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  • Table/Miter saw newbie questions

    Being new to woodworking I thought I'd pose a few questions here.

    1) Can anyone recommend a good polish/wax/product for cast iron table saws and aluminum miter saws to keep them clean?

    2) Dial indicator -
    I've read a dial indicator is a must for calibration, however I don't have a big budget.

    I've looked at a cheap "Harbor freight" model at Amazon, and a few at Woodcraft/Rockler (A-Line-It, SuperBar). Any suggestions? The Amazon model (most range b/w 20-50 dollar but are all the same model with magnetic base) has pretty good reviews, and I don't want to pay top dollar (3x-4x as much) for a name when most tools these days are all made in China anyway.

    3) Any other tools (calibration etc) anyone could recommend for a table saw and or miter saw. I'm already set to order a Wixey digital angle gauge.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Table/Miter saw newbie questions

    BTW Woodcraft also has the same cheap-o Amazon/Harbor frieght model:

    http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=1666

    I figure you can mount it to a T-slot mount and slide it to do trunnion alignment.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Table/Miter saw newbie questions

      Originally posted by GreekGeek View Post
      Being new to woodworking I thought I'd pose a few questions here.

      1) Can anyone recommend a good polish/wax/product for cast iron table saws and aluminum miter saws to keep them clean?
      Johnson's Paste Wax to keep the surface slick.
      Bostik TopCote or Boshield T-9 to keep the surface rust free.

      2) Dial indicator -
      I've read a dial indicator is a must for calibration, however I don't have a big budget.
      The Harbor Freight 623 1" Dial Indicator is very accurate for woodworking purposes and I don't hesitate to recomment it. The Harbor Freight 5645 Magnetic Base is also an excellent buy.

      I've looked at a cheap "Harbor freight" model at Amazon, and a few at Woodcraft/Rockler (A-Line-It, SuperBar). Any suggestions? The Amazon model (most range b/w 20-50 dollar but are all the same model with magnetic base) has pretty good reviews, and I don't want to pay top dollar (3x-4x as much) for a name when most tools these days are all made in China anyway.

      3) Any other tools (calibration etc) anyone could recommend for a table saw and or miter saw. I'm already set to order a Wixey digital angle gauge.

      Thanks
      See above comments.
      Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Table/Miter saw newbie questions

        I second Badger Dave's comments about the Johnston's paste wax (or other non-silicone waxes).

        For other accessories for a table saw, I would recommend the new Ridgid MagSwitch featherboard. A true novel tool, and a finger-saver. Here's the link for it on HD's webpage:

        http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...e=cii_13736960

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Table/Miter saw newbie questions

          Originally posted by GreekGeek View Post
          3) Any other tools (calibration etc) anyone could recommend for a table saw and or miter saw. I'm already set to order a Wixey digital angle gauge.
          The accessories I have bought for my table saw are:
          - Dado Plate
          - ZCI
          - Freud SD206 Dado
          - Fence Featherboard (I made the table one)
          - T-Track to Build an Aux Fence for the fence featherboard.
          - 2 Ball Bearing Roller Stands from Sears (3-way flips from balls, to rollers, to just a stand).

          The magswitch featherboards look really cool, but I haven't dropped the $40, because right now I am doing OK with clamps through the top of the table and a scrap board I made with the 3650. I did buy the fence one though.

          Forgot to mention, it also depends on what you want to make. I wanted to use my TS for grooves and rabbets, so that is why the dado set is high on the list.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Table/Miter saw newbie questions

            Hope everyone doesn't mind if I piggyback a post...no sense asking the millionth question about paste wax..After an hour of research last weekend, I ordered some Topcote..which is on the truck for delivery along with the Wixey...
            But BadgerDave seems to separate the two for uses..are you saying that one could possibly use both? First spray..then wax? Or am I reading too much into this?
            Thanx.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Table/Miter saw newbie questions

              Mike, that's what I do, spray then wax. TopCote claims that it makes the surface slicker than paste wax but I haven't found that to be the case so I decided to use both and that works for me. Alot has to do with the climate conditions where you live.

