.

Make 36 degree cuts

The last step is to make 2 cuts on each star point that are exactly 36 degrees from the center line. If you have an electric miter saw, it is very easy to set the angle to 36 degrees.

As you make your cuts, align the center edge of the tip so that it is perpendicular to the back of the saw. The end point of the star should point directly at you. It is also very important when making the cut that the end of the star is pressed against the table. This is what ensures the compound angle that each center point needs to fit correctly. One cut will be made from the top, at the center of the point to the right at 36 degrees, and the other will be a mirror image cut on the left side.

glue the dots together

Since 10 cuts will be made, each at 36 degrees, a full 360 degree star will be made when you hit all the center points. If the ends of each point were held against the table when the cuts were made, each piece should fit snugly and the finished star should lay flat on the table.

Once you get the hang of it, vary the width and length of the rectangles and use different types of wood. Use oak, pine or old barn wood to get the look you want. With a little searching and creativity, you’re sure to find a 5-pointed star to match any décor.

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