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Old 10-19-2010, 02:04 PM   #16
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want to get into wood working


I built a 2x4 framed bench, sized specifically for my table saw, which has a sawdust collection box under it, and side extensions that hold my blades, fences, and other related tools. It's too heavy to move as it sits, and I generally have it against a wall, but on the back of it, I mounted a wheel on each leg, which just miss the floor by about 1/8", so that I can slide a 2x4 between the saw and sawdust box, lift up on it, and roll it, sort of like a single handed wheel barrow, to the center of the shop, when cutting larger stock. As for using a circular saw, I use several straight edges of various lengths, depending on what I am cutting, and quick grips to hold them in place. Squares can get banged around, so it's never a bad idea to check them. If you have any doubts, select a straight piece of stock, lay your square on it, and make a mark. Then flip your square over, and see if it matches your mark. As for my table saw miter, I check it virtually every time I use it, Just flip it upside down, slide it against the table, and check that it shows 90 degrees. Same for the tilt on the blade; set it at 90 degrees, then set a square against it and the table, to make sure that they are perpendicular. Things like this will let you know that the tools are doing their job, and will help you confirm that bad fits are indeed operator error! (The last part being spoken from experience.)

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Old 10-19-2010, 06:50 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
......the guard is in the way, and I need to manually lift it, by my other hand.......
No No Red, That is completely unsafe and you don't have to do that. The wood has to supported by a bench, or sawhorses, or some other structure.

The second thing after adequate support, especially for newbies is to have some kind of a saw guide.
For crosscutting 2X wood @ 90 a speed square used as a saw guide is invaluable as it can be held in place or clamped to the wood while the circular saw is held with the other hand against the Speed Square before starting the saw and completing the cut.

Cutting plywood or other sheet goods at 90 can be done using a Framing Square. For longer cuts a scrap piece of wood can be clamped to the work piece to act as a guide. By applying a slight amount of side pressure to hold the saw against the guide you can cut a line a perfectly straight as the guide is straight.
http://lowescreativeideas.com/idea-l..._Saw_0508.aspx
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Note: If you don't have a Framing Square now, get an aluminum square (no rust ever)
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Last edited by PaliBob; 10-19-2010 at 06:59 PM. Reason: added note
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:46 PM   #18
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I actually do have an aluminum square, never even realized I could use it as a guide, figured it was not thick enough and the saw would just jump over it, but I never even thought of trying it. I will need to get some clamps though. Next CT run think I'll look into getting the guiding tools mentioned. I'll just build my own horses.

As for the guard issue, I don't know if it's an issue with my saw, but what happens is when the saw gets maybe a foot into a cut, the guard will stay stuck at the end instead of lift completely so it stops the saw from going further into the cut. There is a lever I need to just lift so the guard slides over the wood better. But yeah I was questioning myself if I need to do that as it is putting my hand slightly closer to the blade. Maybe I just need to push the saw a bit harder at that point, which was hard to do without a stable method of holding the wood.
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:26 PM   #19
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I have a cabinet saw with a Beisenmeyer fence. I can make cuts so accurate that I barely need my jointer.
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:44 PM   #20
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Whether I am holding the circ with one hand or two, I never let go or change until the cut is done and I release the trigger. To deal with my troublesome guard, I get all set up to cut, with the saw on the stock and the blade almost entering the stock, then I raise the guard and hold the lever with my left thumb. So far my right hand has gone nowhere near the trigger. Then I grab the saw handle with my right hand, trigger, cut, and release the lever partway into the cut. Nothing dangerous about it provided everything is clamped secure and the spinning blade isn't being waved around in space without its guard. Sometimes I get a little impact dent from where the guard snaps down onto the surface of the stock.

With my saw this is more of an issue when cutting thin stock like 1/4" plywood or siding. Using a jig where the shoe slides on the surface of the jig seems to make the saw think the stock is thicker and the problem goes away.

But that's all detail. My overriding suggestions are twofold:

(1) Start the habit now of NOT changing your hand position when pulling the trigger. Get all set up so your hands remain glued to the tool while you apply power to the tool.

(2) Watch that the guard snaps down after the cut EVERY time. Just like a surgeon that does the same thing the same way every time, just start looking EVERY time, even you're tired and rushed and think it doesn't matter because it worked fine the last 734 times. The 735th time is the time the guard will stick open and you'll set the spinning blade on the floor, where it will take off like a race car, slice the cord, and hopefully zoom off past your foot instead of chopping its way over your foot. So LOOK at the guard before you set down the saw. (A pro trim carpenter suggested laying it down on its side also for the same reason.)

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Old 10-19-2010, 08:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
.......Maybe I just need to push the saw a bit harder.......
That's it, Although I've never noticed any difference in force.
With the saw unplugged turn the saw bottom up and with your finger push the blade guard into the retracted position. If it takes more than an ounce or so of force you may have a problem. If you think it is too hard try the same thing on another saw.
BE SAFE

Note: this also goes for Steve
You don't have to fool with the blade guard if the depth of cut is set properly
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Last edited by PaliBob; 10-19-2010 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:09 PM   #22
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Red, I was assuming that that you were following proper procedure and adjusting the depth of cut before cutting anything.

