Chop Saw Musings, Questions

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Lew Hodgett wrote:

sawzall cut about halfway through rebar and it'll snap pretty easily...
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J T wrote:

of the probably dozen or so miter saws I've had to use, the circular-saw-and-fence jigs I've built and the sleds I've built the sleds have been by far the most reliable and accurate. but then I'm using a powermatic cabinet saw, so YMMV.
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Wed, Jul 5, 2006, 8:45am (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com doth sayeth: of the probably dozen or so miter saws I've had to use, thecircular-saw-and-fence jigs I've built and the sleds I've built the sleds have been by far the most reliable and accurate. but then I'm using a powermatic cabinet saw, so YMMV.
Yup, sleds can be made very accurate. Which is why if I decide to use a circular saw I'll be making a base for it, to sit between two parallel guides, making kinda a curcular saw sled. Havent worked out the details on that yet (busy with another project), but it will be pretty siple, and it'll make accurate cuts. I'll probably do that, rather than a table saw sled, because the saw sledt would have to be dedicated to just cutting those pieces, wouldn't be able to readily adapt it to any other use. So, I'll probably make the one for t he circular saw, which I "will" be able to to use for cutting other pieces, and another "regular" saw sled.
JOAT Politician \Pol`i*ti"cian\, n. Latin for career criminal
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J T wrote:

When, literally, all of my tools were stolen, the first two that I replaced were the chopsaw (I know what I mean and that's the important thing) and the cordless driver/drill. What do you use now to cut long stock to length?
R
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Wed, Jul 5, 2006, 8:18pm (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@worldemail.com (RicodJour) doeth query: <snip> What do you use now to cut long stock to length? Nuthin. LOL I'm in the midst of a prototype project just now and don't need to cut anything to length. What little precision cutting I need I'm using the scrollsaw. Rough cutting circular saw.
Normally I'd be using my saw sled. But I took the last one apart to make a new one, which I haven't finished yet.
I'll probably be making a rig for a circular saw (see my other post), which means I'll be needing some accurate cuts, which means I'll need to get my saw sled finished soon. But, until I finish the protype, I won't know exactly what size pieces I'll be needing. No prob. LMAO
JOAT Politician \Pol`i*ti"cian\, n. Latin for career criminal
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RicodJour wrote:
> When, literally, all of my tools were stolen, the first two that I > replaced were the chopsaw (I know what I mean and that's the important > thing) and the cordless driver/drill. What do you use now to cut long > stock to length?
Sounds like you and I belong to the same fraternity.
I also had all my tools stolen.
First purchase afterwards was an 18VDC DeWalt drill/panel saw combination because it was a good deal.
Didn't particularly need the panel saw, but the price was right.
With 20/20 hind sight, can say that little panel saw has been a very useful tool.
Lew
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On Tue, 4 Jul 2006 15:10:13 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

Say JOAT- (Yeah, I know you'll do whatever you like anyhow) The first power miter saw I got was a 10" Black and Decker- it was $50, IIRC and is still in use when I do rough framing almost 5 years later, and there's never been any problems with it. I upgraded to a Delta because it was quieter, but the B&D was fine for a long time- and still is, when I'm whacking together a deck or something. I don't know where you were shopping for the chop saws, but I can't see them being much cheaper than that. Save those suckers for pipe and bricks, they're great for that.

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Fri, Jul 7, 2006, 11:53pm (EDT-1) snipped-for-privacy@business.org (Prometheus) doth wave and sayeth: Say JOAT- (Yeah, I know you'll do whatever you like anyhow) <snip>
Yep, that's pretty much so. But in this case I've decided I'll pass on this idea. I'll just wait and get a cut-off sww down the road, when I need one for cutting metal for another project.
I do a lot of thinking on stuff like this before I try them. You'll notice I never asked about turning a power planer upside down and using it as a jointer.
Most of my adult life I've been told that I can't do something - mostly by people who mean that they can't do it, so don't want me to try it, in case I actually can. And, I usually could. I used to get a lot of stuff dumped on me because the person who actually should have been doing it didn't know how to do it. I never knew how to do it either but I found out - which was apparently beyond the capabilities of the guy who should have ben doing it. Does develop self-confidence tho. It's all good.
I'm still undecided whether I should make my own mitre saw, using a circular saw; or just a "circular saw sled", for cutting my pieces. Or, ust to winp out, and make a specialized saw sled for that.
JOAT Politician \Pol`i*ti"cian\, n. Latin for career criminal
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J T wrote:

Don't you factor the value of your time into these jury-rigging projects? I know that with proper impetus, like Maryanne and Ginger, the professor could make a Geiger counter from a couple of coconuts and some bamboo, but he had to do it - no options. I often find, particularly with increasing (decreasing?) years, that keeping my eye on the objective, and not giving in to the I-wonder-if-I-could... syndrome, usually means that I spend more time refining what needs to be refined - the work.
You could of course make a miter saw from scratch, but there's no way that it would make sense to do so unless you didn't value your time at all or if you don't have high objectives for the resulting object d'art.
So, the question is, do you factor in the value of your time, or is it just a mental/physical exercise?
BTW, I'm a bit surprised that you don't have a miter saw. Considering that a reasonable one in good working used condition can be had for substantially less than $100.
R
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You're not considering those individuals that get enjoyment just from the fact of building something from scratch. To you it might not make sense, but to some if it is enjoyable going through the process then it's worthwhile. I dare say that describes the majority of the people that have a hobby of one sort or another. It's likely those hobbies will *never* result in profit of any type and accolades will be few, yet people do it all the time anyway.
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Upscale wrote:

It's not a question of enjoyment nor profit. I guess I was asking about the rationale behind buying a tool designed for another purpose to do a straightforward task that could easily be done with a tablesaw, bandsaw, circular saw or any number of other tools that were designed for cutting wood and are probably already in his shop. If he's looking to save money, building a jig to simplify and speed up the process with the tools he has wouldn't cost him anything. If he's just looking for justification to buy the metal chopsaw, well, it seems to me that most people don't need assistance in that department.
R
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Well, I for one would be the first to admit that I've bought things with some project in mind that I never ended up actually doing. And further along those lines, what I've bought has sat in some corner for several years because at some point I decided it was a completely useless purchase.
Isn't that part and parcel of being in this consumer society. :)
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For precisely this reason, our woodworkers' club has an email 'for sale' list. I've sold a number of tools there over the last five years, which turned out not to be something I needed to keep around my shop. The buyers always seem grateful to save a buck or three...
And sometimes I got to go buy another test drive.
Patriarch
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Upscale wrote:
> Well, I for one would be the first to admit that I've bought things with > some project in mind that I never ended up actually doing. And further along > those lines, what I've bought has sat in some corner for several years > because at some point I decided it was a completely useless purchase. > > Isn't that part and parcel of being in this consumer society. :)
In the SFWIW category, years ago some sharp young bean counter at FoMoCo got a corporate policy established that any item in inventory that had not been used in 12-18 months was to be thrown away.
This policy applied to everything including spare parts, some of which had long lead times to get.
You can imagine the chaos that created.
The line goes down, the part needed to make the repair was thrown away and it will take 6 weeks to get a replacement.
Solution:
An outside vendor set up shop in the parts crib and owned all the inventory.
When they needed a spare part, it was there.
Of course FoMoCo paid a higher price, but the bean counters were happy.
Lew
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Sat, Jul 8, 2006, 8:47pm (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@worldemail.com (RicodJour) I guess I was asking about the rationale behind buying a tool designed for another purpose to do a straightforward task that could easily be done with a tablesaw, bandsaw, circular saw or any number of other tools that were designed for cutting wood and are probably already in his shop. If he's looking to save money, building a jig to simplify and speed up the process with the tools he has wouldn't cost him anything. If he's just looking for justification to buy the metal chopsaw, well, it seems to me that most people don't need assistance in that department.
Ah ha. My original question in using a cut-off saw was NOT for a straightforward job. If it was I'd have not asked, just made a jig for my saw or circular saw - bandsaw would be way too slow.
I could use a power mitre saw, but I don't have money to spare for one at this time, and would still have to make a jig for it to do what I need/want.
As is, I could either make a rather complex saw sled, that can adjust for varying cuts, or a series of simpler sleds. Either way will be kinda a PITA, but that's about the only way I'd be able to get the cutting speed, and accuracy, I need. Downside, that's about all they could be used for.
Still a PITA, but possibly the best bet, is to make a dedicated power mitre saw, using a circular saw. Not that much of a PITA actually, except for getting it setup to cut square, the rest of it would be pretty simple. This could be useful for other projects too.
JOAT Politician \Pol`i*ti"cian\, n. Latin for career criminal
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Sat, Jul 8, 2006, 11:28pm From: snipped-for-privacy@teksavvy.com (Upscale) doth proclaimeth: <snip> It's likely those hobbies will *never* result in profit of anytype <snip>
Profit? Profit? You mean people can make money from woodworking? LMAO
You forgot to mention it's a great stress reliever.
JOAT Politician \Pol`i*ti"cian\, n. Latin for career criminal
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Sat, Jul 8, 2006, 2:13pm (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@worldemail.com (RicodJour) doth burbleth: Don't you factor the value of your time into these jury-rigging projects? <snip>
You could of course make a miter saw from scratch, but there's no way that it would make sense to do so unless you didn't value your time at all or if you don't have high objectives for the resulting object d'art.
So, the question is, do you factor in the value of your time, or is it just a mental/physical exercise?
BTW, I'm a bit surprised that you don't have a miter saw. <snip>
ROTFLMAO Factor in he value of my time? Now that's funny. Of course not. I do woodworking for the enjoyment of it, I make very little money from it, so I can afford to take my time, think things out, and then do them. Making my own jigs, clamps, whatever, is all part of the enjoyment.
By the way, none of my whatevers are juryrigged. They are all solidly made and built to last. Jury-rig \Ju"ry-rig`\, v. t. to rig for temporary service; to construct flimsily and in makeshift fashion.
If I do decide to make a mitre saw from scratch, it may, or may not, be an "object d'art", either way it "will" perform its specialized purpose well. You want to see an object d'art you ought to see my saw stand, it's kinda sorta art deco. I've already pretty much covered the "value" of my time. As long as I'm not getting paid or otherwise making money, my time "has" no value. Any jig, or whatever, I make is usually for a specific task, and modified as needed. There are no store bought versons that fit my needs/wants.
I never said I didn't have a mitre saw. I do. A very nice, older, manual mitre saw, that I got some time back, for around $20, in almost unused condition. Very nice, works great. But it's not what I want/need for this application.
For those of you who don't have a copy, I highly recommend Capotosto's WOODWORKING WISDOM (200 Origial Jigs, Shop Aids, Tool Techniques And Projects For the Home Craftsman). I've never made anything from it, but I've gotten a lot of inspiration. Out of print, but look around and you should be able to find a copy for maybe $5-6, with shipping. For those of you who still don't get it, it pretty much boils down to - I do stuff like this because it's fun.
JOAT Politician \Pol`i*ti"cian\, n. Latin for career criminal
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J T wrote:

