I want to get a new power saw and I thought either a mitre or table saw.
a) a mitre saw - £30
b) a table saw - £40
of the two the miter saw looks more like a real machine, to me.
they're both sort of toys, though. expect inadequate power and short
take some time, save your money and look for good older equipment. the
older and heavier the better.
Obviously it depends on what you want to use them for!
For woodworking a table saw is much much much more important than a table
saw; while for carpentry a miter saw might be better.
However, a crappy table saw (and your link looks like a crappy table saw) is
a curse forever. A crappy miter saw (and I own a crappy miter saw, so I
know) is simply unpleasant.
I'm in the colonies and I don't know what you're going to be using them
for, so use a fairly large grain of salt.
Of the bunch, the miter saw looks to be the better tool. Of course, being
8-inch, it would cut a max of 8 inches wide at 90 degrees, and less than
that as you started to cut angles. So for me it would be too limiting.
I sincerely think you'd be better off with a good circular saw than you
would be with that benchtop table saw.
But if your purpose is creating small stuff, like boxes or models, then
perhaps both of them would serv you just fine. The circular saw wouldn't be
very good for cutting smaller, thinner stock, but that little tablesaw
would do it just fine. The tablesaw looks like it's intended for modelers,
the miter saw looks like it's intended for stock of almost any length but
only about an inch thick and six or seven inches wide.
But then, it looks like you've only got 40 or 50 pounds to spend. If you
want the most bang for the... if you want the most you can get for what you
spend, I lean towards the miter saw.
My two pence. :-)
They're both rubbish.
The chop saw is fitted with a 24 tooth blade that's only fit for crude
ripping (and you can't rip with a chop). It also has a bizarre 20mm
bore, so you'll not find a better blade to fit it.
The table saw is just pitiful. I don't even want to talk about it.
If you don't know which one you need, then you're either hopelessly
confused about their function, or you've just got money burning a hole
in your pocket. What do you want them _for_ ? What do you want to
cut, and will this saw do that type of cut ?
The chop saw is only fit for crude crosscuts, probably just in
softwood. This is the very easiest (simplest and less tiring) cut to
make by hand. It has no slide or stop, so it can't even cut a halved
joint. It can "mitre", which is a feature of near-total uselessness.
It's too crude to make picture frame, and what else uses a crude butt
joint ? If you're going to make a very poor dog kennel, or maybe some
shopfitting, then it might have a function (which it will probably
fail to fulfill, but it might try).
A "table saw" isn't such a bad idea. If you get one that works, then
it will do useful things for you. But this piece of junk is just
taking 40 quid and burning it on rubbish.
200 quid (IMHO) gets you a decent table saw. 100 quid gets you one
that has some pretence to usefulness, for the cruder sort of work. 500
quid gets you old industrial iron that will last forever. 40 quid
just gets you grief.
You already have a jigsaw and a router. Presumably you also have 40
quid. That's some useful hand tools and some timber. Come back when
you've done something more with what you _have_now_. You've got enough
to make something with already, you certainly don't _need_ a table saw
right this minute.
One of the best things to use a table saw for is ripping stock down to
size. This takes a big cheap chunk of wood and turns it into usable
sizes. But you can nearly always avoid this by having the timberyard
do it for you. It's cheaper to have your own saw, and more convenient
- but you can work around not having it. Where you are at the moment,
you're not even needing to do much ripping. Buy your timber as ready
sawn and surfaced, it's easier and quicker - you can manage with that
for the moment.
That's the problem. 40 quid does not buy you a new saw that you would
want to use.
Most tools are rubbish. Nearly all modern tools are. Argos sell
junk, to stupid people. Look at their jewellery - for this is where
their inherent and inescapable chaviness is most obvious. Now ask
yourself why the store that could offer us this:
Is somehow any further up-market when it comes to woodworking ?
As an alternative, do you know anyone who already has a suitable saw
and will either let you use it, or will cut stock down for you ?
For miters in small work, there must be a company in Blighty that makes and
sells something like these Jorgenson maple miter boxes. Use these with a good
handsaw and you'll be doing miters the way carpenters and woodworkers have done
them for a couple centuries or more. And it works. And is low in cost.
"Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of
On 21 Nov 2004 09:58:33 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Charlie Self)
Emir, in beech. Well worth having. There are cheap plastic ones
too, which aren't so good (the slots wear)
Having looked at Sam's plan though, it would still be hard to cut with
a mitre box. It's a mitred rip, so that's too long a mitre to cut in a
typical mitre box. When I've needed similar things (or board mitres on
the ends of skirting boards) I've made my own "tall and narrow" miitre
boxes to suit the job. If you have some good timber (beech is good,
elm or oak are good too) and you take your time on the cut, then you
can make an accurate box. A deep box probably needs to be used with
a bow saw, unless you have a very deep tenon saw to hand.
Ideally you'd cut those mitres with a table saw, either by tilting the
blade or by using a sled (it carries the timber at an angle, past a
It would be dangerous to cut them on that "mitre" saw. It's designed
to cut mitres the other way.
On the whole though, I wouldn't make your glasses box with mitres.
Mitres are a pain - I hate the things. My last mitres were a
compound-mitred casket which I cut on the table saw and I splined
those (inserted a "feather" of thin timber into a groove) to hold them
in place while I assembled them. An unsplined mitre is always a
nuisance to assemble because there's nothing positive to hold it
accurately in place.
You have a router, so why not try a rebated lap ? Routers are good at
rebates. This is just like a butt joint, but you cut a rebate
(removing one corner by a square groove) so that the rebate is the
width of the board and half the depth. It's easy to glue up because
just wrapping the box with elastic bands pulls it tight against the
rebate as a "stop".
Rebated laps are a bit ugly, because they expose some end grain (if
you make a box that's bigger and shallower). But for your box, you're
working with two long grain edges, so that's OK. You can also make
the joint, then cut a little chamfer on the outside edge to hide this.
Some very good books (you'll find at least one in the library) are the
introductory joinery books by Tage Frid, Ernest Joyce, Robert Wearing
and maybe Charles Hayward.
Agreed on the use of the table saw as the preferred method Andy, but I
disagree on the danger and the intended use of the miter saw. It's designed
to cut down through wood at any angle. It does not care nor does it know
which direction the wood is oriented in. The saw is equally well suited to
cross cut miters through the width of a board as it is across the width of
one. There's no increase in danger in this operation. It's a common use of
a miter saw and a very reasonable use as well.
The problem is that for Sam's box, you're going to have a long mitre
on a short piece (actually narrow, along the board). This piece is
even shorter than the length of the cut. As it's a compound mitre saw
you could do this, but you've an awkward problem in holding it down.
On Sun, 21 Nov 2004 13:26:37 +0000, Andy Dingley
Thanks to an email from Sam I now realise this isn't what he's making
at all. Sorry about that - I thought you were mitring the side
joints. The top edges of the box sides _are_ cut at an angle though.
OK, so the saw is still a bad idea 8-) I'm all for buying
specialist tools, but with 30 quid of chop saw just to make two cuts,
you could _hire_ someone to come and saw it for you!
Yes, for the cut you are making, the chop saw would do it, But so
would a hand saw, particularly when you're making 45° cuts and you can
use a mitre box.
For your joints, butts have a similar problem to mitres - there's no
positive location, so they're a nuisance to clamp up. Investigate
cutting the rebated lap with your router.
This is also quite a small box you're making. Small stuff is tricky
because errors show up as larger. Things about a foot or two on each
side are often easier.
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