Chop saw material support frame

Home shop project of the day....
http://picasaweb.google.com/Curt.Welch/ChopSawMaterialSupportFrame
The wife and kids were out of town so my friend Mike (who I met taking
welding classes) came over and we stayed up to around 2 AM making a simple support frame to hold material as it's being cut in the chop saw. I hope the noise didn't bother the neighbors too much....
I went with a simple square frame design so it's always the right height even if it gets knocked around in use.
I discovered that my new welding table worked real nice as a blackboard for writing out project notes with a sharpie. They clean off nicely when it's all done with acetone. Much easier and better to use than paper around welding projects. (I guess everyone else already knew that trick).
I also figured out I need to add better clamping options on the back of the table. As you can see in the pictures, I used two angle irons in a railroad track type fixture to get the spacing of the frame correct and consistent. But because I couldn't clamp it well enough to the back of the table, I ended up tack welding a few cross plates to the fixture to hold the spacing. Once tack welded, we realized we could use a clamp to squeeze in the sides slightly to fine tune the width. That all worked well, but it still would have been nice to have a strong clamping surface on the back of the table.
I also got the idea to use some anti-splatter spray on the table to help prevent splatter from the tack welding sticking to the table. That too seemed to work well for this type of project where it was being tacked close to the table surface.
--
Curt Welch http://CurtWelch.Com /
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Curt Welch wrote:

I want to see that area in five years after that chop saw has covered absolutely everything with abrasive grit which has had a chance to work in .. :-)
My abrasive chop saw is on a rolling stand and when I am going to use it I roll it out to the mouth of my shop and when I'm done it takes me a long time to sweep up the area. If it was in an intricate little area like yours the cleanup would simply never get done.
Very nice work, Curt. You didn't mention the reason for trying the heat resistant tape, nor show the results.
Grant
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Grant Erwin wrote:

Listen to Grant before it's too late! Your shop is still very nice & clean & you probably like it that way. If so, you are going to be sick about the dirt that the chop saw sends *everywhere*. I mean EVERYWHERE! It's like this: you pull open a drawer for a tool that you haven't used for a while and your hand gets black from the saw dust deposited on the tool. Really.
So, while you still have the chance, get it outa there. Like Grant, I only use mine outside, even though I don't have a rolling cart & have to carry it out. Your being in your garage means that you can do the rolling cart thing. DO IT! Or you'll be sorry.
Don't say that we didn't warn you, Bob
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That's the reason why I like to cut things with my mill instead of chop saw.
i
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Another question--why do you people use those chop saws in the first place? Band saw is not slower and it is several orders of magnitude cleaner than that abrasive pig...
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I got it because of size and cost mostly. I figured I would want one around even if I had a band saw as well some day. I didn't really have the room yet for a floor band saw and figured I'd rather start with the chop saw and get the band saw later. I'd also like to have something a little larger than the cheap 4x6 size band saw so I figured I'd get the abrasive chop saw for now, and try to justify a larger band saw (maybe something like a 7x14) in the future.
If if I do get the band saw, it won't be able to cut down those 20' pieces of stock because I don't have that much room in the workshop where the band saw would be located. So having something small enough to carry around and set up were ever the material is is important.
The portable band saws would work size-wise but they cost a lot more than the chop saws and I suspect are harder to make good miter cuts with. Other than the mess, the chop saw is simply the best size/function/cost match for what I currently need. If it wasn't for cost, a nice large floor band saw combined with a hand held portable band saw to slice down the really big pieces would probably be the nicest option. But them we are talking over $1000 for the set for what I would want instead of $200 for a chop saw that gets the job done.
A cold cut saw of course would be very nice as well, but they run in the $500 range.
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Don't try to buy a Bently if you don't need one to show up. HF band saws work without any problems (just don't buy their blades) and they are much cheaper. Most of others are the same saws with different label/paint color.
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Its not an abrasive saw. But it does do metal chips!!

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TAF wrote:

