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Thread: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

  1. #1

    Default Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    Hey everyone. This is my first post here although i've been following along on the forum for quite a while. I finally have a question:

    I will be reorganizing my shop in the coming months. I'm relatively new to woodworking and my shop has kind of grown without much thought given to layout, dust collection, etc. I have a very small shop.

    I've been thinking of building a mitre saw station against one of my walls and rigging in some sort of dust collection. My mitre saw is my worst dust spewing tool by far so i'd like to get something figured out in terms of dust collection, but space is a concern. Rigging up one of those big gulp things behind the saw isn't really an option.

    Anyway, i was thinking, maybe i don't need my mitre saw in the shop? Couldn't i just do all my crosscutting on the table saw with a decent mitre gauge or crosscut sled? (I don't have either right now)

    What do you guys think? This would be great since I could eliminate a space-eating tool from my cramped shop. Also, dust collection on the table saw seems easier. It seems to me that some woodworkers must survive without a mitre saw in their setup, but i'm not sure. I just don't know if i'm going to run into situations where i would be saying, "Cr*p, i need my mitre saw to make this cut. I'm an idiot."

    Thanks!
    Mike

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    I too have a small place for my shop. Here's my set up for my mitre saw. It's not perfect, about 80% collection, which is far better than zero.

    Welcome to the forum btw.

    Mitre Saw Dust Collection 003.JPEMitre Saw Dust Collection 004.JPE

    Mitre Saw Dust Collection 001.JPEMitre Saw Dust Collection 002.JPE
    Kevin

  3. #3

    Default Re: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    Throw it in the river! Well not really, but don't set it up in your shop. Store it away somewhere so that you can get at it when you are doing things like building a deck or shed or putting up trim or crown molding. That's what these things were really made for anyhow. I finally took my own advice last summer and never brought it back into my shop after building my deck.
    You'll find that a good crosscut sled for your table saw is a lot more accurate and in many cases easier to use than a mitre saw.

    Blaine
    "Congratulations. You've just figured out the most complicated way to hold a board 30 inches off the floor."
    Tage Frid

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    I use a small shop vac for the chop saw
    Dan From Rockwood ,Ont.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    The easy answer is that it depends, of course, on what work you do.

    But that really is true.

    I love my mitre saw, and wouldn't be without it. At very least, it is great to have it available for quick cuts when the TS is, for example, already set up for a different cut and I don't want to mess with it.

    Also, there are some MS operations that could not (or could not easily) be replicated on a TS. For example, last year I had to cut a notch out of the front of a molded piece, and that notch had to be square and plumb with the flat underside of the piece. The mitre saw made that operation easy, since the piece could just sit flat on the table and the blade could come down from above, hitting the piece dead on square. How I could have done that on a TS I don't know. Perhaps one of the more clever guys here will have an idea, but even then I doubt it would be an easier method than the MS allowed me.

    However, how often do such cuts come up? In truth, not very often. My example was from last year, and since then, though I've used my MS a lot, I don't think I've used it for anything that could not have also been done on my TS.

    further, it is also true that the TS does many MS jobs better than the MS. Cutting bevels, for example. Bevel cuts are often problematic with a MS, regardless of the brand of the saw or blade. The TS, however, tends to do those cuts better. Repeatability is another big thing. Just the other day I had to quickly knock together a shipping box out of 1/4 hardboard, just a little 4x8" box. I ripped a length of hardboard into a 4" wide strip, and then, without really thinking, was on my way over to the mitre saw measuring tape in hand to measure, mark, and cut 4 8" pieces on the MS. By the time I got to the saw, it occurred to me that sure, I could measure and chop on the MS, but why on earth would I do that when I could just set up the TS once and do all 4 cuts in quick succession? Not only would the TS be quicker and easier for those cuts, but more accurate too, since all 4 pieces on the TS would be identical, whereas on the MS my measurements would likely be out by a hair on each piece. That was an odd moment, in that I was heading to the MS pretty much just because it was there, but a moment of thought showed me that the TS was the better choice.

    Bottom line, in an ideal shop with lots of room, yes, I would definitely have the MS set up, off in the corner. And if you did that, yes you would find it useful. However, you would also want to be careful not to over-use it, since many of the jobs you might instinctively go to the MS for could actually be performed better on the TS. In a small shop like you have, if you saved room by getting rid of the MS, I do think you would get along perfectly well on the TS. Sure, you might have to spend some more time setting up some cuts, but generally all your cuts would still get done, and they would often be better too! Even in a small shop though I don't think I would want to throw the MS in the river and get rid of it completely. There still will be, I think, every blue moon, that one cut that the MS will do the best (like my example) and for those cases you would want to be able to go to the storage room and pull it out.

    My $0.02.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blaine in Kitchener View Post
    You'll find that a good crosscut sled for your table saw is a lot more accurate and in many cases easier to use than a mitre saw.
    I agree, but still have my mitre saw in the shop. Especially handy when the dado set is in the TS and you need to make a couple cuts.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    I also have a very small crowded work area. My Miter Saw moves outside when its needed.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    I wouldn't be without mine. I begin nearly every project with a rough stock 8' - 10' board. First stop, mitre saw to cut to length before jointing. I would not want to have to wrestle lumbe that size across a table saw.

    Also, for renos and outdoor projects, the mitre saw is indespensable.

    C
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Clint in London

  9. #9

    Default Re: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    Quote Originally Posted by "C" View Post
    I wouldn't be without mine. I begin nearly every project with a rough stock 8' - 10' board. First stop, mitre saw to cut to length before jointing. I would not want to have to wrestle lumbe that size across a table saw.

