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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Default Skillsaw "Precision"

I am a weekend warrior. My shop is basic. I have a small table saw - I can't handle more than about a 30" cut, let alone the space. The best panel saw I have is 4 2x4s spread out on the floor of my garage - I measure, offset the width of the baseplate of my skillsaw (an actual Skill brand - $50-$75) to the blade (edge of carbide) and lay a straightedge to make the cut. So I have this all laid out and I'm going to check the bevel angle of the base plate with a square to verify a 90 degree cut, which reads "0" on the guage, but I find it's way way off of square. I squared the blade to the base plate, the guage reads like 5 degrees.

I ended up settling for "as good as I can get" precision. I'd like better.

Does anyone have a better way to get a square cut (reliably) from a hand rotary saw without spending a fortune (Festool)?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 02:26 PM
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Right now, I use a reliable straight edge mated to an 8" wide 8' long piece of 1/4" ply.
The straight edge is mounted so that non-cutting side has some excess (about 2 1/2") for clamping. The cutting side was ripped with the saw riding against the straight edge. The cut edge is lined up with the cut line (ticks at each end of the work). No need to figure offsets.
But, stay tuned. In a few weeks I'm going to build a Festool-like cutting system. I'll be posting pictures of the build.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 03:09 PM
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I think the bevel angle markings are just a "close reference" at best. I always check the blade to the base when setting a circ. saw up.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan's Dad View Post
I am a weekend warrior. My shop is basic. I have a small table saw - I can't handle more than about a 30" cut, let alone the space. The best panel saw I have is 4 2x4s spread out on the floor of my garage - I measure, offset the width of the baseplate of my skillsaw (an actual Skill brand - $50-$75) to the blade (edge of carbide) and lay a straightedge to make the cut. So I have this all laid out and I'm going to check the bevel angle of the base plate with a square to verify a 90 degree cut, which reads "0" on the guage, but I find it's way way off of square. I squared the blade to the base plate, the guage reads like 5 degrees.

I ended up settling for "as good as I can get" precision. I'd like better.

Does anyone have a better way to get a square cut (reliably) from a hand rotary saw without spending a fortune (Festool)?
Hi Chris - Cheapest circ saw out there should be able to do better than 5*. Skil isn't a bad saw, especially the older ones.
If I remember they used something like 14 or 16 ga sheet metal for the bevel adjustment on that. Make sure non of that stuff is bent out of shape. I think they also used metal rivets to pivot the shoe on. Make sure those aren't loose or broken. Other than that, not much to keep it from squaring up There should be a little tab under and just a little to the side of the wing nut you loosen that limits the foot travel. If that tab is bent it would keep it from squaring up but that should also be reflected on the bevel scale.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 03:58 PM
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Here's a thought. Put tape over the stamped angle indicators, and write your own on it.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 11:20 PM
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I agree with the above comments. I wouldn't trust the gage marks. I would square up the blade with a machinist square.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 11:34 PM
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I agree with the above comments. I wouldn't trust the gage marks. I would square up the blade with a machinist square.
The thing with that saw is that the little bent tab I mentioned stops the foot from hitting 90* if it is bent down. I'm pretty rusty on the Skil saw, I've been using a Milwaukee the last few years and mine uses a drop foot, completely different system.

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