Hot answers tagged

40

This is why miter boxes exist. They keep your workpiece and saw in reasonably stable alignment. Some clamps to keep things still make nice cuts almost effortless. Remember: Let the saw do the cutting. Long, light strokes. Don't force it. You can make your own fairly easily with a few boards (ideally hardwood) in a U configuration and a square cut. To ...


40

The same way you get to Carnegie Hall - practice, practice, practice! Of course, there are some tricks that you can use to make it easier. Draw lines on 3 surfaces. The first line is on the top surface where you begin your cut, the other two lines are on the adjacent surfaces. Assuming these 3 lines all line up, you can stop every half-dozen strokes or so ...


34

So I decided to be the guinea pig and just see how it goes. I fixed the end portion of the wire on my vice, not very tight so I wouldn't damage it, leaving just a tiny piece of it out. Then I used the angle grinder with a thin cutting disc and approached the wire close to the vice, not using any force at all, just approaching it slowly and it cut through it ...


31

Jig saws are designed for cutting curves. You can cut straight lines and generally you followed the correct procedure - using a straight edge. Your picture of the cut is pretty blurry, so it's hard to tell for sure, but there are several possibilities: The most likely culprit is that you cut too quickly. I have recently made a number of freehand cuts using ...


23

I use what are generically called "tin snips". True tin snips are designed for thin, relatively soft material (like sheet tin or similar metal). But the good ones can cut through almost anything. I had a recent problem (very long story...short version here) where I ended up with a screw stuck inside an oven hinge and after trying all kinds of ...


22

Using an angle grinder you're going to end up with melted PVC clogging the blade, and possible fire from hot metal/sparks that you are grinding igniting the plastic, etc. As such, the suggestion to use a reciprocating saw (effectively a form of power hacksaw) is valid - however, since you already own a hacksaw, and it does not seem like it should be such a ...


21

As a novice-level wood cutter, I will say that what helped me the most with learning how to make straight cuts using a jigsaw was to slow down. You can certainly cut in a straight line, without a guide, if you take it slow, with some practice. More pressure against the blade equals more likelihood of not being straight - let the blade do the cutting, not ...


20

Here is how I have done it before without anything more than what I was already using, the material, pencil, a tape measure and a miter box.


19

A properly sharpened saw. A clear line. Practice. Less than 20 years, but actually practicing with scrap lumber is very beneficial. For 90 degree cuts, it also helps if your saw is clean and shiny enough to reflect the wood so you can see if the reflection is straight, or crooked - crooked indicates that the saw is not perpendicular to the wood.


18

A sliding bevel, which is a fairly low-cost tool designed for exactly this type of job - the blade can be set to match an unknown angle and locked, then it can either be measured, or used directly in setting, or used to draw a line. No affiliation with or recommendation of the image source. Or, a piece of cardboard or stiff paper (fold or cut to match the ...


18

An abrasive cutting disk works well. That might take the form of an angle grinder or a rotary tool (often generically called by the Dremel brand name).


18

Cable cutters are the tool designed for cutting cable. If you're doing this a lot, the correct tool helps. For a one-off task, it may not be worth the cost, although then you have the tool for life. Cable Cutters are basically scissors/tin snips but with curved blades, so the wire being cut is trapped and cannot squish out the mouth. I use something like ...


17

Forget the guide block. Seriously. Jigsaw blades wander for a variety of reasons, and all of them will cause you to have a non-square cut, even if you have a square guide block. Instead, practice cutting to a line. (Or more accurately, cut most of the line on the waste side.) If the 'top' of the board is supposed to be the nice side, then mark the line on ...


16

Whenever I want an arc that accurate I use my 3hp router (a smaller rated router will do too, just for smaller scale work) screwed to a shop made pivot (trammel) and make repeated passes, next pass deeper than the last to complete the cut. A circular saw may make that tight of a curve if you set the saw shallow enough to just cut through the material. It ...


13

My experience says to use the rotary tool, but I have always used metal boxes with plaster rings. I have no experience cutting drywall over plastic boxes. I do have three pointers for cutting with a rotary tool: Put as little pressure on the box from the drywall as possible. The more pressure against the drywall, the more likely that you'll get tearout ...


