How to Make the Most Out of Your Miter Saw
A miter saw is an awesome woodworking tool to have in your workshop, whether you are a professional woodworker or a woodworking do-it-yourselfer. If you have a miter saw, you can guarantee that your wood cuts would always be accurate, and you won’t have to spend a lot of time and effort ensuring so. More importantly, you get to reduce the likelihood of your time and resources wasted because you made a wrong cut on your wood stock.
However, you can only receive the benefits of having a miter saw if you know how to use it properly and if you have the right miter saw for the job in the first place. It would also help a lot if you plan your projects carefully as well. After all, whatever carpentry tools you have will only go so far without any careful project planning and management.
Read on for tips on how to make the most out of your miter saw.
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Invest in a Good Miter Saw
The first step to making the most out of your miter saw is investing in a good miter saw in the first place. Contrary to what you may think, a good miter saw isn’t the fanciest or the most expensive one you’ll find in the market. Rather, it’s the one that fits your needs best, the one that has the features that will help you execute your woodworking tasks most efficiently.
Thus, before you sink your hard-earned cash in a miter saw, figure out first what kind of woodworking projects you typically work on that requires the miter saw. For most DIYers, a standard miter saw is enough. A standard miter saw has a blade that can be moved up and down, but it doesn’t tilt. Some models don’t even allow the blade to move side to side. So, a basic miter saw can only do crosscuts and angled miter cuts. It’s not capable of making bevel cuts or those combination compound cuts.
If you’re a DIYer who wants more versatility in a miter saw, though, you should invest in a compound miter saw. A compound miter saw’s blade moves up and down and side to side. It also tilts in one direction if it’s a single-action saw, and in both directions if it’s a dual-action saw. A compound miter saw will let you make crosscuts, miter cuts, bevel cuts and compound cuts on your wood stock.
Now, if you’re a professional carpenter, you will want a sliding compound miter saw. A sliding compound miter saw is larger than your regular compound miter saw. This tool will let you work on larger pieces of wood, as well as make longer and deeper cuts as needed.
You should also check the kind of features the miter saw you’re buying should have. For instance, it would be useful if the miter saw has table expansions. These expansions will support longer and bigger cuts of wood. A dust bag is highly desirable because it will make sawdust cleanup a lot easier. Laser guides will help you cut wood more precisely and more quickly, which will be useful if you intend to work on batch projects.
Get to Know Your Miter Saw
So you’ve already bought your miter saw. Before you start using it, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with your new woodworking toy. Getting to know your miter saw will let you know how to operate it correctly. It will also prevent any dangerous mishaps that will not just botch your woodworking project but may also result in accidents and injuries.
How do you get to know your miter saw? The first step towards achieving that is reading the owner’s manual from cover to cover. You should also examine the miter saw itself so you would know which part is which. Test driving your new toy on small projects will also let you know what your miter saw is capable of.
Speaking of accidents and injuries, you should exercise all the necessary precautions when working with your miter saw, whether you’re using it for a small task or a big project. It’s important that you use goggles and earplugs to protect your eyes and ears while working with your saw. Keep your hands away from the blade at all times. Make sure the wood stock you’re working on is secure before you operate the saw. Always cover the blade with the blade guard when you’re not using the saw; never let the blade stay naked.
Plan Your Woodworking Projects Carefully
Making the most out of your miter saw isn’t just about learning how to use your miter saw properly. It also involves planning your woodworking projects carefully before executing them. So, before you undertake a project, you should know exactly what to do to make the concept of the project become a reality.
For instance, let’s say you’re building a bookshelf. You need to know exactly how to put that shelf together and to measure each part of the shelf so they will all fit seamlessly. When you measure the pieces you will use for the shelf for cutting, you have to make sure the measurements are marked on the wood properly. After all, the miter saw cannot make the precise cuts it’s known to do if the measurements themselves are not properly marked on the wood.
A miter saw is a great investment to sink your money into if you are a professional woodworker or a serious woodworking DIYer. A good miter saw will help you save time and money on your woodworking projects. However, a good miter is not one that is expensive or fancy. The perfect miter saw is one that fits your needs best and is one you’re absolutely familiar working with. Lastly, making the most out of a miter saw is not just about getting a good miter saw. It’s also about knowing how to use the miter saw and planning what projects you’d be working with it.