Abrasive wheel on miter saw

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of pressure or power leads to a very hard area to cut through. Could be just from the wheel loading up, though. The cheap 110 volt Ryobi type cutoff saws don't have nearly as much power as the more professional abrasive cutoff saws. I think that contributes to the wheel just spinning in the cut, if you try to keep the saw moving through a solid section, it just bogs down.
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snip-----

What little experience I've had with an abrasive cutoff saw pretty much parallels yours. Assuming you have the proper blade, it is my suggestion that the wheel loads up, which prevents cutting. Higher pressure tends to break down the wheel sllightly, exposing new, sharp grains, and eliminating the loaded surface. Without the break down of the wheel, it begins acting like a bearing and doesn't cut. It might be difficult for the operator to distinguish between a loaded wheel or a glazed one, due to dissolution of the abrasive, which dulls it excessively. For best results, make sure you're using the proper wheel for the task at hand. It *really does* make a difference.
Harold
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hand. With a fine tooth blade and some lubricant, it will cut mild steel and aluminium just fine. A lot of the time it is quicker to setup and use than my (unmentionable) bandsaw ...
I just don't use the abrasive cut off stuff because of the mess - in fact I don't do any sort of grinding in my workshop because of the danger to all the other tools.
Dave
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why not use a hacksaw?
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I've done it. No problem - except.. you must take off the exhaust bag first, if it's so equipped. Otherwise it'll burst into flames. Trust me - I know.
Dave

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wrote:

You seem to be answering your own quesions. Why not try it out and let us know the results?
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wrote:

how about go rent a chopsaw for a day?

abrasive wheels for steel are designed to be used with brisk pressure. light pressure and going slow will overheat the metal and wear the wheel quickly.

yep.
dust collection for miter saws is difficult at best and a black art most of the time....

it's more than the metal shavings. it's also the grit from the blade. together they'll quickly trash the turntable bearings, the chop arm bearings and the motor bearings on your aluminum miter saw. if the saw is a throwaway, go for it. if you need to make good cuts in wood with that saw, don't do it.

it'll work better than you think.

look, dude, the correct answer to your question is go buy a chop saw. but don't listen to me, first go trash your miter saw, then go buy a chop saw *and* a miter saw. and I'll say "I told you so" in advance....

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Consider coping the angle iron instead, it's easier to get a square joint. You can cut back the top so the whole other side sits square against the remaining vertical portion, or you can cut the top of the 2nd side piece so that the vertical part of the piece slides under the top of the first piece, and round the corner so that it fits in the fillet radius. I didn't explain that very well, but I think there's some pictures of this out on the web, maybe even in the dropbox...

Go buy a thin cut-off disk and a 4-1/2" mini grinder. :^) At least it's cheaper than a chop-saw, and it has 1001 other uses... I can't count the number of times mine has saved my backside.
--Glenn Lyford
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snip-----.

Likely not enough to protect from the accumulated swarf----especially the shed abrasive, which will continue to do damage as it's abraded by objects that come in contact with the saw----
Particles? Some

I think that's an outstanding idea. Be sure to keep a fire extinguisher real close, though. When was the last time you vacuumed a stream of hot sparks and didn't end up with your vacuum cleaner, the one that is normally filled with wood chips and dust, on fire?

Sorry. "go buy a chop saw"!!!
It's not that your miter saw isn't capable of doing the work, it's that it isn't capable of doing it without doing some damage to the saw. If you use it long enough for metal, it won't be worth a damn for use on wood any longer. Then you can buy a chop saw and a miter saw. Won't that be fun!
It all boils down to how much pride you have in your tools. If you don't mind having them look like they've been abused, I can't see why you couldn't get by with the occasional poor application.
Harold
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If you are cutting a small amount of soft metal, no big deal. The problem using wood-cutting tools to cut metal is that they cut too fast. Metal needs a slower cutting speed than wood. When I stated "soft" metal I'm referring to metals such as aluminum, not steel, OK?
wrote:

