Abrasive wheel on miter saw

I want to put an abrasive metal-cutting wheel on a miter saw, to cut
mild steel angle with. Most of this will be 3/32" or 1/8" 1-inch angle.
Some say, "sure, no problem!" while others say, "the horror, the
horror..." The purpose is to cut a few pieces for some welding
projects. For example, cutting some angle steel at 45 degrees to make a
table top.
Now, before this goes any further, please do *NOT* tell me to "go buy a
chop saw" or "buy a used band saw" or whatever. I'm talking about a
miter saw ONLY, OK?
There are supposed to be two main issues with doing this:
First, it overloads the motor. But I don't think this would happen, if
you just use very light pressure and take your time and go slow.
Second, the shavings/sparks can damage the fence and/or the motor
mechanism (bearings). There may be some truth here. The fence shouldn't
be a problem, and I can always cover it with something. Particles? Some
suggest removing the vacuum. How about attaching the nozzle of my shop
vac just behind the blade and letting it catch them? Or maybe putting a
big magnet there, perhaps.
This isn't something I'll be doing often. Maybe once a month I'll make
3 or 4 cuts, at the most, no more. As I said, 99% is going to be
cutting 45 degree ends in 1/8" X 1" angle, so I can join them together
to make a square corner. That's it.
I use an abrasive blade in my circular saw for straight cuts, but it's
hard to cut accurate angles with it. I also have a Porter-Cable Tiger
sawzall, I don't think that would work well for this kind of cutting,
although I've never tried it.
Please give me a tip here, especially if you've actually done it, and
aren't just repeating what you've read or heard. And PLEASE don't tell
me to "go buy a chop saw"!!!
Ron M.
Reply to
Ron M.
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I wouldn't think of it. Buy a hacksaw. A good Lenox or Starrett tubular high tension frame, and a couple Lenox 24TPI bimetal blades. You can make 4 cuts in 1/8 x 1 angle in half the time it takes to change the blade in the miter saw.
Ned Simmons
Reply to
Ned Simmons
I was going to tell you to go buy a chop saw, but for some reason I have decided not to ;) Dave Hall
PS - You might want to consider a used bandsaw......
Reply to
Dave Hall
Ron, The horror! The horror! The only real issue is the RPM difference. A abrasive cutoff saw and more importantly, the abrasive disk is designed for 3200 - 3600 RPM. Most wood miter saws operate from 4000 to 5400 RPM. Abrasive disks do not work well out of their operational range.
As for the project, cutting 0.125" x 1.00" angle with a circular saw (I use a SkillMag77) is a snap and plenty accurate for welding. If you are having problems, the sawzall will also work fine with the correct blade and proper speed. (Slower blade speed than wood)
Reply to
Why not buy it precut the way you want it from a local machine shop? They wouldn't charge much for a simple job like this and you have the precision you want and you haven't changed a blade to something that it wasn't designed to do.
Good luck, Rich
Reply to
Go buy a chop saw!!!! Harbor freight runs them on sale for $90 or so. :)
I ran masonary blades in my 7-1/2" skill saw as well as some metal cutting blades in both the skill saw and my table saw. Works fine, tears up the bearings from all the crud flying around. I have two cheap Skill saws with loose main shaft bearings in my "do something with or toss" pile. I wouldn't let my good ball bearing Skill saw near an abrasive blade.
One problem you will run into is that use start losing wheel diameter as it wears. On the smaller 7-1/2" saws you run out of working room very quickly. Most of the miter saws are 10" so that is less of a problem. But keep in mind that the chop saws use 14" blades that are MUCH better.
I bought one of the el-cheapo chop saws, switched to some GOOD quality 14" abrsive blades I get at my welding supply place (NOT the HF or HD quality ones!) and get very nice, very quick cuts. I've even munched through a 5" 'I' beam in about 120 seconds
R> I want to put an abrasive metal-cutting wheel on a miter saw, to cut
Reply to
I've just spent a few minutes thinking about the rooster tail of sparks that would be flying into my saw, and out of that little DC outlet, and all the plastic parts that saw's got, and I've come to the conclusion that I'm not going to think about it any more. I'm sure it would work but I don't want to experiment with how the saw reacts to it. :-)
Seems like you could cut those pieces with a hacksaw, your tablesaw, or a used bandsaw like Dave says, and then set up a jig for a grinder or sander so you could fine-tune the angle to 45. That's what I'd think about.
No actually I'd think about taking them out to a friend who's got all kinds of metalworking tools but if he wasn't around I'd think about it.
Reply to
Go ahead, but first stop and think how much an emergency room visit runs these days. Metal has to be clamped solid before you even think about cutting it. Most wood saws have no useful means of clamping angle iron unless you call those plastic or pot-metal things on the fence clamps. If your blade snags the angle and it flips away from the fence, there will be blood and broken parts. Your saw might be damaged too.
