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I do not own a compound miter saw.  Some people call them chop saws.

I can make great rip cuts on my $200 Ryobi saw, but cross cuts are usually off -- unless, of course, I am cross cutting sticks of wood up to 6 inches wide.  

Just today I had to remove a 16th of an inch from one board.  No way I could cross cut that on my saw so I did this:

1.  I determined the exact spot to the LEFT of the blade where a cut would remove 1/16th of an inch.  I did this through trial and error.  

2.  With the saw blade lowered below the table, I clamped the 13 inch wide board to the saw table in such a way that as I slowly raised the blade it would cut about half way through the 13 inch measurement.  Then I moved the board, re-clamped and again raised the blade slowly.  Viola.  Perfect cut

Am I missing anything that could create a problem?

Thanks for your input. 

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Officially a "chop saw" is only a cut-off saw, which pivots up and down only. 

It can't cut miters or bevels like a compound miter saw.

Ken, I don't think you answered the "safety" question.  I believe the cut is being made on a standard table saw by raising the blade into the wood from below.  Or are you saying George should raise the blade all the way without flipping the wood.

 

@George...Not sure if a knot would throw the wood since you have it clamped.  Sounds about as safe as you can be doing it the way you are.  Interesting concept though...reverse chopsaw.

Ken Darga said:

When making cross cuts on a ''chop saw'' or a ''miter slide saw'',

it's best to make the cross-cut thru the entire width of the work-piece in one cut,

without flipping over the work-piece.

It most cases, most cannot make an accurate cut, so the cut lines are aligned.

It may be close enough for framing construction, but may not be for cabinetry.

If one must make the cut, by flipping the work-piece over, and to insure the cut-lines match,

scribe a line across the work-piece, using a rafter square as a straight-edge, held firmly in-place.

Draw the marking knife, against the rafter blade edge.

Mark and check, from both edges---the need to be aligned.

NOTE:  Make your first cuts, about 1/8'' on the waste-side of the line.

Check for squareness with the rafter square.  

When the cut is acceptable, then proceed to cut at the finished line.

Clamp the board in place, so it does not move during cutting.

 

I would say only this:  Anytime you alter the purpose of what a tool was designed for, you are inviting trouble.  Even in cases where you use the tool as it was designed to do, trouble easily becomes your un-invited guest.  

I would suggest a cross cut sled for your tablesaw. They are very useful and can be used safely with even small work pieces. Some designs allow for quite a long length of board to be supported and if you add a stop block, setup and repeatability are a breeze.

This is one example of what I am referring to...
http://www.plansnow.com/dn3107.html

Cheers

Onno

John,

Sorry.

I answered to quickly, without reading thoroughly.

My response was to performing the cutting operation on a chop saw or miter slide saw,

and not the table saw.

John Ibbotson said:

Ken, I don't think you answered the "safety" question.  I believe the cut is being made on a standard table saw by raising the blade into the wood from below.  Or are you saying George should raise the blade all the way without flipping the wood.

 

@George...Not sure if a knot would throw the wood since you have it clamped.  Sounds about as safe as you can be doing it the way you are.  Interesting concept though...reverse chopsaw.


I realize this is not a perfect technique.  I used it safely.  No knots in the wood.  I raised the blade slowly all the way up to cut the longest length.  Then re-positioned and repeated the process.

Hi George - while your technique was a little unorthodox, by clamping the stock, I think you were safe enough. What I'm reading here is a bigger issue. Your miter guage is simply not square with the blade. I realize that the Ryobi guages aren't adjustable (been through 3 of their saws) but it is fairly simple to work around. Just loosen the head of the miter guage and use a square against the blade and the guage fence and tighten it back down. Never mind what the protractor reads, you already know it's wrong.

I have already done that.  The real issue is that a $200 Ryobi saw only has limited accuracy.  The T-slots have too much play in them.

George,

Affix some masking tape, (tan colored), to the side of the miter slide bar---

cut and trim to fit.

This will suffice as a temporary solution to close the gap/take-up-the-slack.

Apply layers, to make a sliding fit, without side play.

Remove any and all exposed adhesive residue, with a suitable solution.

NOTE: Use a good quality masking tape that has a strong grip.  Cheep masking tape will not provide adequate bonding.  The ''Blue'' tape has very little boding properties, and is intended for short term use applications.

Apply some furniture paste wax to the tape.

(The wax properties will reduce friction and provide for smoother sliding action, between the miter bar and the miter slot in the table).

George,

Adding an auxiliary fence to your miter gauge will improve it's usefulness.

Ken,

Great suggestion on the masking tape.  I am not sure I follow your last comment, however.

Please define the comment or wording you're referring to.



George Stoltz said:

Ken,

Great suggestion on the masking tape.  I am not sure I follow your last comment, however.

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