A compound miter saw is one of the most accurate saws for making crosscuts on wood. These saws work well to help you achieve beveled, angled, or square cuts. Compound miter saws are suitable when you are making crown molding or cutting other materials that require a high level of accuracy. Theses saws vary from the standard miter saw because they allow you to tilt the blade to cut at specified angles.
For you to do your woodworking jobs with a compound miter saw, it is essential to understand how the tool works. I prepared this guide to give you some tips on how to use a compound miter saw. Go through these steps to know how you can get the most from your compound miter saw.
Note: Click here to check our Top 10 miter saws that we reviewed recently.
How to Use a Compound Miter Saw – The Right Way
Some so many woodworkers have miter saws in their workshops, but this doesn’t mean that they all finish their jobs correctly. You need to use the saw the right way to get the best results. The following are some crucial steps that will help you use the tool properly.
Step ONE: Choose the right size and amperage
Before you start doing your projects, the first thing that you need to do is to choose the correct amperage for your compound miter saw. This will depend on the nature of projects that you are handling. For instance, if you are planning to handle heavy-duty jobs, you should get a tool that has a higher amperage. Always get a tool with a suitable amperage to help you handle the project perfectly.
In regards to the saw size, compound miter saws also come in different sizes. The size of the saw depends on the diameter of the blade. In most cases, you can get compound miter saws with blade sizes from 8-12 inches. The size of the blade also affects the thickness and the width of the material that you are cutting.
Step TWO: Familiarize yourself with the compound miter saw
You can get the most from your compound miter saw if you don’t know much about the tool. You need to know all the parts of the tool and its functions. Every tool comes with a manual when you buy it. Make sure you through the manual carefully and understand the safety requirements when using the tool.
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Check out where the laser guides are locking clamps, angle scale, power switch, and other parts. Knowing all these will help you avoid accidents when you are using the tool. Before starting your projects, you should also wear personal protective equipment like gloves, glasses, and other safety gear.
Step THREE: Set up your workplace
You can also use your compound miter saw on a table or convenient workbench. However, if you are handling longer materials, you might need to use the saw on the floor for stability purposes. This will also reduce vibrations during work.
Even though miter saws are portable tools as compared to table saws, they can be hard to use when you are far from your workshop. You need to have a proper way of holding the stock, and you can easily do that if you have a miter saw stand.
Step FOUR: Test using a small piece of plywood
Before you begin the actual cutting projects, it is wise to test the tool. This will help you find out of the alignment of the blade is okay.
Step FIVE: Cut the main board
After testing the blade alignment, if fine, you can now proceed to the real project. Get a pencil to make measurements on the board you are cutting. You ensure that the measurements are accurate so that you can get the right size.
Step SIX: Take the board to the saw’s cutting area
In this step, you can use a vertical cutting position for the material. So many people cut the board horizontally; however, this is not the right way to go. Place the board perfectly on the miter box and ensure that the lines match well with the miter saw blade.
Step SEVEN: Start the tool
To cut the board, start the miter saw. If you would like to achieve a smooth cutting, lower the blade. Do not force the blade to cut because this can end up damaging it.
Step EIGHT: Smoothen the material
After cutting, the next step is to sand the material to make it smooth. You need to do this if the materials come with a rough surface. Use sandpaper to make the material smooth.
Getting The Best Straight Cut, Miter Cut, Bevel Cut And Angle Cut From Your Compound Miter Saw
The best thing about the compound miter saw is that it comes in different blade types each of which has its specific cutting technique and cutting angle. Here’s how to use the different blades with their recommended surface types.
The Straight Cut
Getting a straight cut is quite simple provided you do it correctly. Check if the wood is properly placed on the tray, start the compound miter saw then slowly just lower it downwards.
Getting The Most Accurate Miter Cuts
Simply have the wood on the tray in your desired right-angled position then just like in the straight cut, allow the blade to slowly cut clean through it.
For any person that can handle the compound miter saw, this is the easiest cut you can possibly make. Check on the depth of the base plate as well as the cut.
Hold the speed-square tight after having lined up the markings on your board. Having done so, you need to get smooth pieces and this is only possible if you make the cuts against the base plate.
So as to get the angle cut, you’ll need to slide the base of the saw square up. Ensure that you move forward on the blade at a slow place and at the same time maintain the utmost concentration while cutting on a particular angle.
The guide and the base-plate should be against each other for the expected results
Safety Tips When Using a Compound Miter Saw
Safety should always be the first thing you should care about when you are dealing with any tool. Compound miter saws can also be dangerous if you don’t handle them the right way. Here are some safety tips that will help you stay safe when you are using the tool.
- Make sure you remove all jewelry when using the tool.
- Do not wear loose clothing when working with the saw.
- Wear safe gear like hearing protection, protective glasses, tight uniform, and working shoes, among others.
- Keep your fingers safe from the cutting blade.
- Check the user manual to match the blade to the purpose.
- Maintain your saw to ensure that the blades function well all the time.
A compound miter saw is an essential tool that you need in your workshop for precise cutting. If you know how to use your tool well, then you will not have trouble when handling various projects. I have given you some tips that will help you use your compound miter saw the right way.
You should also know that compound miter saws come with various types of blades as well as cutting features to help you cut different ant angles. It is essential to use the right blade, depending on the type of surface you want to achieve. I believe you will find the above tips resourceful when it comes to using your compound miter saw.