12

I think you'd do better with a Sawzall. That's the trade name - like Kleenex, everyone uses the name no matter what the brand. Just looked up - it is generically a reciprocating saw. These things can be dangerous beasts, but I think they'd be a lot safer for this type of job than an angle grinder. Buy/beg/borrow/rent - for one small job, any of the options ...


11

Once I clamped the cable with an old hose clamp then sawed through the clamp band with a hacksaw - was reasonable but still "furred" or spread the ends. I purchased a decent cable cutter very soon after.


10

You can't figure this out without knowing how many boards your circle will have; once you choose the number of boards, just divide 360 by the number of bevels (one for each end of each board) and that's how far from 90° each end should be. So, if you have 4 boards (a square): 4 * 2 = 8 bevelled ends 360° / 8 = 45° each end should have a 45° bevel on it: ...


10

A jigsaw isn't designed to make perfect cuts. Straight cuts can be made but the stock has to be clamped down and the fence, guide block, must be clamped down too. You can't hold down a guide block with one hand and operate the saw with the other, the guide block will move and the saw will jump, as is obvious from your pictures. Clamp everything and use both ...


10

The issue with this sort of cut is that the bevel and the miter are not perpendicular to the workpiece and not perpendicular to each other. Use a jig. You can build one, and place the workpiece in it, or you can build a jig around your workpiece by clamping or screwing on some guiding lumber. The jig separates two key steps in sawing straight: a) the ...


10

One thing I've found immensely helpful is a speed square (this one is metal, but there's some PVC models that are really cheap) They have a "T" top, so you can set it parallel to the side of your board and draw a straight perpendicular line against it. On a 4x4, I'd draw one on the top and two sides. Then do your best to take the line with your ...


10

I would use a hammer and chisel on steel plate. Not a wood chisel but a cold chisel for steel. Lay line over a solid piece of steel, place chisel at cut point, and hit chisel with heavy type of hammer.


9

The most likely solution is to create a template and use a router with a bit that follows the template. The router would also be used for easing over any sharp edges. photo credit, sample image, not a product recommendation


9

It's entirely possible, and often reasonable. Without going as far as buying a CNC router (handy, but expensive) simple jigs and sleds permit cutting precisely circular holes (eat your heart out, jigsaws) and precisely straight edges (like a tablesaw with no need to use a jointer afterwards - indeed, many people with tablesaws use a router jig to joint ...


9

How do professionals cut arcs? They don't use a saw to cut them. If you're the IKEA kind of professional, you have a monstrous milling machine. You program the arc into your CNC machine, and it just happens. If you're a carpenter, you rough-saw to the basic shape you want, plus a bit spare. Then you use a spokeshave, which is essentially a plane for curved ...


9

Yes, it'll be fine but heed the valid warnings given in the other answers about the minor risk of melting plastic and starting small fires. You won't instantly be sitting in the middle of a blazing inferno; it'd me more like having a few birthday candles in front of you, but the fumes are unpleasant.. The biggest risk from an angle grinder in this context is ...


8

Back in the day when I used to put up vinyl siding, I found that the best way to cut it with a circular saw was with a cheap 140 tooth plywood blade installed backwards (to give the teeth a negative rake and prevent chipping): For really hard plastics, I've used a diamond abrasive blade before and that did a great job (these are incredibly expensive if we'...


8

It sounds like you're using a crappy copper pipe cutter. To cut PVC, you want one of these instead: I've used mine to cut thousands of PVC pipes and it does the job quickly and easily. You can probably find one for less than $10 and it will serve you well for life.


8

I'd try to go through the slab and then below it. Most slabs are 6" thick with gravel underneath. You can rent a concrete core drill for around $60 from home depot. Stick a hole in your slab. Then you can use something called a 'sidewalk sleever' to tunnel under the slab. Then install pipe (a little tricky due to the elbow, and fill your hole back up ...


8

I've cut chair mats by laying them on a flat work surface. Then secure a metal straight edge along the cut line. (In my case I clamped a long piece of aluminum bar stock in place to the work surface with the mat in between). A utility knife with a sharp blade was then used to score a cut line along the straight edge. Chair mats are a relatively soft plastic ...


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