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Forum topic by Devorum posted 02-02-2015 08:38 PM 1040 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Devorum

3 posts in 674 days


02-02-2015 08:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: square question table saw fence

I’m finally getting started on woodowrking after a long stint overseas, and I’m having issues making straight cuts.

I have a sliding compound miter saw, and I’ve squared the blade to the fence…but if the wood is longer than my miter saw’s bed, I can’t seem to keep the cut straight. I also have a table saw, but it’s an old hand-me-down Ryobi and doesn’t have a fence. It also looks, from the design, like mounting a fence I made myself would be nightmare.

I tried straightening the edges out with a straight bit and router, but that didn’t work out. My last option is my circular saw…but I’m not great at keeping things on a true line freehand, and it seems like it would be really difficult to use it to straighten up the edges on boards I’ve already cut.

It’s not like my cuts are ugly and crooked, they’re just a couple of degrees out of square.

Are there any other options for squaring up edges after a bad cut, or should I just do my best to make and mount a fence for the table saw?


20 replies so far

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Minorhero

372 posts in 2070 days


#1 posted 02-02-2015 09:03 PM

Sliding miter saws are notoriously inaccurate and rarely used for precision work. Unfortunately you have found out why. If you can’t mount a fence safely to your ryobi (and safety is a key part, even a fraction of a degree off could lead to a piece of wood flying back into you at the speed of the blade) then your best bet is to use a framing square and straight edge and your circular saw. A straight edge can be purchased at big box hardware stores along with a couple of clamps to hold it in place for less than 30$. You run your circular saw against the straight edge to make your cuts.

If you have 300$ to spend then the best way is to get a used contractor saw with a decent fence and use that.

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JayT

4783 posts in 1676 days


#2 posted 02-02-2015 09:09 PM

I have a clamping edge guide like this one for doing straight cuts with the circular saw. If you are using a lot of plywood, it is much better to use than a table saw. For a minimal investment, it might be worth a look. Depending on your table saw, I’ve seen people use that type of guide as a temporary fence, as well.

Alternatively, there are several easy ways to make your own straight line guide for use with a circular saw. A quick Google search will bring up a bunch.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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jumbojack

1667 posts in 2089 days


#3 posted 02-02-2015 09:51 PM

I’ve been using this type of jig for ripping sheet goods for many years. It works great and if your lay out marks are.accurate your cut will be too.
http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/reviews/4283497

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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firefighterontheside

13489 posts in 1321 days


#4 posted 02-02-2015 09:53 PM

What sliding miter do you have? When you look at the end of your piece are there saw marks that appear to be offset from each other with each offset getting worse than the next. If so you need a new possibly higher quality blade. Your blade may be deflecting because it is cheap or damaged or some how dulled on one side. Also is it out of square along the cut or from top to bottom? Meaning if you are cutting a 1×6, is it out of square along the 6” or in the 1”. Are you holding the board down tight to the table? Long pieces can lift the board off the surface due to their weight. Use a small square and set it on the surface against the blade in between the teeth and see if it is set square and do the same with the square laying down.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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Devorum

3 posts in 674 days


#5 posted 02-02-2015 10:13 PM

I have a Dewalt DWS782. I still have the blade it came with on it, which is a 12” 32T.

I used it to make rip cuts on pieces about 2” longer than the slide range of the blade (meaning i have to flip it and recut from the other end, but that’s an entirely different problem), since I had no fence for the tablesaw, and the cut is out of square along the path of the blade. So, for your example, it would be the 6”.

I suppose I likely need to just suck it up and get a better table saw.

View sepeck's profile

sepeck

314 posts in 1606 days


#6 posted 02-02-2015 10:38 PM

I don’t know how similar the models are, but YouTube often has videos on adjusting various tools. As with anything source different points of view on things.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkz7s1eFZG8

-- -Steven Peck, http://www.blkmtn.org

View ric53's profile

ric53

147 posts in 985 days


#7 posted 02-02-2015 10:56 PM

If you have the means get a decent table saw. You won’t regret it. Also ripping lumber on a sliding miter or any miter saw for that matter is EXTREMELY dangerous and should not be attempted under any circumstances.

-- Ric, Mazomanie

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Rob

704 posts in 2536 days


#8 posted 02-02-2015 11:06 PM

The best solution for ripping long boards or for cutting sheet goods is to use your circular saw with a good blade and zero-clearance straightedge guide as jumbojack mentioned. The hard part is getting a straight piece of material for the guide, but you can probably find someone with a table saw, or in a pinch you can buy a sheet of 1/2” or thicker MDF (or nice plywood) and use the factory-cut edge as your straightedge to build the guide.