              One thing I do know is that, again for me, TopCote has kept my iron free from rust year after year ever since I started using it. When I was only using Johnson's years ago I did experience some rusting problems.
              Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Table/Miter saw newbie questions

                Thanx Dave... I have been waiting until I got the top coated before I started playing around...also got the jointer as well. I actually had to call Lowe's to ask where the Johnson's was hidden, as all I found was Minwax...so I'll head to aisle 5 later on today. I have to thank whoever suggested Eagle America in an old post concerning the Wixey...my order was almost $15 cheaper than the suppliers I found just using Google shopping...Eagle America never showed up...but as they are in Ohio...only a weekend wait, and I should have my stuff any time now...thanx for the fast reply...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Table/Miter saw newbie questions

                  I sprayed the underside of my cast iron table saw with WD40 and rubbed the top side with paste wax to help prevent rusting. I don't see any need to do anything to the miter saw. It's not going to rust (unless of course it's cast iron).

                  As for the indicator dial I think it's overkill. A combination square will do just as good a job if not better (in that you'll save some money) for aligning the blade to miter slot and you probably already have one of those in your shop. On the subject of blades buy the best ones you can afford. A top quality blade is so much nicer to work with.

                  I made my own feather boards and they work fine and are just as safe as the commercial ones.

                  I'd also recommend you toss the table insert and replace it with a wooden one for zero clearance. You can make those yourself too.

                  Oh yeah, one other must have...a shop vac.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Table/Miter saw newbie questions

                    Originally posted by Pogster View Post
                    I sprayed the underside of my cast iron table saw with WD40 and rubbed the top side with paste wax to help prevent rusting. I don't see any need to do anything to the miter saw. It's not going to rust (unless of course it's cast iron).

                    As for the indicator dial I think it's overkill. A combination square will do just as good a job if not better (in that you'll save some money) for aligning the blade to miter slot and you probably already have one of those in your shop. On the subject of blades buy the best ones you can afford. A top quality blade is so much nicer to work with.

                    I made my own feather boards and they work fine and are just as safe as the commercial ones.

                    I'd also recommend you toss the table insert and replace it with a wooden one for zero clearance. You can make those yourself too.

                    Oh yeah, one other must have...a shop vac.
                    What about cleaning sawdust resin/gum-up? I've read that I can use mineral spirits, but there's a fire risk. Are there any safe products you or anyone else can recommend? This is why I mentioned the miter saw.

                    The harbor freight dial indicator worked perfectly. I also picked up a pair of dial calipers for 19.99. Pretty nice and a good deal considering.

                    I made a bunch of cross cuts last night and have decided the stock miter gaueuge is a major week point. I'll probably order an Incra as soon as I've paid the saw off... I'm watching a BIN 1000SE on eBay as I write this.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Table/Miter saw newbie questions

                      Actually in the 20+ years of owning the table saw I've never had to clean off any resin or gum from the table surface. My old miter saw is just as old with a cast iron table and I've never given it any kind of protective coat. As for my new Ridgid SCMS I don't plan on giving it any treatment either. With a miter saw the wood just sits there as the blade passes through it so the wood isn't sliding across the table like a table saw. Maybe I've just never cut the right kind of wood for resin to be a problem.

                      As for using mineral spirits I've never used it to clean my saw so I can't comment or make other recommendations. I wouldn't be concerned about fire unless you are cleaning it near an open flame such as a pilot light. You're not going be soaking the saw in it or using it to wash the saw like you would your car with water. Just use it with some common sense and ventilation.

                      I hadn't heard of the Incra gauge so I had to look it up. They look impressive. You'll have to give us a report on how it performs. Better yet bring it over and show me how it works. I usually have a couple of extra root beers in the fridge to share.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Table/Miter saw newbie questions

                        2) Dial indicator -
                        I've read a dial indicator is a must for calibration, however I don't have a big budget.
                        I use a harbor Freight to align the saw. very accurate.
                        Attached Files

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Table/Miter saw newbie questions

                          Also check the 90* fence to table angle and the 45* stop. There seem to be some isssues with the fence being out of square.

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