Chop saw accuracy

Is the general consensus that chop saws are accurate enough to cut 45 degree angles on large picture frames or jewlery boxes or six sided boxes, etc? Or are they prettry much religated to people doing construction work, who normally are not as concerned about 100% accuracy. I do not own one but I can see where, if they were accurate, they would be helpful in making the things mentioned. Also are they as accurate as a radial-arm saw, or more accurate? If a person had the room why would they but a chop saw when they could buy a radial arm saw, which does about the same thing as a chop saw and more. Portability would be the only advantage that I can think of. Thanks Rich
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On Wed, 19 Aug 2009 09:28:52 -0700 (PDT), RJDurkee

Plain (non-slider) chop saws are the most accurate and least likely to get out of tune. Also, making a second light cut will give a cleaner cut. A sharp quality blade makes a difference. Clear sawdust off fence and table. I noticed accuracy differences between brands. A picture-frame "guillotine slicer" will improve the final cut even more. Radial-arm saws are not known for accuracy.
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I have never owned a higher end power miter saw- I have a basic non- sliding 10" Delta CMS that is accurate enough for mitering molding for trim work that's going to be painted. I have found that it is not accurate enough for doing pictureframes or jewelry boxes. I use shop built sleds on my table saw to make very accurate miter cuts- one sled for edge miters and one for end miters, such as on picture frame stock. Hope this helps.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Bingo ... if the OP's miter saw is not up to the needed accuracy, then the absolute best thing is a well made table saw sled for miters, particularly if you sequence adjacent cuts to take advantage of complementary angles, which can mitigate any error due inherent inaccuracies in the wood components of the sled. Something similar to this:
http://www.e-woodshop.net/images/MitreSled2.jpg
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My personal opinion on cross cut sleds is to make them about 1/5th the size and weight of most of the versions I see out there. I think as long as it has a front to back big enough for a 12" wide board it is enough. Yes a big sled for plywood is fine but I find nothing sweeter than a nice lite sled and doing some precision cuts with a very lite hand and it sliding like glass.

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On 08/19/2009 10:28 AM, RJDurkee wrote:

A non-slider can be decent, but not as good as a miter sled on a tablesaw, a miter trimmer, or a shooting board with a hand plane.
Chris
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Chris Friesen wrote:

Another trick that works is a jig that rides in the miter slot on a Ridgid oscillating belt sander. Figured that one out before I got my table saw.
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I agree with Dale. Typically fine furniture is better done on the table saw with a good cross cutting setup of some sort. I have seen very fine finish carpentry done with miter saws. Probably as nice or better than some furniture I have built but in general the TS is a little better.
The mitersaw is probably one of those tools that has a wide range of quality and you can pretty much go by the brand. Bosch and Hitachi highend sliders or not are probably considered the best. Milwauke (sp?) and Makita can hold their own. Dewalts are pretty good and will take the abuse of a construction site and hold up OK.
Like anything, with patience you can probably use the crappiest tool and do fine work, but the ideal is to use a well tuner TS for fine miter work.
This, is all of course opinion.

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If you fuy the Festool Kapex slider you can depend on its accuracy.
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That is what I was thinking. Soooo....tell us more....
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That is what I was thinking. Soooo....tell us more....
Sorry, Can't do that. ;~(
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RJDurkee wrote:

It depends on the saw. I use my Makita LS-1013 slider for furniture frequently. It's accurate.
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They can be tuned up to be very precise, at least quality saws with good bearings and using a good blade. But the real plus is the ability to sneak up on the exact length and angle you need, since you can remove just a whisker if you need to. Often the fixed stops make it hard to make tiny angle adjustment near one of the stops, but this is easily solved by using a thin shim behind the piece to make tiny angle adjustments.
For picture frames, it's hard to beat a guillotine miter trimmer, but it's a specialized tool. A chop saw is handy for many things.
All the things you mention can be done on a table saw too, especially with a few simple jigs. It comes down to what other types of projects and work you think you will be doing.
In general, IMO, I would venture that good chop saws tend to be more precise than good radial arm saws, at least over time. RA saws have longer travel, and more mass is being supported and moved. There are more parts to flex and get sloppy. If you keep them tuned up they can be quite precise, but I think they go out of adjustment faster. But they are more versatile. You pick your trade-offs and pay your money.
HTH,
Paul F.
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On Wed, 19 Aug 2009 09:28:52 -0700 (PDT), RJDurkee

I trim homes for a living and cut all of my miters on the table saw. I learned from an old school guy and it just seems easier for me. I see a lot of guys cutting their trim with a miter saw, and I've done it on a door or two on a basement job or remod but the table saw produces better results for me. I guess I'm the old school guy now....
Mike O.
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RJDurkee wrote:

The thing about a radial arm saw is that it's incredibly versatile but it's also high maintenance. You can easily and safely do cuts on it that are downright _scary_ on any other kind of saw if they can be done at all. But on mine I dread moving the arm because I know I'm going to be in for some fiddling before I have it set where I want it, and more fiddling to get it back to square. And _every_ time I use it I have to do a test cut to make sure it's still square--bumping the arm can easily throw it out of alignment, and it's easy to bump the arm without noticing.
On paper a RAS looks like a more versatile SCMS, in practice they are very different tools. You are correct that a RAS can do any cut an SCMS can do but you're going to be tearing your hair out after a while getting it adjusted to do those cuts.
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The term "chop-saw" often seems to be used to refer to a metal cutting abrasive bladed saw. I suspect you are inquiring about a power mitre saw, but is it hard to tell.
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Easier to tell when considering what he wants to use it for, large picture frames or jewlery boxes or six sided

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