Miter Saw Not Cutting Straight. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-13-2009, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Miter Saw Not Cutting Straight.

I never really noticed it before because I hadn't really cut anything that required super accuracy and was wider then a 2x4. If I did need something cut that was wider then a 2x4, I used the table saw. I found this out today while working on a Coffe Table build. First I noticed that the Miter Saw was out of square, an easy but annoying fix. Then after I did a test cut I layed the cut edge on the jointer table to test see if it was 90 degrees, only to realize that I could rock the piece back and forth. I also tested this on other flat surfaces to verify. The question is, is it the saw itself or the blade? The saw is a 12" Ryobi single bevel saw, and the blade is a 12" Freud Diablo 96 tooth crosscut. I would have to buy another blade just to have it be the saw itself. HELP!!!

"Rest satisfied with doing well and leave others to talk of you as they please"

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post #2 of 13 Old 04-13-2009, 06:42 PM
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I think this is an inherent problem with miter saws. I've not heard of too many folks doing crucial cuts on them, they are done on the table saw..... unless you want to spend some serious cash and get a Festool or something like that.

Try clamping the piece so it will not move at all (versus holding with your hand) and see if that makes a difference. Also, check to see how much "play" is in the hinge... can you move the blade in and out of perpendicular? (I know I can with my cheapo miter saw). For me, I think these two things are the cause of my inaccurate cuts on the miter
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-13-2009, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood4Fun View Post
I think this is an inherent problem with miter saws. I've not heard of too many folks doing crucial cuts on them, they are done on the table saw..... unless you want to spend some serious cash and get a Festool or something like that.
Wow, I hope this isn’t so!
I love my cheep-o Craftsman. Before I use to use a table saw and it was always a pain. The 1st thing I did when I got my miter saw was install crown molding throughout my house.
I’m not familiar with the 12" Ryobi, but I know from past experiences with radial arm saws that there may be an adjustment that is not so obvious.

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I just like to build with wood and a means to save money by doing it myself.
I've been building things out of wood for 40 years and I'm still just an amateur.
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-14-2009, 06:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood4Fun View Post
I think this is an inherent problem with miter saws. I've not heard of too many folks doing crucial cuts on them, they are done on the table saw..... unless you want to spend some serious cash and get a Festool or something like that.

Try clamping the piece so it will not move at all (versus holding with your hand) and see if that makes a difference. Also, check to see how much "play" is in the hinge... can you move the blade in and out of perpendicular? (I know I can with my cheapo miter saw). For me, I think these two things are the cause of my inaccurate cuts on the miter
I disagree that miter saws are inherently inaccurate. I have made many, many very accurate cuts on my miter saws over the years. Before I had a good sled for my table saw I used nothing but the table saw.

The times that I see the miter saw make inaccurate cuts is the times that I have "rushed" it. Make sure the blade in aligned correctly in all dimensions and take the cut slow and easy.

It is very easy to push the blade out of alignment on a miter saw. In fact, I use this capability to my advantage when I want to take off a very small amount.

G
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-14-2009, 07:51 AM
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Problem I have with the miter saw is the PIA adjustments of the ones I have owned. I have messed and, messed, and messed with mine, and have always been able to get it within 1/2 degree of accuracy, but when trying to get the perfect joint have never been able to do so. I rely on my Incra miter gauge for the truly fine cuts and perfect angles.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-14-2009, 08:56 AM
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I'm guessing it's the cheap miter box. Get a decent one. I use dewalt miter boxes all day long at my job, and as long as you check them regularly, they will cut very accurately. I cut a lot of 8"-10" crown with mine, and they cut nice and straight using freud 80t blades.
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-14-2009, 09:00 AM
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"I'm guessing it's the cheap miter box."

I do not know that I would use the word "cheap" to describe the problem. I only paid $189 for my Craftsman sliding miter saw. I think that when there is a saw problem it is probably more because of being lightly constructed. That often is synonymous with cheap but not always.

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post #8 of 13 Old 04-14-2009, 09:37 AM
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I would like to clarify though, my Miter saw is definitely accurate enough to do crown moldings and the like. When it comes to doing fine box work, or furniture trim and the like the precision of the Incra sets itself apart from the miter saw.
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-14-2009, 10:43 AM
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My miter saw is a 6 year old Craftsman. Once I took the time to properly adjust it, it cuts accurate miters. I never rely on it's angle markings, though. I made several "set up" blocks using a "MiterSet" and table saw. Occasionally, I might have to "tweak" the setting, but that's usually due to an out of square wall. (are any square?)
I recently used it to cut a houseful of crown, door and window molding and a few hundred feet of 1/4' beading as well as 3400 sq. foot of Bamboo flooring. It's the go to saw for framing the wife's cross stitch creations, too.
A good blade, attention to the work and an integral clamp is all that is required....in my experience, at least.
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-14-2009, 07:21 PM
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I picked up the Makita 10" SCMS last year and it was dead on accurate out of the box and remains so as checked with my Starrett machinist's guage.

Spilling wine on oak does not make it purpleheart!
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post #11 of 13 Old 04-14-2009, 07:36 PM
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true it up with draftsman squares and the adjusting screws and you should be fine.
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post #12 of 13 Old 04-14-2009, 08:47 PM
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I agree that you may have to make some adjustments.

I also just wanted to add that the tool is only as good as the person using it.

My dad built a solid oak viewing room for a movie studio from a home built table saw. Someone stole his saw from the studio the day before he was to start and he had to wait to get paid before he could buy a new saw. There had to be thousands of intricate miter cuts because the walls were made of 1x3s to make a herring bone effect. It was just supposed to be a onetime job, but everyone was so impressed that he was hired on full time by the studios.

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I just like to build with wood and a means to save money by doing it myself.
I've been building things out of wood for 40 years and I'm still just an amateur.
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post #13 of 13 Old 04-14-2009, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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OK, so I have part of my problem fixed. Slowing up my cut speed gave me straight cuts, lesson learned. It had been so long since I tried to cut oak on the miter saw that it didn't even cross my mind. I've been cutting mostly pine lately. The other problem I will just have to deal with by adjusting the miter angle when I make a cut instead of using the indents. This did provide me an excuse to build a crosscut sled for the table saw though. Thanks for the help.

"Rest satisfied with doing well and leave others to talk of you as they please"

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