More of Norm's Tips

Finish Cutting
As a circular saw blade cuts up through wood, the fibers on top splinter off, a condition known as tear-out (usually worse on cross-cutting). If appearances are important, put the good side down when cutting. If you must cut the board face-up or if both sides will show, score the cut line with a utility knife before cutting.

TIP: When cutting a finished piece, such as a painted door, duct-tape the bottom of the saw shoe so it can't scratch the finish.

Plunge Cutting*
A saw blade sinking through the face of a board can "walk" back across the surface, so make sure that no part of your body or the cord is in line with blade. Release the lever for the depth setting and drop the shoe below the blade. Then tighten the lever slightly to keep the blade from dropping, but don't lock it all the way. Bring the saw up to full speed, lift the guard, and slowly push the body of the saw down to start the cut.

*starting the cut in the middle of a board

TIP: Make sure to start back far enough so that you only push the saw forward; never drag a spinning saw back.

Ripping Wider Lumber
If a board is too wide for the saw shoe to hang over the edge during a rip cut, hold a narrow scrap of wood between thumb and forefinger, bracing your finger along the edge of the board, and butt the saw shoe against the edge of the wood scrap as you push both along the board.

Gang Cutting
When cutting more than one piece of plywood to the same size, stack them on top of each other (or side by side in the case of dimensional lumber), clamp them together firmly, and cut the lot in one pass to save time and ensure consistency.

Beveling
Blade guards have a tendency to jam on steep bevel cuts, so carefully nudge the guard lever with one finger to ease it over the edge. Once the cut has been started, let the lever go. Never remove the guard or rig it so that it stays up permanently.



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