I'm still not happy with my stock cutting capability. I've been looking unsuccessfully so far for a cold saw. It occurs to me to ask you guys if there is anything I should be looking for or looking out for on a cold saw. I'm considering a 12"-14" manual unit.
When you miter these saws, do they have vernier capability like tool & cutter grinders do? Or do they just have degree markings? I'd love to be able to set to a mark and go, but I often need to cut an angle within 10 seconds of arc and although it is possible to use a precision protractor to do it, it takes a lot of time.
I've heard "don't buy used, the gearbox will likely be worn out and gearbox parts on Italian and German machines are hard to get and expensive, and Italian and German machines are the only kinds you want".
While you're busy spending oodles of your valuable time searching for the perfect cold saw, I'd strongly suggest ordering up the DeWalt semi-cold saw for $500 that has a 30 day money back guarantee and try it out. You might just find that it works well enough that you discontinue your cold saw search and just keep an eye out in case one pops up somewhere. Worst case, you don't like it, return it on the guarantee and it's perhaps cost you a little shipping.
I have never seen one with anything finer than stamped degree lines. This is, after all, a fabricating tool, not a machine tool. But they are hefty enough, as compared to the $500 dry cut saws, that they stay where you put em, and make repeatable cuts. I dont know of any saw, even one that costs 10 or 20 grand, that will indicate 10 minutes of a degree on a scale.
Well, mine was used, and its now pushing 25 years old, no gearbox problems yet. I cant see why it would be any more susceptible to gear box problems than a similar aged Monarch or LeBlonde lathe, and yet everybody tells you to buy them.
I think your biggest problem is you live in the northwest, where there are very few old tools to begin with, and then you are looking for a tool that is pretty rare, expensive, doesnt really wear out or depreciate much, and is new enough, at least in its introduction to the US market, that there just arent many deals on em.
I get the Machinery Journal, out of LA,
its a free monthly ad magazine of used machine tools. In the last issue, there were only two or three cold saws for sale- this is out of probably 30 dealers, and maybe 5000 used tools. And thats in LA, where they still have used tool dealers. And average prices run well over a thousand dollars for a used one. If this is a reasonable price range to you (and I think that you might wait years for that elusive deal on on for 10% of new price) then you should consider buying from a dealer in Cali. I have bought several tools this way, and paid the freight, and still saved money over Seattle prices IF there was even one available here. I waited and looked for two years for a 12 ga Chicago Finger Brake, never found one, and was quoted common prices around here of 4 grand and up, used. Found a used one in Houston, $3200 including freight. It has earned ten times that over the years.
Some tools just are hard to find used, ever. Especially up here.
Then is are 0.012". Be happy with 1/2 of a degree. Never saw some with a vernier.
Seems you want some precision cutting. Did you try a circular saw blade in the mill? You can get in the 0.01mm range with them. Depends on how big it is what you intend to cut. Of course not that convenient working on the mill.