R> I want to put an abrasive metal-cutting wheel on a miter saw, to cut
Reply to
Tim Killian
"Ron M." wrote in message
How about renting one?
Reply to
Edwin Pawlowski
You are thinking like a real home shop machinist now! Kudos for creativity. Many of us have found that any kind of abrasive saw is suboptimal for home use. They are loud and messy and unsuitable for stock of much thickness. I have had offered to me 2 different metal-cutting chop saws. I brought one home and ran it a couple of times and then gave it back even though it was free to me. Those are really made for cutting metal studs, which are basically sheet metal. They didn't work at all on 1" steel square bar -- I hit a hard spot and it just got harder and in the end the saw wouldn't cut it. The little 4x6" band saws are much quieter, cleaner and safer.
If you want an abrasive saw, you might look around your local area first for a used one. I see them all the time as guys buy them thinking what you're thinking, and then they realize their limitations and then they try to sell them and then they realize there isn't much market so if they're smart then they give them away or really really lower the price. My target price would be $20 or less but only if the saw looked new, and only if I were you.
The market may be different where you live.
You might find the 4x6 FAQ interesting:
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R> I want to put an abrasive metal-cutting wheel on a miter saw, to cut
Reply to
Grant Erwin
I use one of those cheap adjustable mitre boxes made for cutting wood by hand. With a fine tooth blade and some lubricant, it will cut mild steel and aluminium just fine. A lot of the time it is quicker to setup and use than my (unmentionable) bandsaw ...
I just don't use the abrasive cut off stuff because of the mess - in fact I don't do any sort of grinding in my workshop because of the danger to all the other tools.
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Reply to
Dave Garnett
In fact they may shatter and do shrapnel damage to many things in the room including. But an interesting idea never the less. Ken
Reply to
Ken Vale
I've done it. No problem - except.. you must take off the exhaust bag first, if it's so equipped. Otherwise it'll burst into flames. Trust me - I know.
Reply to
Cox West
You seem to be answering your own quesions. Why not try it out and let us know the results?
Reply to
Guess who
"the abrasive disk is designed for 3200 - 3600 RPM."
Where are you getting this? Most 7" abrasive wheels have a Max RPM of 6000 to 10,000.
Good advice on here, though.
Ron M.
Reply to
Ron M.
how about go rent a chopsaw for a day?
abrasive wheels for steel are designed to be used with brisk pressure. light pressure and going slow will overheat the metal and wear the wheel quickly.
dust collection for miter saws is difficult at best and a black art most of the time....
it's more than the metal shavings. it's also the grit from the blade. together they'll quickly trash the turntable bearings, the chop arm bearings and the motor bearings on your aluminum miter saw. if the saw is a throwaway, go for it. if you need to make good cuts in wood with that saw, don't do it.
it'll work better than you think.
look, dude, the correct answer to your question is go buy a chop saw. but don't listen to me, first go trash your miter saw, then go buy a chop saw *and* a miter saw. and I'll say "I told you so" in advance....
Reply to
Consider coping the angle iron instead, it's easier to get a square joint. You can cut back the top so the whole other side sits square against the remaining vertical portion, or you can cut the top of the 2nd side piece so that the vertical part of the piece slides under the top of the first piece, and round the corner so that it fits in the fillet radius. I didn't explain that very well, but I think there's some pictures of this out on the web, maybe even in the dropbox...
Go buy a thin cut-off disk and a 4-1/2" mini grinder. :^) At least it's cheaper than a chop-saw, and it has 1001 other uses... I can't count the number of times mine has saved my backside.
--Glenn Lyford
Reply to
Glenn Lyford
I use one (14" Makita) all the time for making clean cuts prior to welding...
Good saw and good blade will cut 1/4" mild steel easily...
Reply to
Duane Bozarth
Likely not enough to protect from the accumulated swarf----especially the shed abrasive, which will continue to do damage as it's abraded by objects that come in contact with the saw----
Particles? Some
I think that's an outstanding idea. Be sure to keep a fire extinguisher real close, though. When was the last time you vacuumed a stream of hot sparks and didn't end up with your vacuum cleaner, the one that is normally filled with wood chips and dust, on fire?
Sorry. "go buy a chop saw"!!!
It's not that your miter saw isn't capable of doing the work, it's that it isn't capable of doing it without doing some damage to the saw. If you use it long enough for metal, it won't be worth a damn for use on wood any longer. Then you can buy a chop saw and a miter saw. Won't that be fun!
It all boils down to how much pride you have in your tools. If you don't mind having them look like they've been abused, I can't see why you couldn't get by with the occasional poor application.
Reply to
Harold & Susan Vordos

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