Low Noise saw (any saw ;)...)

Hi All, I'm a part time paint contractor and I'm thinking of including a laminate flooring in my services (I paint mostly condos). I have layed a couple of laminate floors myself but I used circular saw for cutting the laminate. Now, that would work if I work during regular hours, but condo corporations don't allow high noise after 5 p.m. and during the weekends, which is the time when I paint mostly. So, one option will be to do all the prep work in the evening (carpet removal, vaccuming, subfloor laying) and to hire someone to work on the laminate during the day. Or, to lay the laminate after hours using some low noise saw. I found some good looking Mastercraft mitre hand saw and it looks like that's the best option, but I still think that it must be some other power saw on the market that is not noisy. I thought to put the power saw in the bathroom, but noise is too strong even then. Any idea which low noise saw can be used for laminate besides hand saw?
Thanks in advance.
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I wonder if you could put a router variable speed control on it to dampen the sound.
Other wise, you may want to try a jig saw or battery operated mini-circular saw with a jig to keep it cutting straight. Jig saws are pretty quiet.
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How about one of those battery powered circular saws and a good cross cut jig of some sort. You'll still have the sound of the teeth hitting the wood, but the motor noise should be much lower than a tablesaw.
Chuck
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A decent belt-drive contractor's saw with a capacitor-start motor has very low motor noise. It's those little ones with the universal motors that generate all the noise. The actual cutting noise contribution will be the same. A slow going cross-cut with a quality, fine-toothed carbide blade shouldn't be too loud.
I've used one of those battery drive circular saws and while they are quieter that their AC counterparts, they are still louder than a capacitor-start motor on a belt-drive stationary saw.
Tim Ellestad

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Only type of portable power saw that I can think of that would be suitable is a chop saw and they're not known for their quietness. There's usually other options of interest than noise. Cutting laminates for floors needs usually needs an exact 90. Only other option I can think of is a handsaw for the initial cut and then some type of professional cut off box that uses a shear to cut the last 1/4" of material to size. There's a few high end sheer cutters of that type are used in picture making, maybe there's some that cut at 90.
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Upscale wrote:

Seems the best way to me, if pricey. Cut nearly to length with a hand miter saw, then shave to exact length with the Pootatuck Lion Miter Trimmer. It does do squaring. The clones out there may also do squaring. I think Grizzly distributes one.
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Seems the best way to me, if pricey. Cut nearly to length with a hand miter saw, then shave to exact length with the Pootatuck Lion Miter Trimmer. It does do squaring. The clones out there may also do squaring. I think Grizzly distributes one.
They would work with wood, but that laminate is pretty tough stuff. It will kill a carbide blade in short order. Do you think a trimmer can handle it?
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Thanks guys for all your replys. I'm thinking of testing this Bosch power hand saw (I didn't even know that something like this exists):
http://www.boschtools.com/tools/tools-detail.htm?H 5981&GT928&IU133
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Didn't you say you wanted to do flooring? It mentioned a maximum mitre of 3 5/8". That's about 4" at 90. There's flooring that's wider than that. Not saying it won't do what you'd need, but I'd examine one very closely.
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ddt_toronto wrote:

How will you rip the pieces to width along the wall?
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

I'd guess the trimmer will handle it, but sharpening the cutters might become a career. Still, it will do the job, I'm reasonably sure.
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Most portable electric saws use universal motors. That is a big noise maker by it self. Then add a blade it the sound magnifies. Bosch makes a different type of miter saw that might be quieter. Take a look here. http://www.boschtools.com/tools/tools-detail.htm?H 5981&GT928&IU133
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ddt_toronto wrote:

