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Woodworking: Straightening wobbly cuts

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  • #16
    Originally posted by dcibel View Post
    Whats the cost of the 2x4 compared to a full sheet? I've previously shopped for 4x4 sheets just so I can lift them easily without a helper, but a 4x4 is $30 and a 4x8 is $35 at home depot. I shop the local hardware store near my house, they'll break down boards for free but only if someone's around to do it which is a 50/50 chance.
    Doesn't every HD have a panel saw to break down larger sheets for customers? However (there's always a "but" isn't there?), the accuracy of the cuts varies with each store. An employee told me that their panel saws come out of alignment over time. I had a 4'x8' mdf sheet cut to size in a new store. All the pieces (qty 12) came out like they were cut on a cabinet table saw. In other stores I've used, the cuts were not square.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Millstonemike View Post

      Doesn't every HD have a panel saw to break down larger sheets for customers? However (there's always a "but" isn't there?), the accuracy of the cuts varies with each store. An employee told me that their panel saws come out of alignment over time. I had a 4'x8' mdf sheet cut to size in a new store. All the pieces (qty 12) came out like they were cut on a cabinet table saw. In other stores I've used, the cuts were not square.
      +1. Every Home Depot will cut your 4' X 8' into 4 sections for free. Never had to break down a large sheet on my own and deal with wobbly cuts.

      A 3/4" 4' X 8' sheet goes for $29, while a single 24" X 48" sheet goes for $9.95, so you save at least $10 by asking them to break down a large sheet.
      Some people are addicted to Vicodin. I'm addicted to speaker building.

      The Chorales - Usher 8945A/Vifa XT25TG Build
      ESP Project 101 Lateral MOSFET Amplifier
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      • #18
        Db, Skil sells a GOOD "home owner" quality saw for about $65 at either big box store. The one painted gold and comes with a carbide blade is it. No, it isn't a Skil worm-drive or a Milwaukee maul-saw, but it's an excellent value in a "sidewinder" for the build quality and price. A refurbished DeWalt or Hitachi are also excellent options in the same price range.

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        • #19
          I used to be able to walk down a 4x8 3/4" sheet of particle board or MDF down the cellar steps by myself... no more. 4x4 sheets are easy enough though.

          When I can't get HD to cut in half, I use my Harbor Freight Tools straight edge clamp and run the circular saw on it, it's an older Craftsman cheepie one. Even with the straight edge clamped on and the sheet hanging off the end of the trailer, I still don't get very straight cuts... I just use the other three sides to run against the fence on the table saw. I've thought about doing something to remedy this situation, but I never do. It just seems like if I plan my cuts well, that crooked side doesn't come into play. Just dumb luck I guess.

          TomZ
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          • #20
            Originally posted by Whitneyville1 View Post
            Db, Skil sells a GOOD "home owner" quality saw for about $65 at either big box store. The one painted gold and comes with a carbide blade is it. No, it isn't a Skil worm-drive or a Milwaukee maul-saw, but it's an excellent value in a "sidewinder" for the build quality and price. A refurbished DeWalt or Hitachi are also excellent options in the same price range.
            I'm in Canada, the big box stores have a bit different selection here than in the US. I don't see any "gold" Skil saws.

            I actually just looked at prices locally, and my cheapest options around the price you mention are a Hitachi, a Porter Cable, or for $10 more a Bosch. The Porter Cable looks like the best deal, though I have a Bosch jigsaw that I really like, so maybe their circular saw is the way to go for me. I'll maybe make a trip and check them out in person soon. The price of a new circular saw isn't crazy, but I'll need to check them in person, there's no sense buying a new saw if it's not going to solve my problem.
            "I just use off the shelf textbook filters designed for a resistor of 8 ohms with
            exactly a Fc 3K for both drivers, anybody can do it." -Xmax

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            • #21
              Originally posted by dcibel
              Whats the cost of the 2x4 compared to a full sheet?
              I think I paid $13 for my last panel. I haven't looked at the price of a full sheet in quite a while but it think it is around $40. Where in Canada do you live? I'm in Squamish - just outside of Vancouver.
              See my projects on Instagram and Facebook

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Derekj View Post
                I think I paid $13 for my last panel. I haven't looked at the price of a full sheet in quite a while but it think it is around $40. Where in Canada do you live? I'm in Squamish - just outside of Vancouver.
                I'm in Saskatoon, but I'm headed to Surrey next week for some work training. BC is a beautiful place, especially Squamish.
                "I just use off the shelf textbook filters designed for a resistor of 8 ohms with
                exactly a Fc 3K for both drivers, anybody can do it." -Xmax

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                • #23
                  Wow. This is THE question. "How do I cut straight?"

