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.
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.
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
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.
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
Anyone have one like that?
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
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?
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.
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.
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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