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Author: bankingintern Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 129287  
Subject: What saw to buy? Date: 1/14/2004 6:07 AM
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I'm looking to buy a stationary saw of some kind, my first one. If at all possible I would like to have ONE saw that can do it all for my workspace or the lowest number of tools possible.

I would like to be able to:
Cut 2 by 4's
cut crown molding (could use a miter box)
cut sheet goods (could use hand tools for this)
be able to make a dado cut (could use a router)
slice hardwood flooring strips
and be able to do fast and good straight cuts in general

I know most of those things will occur sometime in the future.
So far I think that a sliding miter saw could do pretty much everything I would like it to do with the exception of dealing with sheet goods.

Questions:
1. Am I right or wrong that a miter saw would do most of these jobs and well? If no, what would you recomend.

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Author: agg97 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 44636 of 129287
Subject: Re: What saw to buy? Date: 1/14/2004 9:40 AM
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1. Am I right or wrong that a miter saw would do most of these jobs and well? If no, what would you recomend.

A miter saw (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00006K00D/qid=1074090999/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2_etk-tools/104-5742347-2318327?v=glance&s=hi&n=228013 ) will not cut sheet goods, dado cuts, or slice hardwood flooring strips. A miter saw is simply on a hinge that comes down and goes back up.

A radial arm saw (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0000789HI/104-5742347-2318327?v=glance )is better equipped to handle your cutting needs. It's like a miter saw, but it also slides back and forth on an arm so it will make the dado cuts and will cut larger pieces of lumber (?x12's). It still won't cut sheet goods or slicing hardwood flooring strips.

However, with a radial arm saw covering most of your needs, you can use other tools to handle those cuts. Maybe a circular saw for "rough" rip cutting and a router (with or without a router table) for fine rip cutting would work.

Also, there's a Woodworking Board here at the Fool where we talk about tools all the time. You might check the archives over there for recommendations. (http://fireboards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=20147205&bid=114919 )

Good luck!

-Agg97

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Author: SixSigmaBB Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 44643 of 129287
Subject: Re: What saw to buy? Date: 1/14/2004 10:38 AM
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Don't know if you necessarily need one that slides, but a Compound Miter saw should do the trick.

My dad has a 12" Dewalt compound miter saw and it is wonderful to have around. I have borrowed it on many occasion and would love to get one myself.

SixSigmaBB

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Author: millerpim Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 44662 of 129287
Subject: Re: What saw to buy? Date: 1/14/2004 2:23 PM
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When I started out doing work around the house, I began with a circular saw and used a hand saw with a miter box for angled cuts. As I progressed and eventually undertook finishing off an entire lower level of a house, I graduated to a table saw.

A table saw will also let you cut various degrees in angles, including 45 degrees. And it does it two different ways, whichever works best for you. One is by using a slider angle that will hold your wood at a specific angle, and the other is by changing the direction of the saw itself by tilting it (using a lever).

This kind of saw will also cut 2x4s, the short way, assuming you also have somebody else handy who can help you to hold the wood. I believe the top end of the cutting size is 2 1/2 inches, but it's great for ripping. It won't cut, for example, a 4x4 post. But a reciprocrating saw will. Which is what I bought next.

But for most jobs, a table saw works well. Even for sheeted material, again, though, you need somebody to help you hold the material as you feed it through the saw.

elizabeth

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Author: AngryPuppy Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 44664 of 129287
Subject: Re: What saw to buy? Date: 1/14/2004 2:31 PM
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I bought a 10" Black and Decker compound miter saw from Walmart on clearance a few years back for $60. Best tool I ever owned. It can cut 4x4 posts and up to 2x6, but beyond that you'll need to step up to 12" or get the slider (if money is no object).

However, you can forget trying to cut any sheet goods or ripping flooring strips in half.

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Author: AngryPuppy Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 44666 of 129287
Subject: Re: What saw to buy? Date: 1/14/2004 2:32 PM
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It can cut 4x4 posts and up to 2x6

Forgot, you CAN cut 2x12's, just have to flip the piece over and cut twice.

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Author: Mattg141 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 44803 of 129287
Subject: Re: What saw to buy? Date: 1/18/2004 8:49 PM
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The sheet goods is part of the limiting factor. Depending on what you really want a Radial Arm Saw would do the trick. But those are very expensive.

I would consider a compound miter saw and get an OK circular saw. That should cover most of those jobs and cost less than a Radial Arm Saw.

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