Adjusting the depth of cut before cutting any new material is extremely important. The easiest way to do this is before you start (saw unplugged) is to take a scrap piece of the material to be cut, retract the blade guard, then adjust the blade height just enough so it is not more than one tooth higher than the material is thick.

Note: this also goes for Steve. You don't have to play with the blade guard if the depth of cut is set properly
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Last edited by PaliBob; 10-19-2010 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 10-20-2010, 04:45 AM   #23
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Hey Thanks Bob..... You have inspired me to break the habit and see if there is still a problem. What I mean is, I do pay attention to depth now so if I still have that problem you may have uncovered the real danger for me.... something wrong with the blade guard itself, in which case I will be very much in your debt!
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:31 AM   #24
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Safety Tips for Circular Saws

Note the line on "Set the depth of the blade"

http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/safet.../saw_circ.html
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Old 10-20-2010, 06:44 AM   #25
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The sticking guard is usually a result of built up saw dust.

Blow out the dust with compressed air and hit it with a shot of dry lube and you should be good to go, for awhile anyway.

It’s good practice to always lay your saw down on it’s side.

Never assume the guard has fully returned to position.
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Old 10-20-2010, 12:54 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
Good to know about the router table, I may look into that when I go look at the saws. One issue is I am debating if I want to make my garage still able to store my car in winter or just forget about that, and make it a shop. If I get a big table saw then I wont have room for a car, but if I do get more into wood working and actually use it a lot, think it will be worth it.

How is something like this, if I wanted to go small?
http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/6/Tools/3/StationaryTools/TableSaws/PRD~0556909P/DeWALT%252BJobsite%252BTable%252BSaw.jsp?locale=en

Is it a bad idea?

That's a great saw (I own the older version of it), but it's too small for sheet goods unless you build it into a table that will allow proper support of 4x8 sheets.

I agree with PaliBob on the speed square. It's very hand and it's the most "square" square that I own (framing squares always seem to be a little bit out of square - or at least the 3 that I own are). When cutting sheet goods, I lay 4 or 4 2x4's on the ground and lay the sheet on top (boards running perpendicular to the cut). Then I set the blade depth to the sheet thickness plus 1/8 +/-. I then clamp the fence i the next link below to the sheet:

http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/pag...240,45313&ap=1

Lee Valley has great, accurate tools, although they aren't cheap. They also have some interesting gadgets. The best tweezers that I've ever owned, I bought from Lee Valley and their sweatshirts are really nice.

http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/pag...34&cat=1,42207

Good Luck.
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:09 PM   #27
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The saw Red linked is a good saw but will only cut up to 16”. The one I linked is $50 more but will open to 26” so you can at least rip a sheet in half.
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:34 PM   #28
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That Veritas Power Tool Guide from Lee Valley is sweet but I would not recommend it for Red. I would much rather he wait for a Festool TS55, The nice thing about their type of guide rail is that the Guide edge is the cut line. You don't have to measure an offset for the actual cut. A much cheaper alternative is to make a Shooting Board.

I bought a commercial 4 foot PVC Shooting Board about fifteen years ago, but I think they are now out of business. The name of the firm was "Trim Guide" in Yorba Linda CA and they they made guides in 4,8,10,& 12" lengths.

The 4" Trim Guide that I bought at an Internet Tool store was originally about 10" wide overall. because of the variation in distance between the blade and outboard edge of the shoe, the mfg made them all extra wide. I set mine up for my DeWalt 18V cordless where the blade to shoe edge distance was a little less than 4". Following the 'Edge Guide" directions, I put my saw on the extra wide guide and cut off the excess PVC. Now all I have to do to follow a straight cut line is to align the cut line with the edge of the guide & CUT.

The original manufacturer's design included a very useful clamping strip outboard of the guide rail that is 1-3/4" wide. When clamped to the piece being cut the clamps do not interfere with the saw.

Because my PVC Shooting Board is now set up for my 18V DeWalt I can't use it with my other circular saws, but that's no problem because I mostly use my TS55 Festool. I still use the Shooting Board/ DeWalt combo though for the occasional indoor or outdoor door bottom trim cut.

This should be an easy DIY project using almost any ” material and a screwed on guide rail. The only thing that has to be straight is the guide rail. By making the width slightly wider than required, the final set up cut will lock in the cutting edge to guide rail distance.
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Old 10-20-2010, 06:46 PM   #29
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That looks good. I suppose I could make my own too using a very straight edge as a reference.

Also for cutting big boards think I'd stick with the circ saw, probably easier once I get setup properly.
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:14 PM   #30
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Red, you never said what type of wood working you want to get into.

What are the first few projects on your list?

My entire tool collection was built on an as needed basis.

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