Suggestions for Chop Saw and Stand?

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Old 12-20-05, 09:36 PM
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Suggestions for Chop Saw and Stand?

I have to replace the floor moulding in 3 bathrooms and a kitchen. I am not a carpenter, and I usually measure 3 times and still cut it wrong. I thought rather than buy a backsaw and a "manual" miter box, I could at least get my 45 bevels close if I had a power chop saw, so I went to Lowes and found a couple of cheapies. I think one was a Toolmaster for $99 or so. No stand. Prices went up from there. I looked at a Ryobi (I think) with laser guide for $159 or so. A laser guide would be nice.

Then I went to another home improvement store and saw one made by Wilton (damn good vices) for $129 with laser guide.

I thought I could just use the thing on the floor, but I suppose a table is just about a necessity. I think Home Depot had one for about $129 or so.

Here's my question: Being as I only have a bit of moulding to cut (maybe 50 to 100 cuts or so), would one of these bargain brands suffice? I'm going on 62 and don't need a tool that will last 20 years... On the other hand, the Better Half is talking about door moulding as well...

Would an entry-level brand name saw and table be overkill?

All comments welcome!
 
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Old 12-20-05, 10:14 PM
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chop saw and stand

Home Depot has a reasonable 8 1/4" compound miter saw on sale this week for $69, which would be ideal for what you are doing. As far as a stand, you could pop for one of the stands at the big box stores, or you could just use a couple of saw horses, a 2 x 10 x 12 and a few scraps of 2 x 4. Screw the 2 x 10 to the top of the saw horses, and attach the saw to the 2 x 10 close to the middle. Then build up on either side of the saw enough 2 x 4's (usually a stack of 2) in a few places along the length of the 2 x 10 to make supports for your molding. Now this thing won't knock down like one you buy, but if you are cutting in a garage or shop, it would work just fine.
 
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Old 12-20-05, 10:50 PM
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Yeah, I'd forget the stand and rig up some kind of table to set it on. Sawhorses and a piece of plywood or something.

Regarding the type of saw, ultimately its your money. I'd stay away from the super-cheap saws which often work about as well as a toy saw. My dad's got one and it's garbage. If you don't picture yourself using it much, that's one thing. But if you might be doing casing later on, you might want a saw with a little more quality. Plus, you could pass a half-way decent saw on to your son or son-in-law after you're through with it!

As you compare miter saws, pay special attention to how easily the saw turns as you adjust the miter from 0 to 45. It ought to slide easily with no friction. If there's friction, you can bet it will only get worse with use. Also check the travel of the plastic blade guard. Does it raise up out of the way smoothly, or is it kind of clunky? Does it impair your vision of your line of cut?

The laser is kind of a gimmick if you ask me, but I suppose for a DIY'er its a nice feature. A cheap saw w/ laser isn't going to have a good quality laser or be very accurate, but I guess it might help give you a ballpark idea of where the line of cut is. So whether you really need the laser or not is up to you. You could probably make due without it.
 
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Old 12-21-05, 05:30 AM
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Plywood over sawhorses will give you a bit of workspace for uncut stock as well as pieces already cut to length. Screw a 2x4 (on edge) under the plywood to stiffen it, so you don't need thick plywood to do the job.
 
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Old 12-21-05, 08:46 PM
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thanks for the tips, guys. I'll check out Home Depot's 8 1/4" saw before doing anything else.

Gotta get a breakdown table for space reasons. Also, living in the Colorado Rockies, it's too darn cold and I'm too darn old to fuss about making something up.

I thought the laser would be trick, but I suppose after practicing a bit I'll learn just where that blade is going to bite without the pretty red line...
 
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Old 12-21-05, 09:45 PM
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suggestions for chop saw and stand

One other thought, if you don't want to spring for the $200 dewalt stand, get one of those shopmates. I have a 8 1/4 attached to one that I use very seldom since my primary one is a Bosch 12" on a dewalt collapsible stand, and it works quite well. The legs fold up on it, and it can be transported say in a minivan or small car once it is flattened out. You will need to use saw horses as extensions, but it works out quite well.
 
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Old 12-29-05, 02:58 PM
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.... and stand...

ahhhh. Home Depot has a odd new product that most folks will skim over. It's a portable table, of sorts. Sold adjacent to the plastic saw horses. Give them another look. I bought one in a hurry job one day, I loved it as a portable miter saw stand! Then recently I needed another so I could have a set of 2 to serve as saw horses in another portable job. There are black and red and aluminum legged, fold up the size of saw horses, and cost 35 dollars for one.

If your really obsessed with 'portability', then buy one of these. One is all you need. Buying two, like I did, is just plain selfish. lol.
 
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Old 12-29-05, 04:27 PM
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I was looking at those the other day , they are intersting . I couldnt think of a use ,now I have one

thanks

 
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Old 12-30-05, 01:14 PM
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I'll take a look.

Because I think a RAS will do everything a homeowner would want to do with a chop saw, and MUCH more, I'm thinking about getting one. Crosscut, rip, mitercut, etc. and for me, space is at a premium.

'Cause the wife hogs it all
 
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Old 01-09-06, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Lugnut
.... and stand...

ahhhh. Home Depot has a odd new product that most folks will skim over. It's a portable table, of sorts. Sold adjacent to the plastic saw horses. Give them another look. I bought one in a hurry job one day, I loved it as a portable miter saw stand! Then recently I needed another so I could have a set of 2 to serve as saw horses in another portable job. There are black and red and aluminum legged, fold up the size of saw horses, and cost 35 dollars for one.

If your really obsessed with 'portability', then buy one of these. One is all you need. Buying two, like I did, is just plain selfish. lol.
It's called the Husky X-Workhorse... saw it in Popular Mechanics and recognized it as what you had described. I went and got one this weekend. Unfortunately the base on my miter saw is too large to line up with any of the bolt holes, but still a cool little table/stand/sawhorse.
 
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Old 01-09-06, 03:33 PM
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Yeah, spreading the word, sharing tid bits, trying new products. Fun ain't it!
 
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Old 01-10-06, 09:19 AM
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Yeah it is great!

Just so you know.. my girlfriend went on the hunt with me at Home Depot for it. Nobody there knew where it was because the display had recently been moved. Suffice to say, after traversing the store several times and finally getting exasperated we were leaving and it was in the very front next to the exit!

I ended up doing some apologizing since it had already been a long day of shopping and she was looking forward to going home and then I piped up that I wanted to swing by Homer's... haha

The experience did remind me though of why I prefer Lowe's......
 
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Old 01-15-06, 09:00 PM
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You Want Feedback? So Here's a Little Feedback...

Late last year I asked here about saws, table saws and miter saws. Got some good ideas to think about. Then went to Lowes, Sears, and Home Depot (that's about all there is where I live). Hemmed and hawed about what to buy, table or miter, cheap or not, etc.

While buying some parts at Lowes I noticed a Dewalt 12" slide/miter for $475. Xmas clearance, they told me. Ah what the hell, I always buy a notch up from current needs so I have something to grow into, so I popped for the Dewalt plus the matching stand.

The hardest part of the purchase is having to tell the War Dept. (haven't yet). But then again, I didn't gripe when she bought her $800 sewing machine a few years ago...

So thanks for your tips. I'm looking forward to using the thing if it ever gets above freezing here again...
 
 

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