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Thread: What is the right saw for the job? Small stuff...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Central PA
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    What is the right saw for the job? Small stuff...

    What saw should I be using to cut tiny stuff like 1/4 x 1/4 x 4in pieces? I've been using my cabinet saw or bandsaw but neither seems like the right tool for the job. Should I be using some sort of sled or jig for stuff like that or adding a new tool all together like a mini table saw or tickler blade runner or something? I've even considered buying the benchtop bandsaw from grizzly and setting it up specificallyfor tasks like this since my bigger g0555lanv is setup with the 6" riser block and do it all sort of blades I can use it for everything from small redrawing to handling stuff just a bit too big for the scroll saw. Using the g0691 just feels wrong and is downright scary for stuff this small.

    Hopefully there is an affordable solution, I'm a little tight on funds right now.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2008
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    So Cal
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    This has handsaw written all over it.
    How accurate do your pieces need to be
    Aj

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    New Jersey
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    I would make a small table saw sled. Use a pencil to hold the off cut piece.

  4. #4
    This would depend on how many I had to do. If I needed 20 I would use something like this (and do). For more I would use one of my small sleds at the tablesaw.
    Purgamentum init, exit purgamentum

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Upland CA
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    I am with Bryan on this.

    Get a Freud 7 1/4" 60 tooth very narrow kerf skilsaw blade. Right now, HD has them two for $20. Then make a small sled for small work. You will love the small fine kerf blade for small stuff. The teeth are tiny.

    Easy peasy, and cheep too.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    I wish I could remember the name of a saw I saw at friend Ellis's place in Pennsylvania. I didn't operate it myself so I can't remember too much but I was impressed with the scale and precision of the cut. It was a very compact table saw, heavy, well made, with a small diameter blade. If I remember correctly it had a means to secure very small stock and a precision means for cutting. He cut some little pieces maybe 1/4" square - it was made for that. I THINK it was made for preparing type for printing presses. Seems the mechanism was unconventional, maybe the saw rising through the top to cut instead of pushing the wood through. I thought it would be a perfect tool for a model shop. Sorry all this is so vague. It's been several years, but if I could somehow remember some details it would be a great saw to run down - I'd like to find one. (I guess I could send Ellis an email and ask him.)

    It scares me to cut tiny parts on my table saw even with a zero clearance insert and a sliding table with clamps. I generally use the smaller bandsaw then clean up the best I can.

    JKJ

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    NY State
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    281
    If you don't mind spending some bucks Proxxon and others make mini table saws for people who do model railroad buildings. About 7 years ago, when I was interested in a mini table saw for small work such as you describe, I found a retired machinist in Florida who made these, upon special order for I think $500. Sounds extravagant but it was so precisely made that I consider it well worth the money. I don't use it often but, when I do, it's a pleasure to have. I also think the small sled with a thin kerf blade is good advice.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    New England
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    I'm with Andrew on this. Unless we are talking hundreds of pieces, a simple homemade jig with a stop and a cheap flush cutting Japanese hand saw would be my approach. I'm talking about the kind of flexible saw you would use to cut off bungs or dowels flush to the surface. Use a squared piece of stock to guide the first cut through the jig, set the stop, and cut them 4 at a time if not more.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Central PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Potter View Post
    I am with Bryan on this.

    Get a Freud 7 1/4" 60 tooth very narrow kerf skilsaw blade. Right now, HD has them two for $20. Then make a small sled for small work. You will love the small fine kerf blade for small stuff. The teeth are tiny.

    Easy peasy, and cheep too.
    Do I need a special saw for those blades or can they be used in a normal table saw that uses 10" blades? Me being the amateur that I am never even considered that was possible. If so that could be a great option for me with a sled since I have a spare portable table saw from before I got the g0691. It seemed to work fine I just didn't like the fence setup on it. The blade one square to the miter slot out of the box though. And I like the idea of using a different saw rather than having to make a bunch of changes to my grizzly just for a few cuts.

    As for the number of pieces I see quite a few in my future. I am a total amateur that is just getting started and hope to someday be able to build guitars but right now all of my focus is on little trinket boxes and jewelry boxes made with the incra router table set-up and I use those little pieces 4-drawer support and to glue in a square on the lid of some of the boxes to make a flat piece of wood friction fit onto the top of a dovetail box. Like the one below. Try not to laugh.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Phoenix AZ Area
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Michaels View Post
    If you don't mind spending some bucks Proxxon and others make mini table saws for people who do model railroad buildings. About 7 years ago, when I was interested in a mini table saw for small work such as you describe, I found a retired machinist in Florida who made these, upon special order for I think $500. Sounds extravagant but it was so precisely made that I consider it well worth the money. I don't use it often but, when I do, it's a pleasure to have. I also think the small sled with a thin kerf blade is good advice.
    I'd love to see some pics of that

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Even if you were using a slider, you'd want to be using jigs to safely cut those small components...so yes, to your question about sleds and the like and with that, you can very likely use your existing saws to do the work.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    4,939
    I have a slider. But this is what I'd use .... the smallest Miller's Falls mitre box (#15 1/2) ...



    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  13. #13
    a luthiers miter box

  14. I use a Japanese razor saw and fixed miter box (mine is plastic, but the wooden ones are better).
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  15. #15
    If you need to cut a lot and need precision, look for a Hammond Glider.( info on OWWM)
    For occasional smalls, a mitre box or Japanese Dozuki back saw. (there are some cool magnetic guides at Japan Woodworker)

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