|A mitre saw with a wood cutting-blade.
The chop saw, or miter saw, is used to cut wood or aluminum stock. Ours can be used to make angled cuts up to 40 degrees. The main difference between chop saws and mitre saws is that mitre saws can make angled cuts, while chop saws only have fixed-angle chopping action.
- Mark the work piece using a permanent marker or a scratch awl where it needs to be cut. A line across the face is best, but a mark on the edge to line up the blade also works.
- Line the blade up with the mark. Keep in mind that the blade has width.
- Only clamp the piece to the chop saw on one side. If it is clamped on both sides, the blade may get stuck.
- Alert a safety-trained mentor that you are about to use the chop saw.
- Look around the room to make sure that everyone has safety glasses on. If they don't, tell them to put them on. Be assertive.
- Wear eye and ear protection- those in the immediate vicinity of the chop saw must do so as well.
- The most
fun important part: Yell "Chopsaw!" This ensures that everyone knows that there is about to be a loud noise and metal shavings everywhere.
- Start the chop saw. On our current chop saw, this is done by depressing the button on the side and pulling the trigger. Both of these need to be held down to keep the motor running.
- Slowly lower the blade onto the work piece. Once it connects, keep pushing. Let the tool do the work.
- Go all the way down, as far as the blade will go, and then stop the blade by releasing the trigger. Let the blade stop, and then let it go back up.
- Go slow.
- Remember which side of the mark is the distance you want. Don't use the middle of the mark as the distance; you won't know where to line up.
- When aligning the blade, remember that it has width, and there are teeth on the sides. This contributes more width to the cut.
- When in doubt, cut a bit longer than you need. You can then sand the piece down.
- To make multiple pieces of the same length, clamp the first one in place like normal, and then clamp a block of wood against the end that you want. For subsequent cuts, you can just place the piece against the block; no measuring needed.