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Thread: Help Cutting Small Parts...

  1. #1

    Help Cutting Small Parts...

    I'll be cutting several 3/8 x 3/4 pieces for a project. I'd like to use my miter saw for the job, however whenever I try, the part goes flying no matter what I put in its way. Anyone have a good trick to do the job?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Put a board along the fence to create zero clearance then when you cut thru your piece leave the blade down and shutoff the saw
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

  3. #3
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    Yeah, a real zero-clearance fence prevents the tiny part rotating into the path of the blade.
    Also -- blue tape. Stick a piece of blue tape on the tiny part before you cut it. Use the tape to apply a bit of tension to pull the part away from the blade when it gets severed. Works most of the time, but not always.

  4. #4
    If you have a table saw sled with clamp down ability, try that. I like that approach to keep my fingers far away from blades.

  5. #5
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    I have a special tablesaw sled I made with built in clamp downs.
    Ken

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    I have a special tablesaw sled I made with built in clamp downs.
    I did the same thing with a table saw sled for small pieces. Works great. IMHO worth the time to make the sled.
    - When God closes a door, he opens a window. Our heating bill is outrageous & six raccoons got in last night. Please God, this has to stop!
    - Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.

  7. #7
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    Table saw and sled for this need for me...I really don't like cutting small parts on a miter saw, even with a zero clearance fence.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
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    I think a chop saw is the wrong tool for this task. You have little control over the rate of feed and the cut off is the piece you want. I had to make a number of small pieces like this for a 4" tractor project I did for a wedding.
    20150628_154524(1).jpgIMG_9849.jpg
    As you can see there are numerous small parts.

    Here is a jig that I made for pieces that are 3/4" x 3/4" in less than 10 minutes all from scrap. The plywood on the right is a standard sled that I use for many odd ball cuts. All the jig pieces are held in place with double sided tape. There is also double sided tape under the piece being cut off so it doesn't come loose during the cut. If you are cutting a lot of pieces you will need to replace the tape under the cut off periodically. Fingers never get near the blade.

    20211203_091728_InPixio.jpg20211203_091624_InPixio.jpg20211203_091707_InPixio.jpg
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 12-03-2021 at 2:54 PM.
    Lee Schierer
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Table saw and sled for this need for me...I really don't like cutting small parts on a miter saw, even with a zero clearance fence.
    +1 on using a table saw and sled. I often use the eraser end of a pencil to hold the part down. Thanks David Marks!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    I have used my sled for this before, but my sled is large and I was holding down the small piece with a pencil eraser. I was a real difficult thing for me to do with the weight of the sled and having to hold so many parts down. Guess I'm getting old. I have to build a small sled for this very thing and maybe with hold downs.
    Anyways, I did the job at the miter saw with zero clearance as suggested and it worked very well. Thanks for all the suggestions.

  11. #11
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    I cut small parts on the bandsaw. I have to cut 54 or 72 smallish trapezoids for every banjo I build, so I use the fence to set the length and a dedicated miter gauge for the angle. On my old Jet 18" saw the table overhung the back of the frame so I could put a box on the rolling workbench and under the saw table to catch the pieces, but my new Parks saw sticks out further back there, so I took advantage of the 45 degree area and a piece of vinyl that came on a window years ago to make a slide. Once the table is full each time I cut a block one falls off the back onto the slide and shoots into the bucket. It's very entertaining.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Arita View Post
    I have used my sled for this before, but my sled is large and I was holding down the small piece with a pencil eraser. I was a real difficult thing for me to do with the weight of the sled and having to hold so many parts down. Guess I'm getting old. I have to build a small sled for this very thing and maybe with hold downs.
    Anyways, I did the job at the miter saw with zero clearance as suggested and it worked very well. Thanks for all the suggestions.
    Make a quick and dirty small sled for the purpose out of scraps. You don't have to use a big heavy one for small work.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
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    I saw this tip some years back, and have used it, although I have to say that the previous responses might well be better options. This is really quick though. Put some screening material over your shop vac nozzle, and position the nozzle just next to the end of your workpiece (that is, the piece that will be cut off). I use an old bungee around the right mitersaw table (I like to hold with my left, pull the saw down with my right), and the nozzle is parallel to the workpiece and just to the right of the piece that will be cut off. The little piece ends up right there on the nozzle, sitting on the screening. I found it works best with the crevice nozzle attachment. I have extras, so the one with the screening (which is just rubberbanded across the end of the nozzle) sits at my mitersaw for use whenever it's a small cutoff.

    Ken

  14. #14
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    Rockler has a small parts sled.

    https://www.rockler.com/rockler-tabl...all-parts-sled

    I have one and it works very well.

    Cliff
    Mudhead: "Doesn't Louise count?" Porgy: "Only to 10, Mudhead."

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Polubinsky View Post
    Rockler has a small parts sled.

    https://www.rockler.com/rockler-tabl...all-parts-sled

    I have one and it works very well.

    Cliff
    You can make one yourself for a couple of bucks and almost no time at all. I have two T-tracks for hold down clamps and a stop block. Smaller is definitely better for this.
    - When God closes a door, he opens a window. Our heating bill is outrageous & six raccoons got in last night. Please God, this has to stop!
    - Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.

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