The handy miter saw is a must have for any handyman or home workshop. It is highly versatile and great for cutting frames, crown moldings and general woodwork where you require angled cuts. It makes accurate, fast cuts at a predetermined angle that you require. It is sometimes known as a drop saw.
There are a number of variations of the miter saw, depending on what sort of bevels you need and the size of the wood you will be cutting. Some examples are the simple, compound, single bevel, double bevel and sliding compound miter saw.
Like all power tools, they can be dangerous if not used correctly. First make sure you keep it away from children and store it safely when not in use. Read the safety and operating instructions before use. Plan your work beforehand making sure everything is ready and the area is clear.
Here are 5 safety tips to consider before using a miter saw.
Always wear safety gear including ear and eye protection when using a miter saw. Goggles are particularly important as small pieces or even large objects could easily shoot up and hit you in the eye. Make sure you do not have any loose-fitting clothing, watches, chains, jewellery or anything else that could get caught up in the blades or mechanisms of the miter saw. Do not wear gloves when operating a miter saw.
Ensure all guards are attached and operating correctly. Check that they go back into position immediately and get them seen to if they do not. Keep the guards clean at all time.
Only use recommended blades of the correct size for you miter saw. Ensure the blade is fitted correctly and in the right position. Continuously check the blade and the blade-attachment mechanism are tight and securely attached. The teeth of the blade should be pointing towards the miter fence, in other words backwards.
Do not cut freehand, use the guides that come with the saw. Don’t cut small pieces of wood. Ensure your work area is clear and stable and that the material you are working with is securely fastened or clamped. Long pieces need to be supported at the same height at the bench and must not be held up by another person. Lock the clamp knob into the desired angle before proceeding.
Before cutting into the wood, get the blade up to full speed. Slowly and carefully make your cuts. Keep your hands and finger away from the blade at all times, a minimum of 6 inches. Once the cut is complete, wait for it come to total stop before lifting the miter saw.
When using a sliding miter saw, cut from a position closest to you working away from your body. Do not attempt to cut pieces of wood or timber that are too large for the type of miter saw you are using.
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5. Unplug When Working on Miter Saw
If you have to clean, check, adjust or repair anything, always make sure the miter saw is unplugged before proceeding.
Much of this is common sense. It is a power tool with a high speed, sharp spinning blade. Understand that if not used correctly it can be extremely dangerous. Think before you do anything, do not rush your work and be careful. Never use power tools near water or other liquids. Most accidents are caused by negligence or carelessness.
If you pay attention to these 5 safety tips and practice common sense, you will enjoy many hours of wood work with you miter saw. Neglect them or rush your work and you are in for problems.