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Many people have wider boards to cut and wonder if they can use a miter saw to get the job done. If that’s the case, you should be aware that it is possible! However, you may not know how to do it and don’t want to watch a video and try to decipher what’s happening while trying to work.
This guide has everything you need to know on cutting wide boards with your miter saw. Let’s get started!
How to Cut Your Wider Boards Using a Miter Saw
Miter saws are used to cut wide boards with two drives. They can’t be used to make crosscuts on a wider board. However, you can cut the board wider by flipping it once you’ve cut one half or side.
Overall, yes, a miter saw can be used to cut wide boards. However, you’ve got to be smart about it and understand the technique first. That’s not an issue because you’re learning that today. Keep reading for step-by-step instructions!
Choose the Saw Carefully
Before cutting the wide board with the saw, you need to ensure that it’s the right tool for the job. Wider objects are often cut with a table saw. That’s because there aren’t any fences or handles to block the workpiece. You just pull the board against the saw blade to rip through the piece easily.
However, if you need to use a miter saw, you must choose the tool carefully. There are various sizes available, and each one has a different application. With that, the size of the saw correlates to the blade’s size.
You can find 7.5-inch miter saws that work well for small projects and are loved by DIYers everywhere. Then, there are 12- and 10-inch miter saws to handle more serious needs in the workshop or on the job site.
It’s also possible to divide the miter saws into groups, such as sliding compound, dual bevel, and single bevel miters. A sliding saw is often bigger and is great for various projects.
Generally, it’s best to use the 12- or 10-inch blade in a sliding miter saw to handle larger or wider pieces of wood. You also need a durable blade to get through the material without any issues.
Mark the Length
Once you decide on a miter saw and blade, you must make accurate markings. Each project requires appropriate measurements because you’re cutting different pieces to the right size.
Mark the exact location so that you don’t face issues later. It’s best to use a marking pencil and a steel square. Some people get by with chalk, but it can be erased if you don’t cut the piece immediately.
After marking the piece to the correct size, you should focus on your safety. Power tools can be dangerous if they’re used improperly.
If you don’t follow appropriate safety measures, you could hurt yourself. Here are a few things to consider to ensure that you stay safe:
- Check to ensure that you’re using the right blade type for the job.
- Ensure that the blade is sharp enough to handle the wood easily.
- Don’t wear loose clothing or jewelry while operating the machine.
- Don’t cross your hands while working.
- Keep the hands away from the running blade.
- Use clamps to reduce kickback problems.
- Wear the right safety gear. This includes earplugs, safety glasses, work gloves, and a protective mask.
When you have done all that, you can begin working on your project. It’s time to learn the steps you should take to cut wide boards on a miter saw!
Cutting Wide Boards on a Miter Saw
Using a miter saw to cut wide boards is actually easier than you think. However, you must use the right technique to get things done efficiently and safely. Here are the steps to take:
- Put your wood on the miter saw table and clamp it if needed.
- Start the saw and wait for the blade to reach full speed.
- Slowly and carefully lower the blade; don’t push your tool beyond what it can do.
- Cut half of your workpiece; it doesn’t have to be in one go.
- Release the saw’s power button and wait for the blade to stop completely.
- Remove your wood piece and tilt it to the other side.
- Make sure everything is accurate so far, and complete steps one through five again.
- Release the wood a second time, and you’re done!
There should be no issues if you follow the technique listed above!
Since you’ve learned the step-by-step method for cutting wide boards using a miter saw, it’s important to gain a few more tips to help you. Overall, the steps are easy to follow, but you might still need help.
Use Stop Blocks
Stop blocks are great for woodworking projects. You can make one out of scrap wood to use on projects, as well. In a sense, they help with accuracy.
Just be careful when using your stock block. Sometimes, they could cause your saw blade to bind. It’s best to clamp the stop block against your miter saw fence.
Nailing or Clamping the Workpiece
To ensure accuracy and clarity while working, it’s crucial to be careful and go slowly. Wide boards can also be long, so they could bend from gravity. If you’re working on a long and wide board, consider clamping or nailing it for the best results.
When you secure the free end, it rests more securely. Once you make a successful cut, the wood doesn’t fall and chip. In a sense, you have a better-finished product because you clamped it initially.
Now that you know how to use a miter saw to cut wide boards, you can tackle new and more challenging projects. Overall, the process is easy, but you can’t know what to do if it’s never been necessary before.
Though the process seems easy, you need to understand and use the right technique to get things done right. Happy cutting!