Tips for Operating a Sliding Compound Miter Saw

A sliding compound miter saw is a great tool for the serious do-it-yourselfer. It is a large, specialized tool that can be used for many things. With a sliding blade, this saw can cut just about everything, up to 14 inches wide. The best benefit of this saw is that the both the blade and the base can be angled, which will make complex cuts much simpler to execute.

Use the Proper Blade

There are different types of blades for different jobs. One of the most important things to do to ensure long lasting blades and reduce the possibility of damaging the sliding compound miter saw is to use the proper blade for the job. And, while we are talking about blades, only use sharp blades. If a blade is vibrating or becomes overheated, change it.

Lock and Load

Most, if not all sliding compound miter saws have a locking mechanism.  Once the saw is calibrated to the appropriate angles, test and make sure the cut is correct. Make adjustments if needed. Then, screw the lock down so the boards will not shift, preventing improper cuts. Be careful not to tighten the screw too much as it can strip and break.

Extensions Are the Perfect Accessory

When the sliding compound miter saw will be used to cut a lot of long boards, it is essential to have an extension. Some saws have a slide out extension, and other brands provide an extension accessory that can be purchased for an additional charge. Some people just prefer to build an extension themselves. No matter what you decide, an extension is highly recommended to get the proper cuts on long boards.

Tape Stops Splinters

A great way to stop wood from splintering is to use masking tape. Place a strip of masking tap over the wood, where the cut will be. Cut through the tape and into the wood. The tape will hold together the ends of the wood, preventing splinters.

Online Owner’s Manual

When you are having trouble with a sliding compound miter saw, and the owner’s manual is no where to be found, look online.  Enter the model and make of the saw into the internet browser and you will most likely find quite a few results.

Molding Is a Breeze

When cutting crown molding, set the saw at a 45-degree positive locking position. Measure and mark the molding from long point to long point. Then turn the molding backwards and upside down and place into the saw, reflecting the molding on the wall. Position the long point on the fence when cutting inside corners and on the table when cutting outside corners. Use a coping saw to backcut the profile of the cut. Then draw a line on the fence following the stock being used to help repeat the positioning.

A sliding compound miter saw is a great tool for contractors or homeowners because it makes difficult cuts easy. This tool makes cutting molding a snap and dramatically cuts down the time to finish a project and create quality woodwork.