The Freud 7-1/2” 60 tooth finishing blade works great for me, but if you’re ripping long thick boards you may want to consider a ripping blade with fewer teeth. Whatever you do, spend $20 or so on a reputable brand with carbide teeth. Don’t waste your money on those crappy steel-toothed Skil blades.

Getting back to the table saw, don’t ever try to freehand anything on it. Make sure you have some type of fence, guide, or sled to control your workpiece for every cut. If you’re crosscutting wide boards and the miter saw isn’t cutting square, you can make a crosscut sled for your table saw.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

View Dan658's profile

Dan658

93 posts in 735 days


#9 posted 02-02-2015 11:41 PM



The best solution for ripping long boards or for cutting sheet goods is to use your circular saw with a good blade and zero-clearance straightedge guide as jumbojack mentioned. The hard part is getting a straight piece of material for the guide, but you can probably find someone with a table saw, or in a pinch you can buy a sheet of 1/2” or thicker MDF (or nice plywood) and use the factory-cut edge as your straightedge to build the guide.

- Rob

I’ve been meaning to make one of these for a while to tear down sheet goods since a 4×8 sheet doesn’t fit down to my basement shop. For getting that straight line, you could also buy a sheet of ply or MDF from a home center and have them cut the pieces with their panel saw. All you’d have to do is screw it together when you get home.

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daddywoofdawg

1010 posts in 1040 days


#10 posted 02-03-2015 01:06 AM

” if the wood is longer than my miter saw’s bed, I can’t seem to keep the cut straight.” If I understand you right your say your cutting say a 8’ 2×4 and the ends aren’t sq?If that is the case you need to support both sides that are hanging over the bed,as the saw cuts the cut part starts to bend making for a “round/angled cut”
As far as a saw guide they’er easy it make look on you tube for circular saw guide there are many posted there.Also miter saw benches with supports.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2155 days


#11 posted 02-03-2015 01:14 AM

I started out my woodworking life with a little Ryobi tablesaw. They don’t have the best rep but can be tweaked into a very useful saw with an inexpensive Freud Diablo 24 tooth rip blade. Order a replacement fence for your Ryobi.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View 8iowa's profile

8iowa

1546 posts in 3226 days


#12 posted 02-03-2015 01:32 AM

Quite a few years ago I started woodworking on a dining table with hand tools. I didn’t have a single power tool, not even a drill. Not feeling the least bit handicapped, I made several nice projects that are still in use. I’ll be the first to suggest learning how to use a few basic hand tools on the best type of bench you can come up with. Even today, having a lot of nice power tools, every project gets to sit on my workbench for some type of hand tool work.

It’s just my opinion, but using contractor’s tools is not a good way to begin a woodworking hobby. There is a lot of difference between “contracting” and “woodworking”. That said, the circular saw with a straight guide as mentioned above makes a lot of sense. Woodworking author Nick Engler, said ” an average quality saw with a great blade, is much better than a high quality saw with an average blade.

Here in Gainesville, I work in less than 200 sq. ft. When faced with a plywood project I always have the “Big Box” reduce the sheet with their panel saw.

My last tip; If a type or method of cut doesn’t feel comfortable to you – don’t do it, think it thru to some other method.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View crank49's profile

crank49

3981 posts in 2436 days


#13 posted 02-03-2015 01:44 AM

Those cutting guides like shown in the link in post #3 by JumboJack are the best and least expensive way to cut sheet goods. I have a table saw and a miter saw but I only cut sheet goods using those kind of guides.

If you can’t adjust your miter saw to cut square cross cuts, then a sled to go on your Ryobi might be the best way to go. Do a search on crosscut sleds and you will find hundreds of examples. Will make using the table saw much safer as well.

Then, of course there is always the good old hand saw. Make a good square mark and learn to cut on the line. That’s the way it got done for hundreds of years before table saws and miter saws were invented.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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firefighterontheside

13489 posts in 1321 days


#14 posted 02-03-2015 02:24 AM

Don’t give up on your Dewalt saw yet. While there gets to be a bit of play as that thing slides out, it can make very nice cuts. The fence should have some adjustment to it and the bevel may need to be adjusted by using a square like I suggested. Supporting the wood at the ends so they don’t sag and lift the wood off the surface and keeping it pushed against the fence are paramount. If you plan to cut anything more than 2×4’s get at least an 80 tooth blade if not 96.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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patcollins

1420 posts in 2330 days


#15 posted 02-03-2015 02:35 AM

This works well for 12 inch boards, I made myself one that will do up to 48 inchs in width.

https://www.kregtool.com/store/c47/saw-accessories/p264/square-cuttrade/

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