Okay, I am kinda tired of just how cheap my cheap tools can really be. I have always had trouble with my $179 compound slide miter saw. I was never able to get it to make an exact 45° degree miter. I have always kind of assumed this was lack of talent or skill. I kept working hard to get it lined up exactly right and it always ended up just slightly off. Not a lot, but maybe 1/2°. It really hasn’t affected me since I have mostly done crown molding and chair rails with it. Coping a mitered edge has always taken some finessing the edge anyway so no biggie. Well now I am doing some trim “frames” for my walls. Look above the tv cabinet in my project to see what I mean. These take accuracy and accuracy takes skill, so I sat down and busted butt to get my miter saw set up EXACTLY right. Now my miter saw has wings on each side of the turn table. When you turn the saw one direction or the other, these wings are the stops against which the turntable ends it’s movement. The more I worked with it, the more I tried to line the saw up to 45°, the more frustrated I got, until I finally realized these wings were actually limiting the turntable travel to about 44.5°! Here I have been thinking it was me and the dumb machine just isn’t capable of making a 45° cut!!! Well let me tell you, I got out my grinder and my mini-mill and it will d*mn well make a 45° cut now! What kind of miter saw can’t make a 45° cut? Isn’t that about the most common cut after 90°? Are the engineers who designed this machine so dumb that they couldn’t figure out how to make a machine that could travel an extra degree or two past 45? Anyway now that it is done, I did most of the trim pieces and they all came out perfect. I wish I would have done that a year ago.
Okay you have heard mine so tell me your cheap tool horror stories now.
-- Rob McCune