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Tips for Mastering the Miter Saw Los Alamos NM

At first glance, using a miter saw appears quite simple. But to get good results—that's another story! Here are a handful of techniques and jigs, for pieces large and small, to help you make absolutely straight, splinter-free cuts right on your layout lines.

Los Alamos Hme Imprvmt Co
(505) 662-5371
232 Dp Rd
Los Alamos, NM
 
Lowe's
(505) 367-1900
407 Lowdermilk Lane
Espanola, NM
Hours
M-SA 7 am - 9 pm
SU 8 am - 8 pm

Cooks True Value Hardware
(800) 642-7392
518 Paseo De Onate
Espanola, NM

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Home Depot
(505) 424-9463
952 Richards Ave
Santa Fe, NM
 
The Home Depot
(505)344-1900
1220 Renaissance Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 7:00am-8:00pm

Metzger's Do it Best Hardware
(505) 662-3715
1607 Central Avenue
Los Alamos, NM
 
Hacienda Home Centers
(505) 753-2131
430 S Riverside Drive
Espanola, NM
 
The Home Depot
(505)833-9990
2820 Coors Blvd NW
Albuquerque, NM
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 7:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(575)622-2026
2350 N Main
Roswell, NM
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(505)771-3523
7700 US 550 NE
Rio Rancho, NM
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 7:00am-8:00pm

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Tips for Mastering the Miter Saw

Tips for Mastering the Miter Saw

14 Ways to Make Safe, Accurate Cuts with No Tear-Out

by Tom Caspar


At first glance, using a miter saw appears quite simple. But to get good results—that’s another story! Here are a handful of techniques and jigs, for pieces large and small, to help you make absolutely straight, splinter-free cuts right on your layout lines.

Push Your Fence Back

Straight pieces of molding are easy to cut on the miter saw, but how about those snarly bent ones? If you have an extended fence, accurately cutting their ends requires one simple adjustment. Push the fence extension back and out of the way, so a bend won’t prevent you from holding the molding tightly against the saw’s own fence. Use this technique for flat boards that are bent, too.

One Blade Can Do It All 

Most miter saws come with a blade that’s fine for cutting 2x4s, when a bit of tear-out or a slightly rough surface really doesn’t matter. For better performance when cutting hardwood and plywood, replace the original blade with a blade that has a high tooth count and a negative rake. Leave this replacement blade in your saw for cutting all types of wood. 

A negative rake means the teeth lean slightly backward and cut less aggressively. A 10-in. high-tooth-count blade has 60 to 80 teeth; a similar 12-in. blade has 70 to 100 teeth. Plan to spend at least $70 for one; the price increases with the number of teeth.

Back Up Thin Stock

Make a sacrificial two-sided miter box when you’re slicing thin stock into short pieces. Mount a toggle clamp on the box to safely hold your work (see Source, below). Fasten the box to your saw’s fence so it won’t move. Then cut a slot partway through. Use the slot to align the layout mark on your workpiece. This box also acts as a back stop so the cutoff won’t fly away. It also prevents tear-out below and behind the cut.  

Carry It Compactly

Rotate your saw’s turntable all the way, left or right, to make the saw more compact and easier to carry. This puts the handle closer to the saw’s center of gravity, so it’s easier to balance.

Set Bevel Angles with a Block

When’s the last time you tried to read your saw’s bevel scale, the one that tells you how far the blade is tilted? Those scales are often divided by illegible lines and have crude cursors caked with dust. It’s much easier to make a setup block than to read the scale.

To make the block, leave the blade at 90 degrees with no tilt. Rotate the saw table to the angle you want. Place the block flat on the table and cut it. Rotate the table back so it’s square to the fence. Stand the block on edge to adjust the blade’s tilt. 

Check Your Throat Plate

Most throat plates are set slightly below the saw’s table, as indicated by this piece of paper. The throat plate should be level with the table t...

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