Miter Saw 101

In the third installment of Independence Week, I’ve decided to take a break from car maintenance to give a tutorial on my favorite power tool, the miter saw.  If you’ve missed the first segment on how to wash and wax your car and the second tutorial on how to replace a taillight (or headlight) bulb, be sure to check them out!
Ah, the miter saw.  If you own a home and are even remotely interested in building DIY projects, be sure to invest in one of these puppies.  Since December, we have used this saw to cut the crown molding in our master bedroom and master bathroom, to construct a scrap wood floor lamp, to frame our master bathroom’s mirrors, to build a bookcase, and to create floating shelves out of pallets.  Needless to say, our miter saw has proven itself as an invaluable tool in our garage!  I’m kind of infatuated with it.
The particular model that we own (and I recommend) is a 10 inch sliding compound miter saw with a laser guide.  Well worth the investment!  This saw is unique in that it can powerfully slice through just about any type and size of wood with little to no effort involved, and can cut at any angle you wish. 
Before you handle the miter saw, be sure to place safety first.  Wear thick gloves, closed-toed shoes, and safety glasses.  I feel completely safe using this saw, but be mindful that it means serious business, and you should always be careful!

The direction of the saw may be changed to any degree you wish to make a miter cut.  There is a 50 degree miter index to the right and left of the blade, with specific “notches” for quick access to commonly-used angles, such as 45 degrees, 30 degrees, and 15 degrees.
To move the direction of the blade, pull on the handle nearest to you and swivel the blade to meet the exact angle you want to cut.

 In this case, I swung the saw to the right and positioned it at a 45 degree angle.  This would be a perfect cut to make a box frame.  The laser guide shows exactly where the blade will slice through my test piece.

This particular saw, too, may be adjusted to make for a beveled cut.  The requisite bevel index is located at the neck of the saw.  To adjust the bevel, pull out the small red lever to the left of the neck, as shown in the directions below.
Then, tilt the head of the saw to the exact degree you need for your bevel cut.  The bevel index is located on the right side of the neck.
This is what your saw will look like when it is prepped to make a 45 degree bevel cut.

Once you have the angle set, be sure to use the safety clamp to the left or right of the saw to lock the wood in place.  Place a scrap piece of wood between the clamp so that the clamp doesn’t make any indentions into your final piece.
Now you are ready to cut!  The handle at the top of the saw has two buttons.  You have to press both triggers in order to power the blade.  Move the blade by pulling down on the handle until it passes through the wood piece.
It’s better to start the motor before you hit the wood rather than wait.  Doing so will eliminate any chances of splinters and will produce a nice, clean cut.  

What a beauty!
Sounds easy enough, right?  Trust me, it is.  My husband taught me the basics back and December, and since then, I’ve been a miter saw fiend!  It’s invigorating, and I can’t get enough of it.
Why should the guys have all the fun?  Get out there and build!

You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:

Monday: Boogieboard CottageBurlap and DenimC-R-A-F-TCraft-O-ManiacDIY Home Sweet Home,  Everything Under the MoonGet Outta My Head PleaseThe Girl CreativeThe Graphics FairyMad in CraftsMaking the World CuterOur Delightful HomePolish the StarsSerendipity and SpiceSew Can DoSew Happy GeekSkip to My LouThrifty Decor ChickToo Much Time on My HandsTuesday: A Bowl Full of LemonsCherished BlissCoastal CharmConfessions of a Stay at Home MommyFunky Polka Dot Giraffe,  I’m Topsy TurvyJillify ItThe Kurtz CornerMommy By Day Crafter by NightNap Time CreationsNatural NestersNot Just a HousewifeSugar Bee Crafts,  Sweet Little GalsTales of a Trophy WifeTip JunkieToday’s Creative BlogWednesday: Free Pretty Things for YouGinger Snap CraftsHome Happy HomeJAQS StudioLet Birds FlyRae Gun RamblingsThe Sasse LifeSew Much AdoSew WoodsySomeday CraftsSouthern LovelyThursday: A Creative PrincessA Glimpse InsideCrafty, Scrappy, HappyHouse of HepworthsJust Winging ItMade in a DayThe Shabby Creek CottageSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingYesterday on TuesdayFriday: 2805The Answer is ChocolateBacon Time with the Hungry HypoCreation CornerFinding FabulousFingerprints on the FridgeThe Grant LifeHappy-Go-LuckyMom 4 RealMy Simple Home LifeNot So Functional HousewifeNot Your Ordinary RecipesOne Artsy MamaPerfectly ImperfectThe Rooster and the HenSimply DesigningTatertots and JelloWhipperberryYoung and CraftySaturday: Be Different… Act NormalCandace CreationsFunky Junk InteriorsIt’s OverflowingIt’s So Very CheriNutmeg PlaceSunday: The Crafty CowgirlEmbellishing Life with Homemade GoodnessFlamingo ToesG*RatedNifty Thrifty Things

6 thoughts on “Miter Saw 101”

  1. I share your love, although unfortunately the saw that I use is my dad's, and a good 20 minute drive away. Over the years its been great for making bookshelves, doll's houses, TV cabinets, etc., and the only thing that comes close in the 'tool love' stakes is my jigsaw. I'm off to check out what you've been making with your projects.


  2. most women want shoes. or coach purses. or diamonds.

    i want a compound miter saw like this! we've borrowed my brother in law's a few times, in fact when we added onto our home, i made all the interior trim; our builder took to calling me boob vila. heh.


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