what is a compound miter saw?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Charles J P, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    I am putting in trim to finish off my basement theater (finally!!!!) and I was lamenting to my boss how bad it sucks to be cutting all the miters by hand. He said I could borrow his power miter saw. He said "its not a compound miter, but its better than by hand". So what is a compound miter. I'm assuming I can do anything with his saw that I was doing with a $12.99 plastic miter-box and hand saw. Yes?
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Probably something like this.
     
  3. Mark Barnhill

    Mark Barnhill Stunt Coordinator

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  4. Lee L

    Lee L Supporting Actor

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    A miter saw will make an angle cut in one axis, a compound will do in 2. Simply, if you look straight down on the saw, a miter will cut at an angle to the fence, like the cut pictured on the page linked to above. A compound miter saw can do the same cut but also cut at an angle relative to the base of the saw. This can be very helpful doing crown molding and is essential for some, more complicated cuts.
     
  5. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    My father owns that Makita saw in the link above. It is a good saw for making complex cuts.
     
  6. Marc_Sulinski

    Marc_Sulinski Supporting Actor

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    Compund mitre saws are OK for doing crown molding lying flat because they give you the angles assuming a 90 degree wall angle. They become a bit less useful if the angles of your walls are not 90 degress, since you will have to build a brace on the saw to support the molding in the position it would be in on the wall. If you are doing this, then you don't need the "compound" aspect of the saw.

    I based the above on not having a formula to determine the angles for cutting crown molding lying flat. I only have the angles for 90 degree walls. Does anyone know of a formula to compute the mitre settings?
     
  7. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Charles, if you are just doing trim, there should be no need for a compound miter saw. It will do the same thing as those box frames, but will be significantly more precise and will give you the exact same angle on each cut. If will also give the wood smoother edges on the cut.
     

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