Circular saw base not flat -- standards too high?

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I have a Dewalt circular saw. It's probably about 10 years old. I'm working on a design for a panel saw, so I started analyzing my saw more carefully. The base plate of the saw appears to be warped. If I put it on a flat surface, one corner is up by about 5/64" (actually about 2.25mm). That seems unacceptably warped to me and probably explains why the saw doesn't seem to cut that well. Are my standards too high? Anybody else had a problem like this? I was considering flattening it on sandpaper like a plane sole, but that seems like an awful lot of metal to remove. Any other ideas? I have considered trying to bend it, but it doesn't seem like that will work.
Mark
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Wed, Sep 20, 2006, 6:34pm (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (MarkWells) doth puzzedly query: <snip> Any other ideas? I have considered trying to bend it, but itdoesn't seem like that will work.
Personally if mine bothered me like that I'd bend it. Oops, you say that doesn't seem like it will work. I'd bend it anyway. Or, if you set it on a sanding belt I betcha it'd sand flat fast. Or, you could put on a plywood "shoe" - that would make a flat surface. Or, just send me your old saw, and you buy a new one.
Next time just sit down, think about what you need, how it can be done, then do it. Then you probably won't need to ask. It ain't rocket science.
JOAT I am not paranoid. I do not "think" people are after me. I "know" damn well they're after me.
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J T wrote:

Hey, I resemble that remark! ;-) Isn't half the fun analyzing everything? It is for me.
Mark
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Thu, Sep 21, 2006, 7:28am (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (MarkWells) doth sayeth: Hey, I resemble that remark! ;-) Isn't half the fun analyzing everything? It is for me.
Well analyzing is a significant part of the enjoyment for me, regarding my projects anyway. Doesn't sound like you did much analyzing this time, but I trust you enjoyed it. Another part of my enjoyment is working out a solution to my problem, my way, without asking anyone else, once I did the analyzing. Sounds like you just skpped that part entirely.
JOAT I am not paranoid. I do not "think" people are after me. I "know" damn well they're after me.
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(Mark Wells) doth sayeth: Hey, I resemble that remark! ;-) Isn't half the fun analyzing everything? It is for me.
Well analyzing is a significant part of the enjoyment for me, regarding my projects anyway. Doesn't sound like you did much analyzing this time, but I trust you enjoyed it. Another part of my enjoyment is working out a solution to my problem, my way, without asking anyone else, once I did the analyzing. Sounds like you just skpped that part entirely.
-------------------------
If you're not spamming the group you are being a jerk...
still haven't figured out which side I like better.
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Thu, Sep 21, 2006, 4:39pm locutus snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Locutus) doth proclaimeth: If you're not spamming the group <snip>
Well, if you consider free plans spam, and don't like my posts, you are totally welcome to put me in your kill file, or skip over them totally. I suppose this means you will never use any of the plans I post. No prob.
JOAT I am not paranoid. I do not "think" people are after me. I "know" damn well they're after me.
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On Thu, 21 Sep 2006 15:08:51 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

Not that I am following closely, but didn't you just recently ask the group how to attach a topper to a truck/car (I forget the name of those things but I think Clinton had one with astroturf in the back). I also realize you figured out how you are going to do it, but you did ask.
Dave Hall
Sounds like you just skpped that part

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Thu, Sep 21, 2006, 5:28pm snipped-for-privacy@cs.com (DaveHall) doth query: <snip> didn't you just recently ask the group how to attach a topper toa truck/car (I forget the name of those things but I think Clinton had one with astroturf in the back). I also realize you figured out how you are going to do it, but you did ask.
Jeeze, don't compre me to Clinton in any way, shape, or form.
True, I did. I said I was not familar with that particular type, for an El Camino, and hadn't been able to find zip about it on google. Hadn't looked at it at that time, and didn't realize it would involve drilling holes. Only after I looked it over did I see how it was to be done. In fact I just picked up new weatherstripping and hardware to get it on, today at Ace.
JOAT I am not paranoid. I do not "think" people are after me. I "know" damn well they're after me.
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wrote:

Just bend it back. I think you'll be surprised how easy it is.
Mike O.
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Mark Wells wrote:

Not to me. That would drive me nuts.

