thinking about miter saws

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I was looking at miter saws at HD. After some thinking it came down to the ridged 10 inch or the ridged 12 inch compound miter saws.
One requirment I have is that I can put the saw away on the shelf. The 12 inch saw is close to my comfort limit on moving tools (I move a ridged thinkness planer about once a week).
My intent for the saw is to cut wood for picture frames. Some frames can be large so my initial thought is that the 10 inch might not be able to cut wide enough stock.
Another concern is accuracy of the cut. With picture frames just being off a 1/64th of an inch can be too much. Anyone have experience with the accuracy of the 12 inch vs the 10 inch ridged?
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Any particular reason for Ridgid? DeWalt is one of the best and my 12" is extremely accurate.
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price
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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also weight
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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On Fri, 15 Sep 2006 22:35:03 -0600, william kossack

Do you have a table saw? Because a miter sled makes doing picture frames pretty much foolproof. Piece of plywood with 2 runners for the miter slots. Another piece of plywood on top with a perfect 90 degree corner at a 45 degree angle with the point aligned with the blade. It will always cut angles that add up to 90 degrees even if you didn't align it perfectly to 45. If you make it big enough you can have stops to get the lengths the same. And it gives you zero clearance support at the bottom and back to minimize tearout.
-Leuf
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And to back up that suggestion, here's a good picture of a table saw miter sled. http://www.plansnow.com/dn3083.html
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I have a really poor table saw an inexpensive skill. I tried making a miter sled but could not get consistant cuts. The cuts appear to be 45 degrees but not close enough for frames. I talked to a couple people including a frame shop operator that recommended trying a power miter saw.
Leuf wrote:

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william kossack wrote:

Is there actual inconsistency from one cut to the next? If so, it is hopeless, but most even inexpensive saws aren't that bad. The "trick" is to cut alternating ends w/ the other side of the sled so the one end compensates the other. If the angle on the sled itself is accurate, this works despite a slight discrepancy from a true 45.
I'll note that making the choice if the end result is going to be judged on accuracy/precision and there will be dissatisfaction w/ less than adequate cut accuracy, then the selection on the basis of price and weight for low in both categories is almost universally guaranteed to go in the wrong direction of both to provide the stated criteria. _IF_ (the proverbial "big if") the Ridgid name were still actually The Ridge Tool Company instead of having just sold the label to an offshore I'd be less suspicious. I will state I've not actually used them so do not have firsthand experience to judge specifically. I will concur w/ the DeWalt as being quite solid and accurate as that is what I have.
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dpb wrote:

This is good too.... http://www.ctdsaw.com/d45ax/d45ax-14.htm
JP ********************** crowbar required
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On Fri, 15 Sep 2006 22:35:03 -0600, william kossack

You might want to have a look at this tool: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=3&p2922&cat=1,42884
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I have been. I believe lee valley and highland sell a less expensive imitation of the same thing with the Lion brand available for about $20 more locally. One problem is that this is only for trimming the miter cuts and not making the miter cuts themselves. The Ridged 10 inch miter saw is the same price. In my conversation with the frame maker they use something similar for small work but I think it will cut the miters instead of just trim the miters.
Ogee wrote:

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william kossack wrote:

Those trimmers are good for small moldings and for trimming to a perfect fit. However, I get excellent results using a zero-clearance fence and a sharp blade. I took pains to set the detents on my chop saw as close to pefect as I could get them. We just recently had to trim out a whole lot of doors and panels. I mark with a knife, transfer the mark to the top edge with a square, line up the mark with the cut edge on the zero-clearance fence and get really tight joints with only the occasional trimming necessary. I make my fence out of MDF and spray the vertical face with white lacquer. Once I make the first plunge into it I get a nice sharp registration line against which to line up my mark. Set your depth of cut control (if you have one) so you don't cut all the way through the fence, just the molding.
Heh I just realized this is about picture frames but I've got trimming out on my mind so I'm going to let the stream of consciousness continue...
I've found that by laying my knife flush to the inside of the lip I can just press the trim lightly against it (with the other, already mitered end fit pressed against the other lip). This leaves a nice cut mark. Although the width of the blade causes the trim to be very slightly angled out from straight, this actually helps with a nice snug fit. I've thought of making up a dedicated corner-marking tool that's a modified square. It's got a sharp edge sticking up and you just slide it into the corner, then press your trim against that. I'd make it so it marks the top (back) edge of the trim too, so I need not use my double square to transfer the mark from bottom to top. i'm done JP
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I have owned the 12" Ridgid purchased also because of the price. As I'm a carpenter, the saw was used almost daily and was ready for the bone yard after only two years and was replaced with a DW718. The 718, although a great saw, would be waayyy overkill for what you are trying to do but I would suggest the DeWalt over the Ridgid anyday. DeWalts are excellent saws. If you decide on a 10" keep in mind you will not be able to cut a 45 deg. miter on a 1x6 stock, I'd go with the 12" if you can swing it. As an aside, I picked up one of these cheap at a garage sale last week http://www.grizzly.com/products/g1690 it would seem this would be a perfect companion for fine tuning miters, especially for frames. I haven't had a job to use it on yet, but I cleaned it up and sharpened the knives and it will slice off nice thin shavings leaving the endgrain smooth. --dave