True. There's almost always room for improvement. Even if the tool itself is near perfect there are always accessories of one sort or another that increase usefulness and operating efficiency.

Excuse the assumption. What type/brand miter saw do you have?
R
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Sat, Jul 8, 2006, 11:29pm (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@worldemail.com (RicodJour) asketh: <snip> What type/brand miter saw do you have?
Craftsman. Made back when they were well made. Not like today's output. Nothing fancy, but well made, sturdy, accurate. Unless I can find one of those with a cast iron base, at a moderate price, I'll stick with it.
I've also got a couple of old eggbeater drills, that look almost like new. Made way back. Probably $15 tied up in both - including shipping. Sometimes eBay works.
Then there's my $5 Big Lots brace. Except for the wood painted bright red (maker, not me), it looks exactly like the pricey ones in the catalogs. Chinese knockoff, of course, but they did a very, very, good job of it. One of these days I may strip the red off, to make it look really expensive - or not. I shopped eBay, for quite awhile, and finally got a complete set of bits, for somewhere around $10-12, including shipping.
JOAT Politician \Pol`i*ti"cian\, n. Latin for career criminal
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On Sat, 8 Jul 2006 16:42:57 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

I know what you mean, despite my cringing a little at the idea of using that power planer on the lathe a while back. Nothing wrong with tinkering or innovation- that's the good ol' Yankee way.

Well, you could do any of those, or use a miter box and hand saw, of any other number of things- including just using the circular saw by itself. I don't know if you've tried the commerical miter saws yet or no, but they're pretty darn good at what they do. Of course, if you're not doing anything more than cutting square ends, there's no real reason to get one, or even to "make" one. Could be an idea you've already considered and passed over, but from what you described, I think I'd get a sheet of MDF maybe 4-5 feet long, put a 3" high fence on one side, a moveable 3" fence on the other (3 or 4 T-slots and bolts ought to do the trick) and a saddle for the circular saw that sits over the assembly. That way, you've got full workpiece support, an adjustable "clamp", and a place to screw on a stop block for repeat cuts. Simple and cheap- and it doesn't involve the kind of hardware that trying to make a miter saw at home would probably end up involving.
Actually, now that I've gotten thinking about it, I'm tempted to make one up myself and throw it in the back of the work truck. Seems easier than dragging around the whole miter saw assembly.

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