From making rapid repetitive cuts to crosscutting timber, a miter saw has plenty of uses. If you have got one set up, you might as well take full advantage of it.
Now, there are times when you have to cut wider boards into small, manageable sizes. If the miter saw you own can’t cut that wide, you will have to improvise.
It becomes a challenge for this type of saw to cut wider boards. However, there are a couple of ways you can make wider crosscuts and breakdown the board into manageable size pieces.
If you have a woodworking project in mind and need to want to make wider cuts on a board, but your miter saw is a fixed model, there are ways to crosscut wide boards.
In this article, I’m going to show you how to cut a wide board with a miter saw as well as some tips to efficiently make the cut using the saw you already own.
Cutting A Wide Board With a Miter Saw
Let’s get the easiest technique out of the way. For example, if you have a miter saw that could cut 6-inch-wide boards, you can easily use that saw to cut 6.5-inch-wide boards.
Let me show you how. The trick is pretty simple. Simply put a board under the board that you want to cut. Now, cut all the way down, and the extra diameter of the blade will cut all the way down.
- Limitation Of A Non-Sliding Miter Saw
There are sliding miter saws and non-sliding miter saws. The sliding ones offer better cutting width since you can actually slide the saw around. On the other hand, a non-sliding or a fixed miter saw will have a fixed cutting width.
This means you won’t be able to adjust the cutting width. You can only increase the cutting width if you put a board underneath the mainboard you are cutting. But this will only give you an increased cutting width of an inch or half an inch.
What if you needed to cut wider? In the following section, I will be discussing just that.
Cutting A Wider Board With A Fixed Miter Saw
If you often make wider crosscuts, it’s better to add fold-out support to your miter saw station. This way, you can break down larger sheets and have the stability and support you need to hold the board in place as you make the cut.
- First, make a reference line on the board and place the wood piece directly against the saw.
- Now, line up the blade teeth with the reference line on the board and start cutting.
- When you have cut the first half, keep the board in place and grab a reference block.
- Place the reference block directly against the edge of your board. Now, clamp it against the fence to hold it nice and secured.
- Now, you can flip the board over. For safety reasons, remove the attached clamp and the block from the fence.
- At this point, your board and blade should be directly in line, and you can make the cut.
- When you make the cut, make sure not to go all the way through the board. Just remove enough material to finish off that cut.
What if your board is longer than the reference point of the fence? Well, there is another thing you can do.
- First, draw out the cut line and line up your blade directly to that cut line.
- Now remove the board and flip it over. Take your speed square and draw a reference line directly in line with the part that you just cut.
- Return your board back to the saw and line up the teeth of your blade on the line that you just drew and finish off that cut.
Crosscutting A Really Wide Board On The Miter Saw
If you have a sliding compound miter saw, you can easily rip large sheets of plywood into smaller pieces. Most of these saws will have a cut capacity of 12-inches. This means you can cut the board in half with two passes.
- First, take your plywood sheet and set it up on the miter saw station.
- Line up your mark. Remember that you won’t be getting a perfect cut with this approach. This is a better rough cut than you would get with a handsaw or a jigsaw.
- You can make the cut first using a miter saw and recut it using a table saw to get the perfect cut.
- Use your belly and push the board uptight against the saw and hold the board firmly.
- Now, take your saw all the way out and start making the cut.
- Once you are done cutting, flip it over and continue the cut from the other side.
Note: Some people prefer to lift the sheet up to make the cut deeper. It’s a good method, but it requires a lot of practice. Also, it’s not something that I would recommend doing.
- Use a clamp if you have to. This will keep the other portion of the sheet from falling off once you are done with the cutting.
With the technique, you can easily get a manageable size piece that you can later cut to make it accurate. Once you have your piece ready to recut, take it to your table saw and do the finishing touches.
And that’s how to cut wide boards with miter saw. Remember to wear safety glasses and gloves in the workshop and when you are dealing with dangerous power tools such as a miter saw.
If you are cutting a lot of board, make sure to install a proper dust collection system and wear a dust mask. Things might get loud, so make sure to wear plugs or earmuffs. If you are getting tired, consider taking a bit of rest and then continue.
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This is me Sonnet. I manage a full-time workshop for my clients’ woodworking projects. From a very young age, I’ve been always passionate about DIY projects. And that’s the reason I’m amicable with the woodworking tools. I’m regularly handling a couple of projects like cabinets, furniture, boats, and many more using wood, veneers, and laminates.