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Will a blade fix my mitering mishaps?

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Forum topic by splinterking posted 09-19-2013 02:20 AM 720 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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splinterking

59 posts in 734 days


09-19-2013 02:20 AM

Hi, I picked up a new DeWalt miter saw a couple of days age. I really like the power and overall design, but being a woodworker I’m trying, painstakingly to adjust to be as beyond perfection. I’ve got it pretty tight on 0º, but of course now I’m moving on to 45º. I can cut two 45s and put them together and measure an accurate 90º with a quality square. So my next test was to make a basic mitered frame and when I put the forth side in there probably .5-1º of error and I know it’s multiplied by 4. So my question is could some of this just be the stock blade or do I need to be more fastidious in my adjustments or I’m I just looking for to much out of a 12” miter saw?

-- "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." ~Mark Twain


18 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15706 posts in 2915 days


#1 posted 09-19-2013 03:10 AM

One thing you might want to double check is whether or not your opposing sides are exactly the same length. Even if your angles are all dead solid perfect, just a tiny difference in the lengths of two opposite sides will throw everything out of whack.

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

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splinterking

59 posts in 734 days


#2 posted 09-19-2013 03:18 AM

Yeah, I did check that and had one that was a little short and then corrected for it, but I probably wasn’t giving it as much care as I would a piece of furniture. But thanks for the reply. I probably need to try a second set and see if the variance is the same.

-- "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." ~Mark Twain

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5518 posts in 2072 days


#3 posted 09-19-2013 09:50 AM

Stock saw blades are notoriously poor. It’d be well worth the money to find a good 12” full kerf blade that’s suitable for the saw and the task.

Tips for picking saw blades
Blade Bargains

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2959 posts in 983 days


#4 posted 09-19-2013 11:32 AM

Freud makes a good cross cut blade for about 90$, mine is over a year old and still sharp as the day I got it.

If you have a joiner, I’d run those boards through it to insure your cutting angle is spot on. Jointing the board allows it to sit super flush with the fence on the miter saw.

I’d say that .5 degree off is pretty darn good for a miter.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View reedwood's profile

reedwood

885 posts in 1372 days


#5 posted 09-19-2013 12:04 PM

So many variables going on:
slight difference in length, slight bow, slightly out of 45 degrees, sawdust, blade wobble on one cut.

This is always a tough one and usually fixed by trial and error to find the problem, using a stop block, then custom fitting the last joint.

Also, I wonder if a 10” slider wouldn’t give you a better miter cut than your 12” plunge saw? That’s what I use for casework. My 12” delta is for crown and trim mostly.

I still like the 12” 60T or 80T diablo thin kerf blades for that saw. I’m curious what others think. Seems to me a thicker blade isn’t going to fix an angle problem, just make more sawdust. But, it’s got to be sharp.

Another way is to make a 45 degree crosscut sled and make the cuts on the table saw. But that can have the same problems to tweak.

I like to say, perfection is just an illusion. or is it….practice makes perfect?

-- Mark - I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6249 posts in 1497 days


#6 posted 09-19-2013 12:13 PM

One of the keys to good miters is to cut it close, and then skim the last little bit off with a second cut. Blades deflect a little bit when cutting off a chunk, but that last skim cut takes care of it. It’s the same principal that’s behind hand cut miters that are then tuned with a plane and shooting board.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

5037 posts in 553 days


#7 posted 09-19-2013 12:20 PM

I find the full kerf blade to be very helpful when you’re trying to just take off a fraction of an inch. With my old thin kerf, when I tried to take off a little off of a miter the blade would skew and not take off the same amount across the whole cut. My new blade will take what ever little amount I want. So I wonder if that’s what’s happening to the OP. If you’re trying to adjust the length a little bit, it may be actually changing the angle as you make the cut as the blade skews.

-- Bill M. I love my job as a firefighter, but nothing gives me the satisfaction of running my hand over a project that I have built and just finished sanding.

View mantwi's profile

mantwi

312 posts in 593 days


#8 posted 09-19-2013 12:40 PM

2 degrees is a lot. Problem is when you adjust the fence or bade to eliminate that you will have also changed the 90 degree setting. It’s like a see saw with the 90 being the pivot point, you can’t move the ends independent of the center. If sneaking up on the finished cut doesn’t work you probably have the misfortune of purchasing a saw with a crooked fence. Put a good straight edge on it and remember ant gap is too much. If that’s the case I’d box that saw up and ask for a new one.

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

1225 posts in 1143 days


#9 posted 09-19-2013 12:54 PM

Charlie and Stumpy’s posts are right on ,I of course don’t have a fraction of their experience but have done a few miter joints in my life and I’ll say cut the pieces slightly longer ,dry fit them together and adjust accordingly.