Boy, it sure looks like an abrasive saw.
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It is an abrasive saw! It's the Milwaukee 6180-20 and it does make a nice mess like all abrasive saws. However, it's got a larger and better spark catcher than any other cop saw I've seen so the mess is a "little" bit better contained than other's I've seen. Sure would be nice to have one of those cold saws, but I couldn't justify the cost yet.
I see toolbarn even has a video about it....
http://www.toolbarn.com/product/milwaukee/6180-20 /
I can only use it to cut fairly short pieces when it's on the bench anyhow. Most cutting is likely to be done when it's sitting on the floor where clean up is easier (I just blow out the garage with the leaf blower). The saw has a handle on it's top that makes relative easy to pick up and move when it's locked down.
A rolling cart would be nice but my room is limited since in theory, the cars have to fit in there as well.
What would be really nice is a set up that would give me stops for the workpiece. But that would require a lot more space and a fancy system with a rotating base to mount the saw on since with these types of saws, the work moves instead of the saw when you want to cat a miter. A standard woodworking miter saw stand won't work well because they fix the saw base to the stand. That would only help for 90 deg cuts. For now I'm just going to try and get by with a tape measure and the support stand I built on the floor of my garage for cutting those 20' pieces down.
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Curt Welch http://CurtWelch.Com /
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The frame looks beautiful, but I have to wonder if a piece of a 4x4 or 4x6 would not do the same job.
I applaud Kurt for his beautiful workmanship. I definitely have to improve a lot before I reach that level!
i

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snipped-for-privacy@algebra.com wrote:

Sure, that would be the easy way to do it. The height is about 3 9/16 which is close enough to a 4x4 (which is 3 1/2 x 3 1/2). It was probably designed to be used with a 4x4 as a support (or 2x4 turned sideways). I've even got some 4x4 fence post sitting in the basement so maybe 2 minutes of work going to the basement and cutting a few 1' lengths would have given me two very functional supports! But what fun would that be! And is it really right to be using a wood support for a metal shop! :)

Thanks. They look nice in real life, but the photos do hide most the minor defects so they make them look better than they really are.

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Yeah, the first thing I noticed about the school welding lab was the fact it was so damn dirty! Everything was black. That was my first introduction to what happens when you do a lot of work with metal - especially stick welding and grinding. That fine powder ends up everywhere no matter how much time you take trying to clean up.

Yeah, I'll have to see how it goes and adjust my usage depending on the mess it makes.

Yeah, Mike wanted to try that and I didn't get a good picture of the result. He's taken the part home now so I can't take another picture. Half of the final piece can be seen in one of the pictures.
The tape came as part of the powder coat starter kit from Eastwood but I had never tried it until last night so it was just to see how it worked. It is heat resistant and is designed to be baked in the over with the powder and them removed. It's for masking just like you do with normal paints and the results were basically the same. It created a sharp (but slightly irregular) edge just about the same as what you get using masking tape with paint.
To mask off larger areas, they say you should use the tape along with aluminum foil - like you would use masking tape and paper with regular paint.

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AND ANOTHER THING ..................
I think chop saws did the most to damage my hearing. I could be wrong.
Steve
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What did you say? I can't quite hear you? My ears are still ringing from the chop saw and grinding I did the day before yesterday. Yeah, it would be smart to take the ear plugs out of the pocket of my welding jacket and actually put them in my ears when I do that stuff!
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I like the ones on a spring clip. When not in use, they hang there ready to go. Trouble is, I still got a couple of pimples left from pubertyhood, and one is inside my ear canal. It gets plugged up every few years and creates a booger of a painful zit. Then I have to go to the sweaty cups or just quit until it pops and drains.
It's always somethin.
Steve
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Curt Welch wrote:

Soapstone works good as well. On clean steel I use a carpenters pencil.

--
Steve W.
Near Cooperstown, New York
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How about a good folding miter saw stand instead? Attach the chop saw and you have rollers for stock, and even an adjustable stop so you can maker multiple cuts the exact same length. I have one under my miter saw now, and plan to pick up another for my chop saw, for the same reasons mentioned by others. My table saw and my radial arm saw are on rollers so I can roll them out the back overhead door and cut outside for the same reason.
With my miter saw I can fold up the legs and stand it in the corner, and easily carry it outside by the handle on the saw. I plan to do the same with my chop saw.

Might try a write erase marker.
Bob La Londe www.YumaBassMan.com
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Curt Welch wrote:

I forget the official name for one of those. It might just be a "cutting stand". Anyone know for sure?
I have a prism-shaped cast iron one which stands on the floor. It has a roller on top which can be raised or lowered with screws. Must weigh at least a hundred pounds.
It's a useful thing to have if you're cutting long, heavy stock.
Best wishes,
Chris
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Two or three years ago, I was cussing and fussing at the person/s who stole my new Makita chop saw. Now I thank them. I went and got a cheapo HF band saw, and now wonder why I ever owned a chop saw rather than wearing out three or four of them over the years. Sparks, dust, fire, noise, hearing damage.
I don't think I'd ever buy another chop saw. I DO know that I would buy a better band saw. You can cut multiple pieces at a time, and miter cuts come out without the blade drift of a chop saw.
And then, there's the fun of blade explosions.
Chop saws work. No doubt. Then you go up to band saws and cold saws.
Steve
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