A miter saw features a circular blade mounted on a pivoted arm that can be swung in various angles to make miter cuts. Although it is the best tool you can use to make miter cuts with precision but unavailability is a possibility.
On the contrary, the miter cuts are required for performing a wide range of tasks. They are vital to design door or window frames, picture frames, crown moldings etc. So, skipping the task involving them cannot be a fruitful option for you.
Hence, to get the essential miter cuts without a miter saw, you can use several other options. This guide discusses two of the eminent alternatives to make angle cuts. By following the described tutorials, the miter cuts you get are finished and accurate like the ones you will get from the miter saw.
Ways to get Angle Cuts without a Miter Saw
1. Use a Hand Saw
A hand saw is the simplest and oldest form of saw. It comprises of a series of sharp teeth at one end and a flat sharp edge at the other end. However, this simple saw can be resourceful in the hour of need.
You will need:
- A hand saw
- A speed square
- An engineering pencil
- A measuring tape
Step 1: Check the Work piece
Before starting the job, make sure to check the condition of your work piece. It should have a smooth surface and straight edges. By ensuring this, you can save your time and effort once you are done performing a hectic job.
Step 2: Mark the Angle
Take the measuring tape and hook it from one end to the point where you want the cut to be. Mark that point with the pencil. Now place the speed square at that point projected in the desired angle. Trace that angle line with the pencil.
In case you don’t have a speed square, you can use a wooden piece as well. Take a piece of wood having the same width as the work piece being cut. Place the wooden piece on the marked point perpendicularly. Mark the upper-right and lower-left corner of the wood on the work piece.
Join these two points by using a ruler and pencil. Consequently, you will get a perfect 45° angle line.
Step 3: Place the Wood in Right Position
You can place the lumber on a stable table to start cutting. However, clamping it renders more stability.
If you are clamping the lumber, try adjusting it in a way that the angle line meets vertically to the direction of the saw. This position will allow you to exert more pressure while cutting.
If you are placing the wood on the table, place it such that the end being cut is out of the base of the table. Also, make sure that the height of the table is comfortable for you so you can hold the wood firmly while sawing.
Step 4: Start Cutting
The blade of your hand saw should have sharp fine teeth to ensure precise cuts. Place the saw on the drawn-line such that it is perfectly lined up in the direction of the cut. Moreover, you can ensure this, by viewing the reflection being projected in your saw blade.
Finally, you are all set to start cutting. Continue ripping while holding the wood firmly. Once done, if you find any unfinished or splintered edges, you can remove them by a fine chisel or file.
2. Use a Circular Saw
Circular saw is a handy as well as a versatile power tool. It allows the operator to make the circular blade cut in different angles with accuracy.
You will need:
- A circular saw
- A measuring tape
- A pencil
- A Speed square
Step 1: Examine the Wood
The preliminary examination is an important aspect of woodworking. By assessing the nature and condition of the lumber, you can estimate your task dealing strategy.
One important step is to check the ends of the wood. At least one end of the work piece should be dead straight. If it’s not, mark a straight line at the corner by speed square and cut it down.
Step 2: Adjust the Depth and Base of Your Saw
Your circular saw can be manipulated to operate as per your job. To adjust the depth of your saw, place it on the work piece, loosen the depth adjustment knob and push the blade down to the point where it exceeds the depth of wood by 1/8 inches.
The base of your circular saw contains a bevel adjustment feature. As you rotate the provided adjustment knob, the base plate will start tilting. Adjust the desired angle and your circular saw will cut through the wood at the decided projection with accuracy.
Also, make sure to plug out your circular saw before adjusting the base and depth to avoid any accident.
Step 3: Set the Basic Geometry
Once your saw is adjusted, mark the point where you want to make the miter cut. Adjust the work piece on saw horses perpendicularly such that the end to cut is away from the base of the sawhorse.
Along with it, as circular saw operates on high speed, make sure that there is no obstructing material that can hinder the blade while cutting.
Step 4: Time to Start Ripping
Holding the board strongly while cutting is crucial as angle cuts exerts a high repulsive force. To avoid kickbacks, grip the work piece tightly by one hand while standing away from the direction of the circular saw. Also, make sure that the surface on which you are operating is flat to avoid instability due to unbalanced ground.
Plug in the saw and align it on the drawn line. Now start tearing the wood while maintaining a consistent pace. Nevertheless, the cuts are not perfectly finished. To give the final touch-up, rub a fine rasp or file against rough grains.
Miter saws are known largely for delivering finished angle cuts. However, their unavailability cannot impede you from making miter cuts. The article discusses 2 other alternatives which can lend you the same results as a miter saw.