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Can I reduce short piece on miter saw??

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  • Can I reduce short piece on miter saw??

    I have a Ridgid 12" compound miter and I am trying to cut down a 5" piece of cedar 4X4 into a 5 "piece of 2.5 X 2.5". I am using this as corner blocks (to which I will attach short legs) for a platform bed. The saw seems to crosscut the 4X4 perfectly, but when I cut the 5" piece on the grain (lengthwise to get a 2.5 X 2.5" block) it cuts at an angle. Its narrower on end away from me, and gets wider toward me, by about 1/8". I have recalibrated the fence/blade, and have monkeyed with the miter angle, but just cant seem to get a perfectly square 2.5 X 2.5 piece of 5" wood.

    Help! I am so frustrated--maybe the saw cannot do this? Any advice would be appreciated (before I go out and buy a table saw).

  • #2
    "First let's talk about shop safety" (Norm of NYW)

    First off this sounds like a pretty shaky operation. You have a piece of cedar 4x4 5" long that you want to rip on a CMS if I understand you correctly. What the heck are you holding on to?? I hope you have some type of jig or other contraption to hold this relatively small piece so that your hands are not within 2" of that nice sharp 12" blade spinning at 128.5 MPH (12" blade @ 3600 RPM) or whatever its rim speed is.

    That being said have you checked ONLY the portion of the fence that is used in this operation is square to the blade? For this operation I think squaring the blade to the fence in the normal way (across its entire width) does not help you much. Check the portion of the fence that is in contact with the work and make sure that portion of the fence is sq. to the blade. It may not be. Over the width of the piece you would only need to be out of square with the blade by about a couple 64ths to see an 1/8" error.
    "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006


    1/20/2017 - The Beginning of a new Error


    • #3
      I have done this operation with much thiner and longer pieces of wood with good success. The force of the blade will tend to pull the piece out of square because of the limited fence support. What you may try is ripping a 2X12 square and clamping it to the saw as a side fence 2.5" from the blade, now you have a much larger reference to hold your 4x4 against. I would also suggest you use a 2' chunk to keep your hands away from the blade, once you make the rip cuts you can free the 2.5 X 2.5 good piece by cross cutting at 5". another safe method is to use a skill saw to make the rip cuts then use the CMS to chop out 5". If you have a bunch of this stuff to do I would invest in a TS, even a cheap bench top saw will be plenty accurate enough for what you are doing and really aren't your fingers worth it?