saw recommendation

During our home renovations I had the luck of borrowing a radial arm saw from my dad which we used for probably more purposes than what it was designed. We are now down to the last bit of renovations and unfortunately I had to return the saw. We need to buy a saw that can cut the following:
1. 2x4, 8' spruce and cedar 2. 1x6, 8' and 9ft' cedar boards 3. 1x4, 8' and 9ft' cedar boards 4. mdf baseboards and ~3" wide trim for windows (angles needed obviously) 4. possibly rip a few 1x6 fence boards 5. 1x3 cork flooring 6. plywood (probably not 4x8, could get the large pieces pre-cut before bringing home) 7. other random work for building shelves and a knee wall
Currently items 1-4 are the most urgent as there is a friend down the block willing to have us come over and use his table saw if we bring him some beer. So if an application specific saw would be significantly better than a multi-purpose saw, we'd go with that. i.e. would a mitre saw be our best choice? and do we need a sliding mitre saw? laser on it?
Can we get a saw that would cover all these application? i.e. would a table saw be suitable for this?
I had my dad over doing all the angled cuts on our first set of baseboards, and since he's been using his radial arm saw for years, he had no trouble with it. I don't think purchasing our own radial arm saw would suit our purpose though as I don't know if I want to tackle the angles with that type of saw, I know I'll never get them to match.
Renting is out of the question as we have minimal time to do our work so it will be spread over months, so we may as well buy one.
Recommendations of saw style, brand, etc. would be useful. We are just homeowners who are close to being finished our renovations so don't need a contractor grade unit but want to get something that won't fall apart us part way through building our fence.
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It won't do plywood, but a $79 Delta miter saw will do the rest. Is this a trick question?
I cut plywood too big for my table saw with a circular saw and a clamp-on fence.
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toller wrote:

Nope, no trick, just not that familiar with power saws. Like I said I have really only done work with my dad's radial arm saw. Also, didn't know if going with a cheapy would be wise, but am now happy that you said a cheapy will do the job!

Ah yes, we also borrowed his circular saw for that over the summer so we could always purchase one of those when we need to do the plywood.
Thanks.
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Well, let me add my 2 cents worth on cheapie tools. I bought nothing but cheap tools for 15 years. After I started helping a contractor friend on weekends and using his quality tools, I was a convert. You will spend double for a Milwaukee over a Ryobi (or like tools), but it is worth it. You will find the quality of your work is better and you can achieve the results faster. When you take into account your time and the satisfaction of a good job, it's a no brainer.
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My first real power toy was a radial arm saw. I almost never use it now. I mostly use my Delta compound miter saw (10" blade) and the table saw. I still get the big sheets chopped down to a manageable size at the store using their panel saw.
A 10" compound miter saw will make all the cuts listed above except the rip cuts and leave you a little room for other things later on (like crown moldings). A 10" blade saw will cross cut 1 or 2 X 6 stock at all useable angles and cut 4 x 4 at least 90 degrees. A table saw is far superior to an RA for ripping stuff. I would even go so far as to say an inexpensive table top table saw is superior to an RA for ripping as long as you secure it to a stable table. Short term for ripping buy a $10 rip fence to fit your circ saw.
Have fun.
Colbyt
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Thanks for pointing out the size of mitre saw, I was wondering if we'd go with a 10" or have to go to a 12". Excellent advice on the circular saw, I'll have to pick one of those up when we get to the plywood. We're a little lacking in saws around our house. :-)
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a trick to cutting large pieces of ply: get a 1" thick piece of styrofoam. lay on the garage floor. set circular saw to just slightly deeper than the wood thickness. set wood on foam and cut.
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Buy two saws a couple of clamps and a straight edge. First saw is a compound miter saw. I have a 12" saw, which allows me to cut 4x4's easily. A 10" saw would work for your situation, but will it work for the *next* project. The second saw is a circular saw. You'll need the clamps and the straight edge to cut large panels with the circular saw.
A total of $375 will get you a nice 12" compound miter saw and a nice 10" circular saw. A total of $150 will get you a usable 10" compound miter saw and a decent circular saw.
KB
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A decent 12" miter saw and a circular saw will suit your needs (yes, two saws). I prefer Porter Cable or Dewalt, but if it's your first you likely won't notice the difference and whatever is on sale will do fine. Hitachi makes a decent line, and even Rigid is pretty good. I still regularly use a 30-year-old circular saw that came from Montgomery Ward (Black and Decker made it) with nothing more than changing brushes a few times over the years. A 10" miter would work, but you'll hit something soon that needs a larger saw. Even a garage sale circular saw will likely work.
Jeff
On Thu, 30 Sep 2004 14:56:31 -0600, blue

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I think you could make do with a cheap $100 dollar ten inch table saw as long as you secure it to a stable surface and have a helper to suport one end of your work on the larger pieces.
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That would be a terrible choice. Table saws are not good for cutting short pieces off long lengths of lumber, It could be downright dangerous. Thee is no easy way to hold a 2 x 4 x 8 foot while cutting off a few inches. The helper just has to skew the board 1/16" and you can have kickback.
About 90% of his needs are met with a $100 miters saw, the rest with a circular saw. If the OP can afford better, a DeWalt saw is one of the best for that work.
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wrote in message

table saw sled

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That would help greatly, especially with a clamp, but not solve all the problems. How about some mitered cuts on the end of a 96" molding? How about the odd angles for crown molding? You'd need a lot of sleds.
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wrote in message

or one adjustable miter sled.
crown molding isn't a good use of a table saw, i agree.
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Nice, but more than a modest miter saw would cost. http://www.in-lineindustries.com/single_dubby.html
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We are taking the general advice of getting a mitre saw and a circular saw, thanks everyone. We will wait to get the circular saw until we are cutting our plywood. For the next month or so the mitre saw will do us for the fence, baseboards, moulding.
We looked around at the Borg stores and then at Costco we found and bought this saw, http://www.kingcanada.com/Products.htm?CD &ID%18 My guess it is not the greatest quality in the world, but Costco has a great return policy, so if we think it's terrible we'll return it and maybe pick up the DeWalt they have there. The King Canada mitre saw cost us CDN$189. What we liked about it is that it has the "sliding" feature, whether or not that will be useful to us I am not too sure!
We also saw a Makita, a DeWalt and a Rigid that we liked. They were fairly fancy and ran between CDN$450 - CDN$700. If the King Canada saw doesn't work out for us, we will go with one of the others.
Anyone have any experience with King Canada equipment?
blue wrote:

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The sliding feature allows you to cut a much wider board.
I've never seen that saw but I'm going to guess it will do what you want it to do. Take a few minutes to check it out to be sure the blade is cutting at 90 degrees and that the preset angles are correct. Adjust as needed and get to work.
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