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Forum topic by rook posted 05-24-2010 04:36 PM 3244 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View rook's profile


4 posts in 3548 days

05-24-2010 04:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw taper-cut

A couple of weeks ago I fried a Craftsman portable table saw motor. A bummer yes but I new I was getting a starter model when I bought it a couple of years ago. I was a beginner with no knowledge and no experience. I am now a beginner with some knowledge and some experience, in other words dangerous. I fried the motor cutting a 2” thick piece of white oak – straight cut. I was also using a thin kerf 40 tooth blade.

I thought I found a decent and improved replacement table saw, I bought a Hitachi cfl10. I moved the thin kerf blade to the new saw. Cut through the 2” oak like butter (again straight cut).

The problem happened when I attempted to make a taper cut the same just sawn piece oak. The new (or old for that matter) saw comes to a complete stop in mid-cut. It is also burning the oak, we’re talking black and lots of smoke next to the blade. I am not attempting to shove the wood through the cut, just move it at the speed the saw will handle. Unfortunately, it the blade freezes no matter the speed of input.

Am I using an incorrect blade (thin kerf 40 tooth)? Is my new table saw severely under-powered?

I read the reviews about this Hitachi saw … after buying it. But I just brought it home on Sat. and used it Sun. I think Lowe’s will take it back, maybe with a restocking fee, if I return it within the next week or so.

Please offer your opinion, I need the help.

-- Randy Hardy, Woodinville, WA

21 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117126 posts in 3604 days

#1 posted 05-24-2010 04:38 PM

Sorry for the bad news

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View TheDane's profile


5441 posts in 3690 days

#2 posted 05-24-2010 04:41 PM

I don’t know anything about the Hitachi saw, but from what you describe it sounds like it could be blade/fence alignment problem. When you were doing your taper cut, what kind of jig were you using?

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4950 posts in 3988 days

#3 posted 05-24-2010 04:42 PM

Somethin’ain’t set up correctly. Check the “square-to-miter slot” of the blade first. Are you using a rip blade?
Thin kerf 24 tooth blades with the gullets exposed above the workpiece will (or should) work for this application.


View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3011 days

#4 posted 05-24-2010 05:06 PM

Sounds like an alignment problem as mentioned. Check the blade to the miter slot first then check the fence to the miter slot. I had this problem happen to me, after aligning the blade with the miter slot I was good to go.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3676 days

#5 posted 05-24-2010 05:19 PM

I assume the blade is in good sharpened state (it cuts everything else properly)? if not – that’s one thing to check for – try another blade.

if the blade is not the cause – as stated. sounds like you need to tune your saw – set blade parallel to miter slot, then set your fence parallel to the miter slot. could be that the lumber gets pinched between the blade and fence and puts lateral force on the blade which causes it to eventually stop.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3259 days

#6 posted 05-24-2010 05:47 PM

If the blade is clean, and sharp, check, double check, then triple check your alignment. Blade to miter slot, then blade to fence… Something is cockeyed there… I got a similar result with my Ryobi BT3100 before I cleaned the blade up…

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View SouthpawCA's profile


270 posts in 3260 days

#7 posted 05-24-2010 05:58 PM

According to the Hitachi website you have a 3.0 HP motor in there which is TOTALLY big enough to do the job. I only have a 1.75 HP motor and I’ve crosscut and ripped thru 8/4 oak with no problems. You definitely have an alignment issue.

-- Don

View Broglea's profile


685 posts in 3118 days

#8 posted 05-24-2010 06:47 PM

“But I just brought it home on Sat. and used it Sun?”

Rook – Did you take the time to tune the saw before using? TS need to be tuned before using. If the saw is dialed in properly, then the problem is in your jig. Either the jig is off or the stock is moving as your sawing.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4245 days

#9 posted 05-24-2010 07:13 PM

If the saw and blade combination cut well on a straight rip, and you only have this problem on a taper cut, I don’t think the saw needs tuning as some have suggested. It sounds more like there is some sort of problem with your setup for cutting tapers.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3102 days

#10 posted 05-24-2010 07:24 PM

Of course, none of us really know what was wrong. We are only providing you with our guesses as to what may have been the problem.

My guess is that you were working with a wood that had a lot of built in tension and, as you cut it, the tension caused the wood to squeeze in on the blade. The solution for that is a riving knife and I suspect you did not have one.

I’ve had the same problem before I had a riving knife on occasion. The solution then was to continuously back up and come forward again until all the tension is released.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View rook's profile


4 posts in 3548 days

#11 posted 05-24-2010 08:40 PM

I did a quick check of blade to table for alignment. The first thing I did after removing it from the old saw was to sand it clean. There was some build up of burnt sap on the blade from when I fried the last motor. I don’t want to do that anytime soon with this new one. I also tried the back and forth method (the cut had not made it to the anti-kick back jaws. It does have a riving knife. I think most posts are correct, it’s most likely an alignment problem. I knew that there had to be a way to do this. This is a very basic cut (tapering legs). I made my own tapering jig, I might have got that wrong. It seems like a simple jig. I had the jig with the “V” facing the saw, next to the fence (I used a spring clamp to hold it in place).

As I understand it, the saw is “peak” rated as 3hp. From the reviews, I think it is more accurately a 1.75hr motor. Still, the Craftsman would not even cut this wood in a straight cut. On a straight cut, the Hitachi handled the oak perfectly.

I have been reading this site for awhile now, however this was my first post. I appreciate the help offered. I will probably keep the saw, it will do what I need it to do at my skill level. I will go back and check setups and alignments.
Thanks Again!!!

-- Randy Hardy, Woodinville, WA

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

453 posts in 3032 days

#12 posted 05-24-2010 08:42 PM

If the cut is closing up, put a wedge in it after it’s been cut the first 6 inches or so, be careful, you might want to stop the saw with the blade still in the cut, put the wedge or spacer in, then start it up again. It would act like a riving knife in keeping the cut from clamping on the blade.

You mentioned that the saw cut this same wood like nothing when the cut was straight. If all you are doing is tapering the edges of presawn leg blanks then I wouldn’t think there would be much of an issue with reaction or stressed wood. It is probably something to do with the taper jig not being perfectly straight or flexing a little and causing the wood to put pressure on the inside face of the blade plate.

How long are the pieces and what kind of taper jig is it?

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View thatwoodworkingguy's profile


375 posts in 2957 days

#13 posted 05-24-2010 09:04 PM

now see the key to this problem is….buy a grizzly haha
I would recommend cutting a taper on stock that thick on a bandsaw. Sometimes depending on the wood I cut all my tapers on the band saw. It just handles that thicker stock easyer. If you cant fix your table saw problem I would find a furniture shop or even a cabinet shop with a band saw and see if you cant rent some time on it.

-- ~Eagle America~ ~Woodcraft~

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3793 days

#14 posted 05-25-2010 12:56 AM

I’ve had that Hitachi saw and all I can say about it is that it is very dangerous. An accident waiting to happen. I hope you can upgrade soon.

View Stevinmarin's profile


838 posts in 3103 days

#15 posted 05-25-2010 01:12 AM

My table saw is crap, but we have come to an understanding. In my experience, burning is due to only two things: dull blade or misalignment. I don’t tweek my saw often enough, and I use a blade until it is beyond dead: a zombie. You wouldn’t believe how much life I try to squeeze out of a blade.

That said, I get burning a lot. Especially with oak or maple: hard woods. I know, this is not proper woodworking technique, but I just factor in sanding off the burn marks.

Sand, baby, sand!

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

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