Can I do this with a miter saw?

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Forum topic by natenaaron posted 03-21-2017 07:53 PM 2557 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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442 posts in 1995 days

03-21-2017 07:53 PM

SInce I came very close to cutting a couple fingers off with a POS table saw, I freeze up around all table saws. That in itself is probably more dangerous than the POS saw was. So, for now I am going to just stay away from them.

I have no issues with any other machine at my disposal,

I want to make an end grain cutting board. I don’t see why it can’t be done with a miter saw but I see no one on youtube use one. Is there any reason it can’t be done?

28 replies so far

View Iamjacob's profile


48 posts in 2824 days

#1 posted 03-21-2017 08:08 PM

You can pretty much make anything with any tools. The process to make the cutting board will just be different using only a miter saw.

Typically you would cut long strips, glue them together and then crosscut them to get to the end grain. If you are only using a miter saw getting long strips is pretty much out of the question.

In your case you would probably need to cut individual blocks and glue them all up in a grid. This is similar to how people make tumbling block boards.

View natenaaron's profile


442 posts in 1995 days

#2 posted 03-21-2017 08:14 PM

Thanks Jacob.

View Slider20's profile


119 posts in 719 days

#3 posted 03-21-2017 08:17 PM

how will you rip a board longer than 12 inches on your Miter Saw?

A Miter Saw paired with a circular Saw and straight edge should give you the same experience as a table saw.

View Rrrandy's profile


212 posts in 677 days

#4 posted 03-21-2017 08:23 PM

Nate, don’t give up on the tablesaw. There are a set of rules/best practices to use to keep you safe…that and paying attention at all times. The tablesaw is the center of your workshop.

-- Y'all need to locate a sense of humor. Borrow one if you can't find yours...

View Iamjacob's profile


48 posts in 2824 days

#5 posted 03-21-2017 08:26 PM

I had the same thought Slider.

I figured he would cross cut a length (2” or so) off of a board and then chop that up into blocks.

View groygroy's profile


16 posts in 673 days

#6 posted 03-21-2017 08:47 PM

Definitely can, but from someone who has made a number of these boards, I would forgo the miter saw and take a different approach.

I think of it this way, if I were to make 1 end grain board, I’d cut 100-500 blocks like you’re suggesting and piece them together. I have a 12 inch miter saw, which makes 1” blocks hardish but doable. However, if I were to take the same amount of time and cut 10”+ boards instead of 1” blocks, I could glue them together into a big block, then cut slabs off the end for each board (5+ boards in this case) on the bandsaw.

I have much greater cutting capacity, blade choice, and quality in my bandsaw (with a quick and easy sled) than even my fancy 12” Dewalt miter saw. I have an 18” BS, but even a 10” is going to give you greater capacity than a 12” miter saw. So it’s going to be faster, safer, and cleaner to do every cut on the band saw. Plus I’m getting my board and 4-5 additional boards for the same amount of effort (plus some sanding… thickness sander makes that negligible… if you’re thinking it DO NOT run EG cutting boards through a planer). I keep the best and give the others away as gifts or sell them.

View natenaaron's profile


442 posts in 1995 days

#7 posted 03-21-2017 10:09 PM

Clearly there are other ways to do this.

Randy, I’m not giving up on the table saw, They just terrify me now. Fear of a tool makes that tool a lot more dangerous, so I am hanging back for now.

Groygroy, I’m interested in in the simple sled you mention. I have a 14 inch bandsaw that I use quite a bit but never thought about it for this. When ripping a board how are you controlling run out?

I’ve got the circular saw but did not think they were accurate enough, even with a guide to cut the blocks. I should say I am not accurate enough.

I was going to do what Jacob suggested but I am interested in the bandsaw idea.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 3429 days

#8 posted 03-21-2017 11:05 PM

Just thinking…

What is the problem with the table saw? What model is it?

1) Is it the fence (or lack thereof)?
2) Is it the miter gauge (or lack thereof)?
3) Is it because of a short top not supporting the board being ripped that is causing binding/kickback?
4) Is it because the table saw isn’t mounted securely and moves around when you operate it which is making it unsafe to use?
5) Is it because of a dull blade (or wrong blade being used)
6) or what? :-)

There are ways to alleviate the problem but you gotta tell us a little more info..

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Kazooman's profile


1237 posts in 2150 days

#9 posted 03-22-2017 12:44 AM

IMHO cutting small blocks with a miter saw is WAY more dangerous than using a table saw.

View groygroy's profile


16 posts in 673 days

#10 posted 03-22-2017 03:08 PM

I use a small jointer jig to cut the boards. Then I use a crosscut sled with a large fence to cut the slabs off the end after the glue up. Two of the easiest sleds to make (I guess the jointer sled is technically a jig cause it has clamps). I’ll use a wider blade, especially for the second part. 3/4” trimaster for most of these tasks.

Not sure exactly what you mean by runout? To me that means your wheels are warped or out of round, or your blade weld is bad and putting the blade out of round. If you’re having issues with not getting straight rips, a wider blade will help. Also, the cuts need a bit of cleanup when they’re done. I do that on a disk sander before glue up. A table saw gives a better rip and won’t need the sanding, but the bandsaw lets me stack the boards and cut many at the same time. That process works well for me.

You don’t necessarily need to use a bandsaw for the rips, but, if you’re avoiding your tablesaw, you’re going to need to figure out another way to rip boards in general. BS works for me for this purpose.

View natenaaron's profile


442 posts in 1995 days

#11 posted 03-23-2017 05:54 PM

6) or what? :-)

There are ways to alleviate the problem but you gotta tell us a little more info..

- MT_Stringer

It was a SKIL”contractor’s saw” that is now in the scrap yard. I was ripping 8/4 bass wood with a rip blade. I think the fence might have not been square. It bound, kicked the board out and I have no idea how my fingers got mangled but lots of flesh was gone from the fingers that were steadying the board.

I have access to a rigid 4512 if I want the access.

Groygroy, Runout was the wrong word. I meant drift.

View them700project's profile


133 posts in 1217 days

#12 posted 03-23-2017 06:27 PM

perhaps look into Grr-ripper

View dalepage's profile


367 posts in 1039 days

#13 posted 03-24-2017 12:34 PM


Go take a basic class and learn to use a table saw. You will always be working around the problem of not having one.

A table saw is not dangerous when properly used. Go learn what that is.

Also, it’s a basic idea of safety NOT to use a tool for something other than which it was designed.

My number one rule to my grandsons when they use my tools: KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE BLADE AT ALL TIMES WHEN THE WOOD IS BEING CUT. If you do that, you won’t put your fingers into a spinning blade.

I’ve still got all my fingers…..

-- Dale

View nakmuay's profile


82 posts in 1551 days

#14 posted 03-24-2017 01:47 PM

You can with a sliding miter saw, you’d have full capacity to cut the strips and reglue. Your design might be limited though.
Another option is a track saw. Festool do the expensive ones and Shopfox the cheaper end.
If you had a sliding miter, track saw and a router table, I cant think of any jobs you’d need a table saw for. Some things might be slightly trickier, but if you don’t want a table saw i think these tools would be direct replacements

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3775 days

#15 posted 03-24-2017 01:53 PM

I agree a table saw can be used safely with the use of sleds ,push sticks and feather boards. If you just can’t make yourself use your table saw you can make a jig or sled for your band saw.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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