8 Miter Saw Pro Tips & Tricks

If you are just getting into woodworking
a miter saw is one of the most useful tools you can own I consider it so handy
that the first few projects in my weekend woodworker course are built
without a table saw using just the miter saw in fact if you have never built
anything before and are looking for a great first project one that you can
build in a weekend I want you to download buy free set of plans to build
this practical sturdy mobile workbench the BMW head over to basic bubble
workbench come and start your woodworking journey today no experience
necessary so in this video I want to share a few
simple professional techniques that'll help you get more out of your miter saw
right from the start when you buy boards chances are the ends aren't in great shape
they've been standing around and bins and have probably experienced a lot of
moving and handling by the home center or the lumberyard but mostly by other
customers trying to find the best pieces and in some big box stores finding
quality straight usable boards can take a long time the ends of almost any board
will be chipped or maybe have a split running a couple inches down and if
they're in otherwise pretty decent shape there's a chance that they weren't cut
exactly square at the mill so I just make it a rule to always chop a little
off the end of every new board to get to the good wood kind of like it's kind of
like when you didn't pass the first few slices of bread to get to the good bread
examine the ends and if there are any splits just cut to
the point where the split ends if you have a pretty decent board you may need
to remove just a little bit maybe less than a centimeter just to clean it up
and get a good square end using stop blocks is the number one way to make
your miter saw more efficient just about the only time I don't use stop blocks are
when I only have a single board to cut and that's pretty unusual so much of
woodworking is about making multiple pieces all the same length for table
legs for box sides a couple of drawer handles the list goes on setting up a
stop block is simple determine how long you need your work pieces to be and
clamp a scrap of wood to the fence at that spot now you could just line the
board up against the stop block and start cutting all of your pieces will be
exactly the same length stop blocks are great but what if you need to cut boards
that are longer than the length of your saws fence there's no where to clamp the
stop block to so what you need to do is to find a straight board and attach it
to your saws fence you might not have even realized that there are usually
holes in the fence for just this purpose just drive some screws in place making
sure that they don't poke out the other side you want to make sure you drive two
screws on each side of the split an added benefit of making an extension
pins is that it also creates a zero clearance slot that'll make your cuts
cleaner with less splinters once you've got the fens in place you can clamp a
stop block in place anywhere along its length I usually like to measure the
distance that I need with the blade down then make a mark right on the fence
then I can clamp my stop block right to that mark if you like those clean cuts you're
getting with the extension fence in place you can also improve the table the
same way most miter saws that have insert plates with a very wide throat
that's so that there's room for a tilted blade when you're making beveled cuts
sometimes when cutting small pieces this could be a problem not only can the
workpiece splinter but tiny pieces can drop into the slot just attach a piece
of scrap plywood over the entire table one way to hold it in place is to slide
it up against the solid fence then screw your extension pins on top of it which
sort of clamps it into place another method is to stick it in place
using double-sided carpet tape there are times when you may need to cut
very small pieces maybe you need to cut some dowel pins you can feed the wood
through just fine while it's reasonably long but once it gets down to a few
inches don't let your fingers get any closer to
the blade you can use any long piece of wood or you gonna push stick to safely
hold the short workpiece in place but I find that using a pencil works great
it's long enough to keep your fingers safe and the eraser grips the wood and
holds it still there are times when you just need to make a one-off cut so
there's no need to set up a stop block measure the length with a tape measure
and draw a line on the board but keep in mind the thickness of the curve which is
the thickness of the saw blade a common rookie woodworking mistake is to draw a
line and cut right down the middle which will leave your board a little bit
shorter than you intended usually about a sixteenth of an inch since the blade
itself is typically an eighth of an inch thick
always keep in mind which side of the line represents your measured length of
the workpiece and cut just to the edge of that line so that the line actually
remains on the board if you cut on the other side of the line that'll be 1/8 in
short that can make a big difference in the success of a project and how it all
fits together let's say you cut just outside of that line but the board is
still just slightly too long maybe it's a cross brace for a tabletop and it
really needs to fit perfectly you don't want to force it in there a good way to
shave off just a paper thin amount is to press the end of your workpiece up
against the saw blade causing the blade to flex just a little hold the board
firmly in place then raise the blade back to its upright position now when
you bring the blade down it might cut up just what you need this is a great way
to sneak up on the perfect fit and lower the chance of
cutting off too much one of the limitations to a miter saw is that it
can't really cut very wide board about the widest you can get will be a little
bit more than the radius of the blade due to the fence and the way the head
swings down but sometimes you might encounter a board that is just
frustratingly close to cutting all the way through but just not quite enough
try this raise the workpiece up just a little using a scrap board that'll give
you a little bit longer cut maybe just enough I hope some of these tips and
tricks were useful for you if you have any of your own tips and tricks for the
miter saw that would help out beginners please leave them down in the comments
thanks for watching everybody

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