I have borrowed a co-worker's skill saw to use to make a little wooden
stand for a computer monitor over the weekend. The saw has a rather
rough blade that leaves the wood rather abused. I intend to make the
stand out of 1" thick sheet of pine and wondered what kind of blade to
buy (Home Depot probably) in order to not tear up the wood while
cutting. Is there a standard scale of blade harshenss or some such?
I take it by "skill saw" you mean "skil saw" or hand-held circular saw.
Lotsa things can cause such a saw to leave a rough edge, besides the
blade- arbor end-play or out-of-trueness, and your lack of an edge
guide would be my first suspects. The former are pretty simple to
guesstimate; if bad enough, the saw will at best leave a rough cut
face. For the latter, you'll have to devise an edge guide to clamp to
the workpiece to guide the saw for a straight, square cut.
Hand-guided, such a saw is good enough for rough cuts of construction
lumber, in competent hands, and cutting kindling.
If you look and listen here a while, you'll notice that any cuts such
as you seem to want to make would typically be made with a miter saw of
some sort, or a "radical-harm-saw" or a table-saw.
A fine tooth blade is best. Read the package and it will tell you what it
is good for.
Keep in mind that a circular saw cuts with the good side of the wood on the
bottom and the splinters, if any, will be on the top. Use a straight edge
guide clamped to the wood for the straightest cuts.
Get a carbide tipped blade probably a 60 tooth would work well even if you
have to rip the pine length wise. If it is veneer you might want more teeth.
The biggest thing is to cut with the back side up so the "tear out" or
splintering from the saw will not be on the side that shows. If it is sheet
material use a straight edge as others suggested. Measure the distance from
the back side of the blade to the edge of the saw guide. Add that distance
to the width of the piece you want to use and then use a straight board
clamped to the sheet on that line for a guide.
Get one that says it is a finish or cabinet blade. Another
term used is planer blade. In general, the more teeth the
smoother the cut but that's not necessarily true with a
planer blade. Don't get a plywood blade and it would
probably be best to not get carbide blade for pine. You
can't judge the smoothness of the cut by looking at the blade.
Do not try to cut anything free hand. Measure and use a
straight edge (metal or a piece of plywood or a board)
clamped to the board you are cutting.
If the blade you have now does a half way decent job when ripping the
easiest way to make the ripped edge nice is a few passes with a hand
Most any blade you would be willing to buy will tear out some when cross
cutting. Here are some things - any or all - in no particuar order
that you can do to minimize it...
1. Get a steel "plywood" blade (check Sears). They have many, many
teeth each only about 1/8" long. "Steel" because you are only going to
use it once on a small project.
2. Cut back side up.
3. Cut in two passes...1st pass only about 1/8" deep.
4. Put masking tape over the cut line.
5. Score the cut line with a knife, saw on waste side of score
6. Lightly moisten the wood (not if you use tape).
#2, 5 and 6 should get you a decent edge.
dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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