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I bought a cheap, old, pawnshop special for just this purpose--an old 10" B&D (IIRC) mitre saw with a steel table and fence. I think I paid less than $40 for it. Use it exclusively for cutting mild steel and other such metal, an infrequent operation. I scrounged a thrown-away stainless steel cabinet on which the saw sits--it even has a ss backstop/splash guard to keep some of the spray in check.
I wouldn't think of cutting steel with the 12" Delta I use when running trim, though I have cut aluminum sheet (siding, soffit, etc.) on it. I figure the cast aluminum on the saw won't be damaged by the aluminum "sawdust" (but the bearings could be an issue--have to think about that one).
Don't forget a face shield, gloves and ear protection--cutting steel with abrasive blades is a loud and dirty proposition.
Dan
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Well, I have done this successfully with my 10" Craftsman wood chop saw fitted with a 10 inch disc, cutting 3/16 angle iron a few times. My main worry was the risk of fire. Wear facial and head protection, remove all dust collection devices, somehow clamp the steel well. Expect to have pits in any prescription glasses caused by tiny bits of molten steel. I definitely wouldn't hook it up to your shop vac, as the vacuum would draw red hot metal bits into a dust collection trap and likely burst into flames, hidden from view. To tell you the truth, I didn't even consider the possibility of burning out the motor or burning plastic parts or causing the disc to shatter because of fast rotation. That didn't happen, though I'll think twice before I do it again. I thought those discs were rated for high pm -- they work differently than a metal bandsaw. Maybe check the rating on the disc.
Dave

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Likewise, I've done it with both a chop saw and a circular saw. The advantage with the circular saw is that you can set the depth and make a couple of passes to get the cut on harder stuff. I've never used my compound miter for this, simply because the old chop saw is there and handy. Never wanted to get my miter saw that dirty just to hack a piece of steel. If that's all I had though, I'd cut with it. There's not a lot of difference between the two saws and it has never hurt my chop saw to cut steel. I've cut quite a bit of steel with it and if bearings were going to go then mine should probably have gone by now. Maybe it does accelerate the wear to some degree, but I'm not even sure I'm ready to believe that just yet.
My chop saw fence certainly does not look any the worse for wear, so I shouldn't expect that my miter saw's would either, if I used it. The sparks generally fly pretty straight back. I'd have to go look at the blades I use to see exactly what the rpm rating is but I do remember that when I bought them, I made sure they were rated high enough to put on the chop saw. Not hard to find at all.
--

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snip----

Most of the miter saws I've seen are made from aluminum, whereas all of the chop saws I've seen are made from steel. Assuming I owned a miter saw, I'm not convinced I'd want to rough up the fence cutting steel (hot rolled especially, and rebar specifically) then expect the fence to not rough up finished wood products like moldings afterwards. The aluminum is soft enough that it would not go through the experience without some damage, unlike steel components. Seems to me it would be a little like washing your car with sandpaper. Thoughts?
Harold
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Harold & Susan Vordos wrote:

<FULLY> in agreement...if I were to use a miter saw for steel, itdefinitely would <not> be one I intended to do anything of any precision with again later...
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My chop saw is aluminum, just like my miter saw.
--

-Mike-
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I'm not surprised. I likely spoke before putting my head in gear. When you consider all the relatively inexpensive tools available to us these days, I would expect that the vast majority use aluminum, which can be cast inexpensively. Why would I expect a chop saw to be any different? I have an old Milwaukee (chop saw) in storage. The more I think about it, the more I think it very well may be aluminum, too. My comments were flavored by my experiences of working in industry, where serious equipment is made of iron or steel.
Harold
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... and both my chop saw and my compound miter would fall into the category of "less than" top end tools. Both serve their purposes well and make accurate cuts, (to the extent that an old B&D chop saw can make an accurate cuts), but they certainly fit into the category you speak of.
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Mike Marlow wrote: ...

My point was intended more that after using it for metal-cutting extensively it wouldn't be much good for precision woodworking any longer...
The metal-cutting chop saw isn't Al and after the years of use it has, if it were built like the miter saw it might still suffice for a chop saw but it certainly wouldn't be an accurate miter saw...
But it gets farm repair use, not just the rare cut one light piece of metal that a strictly woodshop saw might get...but I don't think the miter saw would have held up even to some of the work the chop saw has done in its life...
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I didn't really like or want. It is a heavy casting probably about 15 years old. I've built 850 feet of metal fencing, pickets on 3-1/2" centers, along with the all the frames, rails, frufru and etc. Must have made a million cuts in 5/8" and 1" square tubing. Went through 12 or so of the cheapest abrasive blades from Home Depot. (If you really look carefully, H.D. has blades that are approx. $4.50 each.)
Half of the cuts were at either a 45 or 22.5 angle. NO PROBLEMS WHATSOEVER. Line up the metal, close your eyes and turn your head, (no time for safety glasses) and pull down on the saw handle. The stock came in 20 foot lengths and was supported by rollers on each side. About every 500 cuts , you do have to disassemble the turntable, clean out the swarf, and oil.
NOTE: The main reason I went this route is that most of the affordable metal chop saws force you to rotate your stock (20 feel long) as opposed to the saw blade. Very impractical.
Ivan Vegvary
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