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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    1

    Default Saw to cut small pieces safely

    I am looking for a saw that can cut the following piece sizes in MDF hardboard and SMC Sheet Molding Compound.

    0.9375" x 1.9375
    .125" x .075"
    3" x 2.25"

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
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    1,418

    Default Re: Saw to cut small pieces safely

    If you need to cut small pieces, there's really no way to do it safely with a power saw. With practice, you'll find that you can cut small pieces more precisely (and considerably safer) with a traditional miter box.

    The one below isn't necessarily the highest quality, but will probably be fine for most people. If you are looking for extreme quality, it's available at extreme prices.

    http://www.amazon.com/Stanley-20-800.../dp/B00005QVQW ($39.90)



    Here's a top-quality version:

    http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/pag...26&cat=1,42884 ($169)

    Last edited by Fencepost; 10-17-2013 at 02:41 PM.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,617

    Default Re: Saw to cut small pieces safely

    Quote Originally Posted by jstuehm View Post
    I am looking for a saw that can cut the following piece sizes in MDF hardboard and SMC Sheet Molding Compound.

    0.9375" x 1.9375
    .125" x .075"
    3" x 2.25"

    Thank you.
    Your first and last pieces are easily doable on any decent quality tablesaw. Are you sure about the middle dimensions, 1/8" x .075", that's about the thickness of a human hair, you are not going to be able to measure that with any accuracy, let alone cut it safely.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,444

    Default Re: Saw to cut small pieces safely

    A friend of ours likes Neck Bone Soup. I know what you're thinking, but read on.

    She goes to the market and asks the butcher to cut the neck bone to small 1"x1" pieces and he gladly does it on his saw (similar to a band saw).

    Caution: don't lose your fingers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,510

    Default Re: Saw to cut small pieces safely

    We use a 12" miter saw to cut sliver thicknessed shims all the time.

    The trick is to cut one side to size, then cut the other side off a larger piece, leaving the larger piece smaller by the desired piece.

    I still have all my fingers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,004

    Default Re: Saw to cut small pieces safely

    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonRemodeler View Post
    We use a 12" miter saw to cut sliver thicknessed shims all the time.

    The trick is to cut one side to size, then cut the other side off a larger piece, leaving the larger piece smaller by the desired piece.

    I still have all my fingers.
    But out of MDF?
    He will have to orient the grain so the sliver doesn't fall apart, which will mean cutting off a block to work from, then gluing it to a base or holder piece so it can then be sliced. And the dust will be incredible if you have to cut them all day.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Re: Saw to cut small pieces safely

    The current issue of Fine Woodworking magazine has an article on using a power miter saw for accurate cuts, including some tips that can be adapted for safely cutting small pieces. (Generally, you don't want to hold onto the small piece as that places your hand too close to the blade, but rather, cut it off of a larger piece.)

    Most power tools will provide better cuts and be easier to use when combined with shop-made jigs. The stock plate and fence generally have to much gaposis to be able to accurately cut a small piece from a larger piece.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Redondo Beach
    Posts
    4

    Wink Re: Saw to cut small pieces safely

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    A friend of ours likes Neck Bone Soup. I know what you're thinking, but read on.

    She goes to the market and asks the butcher to cut the neck bone to small 1"x1" pieces and he gladly does it on his saw (similar to a band saw).

    Caution: don't lose your fingers.
    Great! So funny ~

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,337

    Default Re: Saw to cut small pieces safely

    A trick I've used is to sandwich the tiny piece between two pieces of scrap, then cut through the whole mess stopping just short so that hopefully the part I want to keep doesn't go flying away. It keeps the fingers away and also helps prevent splintering.

    I can cut extremely small pieces of wood this way, but MDF ain't wood. As small as the OP is mentioning it will flake apart no matter how you cut it. This stuff is mighty darn flaky if you ask me.

    Phil

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