Irwin Miter Saw Laser Guide

My Bosch sliding compound miter saw gets more use than just about any tool in my shop and it just got easier to use with the addition of an Irwin miter saw laser guide. I was prepared to be disappointed or at least underwhelmed when I bought it at Lowe's the other day, but it lays down an accurate red line along the left edge of the blade. Not a bad deal for $30 and a few minutes installation time.
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Olebiker wrote:

What do you do if your cut is to the right side of the blade? I have one of those laser guides that you mention. I bought it a long time ago with the intention of trying it out. I had a Hitachi miter saw with a laser, but the laser could be moved to align with either side of the blade. I didn't use it much.
I have been sighting along the blade for 35 years now, and can't seem to learn to trust that laser except when I have a situation where it is very difficult to do another way.
By the time I got around to installing the Irwin on one of my current saws, the battery was dead.
I had an old Makita 10" saw that had a dust port with an elbow in it. On some of the difficult cuts (especially with the mark at the back or fence side of the material), I could remove that elbow and site down the exhaust port and get a really accurate cut. (You have to remember to move your eye away from that opening BEFORE you hit the trigger.)
Let me know how you like it after you have used it awhile. I may go and get a battery for mine and put it back on.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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Robert Allison wrote:

I've been using this type of laser on my Bosch SCMS for about 4 months now. Once you get used to the fact that the laser line is on one side of the blade, it's pretty helpful. When my good piece is on the other side of the blade, I just offset the laser line by a kerf width and go - after doing this a bit you will get pretty accurate with the offset required.
Mike
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Mike wrote:

One of the problems that I had with the Hitachi was that the laser was so wide. I had to align the edge of the laser with the side of the blade and then realign it when using the other side. When doing this, how did I know if I was close? I would site down the blade like I usually do for cuts, then cut a test piece. Since I make multiple cuts on either side of the blade a lot, it was much faster to just sight down the blade. Unless I was doing multiple cuts on the same side of the blade, it was too much trouble to use.
I tried to set up some marks on the laser adjustment so I could quickly slide it back and forth, but that didn't seem to work too well either.
With the fixed laser, I would not have to make any fine adjustments, but it would only be good for one side of the blade, so I would still have to site down the blade for the other side. I can think of some good uses for it, but I can't get inspired to replace the battery and reinstall it.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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Robert Allison wrote:

I sent that before I intended to,...
What I was trying to say was that I would like to see a laser that would drop a line that was the exact width of the blade, exactly where the blade was. That way, the sides of the laser mark would be the sides of the blade and you could do both sides easily with no adjustments necessary once it was set up correctly.
Anyone have one like that?
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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[snip] I would like to see a laser

I have seen two lines, thin ones, side-by-side with the kerf in between. That was on a 16" Beam saw (for post-formed countertop mitres). Those weren't cheapie diodes either. A thick single line of, say, 0.126 width, would not likely have sharp edges as the lighter woods would glow... whatstheword... effervesce? ... making it useless. That has been my beef with the lasers I have seen on mitre saws. The line glows too much.. it isn't 'sharp' like a 2H pencil or knife. In fact, the laser wipes out my marks and obliterates them. I would much rather have proper illumination of the mark I make, which is what I have to do regardless if I have a laser or not.
Give me a nice even white light source, not too bright, any day. I will cut that pencil line down the middle all day long. Elswhere in the shop, I like light. LOTS of light. That shows >me< all my screw-ups, sanding marks, botched stain, etc. Odds are that my customers will never light my work as brightly as I do.
Would you look at the time?
r
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Robatoy wrote:

That has been my experience exactly. The lasers are not as accurate as I have to be. I can get alot better results with my eye. And a very fine pencil mark.

Have you ever noticed that in bright light such as on a sunny day, the bright light creates shadows so dark that you have to orient your work to always have the mark in the sun? Maybe it is just my old eyes, but....

Can't ever have too much light and you can't ever have light from too many different directions.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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Robert Allison wrote:

A pair of really fine lasers would be nice...but probably pretty expensive as the tolerences would be much finer.

I think that chop saws should have a light mounted next to the blade for exactly this purpose. Like the cordless drills with white LEDs on the front.
Hm....now I've given myself an idea.
Chris
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Done something about that already.. on the bandsaw and drill press too. (That light that is built in the drillpress is completely useless.)
Gunpowder, gelatine Dynamite with a laser beam
r
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wrote:

. . . guaranteed to blow your mind.
Too bad Freedie took it in the shorts one too many times.
--
"New Wave" Dave In Houston



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On Mon, 04 Dec 2006 15:44:18 +0000, Robert Allison wrote:

If I was designing it I'd do it the other way, with a well-collimated beam aligned with the centerline of the blade, so the blade casts a shadow and the edges of the shadow mark the limits of the blade.

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J. Clarke wrote:

Damn, now where did I put that dictionary?
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On Mon, 04 Dec 2006 12:23:25 -0800, Olebiker wrote:

Collimation of a laser beam means arranging for it to have as little divergence as possible--you end up with a wider beam but one that is even more "straight" than a regular beam--it casts very sharp shadows of objects put in the path, even at significant distance.
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J. Clarke wrote:

I just want my blade to made out of a laser. Is that so difficult?
-Nathan
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