The miter saw is equipped with a blade guard that covers the saw blade. The guard will automatically retract when you lower the handle and will automatically return to its original position when you raise the handle. NEVER try to take the guard off or tape, tie, or otherwise hold the guard open serious injury may result.
The miter saw in the lab has a blade that will cut through wood and softer metals such as aluminum. We also have a blade that will cut through other metals. Since changing the blade on the miter saw and making sure it is aligned is not trivial, you must ask someone who is approved to do so. Currently, this means Mr. Yeo. You can also ask an adult mentor and see if they are comfortable doing this. Students are NOT ALLOWED to change the blade on the miter saw without obtaining prior approval.
Adjusting the Miter Angle
The saw is usually set to cut straight down at zero degree. Adjust the miter angle to cut at an angle:
- UNPLUG the saw from the wall
- Pull up on the miter lock lever to release the lock
- Turn the base while squeezing the miter latch and use the pointer as a guide.
- If you want to cut at one of the predefined angles (the ones marked by notches on the base), release the miter latch when you get near the angle and the angle should automatically latch into place.
- Push down on the miter lock lever to lock the position.
- When you are done with your cut, return the saw to the starting miter angle of zero so it’s ready for the next user.
Adjusting the Bevel Angle
You can set up the saw for beveled cuts by tilting the blade at an angle.
- UNPLUG the saw from the wall
- Adjust the fence to be as close to the blade as practical to provide maximum workpiece support,but make sure that the blade never touch the lower or upper fence. At some extreme angles, you may actually need to remove the left side fence. Don’t forget to retighten fence adjustment knob.
- Loosen the bevel lock knob at the back of the tool.
- Tilt the saw blade and use the pointer to adjust to desired angle.
- Tighten the bevel lock knob firmly.
- Make a dry run (tool turned off AND unplugged) to check that there is enough clearance between the fences, clamps and all moving parts.
- After your cut is complete, you MUST return the saw to the original vertical angle. DO NOT leave the saw tilted at an angle.
- Make any adjustments needed to miter and bevel angles while SAW IS UNPLUGGED. Check that all the locks are tightened.
- Mark your cut line on your material with pencil or marker to help you line up the saw. Remove ALL nails, screws, staples from the material.
- Align work so that many blade teeth will be in contact with the material being cut. If only a single tooth is contacting the material, it will absorb all the force of the cut and lead to skipping, stalling, or saw teeth snapping/breaking.
- Push material all the way up to the fence. Make sure there is nothing between the material and the fence such as saw dust, etc. Make sure the fence assembly is secure and locked into place.
- Line up material with blade. Use the built-in clamp on the miter saw if you are working with large pieces of material to help secure it to the base.
- Make a dry run with the motor OFF to ensure that the blade will not hit clamps, fences, etc.
- Firmly hold the material with your left hand, at least 6” from the blade path. Press the material against the fence and use good pressure to hold it in place as you cut with the miter saw. NEVER EVER EVER put your hands or fingers near the path of the blade!!
- Start the motor by pressing the trigger and let the blade come to full speed. The blade should NEVER be touching the material when you start the motor.
- Slowly and smoothly lower the handle, allowing the blade to cut into the material.
- Once cut is done, slowly and smoothly guide the handle back up to its starting position and release trigger.
- When blade has completely stopped, remove material from the saw.
- CLEAN UP!! Leave the miter saw AND surrounding area clean and clear of scraps and saw dust.
Tips and Safety Notes
- ALWAYS UNPLUG the saw from the wall before adjusting or checking the function of the tool.
- Use slow and deliberate motion when operating the saw. When done with a cut, don’t just let go of the handle. Slowly guide it back to its original up position.
- KEEP HANDS AWAY FROM PATH OF BLADE.
- If cutting a long work piece, make sure that is well supported and secured. Use the blocks that Mr. Yeo has made or other scrap pieces to ensure that the material is level. This is not simply because you will get a more accurate cut, but also to prevent serious injury resulting from kickback.
- When transporting the saw, make sure to lock the head down using the pin in the back of the tool.