|Forum topic by Gary Fixler||posted 04-06-2009 09:16 PM||1556 views||0 times favorited||4 replies|
04-06-2009 09:16 PM
Title is a riff on padre's post on band saws. Maybe no one says miter saws have no kickback, but they’ve long been regarded by me as ‘the safe circular saw.’
I had the same problem yesterday cutting round stock. After too much work with a great carpenter saw cutting up Eucalyptus logs and branches, I realized my Home Depot-bought Ryobi 12” compound miter saw would make the job go a lot faster. Slowing me down a bit was finding a good orientation for even the straight limbs. There are little bumps and ~1” twig pieces sticking out. On most I found a good position, and used my method of taking short bites, plunging and extracting quickly in little 1/4”-1/2” increments. At the end, I make one last full slice through, quickly, and that gets the blade past the kickback region faster than a kickback can begin. All of my loud bangs have been when not using this, moving slowly through the stock, though I do that when I know the piece is completely secure, or if I need a more finished cut.
I had a too-short log, about 8” long, maybe 5” thick, and used another method of mine to hold it – pushing a 2×2 against it, about 2” from the blade. I just wanted to shave a sliver off the end to get past the checking so I could Anchorseal a clean cut. I spent the day chopping things up and sealing them. This piece wiggled a little on my first plunge, so I repositioned the 2×2, feeling it rock a bit, and thinking “I should probably give up on this one – too dangerous.” But, I got cocky, and on the very next plunge, it launched the log through and out the back of the saw into the wall. This also pulled the plastic shroud/finger guard into the saw, which sliced through it a bit and mangled up the bottom edge of the plastic cover. I unplugged it and took the top apart. I had to chisel a bunch of shredded plastic out from around certain screws to get it to pull back together right. The guard had stopped moving up when the saw was lowered. Still, I got it patched up, if now uglier, and all seemed good.
I switched to manual sawing with the carpenter saw for awhile, ears still ringing from the kickback (kickforward?), but later decided I was tired of that and went back to the miter saw. I did the same thing again. I had a longer log, maybe 2”-3” diameter, 14” long, holding it with a 2×2, because the pressure point that would hold it firmly against the table and fence (against its many little limbs sticking off of it) was too close to the blade for my comfort. I think the blade pulled it down around one of those twigs, using it like a pivot, and with a loud bang, the piece was sent twirling like a thrown baseball bat at my face. I still had my hand in front of it with the 2×2, so it hit that instead. It hit my index fingertip. It hurt like getting my finger caught in a door, but is otherwise fine. Still hurts today, though, if it bangs into something, or if I press on it. Must be bruised.
This also pulled the saw shroud into the saw. It’s now even more mangled up. I didn’t feel like repairing it again. I may be subconsciously using this as a way to upgrade to a better model. I went back to the carpenter saw for the rest of the day. I think I should build a very sturdy clamping jig if I want to do this again.
-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator