How to Cut Wide Boards with your Miter Saw
If you’ve read my articles on picking a miter saw or wide board sizes, you’ve probably already realized cutting wide boards is not always straight forward.
But what if you already purchased your miter saw, and it doesn’t quite cut through the last half inch of your board?
Wide Board Alternate Solution
Easy…take up knitting and use the miter saw for cutting steaks instead. Wouldn’t that be fun? Here’s something much more useful for you…
Pro Carpenter’s Trick
There’s a little trick that pro carpenters use all the time. When you find you can’t quite cut all the way through a board, put a couple of 2 by 6’s underneath your board on either side of the blade. This will raise the board higher, letting it come into contact with a wider diameter of the saw blade.
Test It First on Some Scrap
You might want to test the limits of this method with some scrap wood because every miter saw will be different depending if it’s an 8, 10, or 12 inch. Also, some saws will have the motor in a slightly lower position that might get in the way. Once you know how far you can push the cut, you’re good to go.
This is a Safer Way to Get More Width
You might have seen or been told you can just lift up the edge of the board at the end of the cut. While this is true, you may be asking for trouble. A few things can go wrong here.
First of all, you’ve already moved your support hand while the saw is still cutting. Move it just right, great, move it a little off to the side or lose your grip…hand steaks for dinner.
Not to mention if the board is lifted a little funny, you risk putting side force on the blade, or the blade catching the board.
A Big Board Needs a Big Gut
None of these sound like fun. But go with your gut. If you think you can do it with no problems (and many do) great, but it’s not highly recommended.
Perhaps only if you’re trying to cut through the last little 1/16th of an inch. A tiny move of the board cuts down on the margin of risk quite a bit.