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Thread: Compound Mitre Saw

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    12,264

    Compound Mitre Saw

    After some years now and getting more used to doing things on my table saw, i am asking the question of do you really need a CMS in your woodshop?

    Even the other day making some heavy duty boxes from some 2x12 pressure treated lumber we had laying around, i started to use the CMS and then said heck no i will go to the table saw.

    The more i have used my table saw and got used to using it fully the less and less the CMS has been in play. Now after Brents post for the flip top i am thinking that maybe the CMS can actually go. It takes up way too much space and whats the point if I am not going to use it.

    I aint in construction and i aint a trim carpenter so give me a reason why i would want a CMS in my shop please before i get rid of it and regret it.
    cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Villa Park, CA
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    1,407
    I use my CMS quite a bit. I use it to cut a square end off a board, to exact length, or to cut miters.

    The problem with using the table saw is the set up time, I have my table saw set up for ripping. If I want to crosscut, I have to remove the fence, put on my sled and make the cut. Then tear it down and go back to the rip set up.

    I don't use a miter gauge on my table saw so all my angle cuts are made on my CMS, or with a jig using a sled on my table saw (for long cuts).

    Summary, the CMS is one of the most used tools in my shop, probably equal in use to my table saw.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Mike on the time to use i agree but how have you found accuracy. What CMS size and make do you have. Is it a slider?

    My thoughts are to get rid of my 12 inch slider and get a smaller say 10 inch or even 8 inch and fix no sliding.

    And i have become far more comfortable with my miter gauge on my table saw. This is probably whats brought about the thoughts.
    cheers

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Cape Cod, Ma.
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    1,553
    Rob,
    I have used to use a cms all the time. (used to) In fact I still have several of them, left overs from when I needed one in the shop, one or more set up on the various trim jobs I would be working at and one I always kept in the van. All but one were sliders. I had a need and a purpose for them at the time so I was able to justify the investment.
    That said....
    In my shop I have a sliding table set up on my ts. All I need to do is loosen 2 bolts and off comes the cross cut fence for using it to rip. I do all of my ripping and cross cutting on the ts. When I set up for making my stiles and rails for ff's and doors etc. Also for rough cross cutting.

    So. 90 percent of the cuts I would normally do on a cms are done on my ts.
    But, and the key word here is, but, I have found with this set up it is more laborious to set up the saw for mitering, especially compound mitering for crowns and such. Also if you want to cut a piece of crown on the vertical you can't do it on the ts because the blade isnt high enough.
    That is where the cms comes into play. I have my 12" Hitachi set up on a bench collecting dust till I need it, I also have a 9" ras to the right of my ts that is on a stand the same height as my ts infeed table so it helps for outboard support when I am ripping sheet goods.

    You may consider setting the saw on a small roll around cart that you can tuck into a corner and roll it out when needed. You already own it so why go buy a smaller one? Also, the "chop" saws do not give you a good bevel cut. They always scallop out the miter especially on wider pieces. With the slider that isnt the case.
    For dead on accuracy on 90 degree cross cuts it's the ts hands down though.

    incidently this is the slider I use. I cant say enough good things about it. Once it is set up and tuned. it is a huge labor saver for sizing sheet goods and cross cutting. It also is great for making huge miters like mitering a counter top and such.

    http://woodworker.com/auxiliary-slid...arch=excalibur sliding table&searchmode=2

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
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    30,020
    I'm probably not a good benchmark for flatwork, but my CMS is one of the least-used power tools in my shop. For me, it's faster to remove the fence (about 5 seconds) and use my Incra miter gauge on the tablesaw for the crosscut than it is to get the CMS out of the cabinet and set it up on a bench or miter saw stand. More accurate, too.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Villa Park, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Mike on the time to use i agree but how have you found accuracy. What CMS size and make do you have. Is it a slider?

    My thoughts are to get rid of my 12 inch slider and get a smaller say 10 inch or even 8 inch and fix no sliding.

    And i have become far more comfortable with my miter gauge on my table saw. This is probably whats brought about the thoughts.
    I have a 12 inch Bosch non-slider. It's accurate. It came well adjusted and I check it every six months or so.

    I'd actually prefer an accurate slider to get a wider cut but I didn't have room for it (behind the saw). Bosch is now making a "slider" that doesn't take a lot of room behind the saw, and Festool makes one also. One day I'll spring for one of those.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,464
    The majority of my wood going in the wood stove has seen the cms, also use it for framing and flooring work. For more accurate cutting I use my table saw and jessem miter.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Constantine, MI
    Posts
    7,892
    I use my cms (a 10" DeWalt, non-slider) for breaking down long boards, construction tasks, and 'getting close' for finish cuts. I do all my precision crosscutting on the ts. I tried, I really did, to use my cms for accurate cross cuts, but it's just not up to the task. It has been difficult (for me, at least) to align, and blade deflection during a cuts in harder woods throws my joinery off. I imagine a better/sharper blade than my 80 tooth Oldham might help.

    Overall, it has a permanent place in my shop and gets used often - just not for fine work.
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,077
    I used mine a few months ago to do the trim in LOML's remodel. Before that it had been years. I'm glad I have one when I need one but, if I didn't already have it I wouldn't buy one; I'd rent. I use the jigsaw or the Circ-saw to break down lumber. You will hear from a contingent that feel they are an absolute necessity and I do not contest this. Like a RAS, I just don't really need one enough to dedicate the real estate they take up; someone else will feel that's crazy talk.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 08-17-2011 at 10:29 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
    Posts
    4,553
    Got rid of the sliders and the 12" one they were to inaccurate I have a 10" and will replace it with a better one at some point. But when I want a accurate cut the CMS is what I go to.

    Oh yeah I forgot to mention that I use a zero clearance fence set up too.
    A Turn N Time
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