    Also, for renos and outdoor projects, the mitre saw is indespensable.

    C

    Clint

    That's what a circular saw is for. Easier than wrestling the piece onto the mitre saw.

    Blaine
    "Congratulations. You've just figured out the most complicated way to hold a board 30 inches off the floor."
    Tage Frid

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blaine in Kitchener View Post
    Clint

    That's what a circular saw is for. Easier than wrestling the piece onto the mitre saw.

    Blaine

    I agree with Blaine but rather than a Circ saw, I rough cut all my lumber down to size with my handsaws. I do it all in the basement shop and 99% of the dust just falls to the floor. After millingto size i finish u with all crosscuts and miter couts on the tablesaw. I find that with ahigh end miter gauge I can get cuts that are exact and repeatable.

    Kevin
    Last edited by Kevin in Keswick; 04-13-2009 at 04:41 PM.
    SPCHT

    Proud member since Oct '06

  11. #11

    Default Re: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    Thanks all for your feedback.

    I usually cut my stock down to rough size with a handsaw as well. After that, I find that the parts i work with are generally small enough to handle easily on the TS.

    I think i will go ahead and make my TS my crosscut tool. Just wanted to check with people smarter than me that this made sense

    BTW - my trusty craftsman CMS won't be heading into the river... As some of you mentioned, i'll still be using it for household reno type stuff. But its home will likely be in the basement from now on.

    Thanks guys,
    Mike

  12. #12
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    Steve Morris

    Default Re: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    my miter saw rarely gets used in the shop, and it actually takes up way to much space for the amount it gets used
    my shop is a beaver lodge
    steve, sarnia, ont

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    I very rarely use the mitre saw. Sometimes when cutting mouldings its very useful. When I have the table saw set up for repeatable cuts or with a dado blade it can also be very handy, but I generally try to use the table saw with a sled. I keep the mitre saw packed away in the corner taking up as little space as possible and pull it out when needed. I had considered giving it a dedicated stand with drawers etc.... but felt it would take too much space.

    KenR

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    I have two table saws and two miter saws wouldn't give up the miter saws.

    Personal philosophy:
    If there is no power tool to do the job then you have no business starting.

    Greg

  15. #15
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    Barry

    Default Re: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    I'll take my RAS over the CMS any day. Since my table saw is a POC Craftsman, I can't say I'd get better cuts from it than the RAS. I haven't used the CMS for months except for doing trim in the house last weekend, and that was only if a hair or two needed to be trimmed off to make the trim fit. Having used a really good table saw before, I expect that when I get a decent one, it will be my main go-to tool followed closely by the RAS.
    Regards

    Barry


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  16. #16

    Default Re: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    Hi all,
    I was surprised that no-one else had mentioned an RAS before. I have my table saw set up for ripping and use the RAS strictly for cross cutting. A CMS will work for cross cutting for up to a fair range of width, using it would eliminate blade changes in the TS frequently. The only time I chage the blade in the TS is when I cut a lot of important sheet goods.
    My vote is: don't throw it in the river, set it up and use it. It's easier to move the blade than a long piece of wood.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry in London View Post
    I'll take my RAS over the CMS any day. Since my table saw is a POC Craftsman, I can't say I'd get better cuts from it than the RAS. I haven't used the CMS for months except for doing trim in the house last weekend, and that was only if a hair or two needed to be trimmed off to make the trim fit. Having used a really good table saw before, I expect that when I get a decent one, it will be my main go-to tool followed closely by the RAS.
    Greetings,
    Harry
    www.freewebs.com/hgodau
    Keep smiling

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    I use my RAS for all cutting in the shop(no TS). My CMS is mounted on a portable stand with wheels & sits folded up & leaning against the shop wall outta the way. No more accurate than the RAS & a darn sight noisier. I don't need that screamer up next to my head.
    Lee

  18. #18

    Default Re: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    Hi Lee,
    I did that for the first 25 of 40 years, then I bought a TS and never looked back. Try cutting 1/8" by 1/8" strips on the RAS , it's easy on the TS. That is if you ever have a need for it. If you have the space get one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Brubaker in Edmonton View Post
    I use my RAS for all cutting in the shop(no TS). My CMS is mounted on a portable stand with wheels & sits folded up & leaning against the shop wall outta the way. No more accurate than the RAS & a darn sight noisier. I don't need that screamer up next to my head.
    Greetings,
    Harry
    www.freewebs.com/hgodau
    Keep smiling

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    Seems to me that the two tools are totaly different. There are many function that can be performed on both. But try and do a compound miter on a table saw. Or miter 16 foot basebaod or crown molding on the TS. Rip cuts on the MS are not practicle.

    Personally I couldn't do without both in my shop. The RAS is the closest one could come to having both functions in one tool. Many find ripping large panel on the RAS scarry but as long as you are not climb cutting this can easily be done safely.

    Greg

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Throw my Mitre Saw in the river?

    I have much the same set-up for my RAS as Clint has for his MS namely between two work benches. This allows me to rip 4 x 8 ft. sheet good right down the center with very little difficulty. I used to drive my lathe with a pulley mounted on the RAS...still sharpen lawn mower blades & garden tools using a grindstone on the RAS. I don't have a TS because I have never had a shop large enough to accomodate both an RAS & a TS & because I have had the RAS since 1958 there is no way I'm gonna give it up for a TS with which I have zip experience. I'm too old to start learning on something as dangerous as a TS all over again.
    Lee

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