SCMS Technique?

Hello,
I have a Makita 10" SCMS that I've used a bit for both rough cutting 2 X 4s, as well as for finer cuts on better grade wood. It's chronologically old, but hasn't had much use and has the original blade that came with it.
Recently, I had the need to cut a 36" long piece of 1 X 8 poplar down to 30". My first cut was to clean up one end, so it was only about 1/4" or so. BTW, I've been amazed by how easy it is to practically slice off pieces of wood with this saw. In any case, the cut was nice and clean.
For my next cut, I cut off about 5 or so inches, again with a nice clean edge. The reason for doing so was to gradually trim the board to the required 30" length. I figured that it would be better to trim a small piece from the end of the board rather than one that was around 6".
The last cut is what is puzzling me. When I cut off the last small piece to bring the board to final dimension, I noticed that the cut didn't come out clean. There was a distinct burn mark left by the blade. I should mention that my technique has been to pull the saw all the way back, start it with the blade raised, drop it down and push it through the cut. I also let the saw stop in the cut before raising the saw again. I've done this for all the cuts that I've done with the saw. Am I using the wrong technique here? My understanding is that this is the safest way to make a cut with the saw. Am I wrong about this?
Any pointers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance to those who post a reply to the group.
Peter.
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If a dull blade can be ruled out, my guess would be sawdust between the board and fence, that, during the cut, allowed the board to move a bit. I occassionally experience this with my Delta Sawbuck.
The lockdown, for that position, is not quite tight enough or has some play?
Sonny
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On 3/2/2011 10:07 AM, Peter Bogiatzidis wrote:

Nothing wrong with your technique ... sounds like the stock is either slightly warped/bowed so as not to sit square against the fence on both sides of the cut, or there was something on the fence or table that caused it not to sit square.
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