Miter Saw / October 31, 2018 / Tina Abrahamsson.
I quickly realized that the tool of choice would be a compound miter saw especially when tackling the crown moldings. I had suffered through a bookcase project a year earlier using a manual miter box and back saw to produce the crown molding trim on several built-in bookcases. There was no way I wanted to repeat that experience! My wife eager to see the remodeling project underway readily agreed to a new saw purchase. A Saw By Any Other Name Miter (or mitre) saws are designed to make angled cuts in wood stock by pulling a circular blade down in a plunging motion. This action gives the saws their nicknames of "drop saws" or "chop saws." A further refinement the compound miter saw can cut both an angle and a bevel simultaneously removing the need for a "work-and-turn" motion when making an angled cut that will smoothly join to another piece of trim or molding. The double action cut is possible because the motor is attached to a pivoting post which allows the blade to swing both side to side and at an angle to the workpiece.
This is a big saw with a big bite - and while its nearly big enough for your general contractor its perfectly suited for every craftsman hobbyist and do-it-yourself-er. Hitachi also builds a formidable light-duty compound miter saw in their C10FCE2. With an intensely powerful motor and full range of cutting flexibility the saw truly has the authority to boast its colors at any contractors jobsite while still being perfectly suited for homeowners. The CF10FCE2 is comfortable to use and is extremely lightweight at only 26.3 lbs enhancing its portability. An extended flip fence raising 4" allows users to accommodate large workpieces and vertically cut crown molding and with convenient access to the saws brushes replacing these little buggers is a nearly effortless task.
A distinguishing characteristic of a miter saw is the rounded miter index that allows the angle of the blade to be changed relative to the "fence" the bar that holds your stock in place. The protractor-shaped index often has pre-designated "stops" so you can quickly swing the saw head to the angle you want and lock it in place. The Makita LS1040 has nine stops: four to the left and right and the 90-degree straight cut setting. I had previously used a friends mitre saw at a job site and had experienced some trouble with the grip which didnt fit my hand very well. So that was definitely one of the features I considered before choosing the Makita. My new saw has a vertical grip design with a thumb-activated safety switch that lets me use the saw comfortably with either hand. The large paddle trigger is easy to squeeze no matter how Im holding the handle. Motor and Blade Brake There are a number of motor sizes used in miter saws. The LS1040 has a 15-amp motor which is one of the larger motors found on this size of compound mitre saws. Ive found that I can easily cut through tough hardwoods with this powerful motor.
Screw the fence to the table loosely so that it can be adjusted. Use the long straight edge on the miter saws table and on the front of the fence to align the fence perfectly and screw down tightly. Repeat for the other side of the table if there is one. For the left fence place a "right to left" reading stick-on measuring tape along the top of the fence. For the right fence place a "left to right" reading stick-on measuring tape along the top of that fence. Before sticking down the tapes must be aligned perfectly. The left tape is measuring the distance from the left side of the saw blade teeth and the right tape is measuring the distance from the right side of the saw blade teeth. With a simple wooden fence like this you can use wooden stop blocks clamped to the fence with C-clamps for repetitive cuts.