Chop Saw Musings, Questions

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For those who are not aware: A chop saw is for cutting metal - it is not a mitre saw. A mitre saw is for cutting wood, and is often wrongly called a chop saw.
I've got a need to cut a lot of pieces of plywood that will be 5" wide. It'll be cut in 1 3/8", 2 1/4", and 5"m wide pieces. A stop would be used to insureconsistent cuts will be made.
I've been eyeballing some of the chop saws. They're available at a considerable savings over a power mitre saw, I would be making just straight cuts, and their RPMs are within 200 RPMs of mitre saws. Only problem is, they all seem to be 14". But, with a 12" wood blade, or even 10", one of these would do just what I need.
I've not made up my mind about trying this yet - I'll need a chop saw (for meal) down the road, so it wouldn't be wasted if it didn't work out for this. But, I probably won't have the loose cash this month, or maybe next month either, and I won't be cutting immediately, there's no rush.
So, the questions are: Has anyone here tried a shop saw this way? If so, how did it work out?
If you don't know me, don't waste your time blathering about how it won't work. I already know it'll work, I just don't know if it's just what I want.
JOAT Politician \Pol`i*ti"cian\, n. Latin for career criminal
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On Tue, 4 Jul 2006 15:10:13 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

Pure semantics. In the trade we call them chop saws and we do know the difference. The term stems more from the action of use whether cutting wood or metal. For wood Mitre Saw is correct; for metal Cut-Off Saw is the technical term, I believe.

I think you would have to rig up some sort of fence as most metal saws use a vise device IIRC. The location position of the fence should take into consideration that you are going down to a 12" blade.

Work? Sure it can work but making it work safely is the challenge.
Good Luck, J

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Tue, Jul 4, 2006, 3:57pm snipped-for-privacy@westlink.com (JoeBemier) doth sayeht: Pure semantics. <snip> I think you would have to rig up some sort of fence <snip> Sure it can work but making it work safely is the challenge.
Semantics yeah, but you might be surprised about the number of people that don't know the difference.
Yep, it's a given that I'll have to make a fence. No prob. And, possibly build the bottom up a bit. Also no prob.
Safety. No prob. I'm extremely leery about getting my fingers and such safely away from the whirley parts. On things like this I make a specific place to put my hand, with blocking pieces, etc., to hold the wood in place for cutting. When I put my hand in place to hold the wood, no way my fingers can get in the blade. I do the same type thing on my saw sleds. That way If I get distraced by something there's no way my hand will drift over to the blade. Works very well, on my saw sleds I'd have to lay my hand down flat, and slide my hand under a guard before I could possibly get any fingers in to the bade. This does NOT induce carelessness when not using the saw sled - I like my body parts as is.
JOAT Politician \Pol`i*ti"cian\, n. Latin for career criminal
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But would that not make it IMpure semantics?
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Thu, Jul 6, 2006, 7:42pm (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@snet.net (EdwinPawlowski) doth query: But would that not make it IMpure semantics?
Ed? Are you that guy that always sees dirty pictures in the Rorschach tests? LMAO
JOAT Politician \Pol`i*ti"cian\, n. Latin for career criminal
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Ed? Are you that guy that always sees dirty pictures in the Rorschach tests? LMAO
They're a test? I have the entire set framed and hung in my private den. I don't want the kids to see the naked women.
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Well, with the right solvent you can clean off all that dirty ink and end up with a clean piece of paper! Don't know why these guys like showing people dirty pieces of paper anyway. Perhaps they think that with an infinite number of Psychologists and an infinite amount of time, one of them will eventually spill ink on a piece of paper in such a way that it demonstrates some sort of intelligence. ;-)
J T wrote:

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J T wrote:

The only thing I can think of would be whether they can be adjusted to give perfect 90 degree angles, or whether you're at the mercy of the manufacturer.
My mitre saw has adjustable stops/detents in two axes.
Chris
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Every one of them I have ever used was adjustable. Most all swivel for angles (the vise swivels, not the arm).

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Tue, Jul 4, 2006, 2:05pm (EDT-2) snipped-for-privacy@mail.usask.ca (ChrisFriesen) doth wondereth: The only thing I can think of would be whether they can be adjusted to give perfect 90 degree angles, or whether you're at the mercy of the manufacturer.
Don' need no steenkin' adjustments. No prob. Make a fence, adjust, bolt in place. Need to cut angles? Make new fence, adjust, bolt in place. No prob.
JOAT Politician \Pol`i*ti"cian\, n. Latin for career criminal
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JT. if the chop saw will do as you say it will do, then why not just buy a cresent wrench instead of a set of open end wenches? Will do the job ? No? And you can save a lot of money.
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Tue, Jul 4, 2006, 4:30pm snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (OD) doth burble: JT. if the chop saw will do as you say it will do, then why not just buy a cresent wrench instead of a set of open end wenches? Will do the job ? No? And you can save a lot of money.
I can see you missed the point.
JOAT Politician \Pol`i*ti"cian\, n. Latin for career criminal
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Missed the point? Far from it bunkie. Tools are made for a specific job for the most part. You kind of remind me of the guy on red/green with the duct tape. This is one thread that some one will give you the answer you need to do something, however you appear to discounting any advice given here. Why bother? Keep up the good work , I am sure you will make a doctor very happy someday.
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Wed, Jul 5, 2006, 7:16pm snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (OD) doth burbleth: Missed the point? Far from it bunkie. Tools are made for a specific job for the most part. You kind of remind me of the guy on red/green with the duct tape. This is one thread that some one will give you the answer you need to do something, however you appear to discounting any advice given here. Why bother? Keep up the good work , I am sure you will make a doctor very happy someday.
Missed the point. And, Bunkie? OK, Buttercup. So? Just because tools are made for a specific purpose doesn't mean they can be used for other purposes. And don't knock Red Green, or duct tape - he doesn't rank near as high as Roy or Norm, but ranks waaay above Bob.
If you'd bothered to raad my replies you'd have seen one where I said I wasn't going to do it. Based on an answer I'd been given.
I'm not one of the two tight people, I ike to make my own jigs, accessories, and such. You'd have loved the thread I had on rec.crafts.woodturning on using a power planer to round off a square piece of wood in a lathe - while the lathe was running. It worked great, but needs a "frame" so you don't go too far. I'm not stupid, I research anything I do before I do it. Part of my research is sometimes asking question - from people who have some actual input. But, I still get replies from people who've not tried it, won't try it, and don't want me to try it. No prob. If it's reasonable I may, or not, try it. The powr planer was great fun, chips of wood going everywere. Think about it, the planer blade is rotating at a gazillion RPM or so, and the lathe at a few hundred RPM. No reason it won't zip right thru the wood with no prob. And that's exactly what it did. No prob. I'll be doing it again next time I turn, and I've made a planer rest.
I bother because I care.
Don't worry about me. I'm 65 now, never had a kickback on the saw, never cut any fingers off, etc., etc. Worst damage I've done to my self is hit my hand with a hammer, and that's been over 20 years ago. I'm afraid of my powr tools, so I'm very careful around them. No prob.
You're allowed to ignore all my future posts.
JOAT Politician \Pol`i*ti"cian\, n. Latin for career criminal
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Hi JOAT,
Been there, done that! I put a 12" blade on one of these "abrasive cutoff saws" and learned a lot.
Yes, it will "work". Here's some of the pitfalls (that are not showstoppers):
1. The machine is built and designed for a lightweight abrasive wheel (fiberglass or similar resin bond). It used a direct drive universal motor. The mass of a steel blade is a bit much for this setup. It took several seconds to spin up, lurching quite a bit when turned on.
2. The arbor and flange had quite a bit more runout than I would like. With a big heavy 12" blade there was a significant amount of vibration. I faced the flange on the lathe but there wasn't much I could do about the arbor (direct drive). This sort of thing tends to make the heart beat faster.
3. I used a 12" blade because I needed the larger size and the machine had a 1" arbor. Perhaps you can find a smaller (lighter) blade with a 1" arbor hole. Less mass, less lurch, less vibration, lower heart rate.
In the end, I decided the extra heart beats weren't worth it. I would wait to buy a machine designed for the task (or do some serious re-engineering). You may feel differently.
Ed Bennett snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com http://www.ts-aligner.com Home of the TS-Aligner
J T wrote:

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Tue, Jul 4, 2006, 1:48pm (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com doth adviseth: Hi JOAT, Been there, done that! <snip>
Hi Ed. That's just the type of info I was after. I'll pass, I don't need that much excitement in my life either. Thanks.
For a couple of minutes I did think about getting a power mitre saw, but where's the fun in that? I'll make a saw sled, or a circular saw setup.
JOAT Politician \Pol`i*ti"cian\, n. Latin for career criminal
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Just in case anybody is wondering about going the other way .. I was in idiot mode and tried it. I just HAD to chop some steel and used my Hitachi miter saw.
Put an abrasive blade on it and went to town.
It actually worked pretty well other than melting every plastic part on the saw.
I am currently waiting for the plastic replacement parts
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Did the same thing with my Sears miter saw to build 2 trailers. Cuts the steel very well, melted the plastic blade guard. This saw is now dedicated to metal cutting. I have since bought a compound sliding miter for the wood.
I did look at the metal cut off saws that were nicely priced, but when I fired one up at the store it was less than impressive compared to a miter saw. It didn't feel 'right'. By comparison, my Sears saw felt heavy duty to the light feel of the chop saw. They also got upset that I would actually test out a tool . How dare I make noise with the tools we sell that make noise. Go figure.
Pete
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Mike_in_SD wrote:

You know, one of the reasons I read this forum is for this kind of stuff. You have no idea how many times I've avoided i-mode myself because some poster had done the same thing and written in about it.
I have some rebar to cut this weekend, and I considered this very thing. I thought about things like RPM, blade/disc runout, jig-building, etc. The one thing I probably wouldn't have considered is melting the saw. I don't think my warranty would have covered "melting."
My mitre saw and I both thank you for the tip!
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wood snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:
> I have some rebar to cut this weekend, and I considered this very > thing.
It is cutting torch time.
Don't have one?
Time to barter a couple of cases of cold ones and $20-$30 to cover the gas with somebody who does have one.
Lew
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