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Cutting straight lines with a circular saw (I wish...)

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cambournepete

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There have been lots of threads on this, using the Festool system (drool), EZ system, PW & FWW jigs and just a straight edge and offset measurement.
I was trying to use this last system at the weekend with my old B&D saw and failed dismally - the saw wandered away from the straight edge and made a mess of the cuts, which wasn't a huge disaster as mot much wood was wasted and it's only for my garden shed. I then decided to try my Makita 5903(?) 235mm saw from out of my Triton and that worked fine - straight edge, reasonable quality finish but is rather heavy for handheld use (esp on when on roof of shed! :)).

So why didn't the B&D work? Is it the saw itself (bearings nackered perhaps), is the blade blunt? Am I inept (hopefully ruled out by the Makita working OK)? Something else?

Pete

PS both the B&D and Makita have the blade centre offset from the motor spindle, implying some sort of gear box. ;)

PPS taking the saw out of and putting it back in the Triton is a pain when you've got the dust bag attached :( Maybe I'll see what's on offer at Yandles or Axminster in a couple of weeks...

PPPS Don't saw through a screw vertically :shock: :roll: - I ruined an oldish blade doing that this weekend :cry:
 

Steve James

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Hi Pete

One of the reasons for this not working could be that the edge of the base of the saw (does that make sense ?)
Is not parallel with the blade.
This is easy to check by turning the saw upside down.
Put a straight edge against the blade, taking care to touch the blade at the same point, either teeth at both ends of the straight edge or directly on the blade missing teeth. The measurement should be the same at both ends, if not you have your reason for bad cuts.
Using a long straight edge on sheet materials to be cut with a circular saw has been done for years, because it works well.
I`ve virtually built complete bars on site using this method, because nothing else was available!
Hope this helps

Steve
 
A

Anonymous

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You beat me to it Steve! My B&D used to wander until I eyeballed the blade and saw it wasn't parallel to the baseplate edge. Fixed it with a big hammer - the plate, not the blade....
 

Chris Knight

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Pete,

I had a Bosch saw that performed like your B&D - in the end I put it down to a rubbish saw with a rubbish blade. The last item I could understand - I had used it a lot for very rough stuff. The first part I couldn't really understand as the saw had performed OK when I first bought it. Indeed, I had been rather pleased with it (and on the whole, think well of Bosch tools).

I think that I used the blade well past its sell-by-date and that in some way contributed to the demise of the tool - perhaps the bearings got too stressed and worn? In any case, I dumped it at that point and bought a Festool.

I rather think we take circular saw blades too much for granted - I know I do, comparing my approach to them with how I think about and treat my table saw blades
 

cambournepete

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Steve James (and WHW would have)":i37f8e99 said:
One of the reasons for this not working could be that the edge of the base of the saw ... is not parallel with the blade.
Not thought of that - I'll have a look and use the Estwing on it if necessary.

waterhead37":i37f8e99 said:
I rather think we take circular saw blades too much for granted - I know I do, comparing my approach to them with how I think about and treat my table saw blades
The blade is quite old, but not seen a huge amount of use. It also cost me as much as the saw, so I'd expect it to last a while - I haven't abused it too much...

Thanks guys,

Pete
 

gidon

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Hi Pete
I had this problem a longtime ago with a cheap Power Devil saw. I noticed that the base flexed in relation to the blade causing irregular cuts. I replaced the saw with a Dewalt (DW62) and haven't looked back. Although it's a bit too heavy really (like your Makita). At the time I remember checking out the saws B&Q had and most of the ones (including Bosch surprisingly) had this flex. Things may have changed of course.
Cheers
Gidon
 

pooka

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Hi Pete,
I had problems with my Hitachi C8U circular saw initially, although not as severe as the problems that you describe (my problems were probably more due to beginner carelessness though). I replaced the standard blade with a 40-tooth Freud, made up a cutting guide of 18mm plywood with an MDF base (which extends to the inner edge of the saw blade), and it has served me very well since then. It practically makes my circular saw a poor man's table saw (albeit with less flexibility, less stability, and much higher risk of limb amputation :shock: ).

The blade being out of parallel with the base sounds likely in your case though, but it's probably worth checking for damage to the blade too (e.g. a bent blade), and the blade not being perpendicular to the base (an angle there might cause the saw to pull away from the guide, maybe).

Good luck.
 
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