                  Who hasn't drooled at the thought of one of those Festool track saws? Anyway....

                  I've found that I've gotten a lot better with some practice. I normally clamp a bar to the board and use that as a fence for the circular saw.
                  It's important to prop up the piece that you're cutting off, as it will tend to sag in the middle, thereby binding just slightly.
                  That gives a slight cocave cut on the piece that's sagging. Also, I like to prop up the part to be cut off so that it doesn't start to break off near the end of the cut.

                  A question: has anybody tried placing their 4 x 8 board on several 2 x 4's on their driveway, kneel over the board while cutting, staying behind the saw as much as possible?
                  I think that this might give a straighter cut because you're over and directly behind the cut line, which avoids some of the sideways forces that occur when you must stand off to the side.

                  As an aside, I made these trolleys out of scrap MDF and some small wheels for moving around large panels.
                  I'd recommend making these out of plywood if you'll be using them a lot, however. For thinner 1/2-inch panels, I can just use the single swivel-wheel trolley, lift up the other end, and wheel it around.
                  Obviously, it's best for use with panels that you've stored vertically; you lift one end slightly, kick a trolley under it, and then clamp it.
                  I've used c-clamps here, but those one-handed bar clamps would make things easier. Use a shorter one so that you don't trip on the bar.
                  For 3/4 inch stock or bigger, use the "trike" setup as shown. I was surprised that it would stand on its own, but don't trust it in the wind or anything.

                  Shawn


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                  Last edited by Audion; 09-13-2016, 12:01 PM.

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                  • #24
                    Buy a Skil saw (or similar), well under $100 and they cut straight. The one inhave does not wobble at all. Combine with a high quality fine cut 40 tooth blade and you'll have no trouble, that's what I use with great results. I also recommend a Bora clamping straight edge. HTH, Javad
                    --
                    Javad Shadzi
                    Bay Area, CA

                    2-Channel Stereo system in the works with Adcom components and 4-way towers

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                    • #25
                      I fitted a Tenryu blade built for plywood to my Circular saw several years ago. With the EZSmart guide (and plastic alignment base attached to the circular saw) I'm accurate to .5mm over 1.5m. I cut plywood on the garage floor, with a sheet of insulation board underneath. http://tenryusawblades.com/product.p...cat=341&page=1 Not a tablesaw user, myself. http://www.finehomebuilding.com/2004...n-the-tablesaw Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by dcibel View Post
                        I shop the local hardware store near my house, they'll break down boards for free but only if someone's around to do it which is a 50/50 chance.
                        this is so annoying. I've spent 10 minutes wandering around looking for someone to cut up sheet goods for me. then half the time the guy will push the saw through the wood like he's in a race... resulting in just awful cut quality (mostly an issue with plywood). I really want a truck that fits a full 4x8 sheet. I'm strongly considering the new Honda Ridgeline for my next vehicle to replace my Element.

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                        • #27
                          A full sheet will fit in the back of an Odyssey, with the middle seats removed. Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by dcibel View Post
                            I'm in Saskatoon, but I'm headed to Surrey next week for some work training. BC is a beautiful place, especially Squamish.

                            It is very beautiful here - we love living here!

                            See my projects on Instagram and Facebook

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                            • #29
                              Agreed, we have an Odyssey as well, I usually fold the rearmost back seats flat into the floor and push the sheets 2/3 of the way in, then use some twine to pull the rear hatch down as far as it will go. Easier than removing the front seats and the lumber store is 5 miles away and all surface streets. The guys at Home Depot know how to totally destroy a sheet of plywood when they cut it, I've stopped using them for anything and rip my own sheets at home using my Skil saw. Javad
                              --
                              Javad Shadzi
                              Bay Area, CA

                              2-Channel Stereo system in the works with Adcom components and 4-way towers

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                              • #30
                                If you are getting wobbly cuts and running the saw against a good straight edge, you definitely need a better, not necessarily new, saw. Consider used.

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