table saw instead of a miter saw????

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Old 06-17-05, 09:42 PM
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table saw instead of a miter saw????

Hi,

I'd like to buy a power saw for putting all new baseboard & window trim. Obviously a power miter saw is the first choice, but, I wouldn't really use it after I have all the trim up. I was thinking if I could buy a table saw & use it as a miter saw, then have a table saw to use for various applications down the road. Is that possible? Or is it stupid. Be honest. Thanks!
 
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Old 06-17-05, 11:55 PM
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Glad to see someone thinking ahead. If its a stupid idea, add me to the list because thats what I would do. Good luck with your projects.
You just need a good guide to make the angle cuts also be straight.
 
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Old 06-18-05, 04:26 PM
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I bought my table saw first and think that is probably the way to go in your situation. A table saw will not cut mitre's as accuratly as miter saw. If the trim is painted this can easily be overcome with caulking. Depending on the size of your baseboard you may not be able to easily cut a 45` but it can be done.
 
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Old 06-18-05, 07:09 PM
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seasideheights,

An honest answer?
I don't think it's a good idea at all.
You would do better to purchase a mitre box and back saw which would allow better accuracy than using a table saw.
Also, I don't agree that you would not have a use for a mitre saw. This tool goes hand-in-hand with a table saw.
 
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Old 06-18-05, 09:25 PM
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I had decided to stay out of this thread. lol.

HOWEVER, lol, a miter saw is the preferred tool for trim work. But if you need to make jam extensions, you will need a table saw.

P.S. You will use a miter saw all the days of your life once you own one.
 
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Old 06-18-05, 09:34 PM
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I will agree with Greg that you will want a miter box for doing baseboard and window trim. I just can't seem to be able to see that I would use a power miter saw that much. But then again, I do different things than carpentry with wood. My main projects are more art than construction. Guess it all depends on your NEEDS in the future.
 
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Old 06-19-05, 07:59 AM
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It's probably hard for any professional to imagine cutting trim on a table saw, since it's such a crude tool if used in that way, nad the quality of miters it will produce will not be as good as those made by a miter saw. But in the event that one can't dish out $99 for a cheap 10" Delta compound miter saw, I suppose you could cut miters on a table saw. The important thing to do would be to buy a finish blade for the table saw that has no "set".

When I was first starting out in carpentry about 15 years ago, I'd occasionally have to cut trim on a table saw, (because of not bringing our crappy miter saw with me in the back of the pickup) and those blades produced less tearout and a smoother cut than any 80 tooth carbide could. Thankfully, that cast iron table saw is long gone, and the sawblades are gathering dust on the wall thanks to a decent miter saw.
 
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Old 06-20-05, 11:24 AM
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The problem isn't that a good table saw with the right blade can't cut miters, it can and it will do it as accurately or more so, than a miter saw. The problem is that unless you spend a bunch of time building jigs for the different cuts, it will take forever for you to complete the job. Even with a jig and a table saw, it would be a pain to try and cut a 45 on a 16' piece of crown moulding and it would be close to impossible with most standard miter gauges that come with table saws.

A miter saw, can switch almost instantly to different angled cuts without much loss of accuracy. Every time you changed the angle or the direction of the cut, you would have to take the time to re-dial in the table saw. So where doing a room with a miter saw might take you 4 hours, with the table saw it might take six. Just my opinion....
 
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Old 06-20-05, 12:11 PM
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Seasideheights,
I am not a pro but a DIY guy that was once in your position. I bought the compound mitre. After 15 minutes of wrestling with 12' baseboard and matching the mitres on my casing I couldn't even imagine what a pain that would be on a table saw. You truly need both. You will also be surprised how often you use the chop box. Good Luck.
 
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Old 06-24-05, 02:14 PM
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If you don't need over about 7" high, a top-quality miter "box" may be best. It's silent (work late into the evening no problem), sets up in seconds, and you can take it room-to-room rather than spend half the time walking back and forth. So it's faster and requires less energy than any plug-in tool, provided the blade is sharp. You can whistle while using it and people around you will complain about the whistling.

I rarely take a tablesaw on site, again because it's a lot of fuss and noise and clomping back and forth through fine dust, and also because even a large-winged shop tablesaw can't support baseboards properly.
 

Last edited by Kobuchi; 06-24-05 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 06-28-05, 12:33 AM
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You have gotten a lot of good advice! Everyone replying makes great sense, and I tend to agree with the mantra of having both a miter saw AND a table saw. If you were to get just one, though, it will be your decision based on your future needs. Miter saws are handy as heck, and I use mine all the time. The table saw, however, is one of my most favorite tools. If you take the time to make an adjustable angle miter jig in the form of a sliding table, you can do most everything a miter box "chop saw" can. I've done everything from picture frames to window trim to compound crown molding trim.