Horizontal Bandsaw
http://www.southern-tool.com/store/light_duty_horizontal_vertical_bandsaws.html
http://www.southern-tool.com/store/metalworking_bandsaws.html
A guy had a small one at a job site a few years ago. Don't remember the name but it was easily carried by one person.
Normally used for metalwork.
Quiet compared to any circular saw.
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Grizzly has those too.
Low cost solution. I used one for metal work. But they came in handy for cutting many other materials. Just buy the right kind of blades.
http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?itemnumber=G8692&viewtype=images&num=2&
http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?itemnumber=G8692&
This is the one I used for many years as a general cut off saw. Mostly for metal but almost anything else you could think of too. Just because it was there in the shop.
http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?itemnumber=G1010
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If low noise is critical, I'd go with the manual miter box. I've got a Craftsman that has done a wonderful job. It has a wooden base that I modified slightly and will clamp tightly in a Workmate bench. It has a "captive" blade so that once set, even a monkey could make precise cuts. Something like: http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do? BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=TOOL&pid936343000&subcat=Miter+Boxes
(sorry about long url, it's a Craftsman Full Range Compounding Miter Box, Sears item #00936343000 Mfr. model #36343 )
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Contractors have been getting ripped off for years now by a conspiracy. The only thing that's generally available to us today are devices that spin things like carbide-tipped saw blades with big motors.
But what do you think cuts the saw blade itself? That's right, a laser! Have you seen the kerf on the anti-vibration cut-outs in the Freud? Astoundingly clean, accurate, lightning fast, with a .5mm kerf.
So, take that new miter saw with the laser sight. All they need to do is get rid of the motor and the blade and boost the laser power. How hard can that be? I just did all the design work right there.
* Never needs sharpening! * Totally quiet... no moving parts! * No sawdust... just a little puff of smoke.
The laser could even match the color mark of the manufacturer (e.g. yellow for dewalt, red for milwaukee, green for hitachi)
Well, you can see how this would kill lots of industries overnight, so they'll never let us have them.

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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.net wrote:

I'll bite.
Cutting wood by essentially burning it away is a bit different to cutting metal... I guess for studwork a bit of scorching wouldn't matter so much, but for fine furniture? No thanks.
Also, the systems I've looked at in a quick google (up to 450W CO2 Lasers) can only cut a max of 1" thickness. And a 450W laser is a hefty bit of kit with a hefty price tag. Although I see EBay has a 3500W laser setup on Buy-it-now for only $249,995.
Not to mention that saw cutting is only dangerous to people within reach of the blade plus a bit for kickback. A high powered cutting laser would be a danger to anyone in a pretty wide range, even if it was initially contained inside the workshop. Want your dozy neghbour to have one?
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Yes, no kickback either! I hadn't thought of that...but I'm sure that will be on the first brochures when they start churning them out.
Scorching? By the time these things come out, all wood will be MDF and need to be painted anyway :-)
Seriously, though, the *pulsed* lasers that do LASIK eye correction DON'T SCORCH (they vaporize the wood before it burns)... they could make a stopped, flat-bottomed hole in wood that looks like that you made it with a forstner bit on your drill press but with 0.0001" accuracy and no brad-point left in the bottom if you add a modicum of CNC technology.
And, if you wanted to thru-drill, that's another good thing... ZERO TEAR OUT!
One of the best uses is making those damned square mortise holes -- nobody's every pefected that satisfactorily. And even if you do have the el-cheapo scorching version of the laser, we don't care a lot inside a joint.
The price of anything initially (in "prototype" quantities) is quite costly... but you can go to the dollar store and get a laser pointer now for a buck... when they first came out they were a hundred bucks! And don't forget, with a pulsed laser, the power is concentrated in a short burst resulting in *much* lower wattage.
It might seem dangerous by today's standards, but again, look at the LASIK lasers... they're a foot from your eyeball pointed directly at your eyeball!
Brad nailers and Hilti guns have quite a "range" too, and probably seemed scary when they were first invented.

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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.net (in MOtKe.173577$9A2.125878@edtnps89) said:
| So, take that new miter saw with the laser sight. All they need to | do is get rid of the motor and the blade and boost the laser power. | How hard can that be? I just did all the design work right there. | | * Never needs sharpening! | * Totally quiet... no moving parts! | * No sawdust... just a little puff of smoke.
Hmm - more benefits:
* Self cauterizing... losing a limb doesn't mean you'll bleed to death. * Large capacity/range - 3500W model cuts "to infinity and beyond." * Doubles as lawn mower/tree trimmer/pet groomer/grill starter.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
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