Beach house #20 – sad miters.

So, it turns out my fancy sliding compound miter saw… sucks.

See this little test column base cap I did? I ripped an angle on it on the table saw, planed it down smooth, and then cut it into mitered pieces on my compound miter saw.

Lovely, right?

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Well….. no. Not if you can get up close and actually see the joins – every single one of them is out of whack by up to 1/8″! That may sound like a small amount but believe me, it’s very visually obvious. I’m like, embarrassed for actual carpenters to come see this thing, it’s that ugly. I even tried to fill the gaps with some “cedar” (not) colored caulk, which only made things worse.

So I always knew I was never any great shakes with detailed carpentry stuff, but I thought I was better than that, so I checked my saw – all the angles are off! It has to be pressed to one side while cutting 90-degree cuts, so its horizontal angles are off as well as its vertical, miter-angle cuts. I’m sure my own lack of skill would have made for less-than-perfect cuts anyway, but it’s super disappointing to think that I had this great, expensive piece of machinery that would solve all my mitering problems and then…. then it’s all wonky and I don’t know how to even approach fixing it.

I may try another couple of miter cuts on my table saw. That $40 piece of yard-sale-crap has no pretensions of being a piece of precision machinery, but at least I sort of know how to adjust it, as far as it can be adjusted. If I can’t get that to work I may ask my neighbor the cabinet-maker… or I may just give up and do straight butt-joints with non-angled tops. It doesn’t look terrible, and I’m sure I could pull it off, at least.

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Disappointing. :(

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