Tuning Makita LS1013 Miter Saw - problems

I'm starting a project where 45-degree miter cuts are essential, so I decided to tune my Makita saw a little. I've run into some problems.
The biggest is that I cannot align the fence to the saw blade properly, without removing one of the four screws. Basically, if I use all four screws, the left side of the fence hasd to pivot forward further than the screws allow.
I tried to align it without the screws, just to get the placement right. Turns out that the two sides of the fence align differently. If I make one side of the fence 90-degrees to the blade, the other is just a hair off.
So here's what I'm thinking. If I cut the fence in half, then I can adjust each side so they're both true. I'd like to avoid that. If I buy a few fence, there's no guarantee that the new one'll work. I could build a new fence that can adjust properly with some oak scraps, but it wouldn't be as nice as the metal one that came with the unit.
Are there any third-party fences trhat work with the Makita? Any other suggestions?
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If you had the fence off the saw all by itself, it sounds as if it would not be straight, hence, slightly bent. I assume that it is a one piece aluminum casting like my DeWalt. Would it be possible to bend the piece back to straight.? Lock one end in a vise or similar. I think I would try to bend it cold, but a bit of torch work would make it yield easier. Keep checking with a straightedge. If the bolt holes are still off, you might need to ease them to a larger size. The actual angle setting on the DeWalt requires changing the position of the degree scale.
The saw may have always been that way, but is there a chance it has been drug around in a truck from job to job allowing it to get bent at some point?
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WHOA!!! Buddy...back away from that bench...come-ON!! I WANT TO SEE YOUR HANDS!!

I own that saw. There is something else going on here. Maybe the pawl that locks into a notch has bent... but that fence should never be that far off that you can't adjust it...
Approach with beaucoup caution.
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Bent sides are still parallel. If it were bent, getting one side strait to the blade would be impossible. After machining literally tons of aluminum, take it from me, aluminum extrusion is rarely strait or square (let alone to size). BTW, I've never seen a cast aluminum rip fence. Any that I have ever seen are extrusions. A casting would be much less accurate, requiring machining before use. extrusion are ready to go as bought and much, much stronger.

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Never mind. I had tablesaw stuck in my head for some reason.

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"Robatoy" wrote

I was thinking something similar when I read that. More along the lines of of what kinda surgical procedure was required to extract the table saw?
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"BrianSiano" wrote:

Want dead on miters, build a sled.
See Fred Bingham's book for details.
Check local library.
Lew
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I've never relied on my miter saw for any cross cut, miter or not that was part of the design. I cut all parts slightly over sized and do all cross cuts on the table saw.
I am only speaking of building furniture or any fine work. There is no way the get the kind of precision and clean cut as you can with a well tuned table saw and proper cross cutting techniques.
One of the first big lessons for me when building furniture was cut your parts dead square. If the material is square, the rest is easy. I usually have a sliding miter as my cut off machine. There is just no way a heavy motor sliding around on some bars with the inertia forces and resitance of the cut are going to allow that machine to cut as accurate as motor in a trunnion having material slide slow past it in solid cradle (sled).
Howevre, I just snagged a huge cast iron miter trimming knife like this http://www.lionmitertrimmer.com/ but a little beefier for $20 on craigs list. So maybe in the near future I'll do miters on the cutoff saw and clean them up with this if length isn't critical.

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There's a flaw in your argument. The possible lateral movement of the sliding mitre saw is matched by the possible lateral movement of the sled moving in a fixed mitre slot on the table saw. All things being equal, if both are properly adjusted, the differences between the two tools should be negligible and either can be used in my opinion.
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Well my sleds typically uses both miter slots and I don't build the big monsters for my stick work like I see most described in the mags, etc. I go for very lightweight smooth action with positive lock down adjustable back fence. Next, I always use the same push method and tweak the fence during setup using the same push action. Just by my years of experience I can get fantastic repeatable work on the TS everytime and using many different types of miters saws, Hitachi, Bosch (my favorite) Makita, etc. I have just never gotten near the cut or precision anywhere nearly as nice..
Hey, I was expecting more flames than this, I get the same cries from my shop mates, but I like a well tuned TS and working with a very light touch and just feel so much more in control, and the work comes out cleaner IMHO.
OK maybe just IMO.
I will use the SMS for lots of cross cut and miter work, just not on a frame or any main part that will be part of the squared structure of my furniture project. If I am building a kitchen cabinet and face frame it is SMS all he way.

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Hey, I was expecting more flames than this, I get the same cries from my shop mates, but I like a well tuned TS and working with a very light touch and just feel so much more in control, and the work comes out cleaner IMHO.
Well, I have to agree with you in that respect only because I own a table saw, but haven't yet bought a mitre saw. However, when I do buy one and use it, I'll expect it to cut as exact as I want it to. It depends on the project and the type of cut needed. Both tools have their place.
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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

I agree, and I own very nice examples of a table saw and SCMS. Making a sled that glides like it's on ball bearings is not difficult.
I use the SCMS for compound miters that will beat up my sleds, stuff too long for the TS, and out of the shop work.
My Chopmaster SCMS is capable of very fine work, but there is more to go wrong during the cut, as the reference surface that holds the work is far smaller than what is available on my table saw. The TS also offers much better dust collection and view of the work. The TS / sled combo doesn't toss small offcuts across the room, and allows far safer cutting of small molding pieces, like returns.
My SCMS is not built into a permanent station with stop blocks, etc... At one time it was, but I took down the station and reclaimed the space, as I was still favoring the table saw.
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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

<snip>
Have you ever used a properly tuned Makita LS1013? I prefer using my LS1013 over my Jet JTAS-10XL cabinet saw.
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"BrianSiano" wrote

It may be that I don't understand the problem from your description.
My Makita LS1013 has a split fence, and even if you couldn't adjust the fences so that both the left and right fences are *dead-on* in the same plane, you can still cut 45 degree miter cuts by using only one fence and referencing the desired blade angle to that fence.
IOW, make any rough cuts you need with the work piece against both fences if you must, but make the final miter cut for accuracy with the work piece only touching the accurately referenced fence, making sure that the off-cut is not long enough/does not touch the opposite fence.
AAMOF, and for increased accuracy, it's always been good practice to do that in any event.
If I misunderstand the problem, my apologies ...
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My Makita has a single-unit fence (I may be wrong about the model number). The center portion is a C-shaped hollow, to make room for the blade.

You understand perfectly, actually. Last night, I decided that it was probably best to align the left-hand side of the fence to the blade. (Happily, the right-hand side angles _away_ from the cutting area, so it won't interfere with any cuts.) Maybe in the future, I'll build a better fence, but this should work for now.
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