Tips for Operating a Miter Saw
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Tips for Operating a Miter Saw

Making the cut with a miter saw requires preparation and proper technique. With great power comes responsibility to produce results. A miter saw is a skilled instrument for cutting and making joints. Follow these ten tips to help you cut, trim, and design with op scale precision.

Making the cut with a miter saw requires preparation and proper technique. With great power comes responsibility to produce results. A miter saw is a skilled instrument for cutting and making joints. Follow these ten tips to help you cut, trim, and design with op scale precision.

1. Steady hands. Keep your movements calculated, calm yourself before use.

2. As the saw speeds up, it will whine and move around. Let the blade reach top speed before making the first cut. This will help make sure the blade is moving at a constant speed, and ready to be used at optimal rotation.

3. Be firm. If necessary, clamp down the saw. The strength required to operate the saw should be enough to hold stationary without wiggling.

4. When cutting, cut beyond the line. This follow through will help test the fit before you adjust any angles.

5. When you have found you angle, lock the saw into place. This way, if you become distracted or have another task to take up, you won’t have to worry about remembering the angle you were working at.

6. Label your marks to remember your plans. Failing to do so may result in a poor or undesired cut, and with the rising cost of raw materials, few have enough to waste when they are working.

7. If a board is too wide to pass through the saw, cut it in half, mark the cut on the first, and repeat on the second piece. Do this when you are working with extended slabs or large pieces. You may also want to consider an extension table if your saw’s table does not provide enough room to work with. Also, be sure that you have left yourself room to move without obstruction, so as to reduce the risk of bumping anything or limiting your freedom of motion.

8. If your cut is not as smooth as you would desire, you might want to try a blade with more than 60 teeth. More teeth provide more points of cutting contact and a more smooth end product

9. If you have crowns, coves, or moldings, a jig will help. You can often build a jig to assist difficult shapes.

10. Most importantly, be safe! You can avoid any accidents by adhering respect and caution toward the power of the blade. Always unplug the saw when you’re changing the blade or are finished using it. Keep your fingers at least 6 in. from the path of the blade. Some saws have lines to indicate the danger zone, if not, make your own, and always wear safety glasses and hearing protection when operating the saw.

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