It is, and if it's magnesium, I don't know anything about sanding it.

Supposedly, you "can't" bend a footplate like that one. The cheap stamped ones, yes.
It seems to me that a lot, if not most, of the price difference between circ saws is in the base plates. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say a lot of the money in a high-end circ saw is the base plate. I'm kinda thinking you may be headed for a new saw.
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boorite wrote:

Given all the advice, I left my computer, went out to the shop, put the base in the vise and twisted it. Sure enough, it was easy to bend. Now it's not perfectly flat, but it is much closer.
I would think that a Dewalt saw would be toward the upper end in terms of quality. Is this a problem with all circular saws? Makita, Dewalt, Milwaukee all seem roughly in the same price range (except Festool, of course) to me.
Okay, okay. I'll stop analyzing and get to work.
Mark
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Mark Wells wrote:

Uh, if it is that easy to bend, do you suppose it may have left the factory flat and was bent later? Didn't you say it was like 10 years old?
--

FF


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Mark Wells wrote:

Yeah, that's why I said "supposedly" and put "can't" in quotes. :-) I swear I just read an article in FWW or PWW that said you *can't* straighten that kind of footplate by bending. Which invites the question of how it got bent in the first place.
But I think what they meant was that bending is no way to restore the base plate to true. I have a feeling they're right. It's just my impression that a saw with a cast base plate that's out of whack is a lost cause.

It's definitely an issue on all models of circular saw. P-C, Milwaukee, etc. are more likely than Skil or B&D to come out of the box with a flat plate and to stay that way, but you can still get boned with a crooked one.
What frustrates me is when the stupid thing is riveted onto the saw, preventing any real tuning. I have an upper-bottom-end Skil Classic that would be great, except the base is ever so slightly out of parallel with the blade, and there's no way to adjust it. It's still OK, but I'd pay $5 or $10 extra if it was put together more flexibly.
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You can drill out the rivets and put new ones in....
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Thu, Sep 21, 2006, 7:35am (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (MarkWells) now mumbleth: I would think that a Dewalt saw would be toward the upper end in terms of quality. Is this a problem with all circular saws? Makita, Dewalt, Milwaukee all seem roughly in the same price range (except Festool, of course) to me. Okay, okay. I'll stop analyzing and get to work.
A problem with all circular saws? I don't think so Tim, oops Mark, it sounds more like a user problem not quality Offhand I don't recall hearing of this problem before. I've got a small B&D circular saw I got in about 1981-82, that I still use, that has had some very rough use at times - nothing bent on it.
You sure you know what "analyzing" means?
JOAT I am not paranoid. I do not "think" people are after me. I "know" damn well they're after me.
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Can't saw that the plate on my Milwaukee is flat but can't say it isn't either. Never checked but it doesn't rock when I use it.

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boorite wrote:

Dead easy to sand, but remember to passivate it afterwards or you'll get corrosion problems.
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snipped-for-privacy@codesmiths.com wrote:

See? I don't even know what that means. :-)
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If I'm going to the trouble of building a full blown panel saw and one of the key items is the saw, I believe I would look into a higher quality saw.
A warped or distorted base will defeat the entire project.
Mark Wells wrote:

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Mark, Don't panic - its only a Dewalt. The sole plate is the least of your worries. The real problem is the mounting for the plate, they are inherently week. If I was building another (built one - sold it) panel saw, I would not use the factory sole plate at all. I would build a new sole plate, mounted to the saw permanently. With only enough movement to allow for changing the blade and for accurate setting up of the blade angle to 90. and it should have a replaceable zero clearance insert.
I sold my home-made panel saw to a local cabinet shop. They used it for several years and now have closed down.
Dave
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