Granted, if you are cutting lengthy pieces of trim or molding, the chop saw is much to be desired. If, however, you want to do some furniture or cabinet work down the road that involves dados or rabbets, you can hang your sliding jig on the wall and use the table saw to its full potential.
 
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Old 06-28-05, 05:53 AM
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then have a table saw to use for various applications down the road.

For the non-furniture applications that I have, a miter saw and a circular saw with a guide are sufficient. I do have a few friends who own a table saw, so if I just had to use one, I could use theirs. The miter saw I use is that $99 Delta CMS and I reach for it frequently.
 
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Old 06-28-05, 08:42 AM
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I tried to cut trim with a circular saw once and it became a life-changing event for me. I never do a job any more without having the "right" tool to do it. If I can't reasonably buy, borrow or rent that tool, I hire the job done. Life is too short to be trying to make some tool do the job something else is meant to do. You say you won't use the compound miter saw down the road, but I think you'll use it more than you think. Plus, I think it's safe to summarize the previous posts as saying the miter saw is the right tool for trim work. I would buy the miter saw and maybe the table saw down the road when you have a specific need for it. Eventually, you'll find you need both of these saws.
 
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Old 07-03-05, 02:11 PM
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RENT a nice miter saw, BUY the table saw.
 
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Old 07-05-05, 04:04 PM
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You CAN do it with a poket knife if you really want to, but you will be wasting the worlds time if you do it with anything but a miter box
 
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Old 07-07-05, 04:00 AM
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Chop saw usage...

Originally Posted by seasideheights
Hi,

I'd like to buy a power saw for putting all new baseboard & window trim. Obviously a power miter saw is the first choice, but, I wouldn't really use it after I have all the trim up. I was thinking if I could buy a table saw & use it as a miter saw, then have a table saw to use for various applications down the road. Is that possible? Or is it stupid. Be honest. Thanks!
Portability would have to play a big part in your decision (besides cost of course)– and don’t forget, there will be some jobs where you can’t use either because of the dust factor.

For doing general carpentry work the ‘chop saw’ can’t be beaten for versatility but it does have one important 'drawback' – it’ll make you lazy – once you’ve got one you’ll be reluctant to use a hand saw for even the simplest of jobs!

Still, that's a great trade off

Terry
 
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Old 07-07-05, 11:58 PM
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Lots of very good advice!

You mentioned that you are doing trim work. I highly recommend that you use a mitre saw. I just finished some major remodeling and all the new trim work was done on my mitre saw. I also recommend that you get a copy of Wayne Drake's book "Crown Molding & Trim. Install It Like a Pro.", along with a True Angle tool. I actually have two True Angles, a 12-inch and an 18-inch, to handle most measuring situations. Both the book and the True Angle tool have been indispensable during my project and I was able to make perfect cuts every time. Both the book and the True Angle tool are available at the big orange box store.

You also mentioned "thinking ahead". I suggest applying this idea to the type of mitre saw you buy. The more features the saw has, the more it can do, and the more you are likely to use it. When I bought my mitre saw, I decided to spend a bit more and get a 12-inch, sliding compound mitre saw. I also bought a special portable stand with adjustable sliding supports. I have a number of different blades that I use depending on the job - from framing to finish work. I use the heck out of it and can't imagine not having it.

just my one-cent worth. best wishes!
 
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Old 07-11-05, 10:36 AM
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my 2 cents

I'm not a pro, but an avid DIY. For me, table saw is basic - first major purchase. Did all my trim cuts on it for years (sometimes with pretty elaborate homemade extensions.) But I love my compound miter saw.
Here's the key: I now consider that any job requires the purchase of a tool - big job needs a big tool, little job/little tool- maybe just a new tapemeasure. But every job requires buying a tool!! The expense is easily justified by what you are saving in doing it yourself. So buy the miter saw for your trim job, and that table saw for your next big job.
 
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Old 07-11-05, 02:01 PM
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Right on Bob,
Like I always say....It's all about the justification.
 
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Old 07-14-05, 08:20 AM
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I'm looking for a 10" CMS right now, is it better to spend a little extra and get a saw with a lazer?
 
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Old 07-14-05, 01:03 PM
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You could always buy a laser guide attachment later, which will fit most any saw. Some mount directly on the blade, others shine a kerf-thick line directly below it. Pros and cons either way.

The laser line does nothing for accuracy, and shouldn't be relied on for that. A saw tooth touched to a knife mark on the work directly proves where the cut will be, while the laser line gives an indication. Even if the laser could be absolutely true to the blade under all circumstances (think bevel), we still have the fact that clean carbide points offer better visual contrast, under good shop lighting. Ultimately, any cut on a mark is only so accurate as your eye can resolve.

I suggest first getting used to the saw without the laser on.

For rough cuts a laser guide saves time. If you'll be doing a lot of framing with the saw, go with the laser and enjoy it.
 
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Old 07-14-05, 03:09 PM
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Thanks for the response.

My initial use will be mainly framing, with trim work to follow later.

Cheers

Andrew
 
 

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