Should i try to fix a miter saw or buy new?

DustinS

Dustin
Senior User
Trying to set up my shop and have an old hand-me-down makita LS1011 miter saw. I think they were built in the 80s. Its a 10 inch sliding compound miter saw. It still runs and glides well and it worked great to install 1200 sqft of engineered flooring over the last year. That being said, flooring doesnt need to be 90 deg square at the wall and when i recently tried a decent joint, I realized the back fence was off by a couple degrees. It almost seems bent on one side. If I have a board that crosses the entire tool support, the blade is square, but if it is shorter it starts to fall out of square.

That being said, this tool was long discontinued and I cant find a replacement fence for it. Does anyone know any decent tool shops in Raleigh that may have access to things that the internet does not?

Or is it not even worth fixing? It has an old version of bevel with no detents. It just swivels and has a screw that locks it in place but seems to work fine. I need to do some trim work and may need a 12 inch down the road anyways. Hitachi's new company has a 12 inch double bevel on sale for 180$ right now that is looking like a decent option (if the quality is still there...).

Just curious of opinions or recommendations of good (decently priced) tool repair in Raleigh.

If you are curious the piece that is twisted, it is part 91 here:
 

Attachments

tvrgeek

tvrgeek
User
My brand new Ridgid was not flat or square in any direction. A bit of foil tape, a bit if adjusting, a bit of file work, and it is square. It still cuts a curve in a compound cut but I have not tried a full width blade on it yet. My old Delta was square.

If I want square or 45, I am the happy owner of a clone Lyon miter knife. It does take a bit of arm to trim a 5/4 x 4 oak frame.
 

kserdar

Ken
Senior User
I too own the same miter saw. It has had a slight bow at the center of the fence from day one.
It has not been a problem for me.

If you need perfection and don't mind loosing a little cut width - add a wood fence to the front and shim to perfection.
 

DustinS

Dustin
Senior User
Zach,
I attempted to but the issue is that this fence is one piece all the way across, so my “adjustment” looked more like cranking on it with a crowbar.
Ken,
I think that may be the best solution. Just bolting some mdf board and shimming it better.


Here is a picture of the fence for reference.
FC3BECD9-CF40-490D-8869-1E4812507E2F.jpeg
 

RickR

Rick
Senior User
If each side is individually straight you might first try to straighten it by using a center punch to expand the material along the inner perimeter of the center segment. Similar to what would be done to true up a framing square. If it works, great. If not the shimmed fence option will still work.
 

Oka

Casey
Corporate Member
I would look at some of the new saws to see what will work for you.
The 10" are better than the 12" IMHO. My 12" Dewalt, I had to go to a full width blade, then it cut straight. The thin blades have too much drift.
 

sawman101

Bruce Swanson
Corporate Member
My brand new Ridgid was not flat or square in any direction. A bit of foil tape, a bit if adjusting, a bit of file work, and it is square. It still cuts a curve in a compound cut but I have not tried a full width blade on it yet. My old Delta was square.

If I want square or 45, I am the happy owner of a clone Lyon miter knife. It does take a bit of arm to trim a 5/4 x 4 oak frame.
With any saw, using the correct blade design insures straight cuts. Miter saw blades have a negative hook angle on the teeth. A ripping blade for the table saw has positive hook angle for fast, efficient , and smoother cuts, but if you rip a board nice and straight with that ripping blade, then try to cut an angle with the same blade, the angle cut will not be flat but will actually be curved. That is the purpose of compound cut blades, to rip and crosscut; the ripping will be slower and not as smooth though. Be sure your miter saw blade is designed for your miter saw, and not a 60T or 80T blade designed for the table saw.
 

DickF

Dick
Corporate Member
With any saw, using the correct blade design insures straight cuts. Miter saw blades have a negative hook angle on the teeth. A ripping blade for the table saw has positive hook angle for fast, efficient , and smoother cuts, but if you rip a board nice and straight with that ripping blade, then try to cut an angle with the same blade, the angle cut will not be flat but will actually be curved. That is the purpose of compound cut blades, to rip and crosscut; the ripping will be slower and not as smooth though. Be sure your miter saw blade is designed for your miter saw, and not a 60T or 80T blade designed for the table saw.
Thanks, Sawman! I didn't realize there was that difference between the miter saw blades and table saw blades. My miter saw isn't exactly square and I set it up with with my digital angle finder and usually get a little curve to it. I always wondered about that and couldn't figure it out, now I know :)
 

RedBeard

Burns
Corporate Member
+1 on a 10” instead of 12” and using a proper blade. I have the Bosch 12”. The extra capacity is nice but rarely needed for me. Blades are more expensive and have more flex during cuts. I had a non sliding 10” hitachi for years. It was damn near bullet proof until the trigger started malfunctioning. I could have fixed it but got talked into upgrading instead by some NCWW members. If yours works and you can adjust the fence I would keep it and get something you don’t have. BUT If you’re set on upgrading I would check CL and Facebook marketplace instead of new (just my opinion). You’ve got one that works so wait for the right deal and pounce. If you end up doing the MDF fence you can use layers of blue tape behind it for the shims. I only had blue tape on my old twisted miter saw fence (no mdf face) and have done the same on my jointer fence. Over time you do need to replace it but has worked well for me. Thickness is around .005” so you can get it dialed in pretty good.
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
You should be able to force fence back into alignment. Loosen hold down bolts on both sides, then clamp a piece of jointed wood across the center, with two clamps one each side. Retighten hold down bolts. This should hold it in place. If this doesn't work, and it was mine, I would remove fence, and place it on a surface where is supported by ends. Slowly add some weight to center to force casting to straighten. You could use a strong piece of wood across drill press table, and use chuck as an arbor press. Remember when the casting (fence) was machined, it was straight. You could try hitting it with a dead blow hammer, but not a metal hammer. Light taps first.
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
I would not cut it in half. These fences are fairly easy to straighten. Basically what Bruce said - I would stand the fence up on a flat surface, put a 1/4 spacer under each end - the center should now be slightly more than a 1/4 - tap the center with a dead blow until the center is off the table by a 1/4. Check with straight edge and reinstall
 

sawman101

Bruce Swanson
Corporate Member
I would not cut it in half. These fences are fairly easy to straighten. Basically what Bruce said - I would stand the fence up on a flat surface, put a 1/4 spacer under each end - the center should now be slightly more than a 1/4 - tap the center with a dead blow until the center is off the table by a 1/4. Check with straight edge and reinstall
That is the method I used to straighten the Jessum fence I bought on here from Redbeard. I laid both ends on 1/2" thick boards and used a C clamp, then a dead blow hammer to tune it "just right." You may go past the point you wanted to achieve as I did, but then a couple of hits from my dead blow hammer mad it perfectly straight. A really easy fix!
 

DustinS

Dustin
Senior User
Interesting. I never thought about a 12 inch blade flexing but it makes sense. I was just thinking 12 inch because the wife wants some new trim in the house. I can easily make it work with a 10 inch compound and some math.

I think the current plan is to try to get it straightened with clamps or a deadblow. Then that money gets tossed back into the jointer/tablesaw budget! I'll let you know what happens when i get into the shop this weekend.
 

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