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jstuehm
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.

Fencepost
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-Contractor-Grade-Clamping/dp/B00005QVQW ($39.90)

Here's a top-quality version:

http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/page.aspx?p=32926&cat=1,42884 ($169)

A. Spruce
Re: Saw to cut small pieces safely
jstuehm wrote:

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.

dj1
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.

HoustonRemodeler
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.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Saw to cut small pieces safely
HoustonRemodeler wrote:

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

Fencepost
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.

Re: Saw to cut small pieces safely
dj1 wrote:

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 ~

Mastercarpentry
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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