-Who ever told you that. I do it all the time If I am making several pieces the
same size. Just be sure you can put the crosscut guide on the fence side so it
won't bind and kick back the cutoff piece back at you. If I am cutting a
shorter piece I hold down the cutoff with a wide push stick so it won't get
away from me and use the sliding guide on the long side. If you are dealing
with short pieces a sled is better.
The problem is the relatively high risk of the cut piece catching
between fence and blade and accelerating very rapidy in a backward
direction at *you*, and/or causing damage to fence and/or blade.
Clamp a piece of scrap 2x4 to the fence with the block ending before
the front of the blade, and use it to set your cut length instead.
Or, like many of us, build a crosscut sled that rides in the miter
If I recall correctly, in High School shop class, we were told this was an
unacceptable practice due to the potential for kickback. But then that shop
teacher was also the one who told us, "NEVER use a Crescent wrench as a
hammer...unless you can't find the hammer, then a Crescent wrench makes a
darn good substitute!"
As this shop teacher was missing two fingers, I tended to believe him when
it came to shop safety.
I not sure the answers presented address your question as I read it. Do you
mean to use the fence as a guide and not use the miter? If so, there is no
reason not to cross cut a piece that way AS LONG AS THE PIECE RIDING THE
FENCE IS LONGER THAN THE CUT. .
What others say about getting caught between the fence and blade is true if
you are using the miter to push the wood. There are simple ways of solving
that. I clamp a 1" piece of wood to the fence and use that as a stop. It
only extends 8" so when the wood is being cut, there is no contact with the
fence or stop block.
But, if that is not what you mean, perhaps this is:
Example: You have a 1 x 10 x 4' board. Using your miter, you cut the board
down to smaller pieces. Now you have a piece of wood that measures 3" x 9
1/2" You want to trim it down to a final size of 2 1/2" x 9 1/2". Holding
the wood against the miter is not easy, but sliding it along the fence is.
Of course at that width you'd be using a push stick.
Yes, that is what I meant; I didn't want to use both.
My miter guide is so wobbly as to be useless, while my rip fence is okay if
I take the time to make sure it is square. (Yes, I need a new saw) I want to
trim a 12"x12" piece to 10"x12". Since I am making a 2" cut and my stock is
12" long, I ought to be okay. Right?
I've done that often. The piece is firmly against the fence and will not
kick out. It is a similar situation as ripping, except the grain is running
90 degrees to a normal rip.
You already know enough not to try to cut an inch off of a narrow piece, say
a 1 x 3 that you want to shorten from 18" to 17".
Probably been said, but it sounds like you really need a miter sled. I put
off building one for years, but I'm soooo glad I finally got around to it.
It added at least a year to the amount of time that I can stand to continue
using this crappy saw.
But anyway, for a piece that long, cutting off that much, I might also use
the rip fence. I have a dwindling supply of free board ends that are wider
than they are long, and even though I'm cutting across the grain, for all
intents and purposes it's a rip type operation. As long as the big piece
is between the fence and the blade, I don't see the harm. Though now that
I have a sled, I use that for this.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < email@example.com>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
Well, say you are crosscutting 1 foot off the end of an 8ft long 1X12.
So you set the fence for 12", and put one end of the board against the
fence. Do you think you would be able to hold that board perfectly
perpendicular to the fence while you pushed it through the blade?
On the other hand, if you were, say, cutting a 2ft by 4ft piece of
1/4" plywood in half, it would probably be OK to use the fence.
It's a matter of safety and control IMO.
Not unless you are holding the captured piece. It can still kick up and make
that ugly half moon cut on the bottom as it skitters across the top of the
As I said in my post. I do sometimes cut against the fence but only when I can
maintain firm control on the captured piece and guide it all the way clear of
the blade on the far side.
I did shoot a 2x4x3" piece all the way down the driveway and into the street
once when my table say was a new tool. Fortunately I was standing off to the
I thought that would be an easy way to cut studs down to framing size ;-(
I hope you remembered to put on your Nomex underwear after posting that,
'cause the flames are coming. :-)
BTW, I agree with most of what you say about radial arm saws, so no flames
from this quarter.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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