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William,
Try this exercise. Stand in front of your tablesaw and note all the heavy cast iron. Now look underneath and you should see reasonably heavy-duty trunnions and a 5/8" arbor that your blade mounts to.
Now stand in front of the miter saw - see any differences that would allow the blade to deflect when it hits the wood? Won't say you can't make picture frames on a miter saw but you did indicate you also wanted precision.
Make a sled with 45 miter fences on both sides for your TS, tune it and be done. Or spend the money that you were going to use on the new miter saw and purchase an Incra 2000 fence with the extra fence and stop http://www.woodpeck.com/incramiter2k.html . I have both the 1000 and the 2000 with the extra fences. The 2000 is the workhorse and dead-on accurate. Visit the Incra site to see all the miter gauges and sleds they make.
Bob S.
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except my skil table saw does not have any iron in the table except for the screws. It is mostly plastic with an aluminum top. The top is also small preventing a large sled. We have all heard of the nickle test for table saws. This saw would knock over a soda can if it was on the table when you turned it on. It is has a tendency to go out of adjustment and it is difficult to get the blade perpendicular to the table If I ever change the tilt so I never tilt the blade. I use it for cross cuts. I'd love to toss it out and get a ridged shop site saw one day.
In conclusion we had to go to home depot to get paint and a couple things last night after going out to dinner. I went over to the tool section to look things over. My wife went to the paint department.
My wife got her paint etc and I started discussing pros and cons of the miter saw solution. I was not planning on making a decision yet but it was my birthday and she decided to buy a saw. Looking at the features and cost she got the ridged 12 inch saw with understanding that it might not work and I might take it back.
Thinking and researching and reading the posts I discussed my findings about the dewalt. The 715 is only $60 more than the ridged so I took the ridged back this afternoon unopened and upgraded to the Dewalt 12 inch 715. I added the laser attachment which I may take back. I've had several recommendations for the dewalt from my neighbor, to a framer, to people on this list.
I need to see if it will require any adjustments tomorrow. I'm going to make some test cuts and see if it works out.
BobS wrote:

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I suggest you visit a more dedicated woodworking establishment for experienced opinions. Not that there's never any knowledgeable people at Home Depot, just that from my experience, they're in short supply. Either that or google additional comments from this newsgroup.

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none of the opinions came from anyone at home depot. the most suspicious sources I used were from the rec;-)
Nobody helped us when we picked out the ridged. It was 10 minutes to closing and there wasn't any on the floor to be seen.
When I was getting the dewalt at least the guy that helped me admitted that he knew nothing except how to play computer games before starting to work there recently. It was one of those rare times where I was able to get someones help.
PS my brother purchased a $99 ryobi miter saw for a job in Atlanta recently. For his needs it worked OK except the laser needed a battery to work but I think he was just using it to cut 2x lumber for forms for concrete so accuracy was not very important.
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william kossack wrote:

There is a review of some 12" (non-sliding) CMS's in the Aug. 2006 issue of Woodworker's Journal. The author's (Chris Marshall) goal seemed to be to find the best saw that costs around 300 $US.
In this article, the "top-rated" saw (of eight tested) was the Craftsman 21235 Professional. He also was pretty happy with the Delta 36-322L, Hitachi C12FCH, and Ridgid MS1250LZ.
If I were paying this much money on a tool, however, I seriously doubt that it would be spent on a Craftsman.
Regards,
Mark
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On Fri, 15 Sep 2006 22:35:03 -0600, william kossack

I'm using a RIDGID 12 right now. I like it very much. In the 12-13 years since I upgraded to power (from a Millers Falls hand Box) I've had, Rockwell, DeWalt, Makita and this is the second RIDGID. I don't believe there is much diff between the 12 and 10 inch as far as accuracy is concerned. I think you'll be happier with the 12inch machine.
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the adventure continues
I attempted to cut miters for a test picture frame Sunday.
First I tried to make adjustments to the saw using my framing square. The cuts seemed to be good 45s but when I put all the pieces together there was still a gap.
I next ran and got a better engineering square. I still had problems.
I noticed that the saw has enough power to pull the piece of wood when I'm cutting. I attempted to use some clamps to hold the wood more securely while cutting but that did not eliminate the problem.
One thing I noticed with the general purpose blade was that while one side of the blade seemed square to the table the other side was off. At this point I noticed was the insert was slightly warped on one side pusing up the wood just a bit. Seeing this I took some of the test pieces and tried to put them together to see how they fit and if once together I could form a straight piece. Certain combinations of miters showed a gap of several degrees others came together cleanly and when held together compared as being straight against another piece of wood.
As it was getting dark I removed the general purpose blade and put on a 96 tooth diablo blade. I'm debating either buying another insert or trying to make one out of wood. I'm not sure the saw is worth returning over a simple insert but I doubt Home Depot will do anything for me.
william kossack wrote:

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