I have a disk sander with an accurate table set at 45 degree angle so I could sand a bit off the miter cuts or do like stumpy said with your miter saw.
proper shooting board is my next project,I have also heard a miter trimmer would be a perfect tool if you do a lot of miter cuts:
http://www.grizzly.com/products/Miter-Trimmer/G1690

-- Ken from Ontario

View teejk's profile

teejk

1215 posts in 1381 days


#10 posted 09-19-2013 12:58 PM

The Dewalt stock blade used to be a very good one…very stiff which I think is important. I’d guess the problem lies in slightly different lengths that are not noticable until you start assembling. If the stock permits it, I cut one piece as my “master” piece and lay that on top of all other pieces making sure the non-cut edges line up exactly (a “feel” test). Bring the saw down (not running of course) so the master just contacts the teeth. Then make the cut. Any variance might take a hair off the master but at least you have 2 identical pieces. From there you have to pay close attention to all other cuts (using the same master). If you do end up shaving a bit off the master, you might have to trim up any pieces cut previously.

My Dewalt is older. I think the positive stops are all “fixed”, i.e. I don’t think I can adjust the 45 without moving the 90 since the entire scaling template moves. Maybe the newer ones are different.

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

393 posts in 931 days


#11 posted 09-19-2013 01:26 PM

I use a 45d shooting board after the miter saw. It has proven to be one of the biggest time savers I have.

-- Jerry

View splinterking's profile

splinterking

59 posts in 734 days


#12 posted 09-19-2013 01:31 PM

Thanks for everyones responses. Here are answers to a few of the questions raised in the replies.

I did edge joint and rip my test pieces. I used some scrap MDF and Plywood to limit inconsistency in the stock.

My DW716 came with the 60T “Construction Series” blade. I don’t know if thats good or bad, but the word construction sounds to me like “Lets frame a house” not “Lets make a some Furniture”. So I thought it might not be as true as it could be.

My dewalt is like teejk is “fixed” so you can’t adjust one angle without interfering with the other.

BTW, I’m really not trying make picture frames this really all just to get the tool calibrated properly. I have a Osbourne miter gauge on the table saw that I would probably use for that.

My main question this really is could this just be blade deflection or something inherently wrong with the saw. Or like I said maybe I’m expecting to much accuracy and I do just need to cut to fit on the last side and thats really how the tool is used by most.

I really appreciate the communities help. I’m a bit OCD about tools, because I’ve gotten a couple bad ones in the past I don’t want to look back in a few years and say “I should have just bought X instead of Y”.

-- "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." ~Mark Twain

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firefighterontheside

5037 posts in 553 days


#13 posted 09-19-2013 02:08 PM

All I know for sure is that my dewalt 80 tooth would deflect badly when trying to shave off a little. My new CMT 96 tooth full kerf 40 deg. ATB can cut off the smallest bit on red oak and not deflect at all. I do all of my mitering with this saw and get very good results, but maybe I’m not ocd about it. :-)

-- Bill M. I love my job as a firefighter, but nothing gives me the satisfaction of running my hand over a project that I have built and just finished sanding.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5518 posts in 2072 days


#14 posted 09-19-2013 11:43 PM

”...My DW716 came with the 60T “Construction Series” blade. I don’t know if thats good or bad, but the word construction sounds to me like “Lets frame a house” not “Lets make a some Furniture”. So I thought it might not be as true as it could be….”

Bingo….DeWalt does haves some decent blades, but the Construction series is pretty much what you described IMO….well said BTW! On the other hand, their former Series 60 blades made in the UK were excellent….sometimes deals pop up on NOS from that series.

I’ve been an advocate of good quality 10” thin kerf blades for under powered table saws for along time, but a 12” blade is a larger span, so is more prone to deflection than a 10”. Seeing as though miter saws are used for crosscuts only, there’s also less need for a TK b/c crosscuts put less strain on the motor. I’d suggest sticking with full kerf for a 12” crosscut application.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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splinterking

59 posts in 734 days


#15 posted 09-20-2013 02:48 AM

@knottscott Thanks for the reply, makes sense to me. Sounds like the blade definitely needs a change for fine work. I think the construction blade will be worth keeping in case I want to build a deck or something. I’m going to take your advice and the advice from firefighterontheside and go with a full kerf once I recover from the saw purchase.

Again I really appreciate everyones help. And heads up by the way if your looking for a miter saw Lowe’s has dropped the DW716 to $349 and HD hasn’t caught up, so right now you can get price match + 10%. That will save you $85.

-- "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." ~Mark Twain

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